London’s Calling 2019: Less FOMO & more pies

London’s what?

London’s Calling! It’s basically the event of the year for Salesforce professionals in the UK. We are lucky enough to have a few community events in the UK, including Surf Force and InspireEast, but London’s Calling is the biggest with around 400 attendees. It’s a full day event with multiple session tracks including developer, admin and business user. There are typically 4 or 5 sessions per time slot so lots to choose from. This year they live streamed all the sessions so less FOMO for those that couldn’t attend and all sessions will be on the London’s Calling YouTube channel.

The team:

This was the 4th London’s Calling event and the team ran it like absolute pros. Francis, Kerry, Jodi, Todd, Louise and Amanda put on a fantastic day. These community legends sure seem to know what we want…namely pies, cakes, t-shirts and maybe a few speakers thrown in for good measure. The team always make sure to remind us to thank the sponsors because “without them the event would not be possible” – but let’s be honest, without the team the event wouldn’t even get off the ground and the sponsors would have nothing to, well, sponsor. So thank you London’s Calling team!!

Arrival:

Last year was my first time attending London’s Calling and my first community event full stop! I walked in at 8.30am and knew NO ONE. Going to an event on your own can feel so awkward…it’s ok to be nervous, it’s ok to feel like an imposter, it’s ok to feel like everyone else knows each other (they don’t by the way).

This year was different. I was excited to catch up with the people I met at the event last year, and other people I’ve connected with at InspireEast, French Touch Dreamin’ and online. I was also still nervous. I tried to brush aside my nerves by putting on my Lightning Champions hoodie (look the part, feel the part) and getting a coffee.

I was immediately greeted by several people I’ve met at other events and from that point the day was a whirlwind of networking, speakers, pie, moments of inspiration and moments of extreme gratitude that I get to be part of something so amazing.

Lightning Champions:

I’ve been part of the Lightning Champions program since October 2018. We’re a group of volunteers from around the world dedicated to giving you support and advice about Lightning. As part of the program I volunteered at the Lighting Champions booth during London’s Calling. Lightning Champion applications take place twice a year; if you’re interested in taking part, the next cohort can apply in June 2019.

Want to find a champion? Check us out here.

#ItsBetterInLightning

Salesforce interview & International Women’s Day 2019:

I was thrilled to get the opportunity to interview with Christie Fidura from Salesforce at the event. I’m looking forward to seeing the video and hoping my love for the community and enthusiasm for giving back is clear. I might also be making an appearance as a GIF so I can tick that one off the bucket list…

Before my interview I had a conversation with the hair & make up artist. We talked about some of the ways I’m trying to give back to the community including mentoring with the Salesforce Supermum’s program, being a Lighting Champion and writing my blog. She asked me why I spend my personal time doing these things and my reply was, “if not me, then who?” I feel very strongly that we all have a responsibility to give back. Salesforce makes a huge investment in all of us with free resources like Trailhead, the least we can do is try to pay it forward.

During my interview, one of the team took a quick photo of me. Later, I discovered that Salesforce UK had tweeted about me for International Women’s Day 2019. This was a huge moment for me and I’m still feeling incredibly proud and extremely fortunate. There are so many people doing amazing things in the community so for my contribution to be acknowledged is an honour.

SFUK Tweet BETTER

Sessions!

Before the event I’d already bookmarked all the sessions I wanted to attend at London’s Calling. When I attend community events, I always hope to learn something new I can take home and use in my job. At this year’s event there was a big focus on more ‘general’ topics such as creating your own brand, managing global teams and the importance of adoption by design, as well as more techie sessions around SOQL and APEX for admins.

I attended a good mix of sessions. Louise Lockie’s “Admins – Learn to Leverage the Power of SOQL” was a fantastic session that uncovered the many uses of Workbench. I already use Workbench but Louise opened my eyes to the extended capabilities that really make it an extremely useful tool.

Pictured left to right: Louise Lockie, Julia Doctoroff, Lizz Hellinga

Exciting New Speaker Alert! 5 Principles By Design

Lightning Champion, Nathaniel Sombu ran a great session on the “5 Principles of Adoption by Design”. This is someone to watch. His session was so on point. He had the audience laughing and nodding in agreement as he really hit the nail on the head with many of his examples. I hope to see him speak again in the future.

 

“Embracing and Activating Your Personal Brand” with Stacey Torman was my personal favourite. You might know her as Stormgrl on Twitter. The content was exactly what I was looking for and her speaking style is invigorating and inspiring. She’s a ‘make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up’ kind of speaker. She’s who I want to be when I grow up!

