Yakkity-yak about everything Xero
It’s nearly here! The big week of the year when my nerdiness can run free. Xerocon is on again next week at the Sydney International
Convention Centre and I am pumped.
If you aren’t familiar with the name Xerocon, it is the annual (now global) Xero conference for anyone associated with the software.
Attendees range from accountants, to bookkeepers, to app developers, to small business owners and finally to a multitude of Xero employees.
They are all gathered in one place to network and learn, and I love it. Every time I attend, I come home inspired and uplifted. But that
doesn’t mean it doesn’t give me some sleepless nights.
The event is massive! Last year there were about 3000 attendees plus the exhibitors plus all the Xero heroes. That number of peeps in one
place can be overwhelming for anyone, but even tougher if it’s your first Xerocon. But fear not, since this is now my fourth Xerocon, I feel
that I am experienced enough to offer you some tips of how to make the most of this exciting week. Here are my top 5 tips to crush Xerocon.
Early bird catches the merch – The action starts at 9am but the doors open at 8am. There is so much to take in that
you will want the opportunity to experience it all before it gets too busy. Xero have hinted at surprises like bowling and bees (??) so
definitely check them out. Don’t forget to collect your merch on Day 1 and the annual Xero community photo is booked for 8.30am on Day 2
so be early to join in.
Caffeine on the go - If you are like me and need caffeine to function, arrive with a coffee. There are coffee carts in
the conference centre but with so many people mingling, the queues can get long. I read that Xero are also offering the option to bring
your own coffee cup to reduce waste.
Bingo! - Think about what you want to get out of the conference. Make a list of all the people you want to meet and
all the apps you want to test drive. This is really important. There are so many options in the exhibitor hall, it can be overwhelming. My
advice with apps is focus on the problem you are trying to solve and test all the solutions for the best fit. Treat it like Xerocon Bingo.
If you hit all the items on your list, you are rewarded with the Paradiso themed Wrap Party at The Ivy. But don't be like me and fan girl
over industry luminaries you admire. I'm still trying to live that one down.
Make it to the finish line - 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 or find a place of quiet in the hall for a quick Nana nap. The afternoon sessions
will be much more enjoyable if you aren’t snoring. And don't forget to pack your Berocca for that extra arvo boost!
Yakkity-yak – Talk to everyone! That is why you are there. Embolden yourself and chat to all 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. Some of my strongest friendships and collaborations in the industry have started with an introduction
My final piece of advice is do not bunk off early. Last year’s final guest was from the ATO. Lovely man, but let’s be honest, the event
didn’t finish with a final flourish. Xero has announced that Daryl Braithwaite will be the closer for this year. I am guessing he doesn’t
know a hell of a lot about tax or GST, but man, can he pump out a banger! Just be pre-warned, 14-year-old Trace did a lot of screaming at
Sherbet concerts many moons ago. I am hoping she doesn’t make a reappearance at Xerocon next week. But if she does, it will certainly be
If I haven’t scared you with that overshare, and you need a friendly face to bolster your confidence next week, reach out. I’d be delighted
to be your Xerocon wingman.