5 June 2018 - Salesforce World Tour

I’d managed to get an ‘early’ night, getting to bed for 23.30 on Wednesday so I could be on top form for Thursday. Imagine my delight when I woke up at 05.30, a whole hour before my alarm. I kept telling myself to get back to sleep, to get a grip, it’s only a tech conference. But it’s not. London World Tour is the biggest event outside the States for Salesforce, with 12,500 registrations this year, and I was just too excited. It’s a day (and night) when I hang out with my friends, meet new people, learn loads, be a speaker and give back to the community. 

So what got me do bloomin’ excited? Well, let me tell you all about it. 

The day started at 08.00 when a few of us got a special invite to have coffee with Tony Prophet, Chief Equality Officer. Tony wanted some time with Women in Tech members of the community and we were very happy to oblige. I’ll talk about our time with Tony in another blog. But meanwhile, let’s get on with the World Tour Day.

After coffee with Tony we heading across to the Women In Tech breakfast where women and their allies came together to discuss issues. I couldn’t stay long as my day was being part of ‘Team Gemma’ and we had to head out to the Keynote room early. 

Actually, World Tour Day is all about going to things and having to leave early so you can make your next slot. 

Team Gemma were one of the first on the room. It’s funny seeing the Keynote room all empty, bar some staff and last minute rehearsals in readiness for the thousands to enter later. 

We entertained ourselves by stage bombing and bundling Astro, anything to keep Gemma distracted from nerves of getting up on the stage for her special moment. 

But it soon came and Gemma was invited up onto the stage by General Manager for UK&I, Andy Lawson to receive the much coveted golden hoodie and medal for being a Trailblazer. In the previous weeks a camera crew had followed Gemma around to take snippets of her life and the resulting video was well produced. 

Also during the keynote a company called Astriid was promoted. A charity to help people with terminal illnesses still be productive in a work space and Salesforce as a platform can enable people to work. The sad thing from all this is that the founder, David Shutts, OBE,  died a week after the Tour. I think he did well to get the ear of Salesforce and his message was heard. His legacy is in place. To bring this home, Gemma, a cancer survivor herself, also learnt that her cancer had returned and is now making plans to truly beat it this time. This stuff is all too real. 

Anyway, at the end of the keynote, and on a much happier note other golden hoodie winners united for a golden photo. No naked flames were permitted during this time. 

After the keynote I headed for an exec lunch for Service Cloud and sat in the nearest empty seat to find I had plonked down next to an old customer. It’s funny who you bump into at these events. She and I had both moved companies from whence we met and it was good to catch up. 

During the lunch we listened to a customer story from Adidas who are using Einstein bot to engage with their customers. They use the bot as part of a chat function to service order amendments and contact details changes. The customer can change to human interaction at any time. NPS for the bot scores at 68%. Not bad for a system that is continuously learning, especially when you compare it to the human NPS score of 70%.

Leaving early from lunch I had to peg it downstairs, through the expo to the back of the room to do my turn on the Admin Theatre stage. It was my first appearance talking at a World Tour so was very excited. 

My talk on 'how Salesforce CPQ brought visibility and control to sales' had a standing room only crowd and I completed bang on time. I received great feedback and loads of questions and requests to link in. It’s evident that there are many businesses out there who are either going through the implementation or considering it who valued my insight into my own project. 

Next was my turn for booth duty and I took the helm of the Community one. Salesforce Community has grown immensely over the last years but it’s still a much untapped resource for many. Promoting its existence is key to share everything it has to offer and be recognised as a powerful tool. Certainly Louise Lockie and Jodi Wagner went great guns to highlight their Women in Tech group at the Campfire that I had women at the booth queuing to learn how to sign up straight afterwards. 

Booth duty completed it left me with a couple of hours to walk the expo. This actually translates to walk a few metres and bump into people you know and catch up. That’s one of the best elements of World Tour, it’s the networking and such a valuable piece too. You can learn so much from chance encounters and happily bumping into Salesforce celebs like Peter Coffee.

Around 17.00 the formalities finished and wine came out, a time to congratulate yourself on a successful tour and continue that all important networking. 

But that's just the beginning of social networking, there’s a whole evening to get busy with. With many events you have to be well planned prior to going so you know exactly what you are attending and where. It’s a skilled coordination. 

Party plan organised it was time to put it into action. First stop was the Bluewolf party at Searcys at the Gherkin. A sophisticated gathering. Beautiful location, wine flowing and cured meats and cheeses to soak things up. 

A departure at 21.00 to head to Brightgen’s party, this time at The Piano Works with warring pianos. (Its a bit like Foley's). A brilliant atmosphere, with food and drink a plenty (I can recommend the chocolate brownies, they mix well with gin), coupled with throwing and shapes on the dance floor. 

At 23.00 it was time to move on again and head to the makepositive and New Voice Media party at Cafe de Paris. This event is now an institution on the World Tour calendar so it’s rude not to make an appearance. With a ‘Rudimental’ band member as one of the entertainment acts it was another full on night. The dance floor was the place to be. 

I was very well behaved and left at 02.00 to get home in true Cinderella style and made it back into the office for 10.00 on Friday morning. I calculated I lost 9 hours of sleep over World Tour week. I was grateful to see my sofa on Friday evening. 

Bring on Dreamforce, my preparation training is complete. 


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