Xerocon - That's a wrap!
Xerocon, the week I look forward to all year and this one, in Sydney, did not disappoint. I talked till I was hoarse, I walked so much that
my feet are still trying to recover, and I listened to industry professionals for two solid days until my brain felt fried. There was also
so much more I got out of attending this professional development extravaganza. Much more than just what I learned from the speakers. Being
around all these similar minded industry professionals was inspiring and the conversations and connections I made were invaluable. After the
last few years, every chat felt even more special. And I will never again under-estimate the value of nerd-ing out with people who
understand my challenges and honestly shared their stories and solutions. It filled my professional cup to over-flowing.
So, what were my take-aways? As an industry, we have adapted exponentially over the last 10 years but there is still so much more to do. And
the message is to keep adapting or you will shrivel on the vine. This was directed at professionals in our industry but also at small
businesses. From the first keynote by Steve Vamos, Xero’s CEO, to the last by Chris Jordan AO, Commissioner of Taxation, all were insistent
that the digitisation train is here to stay so you better get on board. Rather than being phased by this, I see it as an opportunity. Look
at all your processes and see how you can improve them. Which leads me to the other part of the conference.
There were more than 75 app exhibitors attending Xerocon. All of them have created a unique digital solution for a business problem that
many people are trying to solve. They are all passionate about their product and they are there with the sole purpose of making your working
life easier. Inside we were hearing “You need to adapt and digitise” and outside we were shown “Here’s how you do it.” It was like having a
room full of fairy godmothers and then picking the one that best suited you. The energy was enthusiastic, loud, and pretty awe-inspiring. I
My pick of new apps from the conference was Cogo, a carbon footprint management solution that helps businesses to measure, reduce and
offset their impact on the environment. During Xerocon, the announcement was made that “Xero is partnering with Cogo to
help small businesses take the next step in their sustainability journey. The Cogo Business Carbon Manager app pulls categorised
transactional data – such as money spent on electricity, fuel and other every-day business expenses – from Xero and calculates a carbon
footprint. Small businesses can access tailored advice around the actions they can take to make easy, positive changes to help lower their
carbon footprint and improve profitability.” I cannot wait to give this app a crack, starting from next week.
So, that is a wrap for another year, and I am calling it a successful week. Unfortunately, I did not hit all nine of the targets on my Appy
Networking Bingo card, but I did get to be a guest on a podcast about offering advisory services, which was an unexpected pleasure. My
favourite moment of the week was when I met one of the icons of our industry, Amanda Gascoigne of The Balanced Firm. She mentioned that she
had read my newsletter and I nearly cried. It was a truly, nerdy fan-girl moment but one I will cherish for an exceptionally long
time. Until we meet again.