We’re so excited for Xerocon Austin! Year after year, Xerocon proves to be one of the most valuable conferences for accountants and bookkeepers who are leveraging cloud accounting technology. The conference offers international speakers, training sessions, networking opportunities and, of course, a ton of fun!
Xerocon Austin promises to be the biggest Xerocon yet. Between the stacked speaker lineup (which includes Tim Leberecht, Jina Etienne, and more) and the awesome location, you’re sure to leave the conference with new learnings, new connections, and maybe even a belly full of delicious BBQ.
The best thing you can to do get ROI from the conference is to come prepared. As such, we thought we’d share some of our advice for getting the most out of the conference, as well as some tips from seasoned Xerocon attendees Jay Kimelman, Chief Information Officer of The Digital CPA, Patti Scharf, Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Catching Clouds, and Cristina Garza, Chief Number Cruncher at Accountingprose.
Have a tip of your own that you’d like to share? Tell us on Twitter!
1. Arrive with a plan
We’ll kick things off with a pro tip from Jay Kimelman:
Xerocon can be overwhelming, there is such a level of excitement! Come in with a plan, know which vendors you want to see and who you want to connect with – that way, you won’t miss anyone.
As per Jay’s advice, plan which sessions (and parties!) you want to attend and when you want to take time to browse the exhibition floor.
A couple of sessions we’re particularly looking forward to include:
Taking Your Practice Online with Xero Partner Products
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 6 @ 2:30pm
Speakers: Ben Richmond (Vice President, Partner Channel at Xero Americas) and Neill Fraser (Product Marketing Manager, Xero HQ)
Learn how to power your practice, improve your advisory services, and build an efficient tech stack with the best connected practice apps!
The Cherished Advisor
Date/Time: Thursday, December 7 @ 9:15am
Speaker: Amy Vetter, Chief Relationship Officer, Xero
Too many accountants and bookkeepers spend so much time entering data and crunching numbers. By embracing cloud technology, these redundant tasks can be mitigated; however, technology will never replace the value of human advice. We’re so excited to learn more about this from Amy Vetter!
Also, don’t miss MC Greg Kyte, who will be kicking off each day of the conference! As a comedian and CPA, we’re expecting him to deliver a few good laughs.
Take it from Patti Scharf:
Never miss an opportunity to listen to Greg Kyte. He's hilarious.
2. Take in the key themes
This year, Xerocon will be centered around the following themes:
- New Technologies
- Transforming Industries
- Cutting Edge Accountants
Understanding the topics and accounting trends that fall within these themes will provide you with the information you need to future-proof your firm. Although these themes are sure to be highlighted during many of the sessions on Day 1 and Day 2, another way to really take these in is by making the most out of the sessions offered during Pre-Con.
As Jay Kimelman suggests:
Take advantage of Pre-Con. Whether it’s Cert, Accelerate, Art of the Sale, or BookkeeperX – take advantage of the knowledge of the experienced Xero partners providing these sessions. Ask questions.
Cristina Garza also recommends soaking up knowledge with the intention of taking action:
Soak in as much knowledge as you can, reflect on ways you can create change into your business, and take action. Don't leave the knowledge at the door!
3. Say “hi” to the exhibitors!
As an exhibitor ourselves, we’re a little biased… but it’s always valuable to check out the exhibition floor! Exploring new cloud accounting tools will allow you to learn more about the vast accounting technology landscape.
We’d love to meet you! Be sure to stop by the Hubdoc booth to meet the Hubdogs and pick up a free t-shirt.
Make sure to check out some of our other favorite tools, as well!
- Expensify – Expensify is our favorite tool for one-click receipt tracking and automated expense management. Expensify recently teamed up with Xero to bring premium expense management into Xero HQ – learn more here.
- Spotlight Reporting – Spotlight provides integrated reporting and forecasting that allows you to create insights that will help inform better business outcomes. Talk to the Spotlight team to learn more!
- Bill.com – Talk to the Bill.com team to learn how you can spend up to 50% less time approving and paying bills.
- TSheets – TSheets allows you to easily track time on any device to streamline payroll, send accurate invoices, and save thousands each year.
- Plooto – Pay your bills and get paid by clients in just one click!
4. Network, network, network!
If there’s one thing almost every repeat Xerocon attendee recommends, it’s to network and meet with likeminded accounting and bookkeeping professionals! A ton of value can come from the connections you make with fellow Xerocon attendees and speakers.
The conference will provide an abundance of networking opportunities, but it’s up to you to take advantage of them. Patti Scharf understands that it can be difficult to step out of your shell, but can attest that it’s worth it:
Being an accountant myself, I know that introversion runs rampant in our industry. My best advice is to talk to other attendees (including speakers) even if it feels awkward. Say ‘hi’ early and often. The best part of Xerocon comes from the connections you make with others.
Jay Kimelman also provided some tips for making connections:
Connect IRL (in real life) with those you know online. Grab a coffee or a drink and really get to know each other.
Remember, you all share similar interests! Cristina Garza also stressed the importance of networking:
Spend time getting to know people. The best part of Xerocon is building a tribe of like minded accounting superfriends!
The Xerocon parties provide a great environment for meeting new people – make sure your calendar includes the Welcome Reception on Tuesday, December 5 and the Xerocon Wrap Party on Thursday, December 7! 🎉
5. Download the app & pack the essentials
Don’t arrive at the conference unprepared! First things first: download the Xerocon app, which includes the event schedule, speaker info, and other important event details. Get it on the App Store or Google Play Store.
Before you embark upon the conference floor, be sure to have:
- Comfy shoes
- A sweater
- A water bottle
- A notepad and pen
- Business cards and a card case
- Your phone charger and laptop charger
- A bag for collecting swag
- Hand sanitizer
Bonus tips for getting the most out of Xerocon
Xerocon has grown to mean a lot to accountants and bookkeepers who have attended the conference over the past few years. Xero has shared some of these awesome stories on their blog – read them to learn about some of their favorite memories from Xerocons past and what attendees are looking forward to this year.
- What Xerocon Austin Means to Me | Positive Accounting – One of the reasons why Raj Vallabh of Positive Accounting attends Xerocon is to keep up with industry trends: “We go to Xerocon to get an overview of what’s changed year on year and also to meet the vendors, see what’s changed in technology and who’s doing what.”
- What Xerocon Austin Means to Me | Austin Bookkeeping – Cheryl Finfrock of Austin Bookkeeping & Consulting’s first stop at Xerocon? “I always love to check out the apps so that will be my first stop.” As an Austin-based attendee, she also suggests some local food and drink options that are worth checking out.
See you in Austin!
We couldn’t be more excited to make new connections and reconnect with old friends at Xerocon! The conference is sold out, but you can still register for Pre-Con. For more details and frequently asked questions, check out the Xerocon Austin website.
See you soon!
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