What a day! Yesterday, thousands of Trailblazers piled into the ICC in Sydney for an action-packed Salesforce World Tour 2018. Jam-packed with learnings, insights and product demos, it’s hard to pick the highlights from the day – but we’ve given it our best shot.

1. Keynote: The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be shaped by Trailblazers

Our Executive Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing, Stephanie Buscemi, kicked things off by talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She spoke about the incredible wave of revolution that’s building, in which the physical and digital worlds are beginning to blur, and where innovation and technology are radically transforming our economies, societies and lives.

Every industrial revolution is defined by Trailblazers, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is no different. The future will be shaped by Trailblazers. Now more than ever, we need to blaze trails together, and create a future for us – not let the future happen to us.

2. Circle the Schools coming to Australia

Exciting announcements were made! As part of our commitment to equality and giving back to our community, we are pretty excited to share that we’re bringing our global Circle the Schools program to Australia.

Through the program, we’re giving students the skills and resources they need to live, work and thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We want more students to leave high school feeling like they’re armed with the skills they need to work in this new digital age. And some of those students even joined us at World Tour for a first-hand look at the future we’re preparing them for.

3. We granted a wish!

During the keynote, Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO, Louise Baxter, set attendees a challenge – grant a wish to a sick kid. And did you all deliver!

“When I speak to a parent about the diagnosis of their child, they never say, ‘last week, last year’,” said Baxter. “They say the date, the time of their appointment.”

It’s the time that everything changed for that whole family, she explained, and the time the child and family started needing extra support.

Thanks to the hard work of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the generosity of supporters, Starlight will be able to provide that support to one more child with funds raised at Salesforce World Tour Sydney.

4. So many stories of good

Starlight Children’s Foundation also inspired us with their story of technology transformation, having transformed their disparate IT systems and siloed data into a fully connected system – and more importantly the impact this is having on the children they help.

But, it wasn’t just Starlight who shared on the World Tour stage how they’re using the power of technology to drive real, positive change. The stories from Good Return and Caritas Australia were equally as inspiring.

5. PitchComp found a promising startup

Once again we were on the hunt to find the next great startup built on the Salesforce Platform, and the competition was fierce between our three PitchComp finalists: Moroku, Socialsuite and Dashcord all attempted to pitch their way to a USD$100,000 investment from Salesforce Ventures, sharing their ideas, success to date and growth plans.

But it was Socialsuite who impressed our panel of judges – investor and entrepreneur Steve Baxter, Reinventure Group General Partner Kara Frederick, and Partner and Co-Founder of Blackbird Ventures Niki Scevak.

The judges particularly called out the importance of a defined and communicable purpose, as well as an ability and willingness to talk through the numbers, which Socialsuite did superbly.

We’re delighted to see Socialsuite walk away with the investment. Not only are they a solid concept with brilliant execution, they also exist to help their not-for-profit customers achieve and report on their goals – a purpose close to our hearts.

6. We looked into the future

Trailblazers are the future of customer success – the customer innovators, tech disruptors and global shapers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The future of work, the future of organisations and, most importantly, the future of customer engagement drove discussions in our future-themed breakouts, and Trailblazers in the expo snuck a peek over the horizon in Codey’s IoT shop – getting hands-on experience with the technologies that are propelling us forward.

We can all be disruptors, leaders and agents of change, personally and professionally – and technology is at the heart of innovation.

7. There was lots of love among the Ohana

If you ask anyone, one of the best bits about World Tour is the coming together of our Aussie and Kiwi Ohana. World Tour is always a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones, to hear how Trailblazers are championing customer success in their organisations and learn how others are tackling similar problems. Yep, it was definitely a big love in.

8. Loads of learning in the Campground

The Campground was THE place to get all the answers from Salesforce and our partners, and to experience the tech that can help you connect with your customers in a whole new way.

It was also the place for fun – with Astro’s River Run VR challenge, abseiling with Astro and Codey at the 3D photobooth – and getting our hands dirty planting 4000 seedlings for Greening Australia.

And the Trailhead Zone hosted more learning than ever before – aside from the five hands-on workshops and 24 practical sessions, 547 people completed trails to earn the World Tour Sydney Trailhead badge.

9. A future of equality

Equality being one of our core values at Salesforce, we’re passionate about working with our Ohana towards creating a future of equality. Later in the day, journalist Emma Alberici hosted a powerful panel discussing the challenges and opportunities in realising this future.

During the panel, Independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, spoke of the importance in fostering a culture where misogyny, homophobia, sexism and racism is called out; along with the need for mentoring and support groups to help those underrepresented thrive. While, Penny Locaso, CEO and Founder of BKrindred, argued that traditional work structures need to be reimagined as they’re currently working against equality.

Resoundingly, one of the key takeouts from the day is that business and strong leadership is the greatest catalyst for equality change, and that means motivating more businesses to be part of the solution.

10. Customer Trailblazers shared their stories...

Some of Australia’s and the world’s biggest brands shared their customer transformation stories, including AMP, adidas, 21st Century Fox, DTA, Telstra, Volkswagen, Mercer and more.

AMP’s Craig Ryman took the stage in the Keynote to tell us about the organisation’s plan to bring more than 40 systems into one platform, which also involved a tailored Trailhead program for the hundreds of AMP employees whose work would change.

“It’s a little bit like flying the plane and changing the engines at the same time,” he said, explaining that true customer-centricity requires not just a bold vision, but the courage to execute.

Every year, customer expectations about what ‘great’ is continue to go up, Ryman told the packed house, so we can’t stop innovating.

In the Service Theatre, Fisher and Paykel’s Rudi Khoury told us what happens if you do stop innovating and providing the best customer experience.

“In a business like ours, you can lose a customer for several generations if they have a bad experience,” he said.

His greatest tip? Alignment around what you’re changing is essential – from the board all the way through the organisation. But, he says, that’s not necessarily a challenge in his experience – it’s easy to monetise customer experience as poor experience just won’t sell.

The challenges, according to Khoury, are people and process. His team went from system experts who could navigate 16 screens with ease, to completely customer-focused.

“It was a big shift,” Khoury said. “We spent more time on change management than actually building the tech. But as you bring your teams in and get that single view, you really get to know the customer.”

11. …as did individual Trailblazers

Of course, it wasn’t just brands sharing their Trailblazing stories. World Tour Sydney 2018 also shone a light on the individuals driving change within their organisations, pushing for customer success and just being downright Trailblazers.

One of the day’s heartwarming highlights was when Trailblazer Rebecca Aichholzer received a Golden Hoodie (only the second person in APAC to be gifted the coveted jacket).

“Being a Trailblazer to me is about being an innovator, a disruptor,” she said. “It’s about always learning and growing in yourself, and actually creating a world that you want to live in.”

12. Plus more

Keynotes, breakouts and demos for sales, service, marketing, admin, IT and development, as well as industry content for financial services, manufacturing and more, all topped off with expert discussion of what the future holds – there was so much more than we can mention here.

Watch this space – we’ll recap some of our favourite sessions in depth in the coming weeks.

Thanks for joining us!

Relive all of the action from Salesforce World Tour 2018 – head to Salesforce LIVE. Alternatively, download the We Are All Trailblazers e-book to read more about the day’s highlights and driving customer success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.