Dreamforce returns with estimated 40,000 attendees and high stakes for SF

Dreamforce is back in San Francisco, bringing an estimated 40,000 attendees to the city for the annual Salesforce event that lasts from September 12-14th this year.

Workers were putting finishing touches outside and inside the Moscone Center Monday night ahead of the official opening Tuesday, where doors open at 6:30 a.m.

"It's my first time and it's great. I'm super excited to be here," said Camilo Espileta, who traveled from Washington, D.C. with a team from the Inter-American Development Bank.

"Being able to see this for the first time, it's a big deal. It feels good exciting time to be here," said Kevin Kimathi, an attendee from Ottawa, Canada who works at the company Coveo.

The three-day event is San Francisco's largest convention.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff warned that this might be the last, if things do not go smoothly.

Benioff was a big supporter of San Francisco's 2018 Prop C tax on companies to raise money for homeless services. The city's recent struggles with homelessness and drug use, prompted Benioff to say he'll be watching to see if that impacts the event this year.

"This is the first time walking in San Francisco so so far, it's been fine. I haven't seen anything that would be a problem," said Rafael Barbosa, an attendee with the Inter-American Development Bank.

Security was tight outside and inside the Moscone Center.

Union workers say the convention is too important to lose to another city. Local union workers say Dreamforce generates thousands of jobs and the local economy can't afford losing the estimated $57-million dollar impact .

"We are one of just one of 5-6 different trades. The electricians, stagehands, teamsters moving freight. There's many hundreds of people and that doesn't even touch the effects on all the businesses around here," said Robert Collins, a foreman with Sign Display Local 510.

Attendees say many hotels were fully booked and restaurants in the area say it has been exciting to see the bustle come back to the downtown streets.

At Fogo de Chão, a local tech company Certinia has bought out the restaurant to use as its headquarters and hospitality site for the entire week. The restaurant managers are hoping Dreamworks won't leave.

"Just to see the city thrive with the energy and excitement it's just fantastic," said Patrick Kennedy, director of national accounts with Fogo de Chão restaurant, "Having conventions is really the lifeblood."

"Hopefully that doesn't happen, hopefully we get to keep the convention in town," said Vitor Melchior, Area Director for Fogo de Chão," "It's so vital for the city, seeing the city the way it is and thriving and having so much fun with the convention in town."

The tech company Certinia's CEO Scott Brown says he feels the Bay Area is still an important mecca for tech.

"I think this is still the center of the universe...we have offices in other places, Austin...but at the end of the day, Silicon Valley is where a lot of the innovation comes from," said Brown.

The keynote speech by Marc Benioff is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday.

A concert with the Foo Fighters is scheduled for Wednesday night to benefit UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.