A Xerocon Day-By-Day Review | Austin 2017

I’ve been to plenty of Xerocon’s in my life. Maybe you’ve never been?

Xerocon is a multi-day conference that aims to inspire a new generation of accountants and bookkeepers, whilst pioneering a new era of cloud solutions.

I’ve just got back from the Xerocon in Austin Texas and thought it would be helpful to document what a Xerocon is like to help those who use Xero, but have never attended one before, or haven’t attended one in a different country.

Perhaps you’ve heard about Xero and are doing some research into what a Xerocon is – if that’s you, then I hope this helps you!

Day 1 – Sunday | Flying Out To The US

Xerocon happens all over the world. There are three per year, one in Australia, one in the UK and one in the US – all three are Xero’s biggest markets.

The content at each Xerocon is similar, although it’s pitched differently around the world… Let me explain why:

The Australian market for Xero is by far the most advanced with lots of small business owners jumping feet first into cloud software and automation. They have for many years, as Xero originates from New Zealand.
If you compare that to the UK market which is a bit behind (although Xero is still making incredible progress), the content at a Xerocon is pitches to where the businesses owners are at in regards to their acceptance towards automation and cloud accounting software.

That’s the main reason why I go to the different Xerocons: to get a global view of small businesses and how Xero is being used across the world.

I get to see businesses in Austin Texas, that are benefiting from using Xero, and gain precious knowledge and understanding about how that could best help the small business owners we work with at my company, DH Business Support.

My Tips To Fighting Jetlag

One of the questions I get asked a lot is – how do you cure the Jetlag? Flying from the UK means that you need to time your sleep well. If in doubt, power on through until you can’t anymore and then sleep at a normal time for your destination’s time zone.

Day 2 – Monday | Sight Seeing In Austin, Texas

I like to arrive a day before Xerocon begins to get a feel of the place. Attending Xerocon around the world has given me loads of awesome opportunities to experience different places and cultures – this time it was Austin Texas!

We stayed at an Air BnB that was just 10 minutes walk from the venue, which saves you a lot of money, sleep time, and generally makes everything really accessible.

We did some sightseeing in downtown Austin and ate out A LOT! Austin’s an incredible city, but I definitely wasn’t ready for the weather out there. I’d come from snowy, 0 degree, England to scorching hot Texas – safe to say, it wasn’t my normal December weather. (Little did I know, that would all change later on in the week when the snowfall arrived to scupper our flights home).

After going to the local shopping mall and eating out (again) we rested well for the busy few days ahead.

Day 3 – Tuesday | PreCon Is A Place To Learn

The day before Xerocon is called Pre-Con. Exhibitors will be setting up their stalls and attendees can go on a bunch of courses called Uni days in a different building.

The Uni days were held in the Austin Convention Centre and the main aim for these tracks are to train people up in different aspects of Xero and automation software.

You can get advisor certification, learn more about growing your practice, find out how to use connected apps – you basically spend a crash course day on whatever best suits you and your business.

In the evening there’s a welcome reception with locally sourced food and drinks and the Xerocon location is revealed in all it’s stunning glory. This gives you a great introduction to the feel of the whole conference and a chance to have a look around, chat to delegates, speakers and exhibitors.

Day 4 – Wednesday | Xerocon Austin Begins With A Bang

Xerocon was located in the fair market, which was a breath taking location!

Each day at Xerocon is loaded with sessions and breaks to pace the day out nicely. The first day is normally Xero heavy – explaining more about what Xero is doing, specifically in the relevant country, and showcasing future product releases.

This is a super interesting day for a Xero nerd like me – it’s really good for an accountancy firm and small business that is using Xero to know what the future is gearing up to look like.
There were standout sessions like the keynote, lead by the US Managing Director Keri Gomahn and the session by CEO Rod Drury. The amount of information that these guys can offer about Xero, and the love that Keri, particularly, has for small businesses in the US is just amazing to see.

After a busy day, rest is a must. The party was tomorrow night, so I saved myself for that.

Day 5 – Thursday | Networking Like Nowhere Else & The Big Party

The day begins with a breakfast event and lots of networking, which to be honest, is one of the big reasons as to why I love attending Xerocon in different countries.

You can network with different accountants from all around the world, discovering what their problems are and how they’re looking at growing and developing their business and the small businesses they work with.

It’s also a really good opportunity to build up International contacts that you may partner with, trust and work with in the future.  I believe that as small businesses are more able to reach further with their products and services, through Amazon and Ebay, the future looks to point in favour of progressing this way.

Knowledge and expertise about specific countries will be key to growing your practice and the businesses you work with.

The first day focuses on Xero and the future of cloud accountancy, the second day is more about improving your business – with different influencers sharing tips and tricks to help better your business.

The conference wrapped up at around 4:00pm – it flew by personally – and the Xerocon Party took place at Brazos later that night.

It was Tequila and Tacos themed, but I was a bigger fan of the Margaritas. Xerocon parties are just a different level – I’m not sure there’s a comparable occasion where you can have a massive party, let your hair down, and chat to loads of different people from different small business backgrounds.

It’s networking done really well!

Day 6 – Friday | Flying Home (Delays, Delays, Delays)

We were running on very little sleep on our final day (thanks to the party and packing our suitcases for a flight at 2pm).

Despite feeling very tired – this is the best way to combat jet lag on the way back home: just stay awake until it’s a reasonable time to sleep UK time.

This is necessary to be able to jump straight back into the office.

Many delays and snowfall later we landed in the UK late on Saturday. Not the best end to a trip – but obviously that’s nothing against Xerocon!

The Future Of Small Businesses & Xero

Xero is an incredible piece of software, and the more Xerocons you attend the more it becomes pure fact that the future of small businesses lie within an actively digital progressive industry.

I attend Xerocon because I want to learn as much as I possibly can about Xero in order to drive my small business forward. As an accountancy practice, I believe it’s our responsibility for the sake of those we work with to have our fingers on the pulse in this digitally progressive world – importantly: to help them make their businesses better.

It’s worth saying that Xero haven’t paid me anything to write this blog – I’ve written it to give you an insight into what you can expect from one of these conference.

If your business isn’t using Xero, but you want a piece of the action (or you just want to know more about how it can help your small business) then get in touch with us below.

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