I’ll be taking her advice to heart, especially “be gracious”.

Brand Session 3 Gracious

Who ate all the pies? Me. It was me.

Ah #PieGate of 2018. The first year they introduced pies at lunch the queue was around 200 people deep. I was towards the end of the line and it was tense…

I was one of the last to get a pie but it was so worth the wait. We were all super excited to hear that pies would be making a reappearance this year. In the days before the event, London’s Calling ran a competition via Twitter. If you entered and won, you would get a #VIPie badge that entitled you to jump to the front of the pie queue! I won a #VIPie badge along with several of my favourite Ohana buddies, Amnon, Andy and Ben. Despite the numerous dodgy photos of us eating pie and a very questionable video where I appear to be doing some sort of happy pie dance, it was worth it!

Pies On Stage

Pies Eating

Keynote:

One of my favourite things about London’s Calling is the keynote is not Salesforce related, and even better, they’ve had female keynote speakers every year!

This year Dr Anastasia Dedyukhina, a digital wellness expert, spoke about the way technology is affecting our health and well-being. More importantly, she educated us on ways we can ensure we control our devices and not the other way round.

Mobile devices have put us in a constant state of alert, always waiting for notifications and checking and rechecking our phones. This state of alert continues into the bedroom while we try to sleep and may be preventing you from sleeping well. Try leaving your phone in another room while you sleep and buy an alarm clock instead of using the alarm on your phone.

You can find out more on the Consciously Digital website.

Ohana:

Wanting to be a part of something bigger, feeling the need to be part of a community, wondering what your purpose is…these are all part of being human. Without these we tend to feel lost and disconnected.

Getting involved with the Salesforce Ohana and attending community events can truly help you feel connected and inspired in all aspects of your life. Since making a conscious effort to attend in person events I have experienced a significant increase in my overall sense of contentment, fulfilment and satisfaction in my work.

This would not be possible if there weren’t so many warm and welcoming people at these events. A massive thank you everyone who spent time with me on the day; I love to hear your stories and appreciate you taking the time to listen to mine.

A particular highlight for me was meeting Steve Mo. His contributions to the Answers Community have helped me so many times. Whenever I have a problem, I search the Answers Community and 95% of the time it’s a Steve Mo solution that solves it!

Pictured above with Steve Mo, Nathaniel Sombu & Leanne Botwright, Bash Din.

All the other stuff:

There were so many other amazing things that happened at London’s Calling but if I cover them all in detail you definitely won’t read this whole post.

  • It was Salesforce’s 20th birthday, London’s Calling & International Women’s Day on the 8th March – what a combo
  • At the very last minute Claire Jones stepped in to cover a session on Flow – congrats on your first conference talk 👏
  • There were amazing cupcakes
  • There were badges and stickers and pens and all sorts of swag
  • Fantastic prizes including certification vouchers and one lucky so and so (Rob) won a San Francisco lego set
  • We were given free copies of Homo Distractus by Dr Anastasia Dedyukhina during the keynote
  • There are a LOT of members of #BaldForce and a growing number of #BeardForce

So long, until next year….

You can guarantee I’ll be back at London’s Calling next year. In between I’ll definitely be at YeurDreamin’ in June and look forward to meeting more Ohana there.

London's Call Audience 1

Key takeaways:

  1. If you’re scared about attending your first community event my advice is just do it. It is scary but it will be less scary each time. In a year’s time you will have created a network of people you are excited to see.
  2. If a big event really is too much, try your local user group and work up to attending a larger community event.
  3. If you’re looking for a smaller event, bookmark InspireEast in October 2019 . It has a very friendly vibe, perfect for a first timer.
  4. Follow community members on Twitter and try to spot them at events. Say hello! Your icebreaker can be “I follow you on Twitter” or “I liked that post you shared on Twitter”.
  5. If I’m at an event and you’re struggling, feeling overwhelmed or anxious, please come and see me. I will always be available to talk to, stand with or grab a drink with until you feel like you’re ready to get back out there and mingle.
  6. If you attend a session and it touches you or inspires you, or you just thought the speaker was engaging, TELL THEM! Most speakers don’t do this for a living and it’s always nice to get positive feedback.
  7. Stay for the keynote!
  8. Try not to spend too much time on your phone. I know we like to take pictures and tweet throughout events but I’m making an effort to leave my phone in my bag so I can truly be in the present.

 

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