SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - In just a matter of days San Francisco's biggest convention, Dream Force, gets underway. The conference means big business and big changes for people trying to get around the city.
Work has already begun to transform Howard Street in the city's South of Market neighborhood into Dreamforce, the annual convention for Salesforce. The conference is expected to draw 171,000 people to the city.
For businesses in the area like brewery ThirstyBear Brewing Company, the conference is a welcome annual tradition. "It's fantastic, it's good for locals. It brings a lot of people into the city, and they get exposure to San Francisco,' said Tim Mullins. "The good parts of San Francisco, the good stuff of San Francisco."
Mullins says the convention familiarizes visitors with the city, making them more likely to return to watering holes like ThirstyBear. Additionally, he says it brings an immediate benefit with a steady stream of customers locked in.
"We have a private event here Monday through Thursday," said Mullins." Reopen to the public on Friday, the last day of the conference. But, yeah. Private events all week."
This year's Dreamforce organizers say keynote speakers will include President Barak Obama and Apple CEO Tim Cook and a musical performance by Fleetwood Mac.
All of this means a significant influx of visitors squeezing into an area that will already see streets shutdown. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency confirmed Howard Street between 3rd and 4th streets will be closed through Nov. 24 and are recommending visitors walk, take Muni or use bikes or scooters to get around the area, especially between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
San Francisco police said they will be out in force. The department will have additional patrols, uniformed and plainclothes in the area. They want visitors to be careful about their surroundings.
The conference kicks off Tuesday and runs through Friday.