Wow! What a whirlwind that was! But an incredible one at that.
I look forward to World Tour London every year; it’s a key highlight. Seeing friends, learning about new features, catching up with the latest apps – it’s an important part of my year. There have been many fun ones over the last ten years, but previous World Tours have never been like the one I just experienced. This one was a whole week and it was absolutely epic.
Pre-World Tour: the Video
I’m not counting the video in this one. That hit me out of the blue; one day my contact (and friend) Pip Morphet contacted me and asked if I would be in a video for Salesforce. Joining a call with about 7 people the next day, I discovered it was going to be played at the keynote at World Tour. I mean wow. So we had 2 manic days being followed by a film crew in London, then having a house full the next day. I thought I had a big living room….it turns out, I didn’t! It was a fantastic experience. If you’ve not seen it, it’s here (you’ll need tissues):
World Tour Week
Monday – London Admin User Group
Monday night was the London Admin User Group – this time held at the Mothership, Salesforce Tower. Chris and I walked over there from the Bluewolf office after I’d finished recording the Admin Podcast with Gillian. There was such a buzz this time; loads of Salesforce people had flown in for the event and everyone was genuinely excited! We had a fantastic evening with our usual friends and colleagues, as you can see:
Tuesday – Developer User Group
Though I didn’t go – I was exhausted and a little worse for wear from the Admin Group the night before. With the partner forum due on Wednesday, followed by World Tour craziness on Thursday, Chris went along to the Dev group and I went home to bed! He absolutely loved it; the Product managers were there, taking the group through some really exciting new Lightning features so I was getting happy and excited texts at 10pm telling me all about it.
Wednesday – Partner Forum
When I got onto the train to go to London – who should be there on the train but my Dad!! It was such a lovely surprise.
I arrived early at the Partner Forum with a slight sense of trepidation; I had my slides ready for my talk in the afternoon (I was the equality speaker!!!! wheeeee!) but wasn’t quite confident, so I spent some time networking and went to the keynote, before disappearing off to prepare. Bumping into Todd with his “Forward Looking Statement” T-Shirt made my day!
I met so many people I used to work with and it was great to catch up and see what they’re doing; it felt like a family, especially when I eventually went in to do my talk about Ladies Be Architects, which went really well! Salesforce folks really looked after me and made me feel so welcome.
That night, Chris and I met up at dinner time and headed for our hotel at the ExCeL Centre! Naturally, we couldn’t resist going for a little wander to see everything being set up for the next day. Chris, as always, was swagged up to the max.
Thursday – the big day!
We were up and raring to go by 7 am; we’d been invited to meet with the lovely Tony Prophet, Salesforce’s Chief Equality Officer just before breakfast. I can’t tell you how excited we were to meet him! Many of our friends were also there and we all had a lovely chat about equality programmes for a good half an hour.
Then it was time to head off to the keynote room. LT Smooth was there, playing acoustic guitar. We also met up with Julie Drysdale, the first mentor I had in my Salesforce career – and my boss, Andrew. it meant a lot to have them both there to celebrate the moment with me. I hadn’t seen Julie for ten years; to everything set up as we went in made it seem more real. I was a bit emotional – a combination of the music, the people there and how special it all was.
And then: the keynote. I was surprised to see them play the video before doing anything else. I had been told I’d be asked a couple of questions after the interview, so I’d prepared some answers with Chris. Instead, they called me up onto the stage and presented me with the golden hoodie! Here are some awesome keynote pics:
The rest of the day was spent hanging out with friends and colleagues; Chris and I also did a shift on the booths, which we both really enjoyed.
Then, in the evening, we headed over to the Gherkin for the Bluewolf party. A highlight for me was meeting Debbie Vavangas, who leads IBM iX in the UK, and sharing a drink with Vera Loftis, our Bluewolf UK managing director. What a fantastic night. Then, because it’d be rude not to, we headed over to Cafe de Paris to finish off our night at the Salesforce Obsessions afterparty!