It’s the time of year that accountants and bookkeepers live for. It may have facetiously been dubbed ‘Coachella for Accountants’ but that’s not too far from the truth. The annual Xerocon event has become one of the most popular and highly anticipated accounting conferences in the world, and the largest one is taking place in Brisbane this September.
Despite its party energy and rockstar-esque lauding of industry names, Xerocon is all about business and is an opportunity to connect with peers from across Australasia, to gain insights from engaging keynote speakers and to get upskilled on the latest industry updates.
If that sounds a little overwhelming, well it can be. Which is why we’ve put together these survival tips to help you not just get through, but get the most out of your two days at the event.
1. Pace yourself
The event is huge – not just figuratively, but literally. We know it’s a big event on the calendar for many, but don’t blow out on the first night and set yourself up for a struggle the next day! There are a lot of opportunities for chatting and connecting with Xero partners throughout the day, and a lot of ground to cover, so save your energy for the education and networking and let loose on the last night.
2. Stay hydrated, caffeinated and wear comfy shoes!
Ladies, listen up – it is a business event, but flat shoes are going to be your best choice if you don’t want to end up with sore feet at the end of day one. Moving between conference halls, exhibition stands, and food tables will see you on your feet for much of the day. In fact, chuck a pedometer on and you’ll see you’ll reach those 10,000 steps in no time! Luckily, the coffee flows all day and there are water stations to keep you hydrated, but we suggest taking along your own reusable water bottle so you can keep yourself topped up.
3. Get social
Get busy on your social media accounts. Not only is it a great way to connect with others at the event, but it’s an easy way to keep up with what else is happening around Xerocon throughout the day. It’s not just the Xero crew who will be active – plenty of other attendees will be sharing insights from talks and giving out the inside word on which stands have the best freebies! Interact and follow along with the chat using the #xerocon hashtag as well as tagging in @Xero and the partners you interact with. Take photos and share quotes and tidbits from talks – folks who can’t be there will love it too!
4. Plan ahead
The Xerocon agenda is online, so before you head along, make sure you check it out and plan which talks you want to get to so you don’t miss out. As well as the keynote speakers, there are also breakout sessions with a range of topics that you can choose from. It’s also worth checking out the list of exhibitors so you can pre-arrange times to speak to add-on partners or your Xero account manager if you have specific questions you’d like to cover off. If there is anyone else you’d particularly like to connect with, now is a good time to reach out and let them know you’re keen to meet up at the event.
5 Bring a practical bag
Keep your hands free – bring a comfortable bag along with you so you can store all your essentials. Bring business cards, a water bottle, pen, notebook (or tablet if you’re that way inclined). You’ll also need a place to stash your swag or handouts from the exhibitor stands that you pick up along the way.
6. Talk to your Xero Account Manager
Xerocon is a great opportunity to have some face-to-face time with your Xero Account Manager. Bring along your questions or business challenges and they’ll be able to point you in the direction of app partners who may be the right fit for you or your clients. They’ll also be able to introduce you to other accountants or bookkeepers who can provide insights or advice. The great thing about Xerocon is the sense of community, plus people’s willingness and openness to share and discuss ideas.
7. Reduce your waste
Xerocon generally has a paperless policy, meaning that exhibitors are encouraged to use electronic correspondence, rather than physical material. Do your bit by asking exhibitors to send information to you via email – after all, you’ll have time to check it out properly once you’re back in the office. For those keen on a frequent coffee fix, take along a reusable coffee cup to cut down on waste at the event, as well as your reusable water bottle.
Overall, be prepared to have a blast. You’ll come home with energy and enthusiasm for the work you do. There will be so much information to take in, so make sure you make some good notes – not just for yourself but for your clients or colleagues who couldn’t get along too. Don’t forget to share these learnings when you get home!
No plans for the night before Xerocon? Join us at Practice Ignition’s pre-con party – win epic prizes and access the unlimited bar tab! Save your spot here. Then visit the SuiteFiles stand #40 at Xerocon Brisbane!