London's Calling 2 - The Sequel


London's Calling has been and gone for another year and I am sad.
The day flew by and as I still can't clone myself (most inconvenient), I didn't get to do and see all I wanted to. The mark of a great event is very much when your attendee's only complaint is that they couldn't choose between all the great sessions, and catch up with the 350 odd community members who were lucky enough to secure a ticket before it sold out, and speak to the sponsors in the expo, and score a new badge in the Trailhead room..... the list goes on.

We were spoilt.

The festivities actually started for me on Thursday evening with a party for MVPs, User Group Leaders, and London's Calling speakers. As a presenter and user group leader I secured two invites and duly went along.

It was a great opportunity to catch up with some members of the London community as well as meet some of the many international visitors in a more intimate setting than the main event.

It also enabled us to sing happy birthday to a certain Keir Bowden (aka Bob Buzzard) who was turning 50 and so had other (secret) plans for the next day.

I drank some rather nice Malbec, chatted to some old and new friends, and when we were kicked out .... we walked across the road and carried on the pre-LC party in the pub!

Fast forward a few hours (and not enough sleep) and I was back at Skills Matter for London's Calling 2017.

Last year there was a badge malfunction and the L - M badges went astray so I had to go incognito for a while but this year my lanyard was present and correct, I was signed in, and I headed downstairs in search of coffee whilst giving out hugs to all the familiar faces I passed on the way.

After a welcome from our organisers, Peter Coffee's opening keynote 'We Don't Do That Any More' kicked off the day. As you can see from the below photo, Peter wasn't with us this year (having delivered the closing keynote in person last year), but though he wasn't able to pace the room in his usual style, his phoned in presentation still had us enthralled.

Peter Coffee dialling in his opening keynote

Next up was my session Tackling the 'We've always done it this way'. I was on at 10am and had a 45 minute slot. A daunting amount of time but change management is such an important subject, I knew I could talk for twice that amount of time given the opportunity!

In the same time slot was Dave Carroll talking Artificial Intelligence, Chris Zullo's talk on the Marketing Cloud, Brad Gross' Habits of a Salesforce Admin, and Barry Hughes on the subject Lightning Components.

TOUGH competition but I put on a brave face and hoped that some of our lovely community would choose my session.

Ready to kick off my session on the subject of change management
I need not have worried, I had a full room and the latecomers had to stand at the back. Other than a technical glitch which meant that I had to explain rather than play a short video, the session went very well. I talked through why we encounter such opposition to change, some of the human psychology behind it, and why we can't ignore it, before going on to talk through how to develop a change management strategy. I hoped to arm my audience with the tactics to turn their most change resistant users into champions ready to embrace the new technology and processes. I got some great (and tough) questions at the end and such a lot of positive feedback that I left the room on a cloud of positivity and a lot of adrenalin.

I could now relax and enjoy being the student and not the teacher.

I caught some great sessions over the rest of the day. I learnt about cake and not losing my mind, migrating to lightning, eliminating technical debt, and what our bosses want us to know. Thanks to all my fellow speakers, I will certainly be catching up on those sessions I missed on YouTube as soon as they are uploaded.

The closing two sessions were truly the icing on the cake for me though.

Jodi Wagner chairing the panel with Anne-Marie, Belinda and Peter was a real highlight
Jodi Wagner's panel on Our Role in the Future of Technology should have been at least twice as long, I could have listened to them all day. I got a front row seat and listened avidly to Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Belinda Parmar OBE, and Peter Coffee (virtually) discuss gender inequality and education on both sides of the Atlantic.

Belinda Parmar stayed on stage as it was all too quickly time for her closing keynote entitled The Power of Empathy. Belinda is the founder and CEO of The Empathy Business and not connected to the Salesforce ecosystem though her business' values are very well aligned with our Ohana. She talked about how small empathy nudges make a big difference in business and in society. It is a fascinating subject and I will keep Belinda's words with me when I return to the office and interact with my colleagues next week.

All too soon London's Calling was a wrap and all that was left was the after party! We partook of the tasty beverages on offer (I opted for the Sauvignon Blanc), put on silly headgear for the photo booth,
mingled, and dissected the day. Deja vu hit as some of us again headed to the pub across the road before last orders was called and our beds beckoned.

Post LC drinks in the local
It had been another wildly successful event. I loved delivering my session and feeling like I was contributing real content to our wonderful community. It was great to meet some new people and catch up with some existing contacts and friends.

The quality of the talks I attended was top notch and it once again felt like the smaller setting made the community vibe so much closer to the surface than at events such as Dreamforce or the London World Tour where the sheer number of attendees makes everyone a little anonymous.

With other community events popping up around the world, and from my point of view Europe, I hope to attend more in the future but I already know that London's Calling will always be my favourite.

Photo booth fun with Jodi Wagner, Amanda Beard-Nielson, Kerry Townsend, and Dave Carroll

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