A force to be reckoned with
We attend the Salesforce World Tour London event, as business leaders and innovators showcase the new era of digital work
Writer: Ed Budds
Officially the largest Salesforce event in Europe, this momentous occasion brings together thousands of partners, customers, technology innovators and thought leaders to share ideas, discuss industry trends and perhaps most vitally, to network.
People from across the globe have flocked in colossal numbers to both celebrate and investigate further the benefits and developments of the Salesforce platform. Several inspiring minds and master innovators are in town to share tips and tricks on how to implement better customer engagement and retention tactics within a business throughout the day.
This jam-packed show of innovation, connection, and learning is aimed at inspiring and preparing users and visitors for what lies ahead across all industries. In the Keynote sessions, we are treated to demonstrations and insight into Salesforce optimisation by some of the UK and Ireland’s leading Trailblazers, surprise guests, exciting innovation announcements, and live product demos. Trailblazers are using the new Customer 360 feature to strengthen their relationships, overcome challenges and accelerate growth as users look to the future.
A key mantra repeated across today is ‘Knowledge is power, but shared knowledge influences’. The sharers of this world are the ones that inspire, motivate and provoke change for the better. World Tour London offers all attendees the chance to experience the UK’s largest cloud ecosystem under one roof, along with the chance to network with thousands of the sharpest minds in business.
The main hall of the event is a bustling hive of activity and furious networking. The unadulterated enthusiasm for the Salesforce product is palpable in the room, with animated conversation sparking up everywhere you turn. There is then a flurry of activity as vast supplies of breakfast pastries and coffee emerges from all sides, cueing the stampede to the buffet tables to refuel and re-caffeinate in between conversation.
The organisers have created a real festival style atmosphere, with an abundance of stalls and pop-up features to explore. There are stands offering every form of development tips and masterclasses on how to achieve excellence with new Salesforce features, aimed at empowering all users to create engaging experiences online using modern development tools.
The sheer scale of the event is breathtaking, with London’s ExCeL playing its part in bringing the day to life. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still exhilarating to be back in rooms with this many people.
Passing by the Trailblazer Theatre we observe a variety of talks taking place on the new software development tools of Salesforce, the power in scriptable control, code building software updates and lightning frameworks which use the modern language of the web.
As we settle in for the first keynote session, there is a live band serenading us into the impressive underground arena. Saxophones and booming beats from the live house band ring out across the innovative circular stage design, which allows for equal viewing from all angles.
UK tech giant Currys shows us how accelerating its digital transformation has helped to create the best possible customer experiences, using Salesforce, with the customer 360 feature. This allows the company to bring the convenience of the online shopping experience to store with a live feed chatbot feature, directing buyers to the sales team, made available when purchasing products at home. £1 in every £4 spent on technology in the UK is through Currys, which is why it must continue to evolve with the latest advances in data evaluation and customer personalisation. Employees on the sales team, with the help of Salesforce customer 360, can view a comprehensive summary of customers’ purchase history, discarded basket items, and search data, in order to provide a more personalised form of guidance. Additionally, Salesforce’s new augmented reality feature allows for a digital virtual mock-up of a product to be displayed in your workspace at home in order to effectively try before you buy.
Zahra Bahrololoumi, CEO for Salesforce UK, details how every innovation anchors around the customer, and improves the experience of using the platform. She then discusses the way in which brand managers can personalise the experience for customers, as well as the focus on exploration of the new frontier that is the NFT (non-fungible token) market.
Concluding the day’s bountiful offerings is the final keynote presentation in the form of an in-depth interview with Hollywood megastar and global activist Benedict Cumberbatch CBE.
Answering every question with detail and a thoughtful consideration, Cumberbatch comes across as wonderfully unassuming and down to earth, which is no mean feat for someone we are so accustomed to watching on the big screen as one of Earth’s mightiest superheroes.
He even seems faintly embarrassed when asked about the recent unveiling of his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Talking extensively about his passion for activism, as well as his charity work, Cumberbatch details how he helped to create an educational outreach initiative as part of his theatre work over the years in collaboration with the Barbican centre, London.
Then moving on to eloquently tackle the subject of equality and equal pay in Hollywood, Cumberbatch explains how he tries to constantly use his now gigantic platform to give those who remain voiceless a chance to speak out and therefore enact change. Finishing with a discussion of his excellent Oscar-nominated role in Jane Campion’s fierce drama, The Power of the Dog, he then drops a teasing hint about an upcoming film in development with dynamic director Paul Greengrass. Cumberbatch is a delight and an uplifting crescendo to this hugely successful event.