23 March 2019 - London's Calling 4

Its just over 2 weeks since London's Calling 4. I can't believe how the time has flown already. As an organiser for this year's event it was months in the planning, for it all to happen over a Thursday evening and all day Friday and now be over for another year. Let me share you my thoughts from this super event. 

The Thursday night was an opportunity to bring our speakers and MVP's together prior to the main day. It was a chance to mingle and say thanks to our volunteers, whose great content we value dearly that helps keeps London's Calling quality so high. It always makes me smile that for any of the Community Conferences it is customary to supply a smattering of drinks the night before. Nothing like preparing your speakers to deliver their optimal performance on the day. I like to ensure that our speakers also get their fill of food and logo branded cake as sustenance. 

A few quality hours of sleep later and I was back at the venue, Skills Matter, bright and early to kick off the day. With 400 attendees, capacity crowd, operations had to be slick to get everyone in for a timely kickoff. A welcome, thanks to our sponsors and speakers, celebration of International Women's Day and Salesforce's 20th birthday and it was onto the important items. First up, the group selfie mastered by Kerry. (any eagle eyed person may have noticed this selfie picture was from the end of the day. Shh!)

And then the results of the most coveted competition of the year, so far, to be a VIPie. OK, so last time there was a thing about pies, so this year I made sure there would be enough, and for a select few, a chance to skip the food queue. Here's a pic of the happy winners 'high pieing', and I'm pleased to report are still using their VIPie status for all life options. Lets see if it works for any salary increase negotiations or promotion requests. 

Everyone then scattered into rooms for the morning sessions. Such strong content this year, there was always something to go see. If however you wanted to sit one out then there was the sponsor zone to explore. One sponsor, Cloud Galacticos, created their own competition for the day whereby attendees had to collect stickers from 10 specially selected people. I happened to be one of the 10 and I still have some stickers available should anyone want one for their laptop. I'd say they are collectors items. 

12:00 was time for the demo jam and I must confess one of my favourite parts of the day. As everyone made their way into the main room myself and Louise took the opportunity to throw out some swag. 'Bag balls' flew through the air into the hands (and possibly a coffee) of recipients. These are the really handy bags for shopping items. I did snaffle one myself and it has permanent place in my handbag. The swag throwing was truly therapeutic and so much fun. The demo jam was good too...

Lunch and the VIPie's took their rightful place at the front of the food queue and sat triumphantly together to eat. Everyone else was fed too and it all seemed to go rather smoothly. Pudding came in the form of 20th Birthday cupcakes from Salesforce. Did I mention cake? 

The afternoon sessions commenced and for the 4th year in a row I too had a talk to deliver. There are only 4 people who have spoken at each London's Calling event; Louise Lockie, Paul Battison, Peter Chittum and myself. I consider that a great achievement, especially knowing the level of quality content we are up against each year. Can we all make it a 5th year too? Just prior to my talk I gave an interview for Trailhead which was super fun. With hair and makeup sorted from the filming I was ready for my session.

This year I gave a talk on how to manage an effective global team. Its lovely having an engaged crowd and the questions at the end can be really insightful too. Thanks for turning up. 

And then onto the keynote of the day. I found Dr Anastasia Dedyukhina on Ada's List, attended her workshop and bought her book, Homo Distractus. I just knew she would be great for our London's Calling crowd. Speaking about how our digital world is affecting everything around us, from our ability to think, our relationships and environment and what we can do to take back some control from these devices. Considering we all work in technology, we are consumed by it so easily and so I thought it was an opportunity for us to reflect on how this could be affecting us. Powerful stuff. Thanks to Anastasia for staying afterwards for a book signing. 

And that brought the formal items of the day to a close. A wrap up with thanks to all, prizes for some and another selfie for the album. All that remained were the after parties. We celebrated well and deservedly so. What a team to be part of. Thanks to everyone who sponsored, spoke, attended, watched on live streaming, played along with Twitter and generally supported us throughout. How are we going to top this next year? 


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