Salesforce

Creating a live broadcasting experience for the 2014 Dreamforce Conference

Method partnered with Salesforce to design and develop a multi-channel online broadcast experience to complement the 2014 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. The conference brings together industry visionaries, product experts, and world leaders for four days of innovation, celebration, and collaboration. The short-term focus was on the 4-day Dreamforce experience, while the long-term focus was to design and develop a broadcasting experience platform to use for their events throughout the year. The work completed with Method enables Salesforce to expand the global reach of the conference and expose more people to its valuable content not only for the Dreamforce conference, but for broadcast experiences in the future.

Challenge

After Dreamforce 2013, the City of San Francisco capped live attendance, requiring Salesforce to look for ways to expand the Dreamforce reach. The physical cap required by the City was 60 thousand, but Salesforce wanted 3 million people to have access to the live content, requiring an inventive solution for the upcoming 2014 Conference. The project also had a very tight deadline. From kickoff to delivery, the timeline was only 3 months, supporting Method’s lean design approach and real-time prototyping process.

There were four channels of content that streamed live continuously over the four days of the conference. Method was challenged to design an interface that showed all four channels simultaneously, letting people choose which channel they wanted to watch. Additionally, the team had to effectively communicate that the video shown was live, as viewers are generally accustomed to seeing recorded videos online.

Approach

The design approach focused on giving people all over the world the sensation that they were participating in the conversation at Dreamforce. The teams aimed for high levels of immersiveness, promoting the live streams and supporting the live experience of Dreamforce. This provided an extension of the actual conference to make people feel like they were a part of the event in San Francisco, regardless of where they were physically watching.

Examples of design solutions included promoting what was happening across each channel as it happened, highlighting the schedule for each day so participants could plan their days around talks, and featuring social integration to give the feel of a shared experience. In a signature moment within the conference experience, the live-stream video shrinks to the top corner allowing the viewer involved to participate in a social interaction and continue to watch the event, making the experience both real-time and interactive.

To address the need for viewers to understand that the content being watched was live, the interface showed the number of people that were watching the video with you, giving a sense of connectivity with the Dreamforce community. The interactive schedule allowed for the management of current streams (you could see what was playing across all of the channels at any given time) and adds each one to your calendar.

The project was built on OpenCS with Presence, a development company that partnered with Method throughout the duration of the work. Their team sat in Method’s offices in San Francisco in order to design and develop the experience in real time. This allowed the team to see instant results and refine on the fly, allowing the product to be delivered within the tight deadline. The Method and Presence teams were also highly collaborative with Salesforce, bringing them into the studio consistently to review work and brainstorm solutions. The result was a rapid decision making process, expediting the fast schedule while still delivering high quality work.

Outcome

The success of the project ultimately focused on analytics, and more specifically how many viewers were on the site during the conference. The results have far surpassed the goal of the project:

  • 8 million unique viewers from all campaigns
  • 284k visits to Salesforce LIVE
  • 608k page views on Salesforce LIVE
  • 20 minutes average view time (and 24 minutes average view time to the Channel 1 experience

Together Method, Presence and Salesforce delivered a site that was widely admired, and the experience's performance exceeded nearly all of the initial expectations. Not only did Salesforce achieve the viewership desired at the beginning of the project, but the teams established a stable platform broadcasting multiple channels of content in three months.