Five tips on how to crush it at Xerocon
After three long COVID interrupted years, it is back. On September 7-8, 2022, thousands of finance and software nerds will descend on the
International Convention Centre in Sydney for the annual Xero conference for Asia Pacific, Xerocon. People have dubbed it “the Coachella for
accountants.” I prefer to think of it as equal parts exciting and terrifying. Last night I woke from a dead sleep after a dream where I had
chosen all the wrong break out sessions and was unceremoniously ejected from the conference. OK, maybe my subconscious is telling me that
after a three-year hiatus, I am erring on the side of terrified. Goodness knows why. It is not like they torture you if you get a sum wrong.
I think the terror comes because the conference is so huge. There are thousands of attendees, plus hundreds of Xero employees and hundreds
of software exhibitors all in one space learning, networking, and selling. It is loud, bright, and very full on. This will be my third
Xerocon, my first away from Brisbane, so I have some experience under my belt. But, despite my terror, I do have some handy tips on how to
get the most out of the week and sharing these tips with you is therapy to appease my subconscious mind. I will sleep better tonight so,
thanks for that!
Here we go.
Get there early – The action starts at 9am but doors open at 8am. There is so much to take in that you will want the
opportunity to experience it all before it gets busy. Even if it is just to do a quick reccie so you know what to go back to later.
Personally, my first stop will be to check out the deal with the free beauty treatments. Cannot wait for that.
Caffeine planning - If you are like me and need caffeine to function, it is a clever idea to arrive with a coffee. There
are coffee carts in the conference centre but with so many people mingling, the queues can get long. I hate queueing.
Make a hit list – Think about what you want to get out of the conference and make a list of all the people you want to meet
and all the apps you want to suss out. This is really important. There are so many people in the exhibitor hall, it can be overwhelming.
Treat it like Xerocon Bingo. If you hit all the items on your list, you get to go to the 80’s themed Wrap Party at Luna Park
Pace yourself – The conference lasts two days and three nights. Try not to blow all your energy at the Pre-Con party on
Tuesday night. Also be aware that two days of sitting in a conference hall can be mentally exhausting. Give yourself a break and go for a
quick walk in the lunch recess just to get some fresh air and some quiet. It will make such a difference to your energy in the
Yakkity-yak – Talk to everyone! That is why you are there. After two years of working so hard in our little silos with
communication only via Zoom or phone, we have earned this. Get out there and chat to those peers whose names you have seen on webinars.
Introduce yourself to your Xero Account Manager. And foster relationships with app partners who can help your business or practice flourish.
A number of the strongest friendships and collaborations in the industry have started with an introduction at Xerocon. Your new work bestie
may be just around the corner.
If this is your first Xerocon, do not panic. I know it can be intimidating going to such a huge event when you do not know anyone, but you
are not alone. There are tons of people in the same boat. To alleviate your stress, you could either put a message on one of the industry
Facebook pages and arrange to meet up with other first timers or, you could contact me. I am happy to be your first day wingman and
introduce you around.
All that is left to say is don’t forget to pack your Berocca, travel safe and see you in Sydney!