With Xerocon 2018 at ExCel in London just around the corner, it promises to be a fantastic event.
I, for one, am looking forward to listening to some great speakers, hearing Xero’s latest announcements and speaking with like-minded people. In fact, 14th and 15th of November are going to be a very busy couple of days!
Xerocon is an annual event hosted by Xero for all their accounting and bookkeeping partners – from solo operators right up to large accounting firms – and has grown to become one of the biggest accounting industry events. It attracts forward-thinking accountants, bookkeepers and tax specialists, who want to future-proof their roles, as well as cloud accounting experts, practice management software providers etc. Making the most of the breakout sessions, keynote speeches and networking opportunities is a good way to find out more about the best cloud and digital technologies available.
How to Make the Most of Xerocon 2018
The opportunities Xerocon presents are massive. (There are more than 50 add-ons exhibiting at London this year!) So, I know that doing a bit of research and planning my time beforehand will be vital. If you are going to Xerocon this year, or planning to go next time, here are some suggestions of how to make the most of it:
Attend the Right Seminars
You can’t possibly attend them all, so organise your time carefully and work out which will the most beneficial seminars to attend by viewing the event schedule.
Navigating the Exhibition Hall
Research the list of exhibitors and decide who you want to see, and importantly, who you will prioritise. If you want to spend more time exploring exhibitors, make sure you have planned your time effectively. You don’t want to miss out on talks you really wanted to listen to.
A portable charger will be your best friend at Xerocon. Whether it be for sharing information, recording media for your own marketing or making sure you stay in the loop of what is happening back at your business. You won’t have time to sit and charge your devices and so a portable charger is a must-have.
Know Where You’re Staying and How to Get There
Book in advance for travel and hotels. After all, it is London, and with so many attendees and exhibitors, rooms will be booked up fast! Most likely you will be able to get a cheaper deal if you book in advance. Do you want to be close to ExCel? How far are you wanting to travel from A to B? These are important factors to consider!
Forget About Stomach Rumbles – There’s Plenty of Food
Food is available throughout the day but you will need to source your own breakfast and evening meal, unless it is included in your stay. Be advised – it is very easy to access food at Xerocon with an abundance of food stalls you won’t go hungry!
Sensible Footwear is Key
Wear comfortable shoes – you will be going from conference room to conference room and walking around the exhibition hall. You really don’t want your feet to be aching, especially when there is so much to do!
Bring a Light But Handy Bag
Bring a practical bag, not a bag that will weigh you down. You want a light bag that you can put all of the hand-outs and goodies in along with your portable charger and chosen devices! It is a good idea to bring a bag that you are happy to carry around for a full day.
Be Aware of the Queues
There will always be a queue for coffee. If you leave it too late to get coffee, you will be late to the talks and end up at the back of the room, which is not ideal. If you don’t get out of the talk as soon as it ends your chance of getting coffee before the next talk begins, is slim! However, on the upside, water is always available along with smoothie bars to keep you going!
Make the Right Connections
Other attendees are a good way to find out about an add-on you are thinking of using for your own practice. Their experience and insights could be invaluable.
Do a bit of research into the exhibitors and find out which will be the best ones to speak to for you and your clients. The quietest time for speaking to the exhibitors if you want a product demonstration or in-depth discussion will be while the seminars are on.
What to Take
Take an ample supply of business cards and a bit of information about what you do, such as flyers. Make sure your flyers are small enough for people to carry around with them easily in a bag or pocket. The exhibition days are long and tiring, so it’s a good idea not to burden people with lots to carry. This year we have produced some postcard-sized flyers that give brief details of how we integrate Xero to work automatically together with e-commerce platform, Shopify, and stock management software, Unleashed.
Don’t forget to connect with the influencers too. Influencers have an overview of cloud accounting and will be able to offer suggestions and advice.
Use the Event to Market Your Business
Attending and taking part at Xerocon demonstrates how forward-thinking you and your company are. Take lots of photos/video/Facebook Lives etc. for your own marketing purposes, for example for posting to social media or including in your email newsletter.
After Xerocon, don’t forget to follow up with people you met to continue the conversation. You will come back with numerous ideas about how you can become more efficient, productive and profitable. Make sure you action these ideas as soon as possible.
Connect on LinkedIn with the contacts you made by sending them a personal message to remind them of how you met at Xerocon. Then use LinkedIn to send them any further information about your business, including, for example, a link to a web page or PDF download.
Look out for my blog post after Xerocon with all the news and announcements from Xero!