Community Roadtrip - A Surf Force Recap

Oh Salesforce Community. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

This month's reason to heart the community is Surf Force.

Sometime last year Shaun Holmes identified a community in need and set his mind to bringing the possibilities of Salesforce to the Welsh town of Aberavon. I am hoping that Shaun will share his story in the coming weeks and tell us more about his connection with the town but I can assure you that there was real fire in his belly.

The established community weren't the target audience of the event but Surf Force needed their support and the call to arms was answered with gusto.

Surf Force was billed as a User Group with a Twist and it was certainly that. Attendees were offered a real day of two halves. The morning was to be spent surfing, being taught by the Welsh champion no less, and the afternoon was to provide Salesforce content from those that answered Shaun's request for support.

Full disclosure, not all of us were enticed into the water, though the surfing looked great fun, a number of us decided that we would support the surfers whilst staying dry.

I have to admit that I was one of this number, the combination of my poor eyesight, lack of co-ordination, and complete disinclination to clamber into a wetsuit, meant that I easily left the surfing slots to those more keen. We cheered, waved, and giggled encouragement whilst dodging the incoming waves and trying not to sink into the sand.

The surfers dragged their exhausted bodies and smiling faces back to shore and we all headed indoors for lunch (preceded by a hot shower for the surfers).

After lunch, some networking and time to chat to the sponsors, we took our seats for the afternoon of Salesforce content.
We were spoilt with the line up (even if I do say so myself ....)

Danielle Robertson spoke about the great work that The Wave Project Wales are doing and Anna Bastek talked us through her inspiring journey from communist Poland to multi award winning entrepreneur. Anna urged us to keep seeking the next challenge and to regularly move out of our comfort zone, to not be afraid to fail but to learn from mistakes and keep driving forward.

The theme of the day was our 'Salesforce journey' and we were treated to a real insider's story as Mike Kreaden and Dave Carroll presented Back to Sforce, complete with Back to the Future sound and visual effects. I learnt a lot about the platform whilst being thoroughly entertained, if you get a chance to hear their talk, pounce.

After tea and cake (yes we did have welsh cakes) it was my turn. My talk was titled Salesforce Administrator - An Awesome Career Choice. 
My aim was to explain why I believe Salesforce Admin to be a great and rewarding career choice by talking through my Salesforce journey and sharing my passion for the platform, and the community. The microphone's batteries unfortunately died half way through so I had to do a little dance while Jenny Bamber quickly replaced them.....

The session went well and I was followed by Antonina Romanova and then Jodi Wagner, who each talked us through their own Salesforce journeys. We have all worked with Salesforce for different lengths of time, from different entry points, and following different paths, and I felt that this really exhibited the flexibility and approachability of the platform.

Jodi's slide deck was hilarious as she had filled it entirely with gifs which made for a very amusing 20 mins, and considering her back ground is in Financial Services, this was quite unexpected.

Kerry Townsend completed the afternoon by again thanking the sponsors, as well as making a point to thank Shaun for his hard work and passion. Shaun, along with Jenny Bamber and Kerry, had worked very hard to make the event run seamlessly and they received a well earned round of applause.

All that was left was a chilled glass of a Prosecco (or three) and a chance to network with attendees, sponsors, and speakers, before we were sent packing.

Some of us headed off to a scenic spot called Mumbles (excellently named town) for dinner and concluded the evening in our hotel bar with a night cap.

It had been quite the user group meet up. I travelled home on Sunday after two nights away from home, keen for my own bed, but happy that I had spent 41 hours in the bosom of the community. A community I love because it's members are willing to travel to Wales from San Francisco, Glasgow, Leicester, and London, to support a fellow community member trying to provide an employment lifeline to a region (and community) in need.

For more information about Surf Force please visit the website


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