London’s Calling was better than Dreamforce

Okay, I know you’re saying, are you just sucking up to the organisers or what? As much as we all like them, I’m not, really. Here, I’ll explain it!

First, I’ll say that I’m from San Francisco. I grew up in Noe Valley and spent most of my adult life living in Glen Park. I love San Francisco, but it doesn’t excite me. Also, both times I went to Dreamforce, I was living in San Francisco, so I didn’t travel there from somewhere else. I went home at the end of the night to my own bed.

I liked that Dreamforce exposed me to lots of new ideas and I heard some amazing big name speakers, but I found it pretty overwhelming. I didn’t know how to spend my time wisely, and I didn’t know very many people other than my boss. I am also not a fan of huge crowds.

I signed up for London’s Calling because I was taking the Speaker Academy course with one of the organisers, Jodi Wagner. She was not shy to plug it at every opportunity, so I signed up as soon as the tickets went on sale. I had no idea what to expect, but turned up on 10th Feb nonetheless.

What I liked about London’s Calling:

  1. Maybe it’s a consequence of being part of the community here, but I knew people. It made a difference to be at an event where I knew half of the speakers and a lot of the attendees.
  2. All of the sessions were high quality and didn’t give me fear of missing out on something better. I felt that I was in the right place. I came away with concrete ideas for my career and future Salesforce implementations. I went to sessions with Louise Lockie, Amanda Beard-Neilson, Agustina Garcia Peralta, Ines Garcia, Angela Mahoney, Karen Mangia, Peter Coffee, Belinda Parmer OBE, Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, and Jodi Wagner. Because of the size of the event, more people were able to ask questions and maybe because it was a community event, everyone seemed less concerned with being on brand.
  3. The lunch was really good. I am always swayed by food.
  4. Both keynotes didn’t strike me as something I’d heard before. Peter Coffee gave me a lot of hope for my career with Salesforce as a non-developer. Belinda Parmer OBE and Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE both spoke really eloquently about women in tech and creating organisational culture that truly supports people. Their conversation with Jodi was very frank, and I found that refreshing.
  5. The size of the space meant you could get to sessions very easily, and it never felt too crowded or overwhelming.
  6. The mood of the event was upbeat and low-stress. I liked this. People were there to learn, enjoy the day, and meet people. Everyone was friendly and didn’t seem in a rush, which is kind of the opposite of London. 🙂
  7. While there were sponsors there who wanted to tell you about their products, it didn’t feel too sales-y. I was able to walk through the sponsor area and not feel like people were trying to grab me to pitch. This actually made me more willing to learn more about all of their services. Win-win, right?
  8. There was a photo booth. A photo booth makes everything better.
  9. I’d never seen a demo jam, and I really liked seeing the extremely short demos of products. It was a feat of time management and succinctness.
  10. I had a bad headache most of the day and I didn’t leave because it was such a cool event. All of the details came together to create an event that was really attendee-focused. I loved this.

I will definitely be back next year! Thanks to the organisers and the London community  for being so excellent.

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