I first heard of Xerocon during my final round interview with simPRO. It quickly became clear to me that Xerocon was THE accounting event of the year for both simPRO and its partners - very relevant considering I was soon to be working with both!
In the final few days before the event, I was told several times that I should enjoy the proverbial calm before the storm. I did wonder whether this would be another case of being drawn in by mass enthusiasm only to be sorely disappointed by a lack of relevant audience. Or, whether it would actually prove to be the real deal and I would come away wondering how on earth to manage my time over the next few months.
On first walking into the ExCeL, I was immediately impressed by the buzzing atmosphere. Despite arriving during the allocated slot for exhibitors to set up, there were already hundreds of people at the event (both exhibitors and delegates) - the enthusiasm extremely apparent.
I was quickly ushered over to collect my pass and scanner by a friendly Xero rep. Our stall looked the part, we had plenty of space and a high-quality monitor that would allow us to demonstrate in real-time some of our awesome features. An added bonus - it was next to not one, but two food stands which meant we could enjoy the great variety of food on offer, and more importantly, start conversations with the queuing attendees who were interested in simPRO.
Over the course of the day, we were inundated with a steady flow of accountants, bookkeepers and consultants alike. All were keen to see the new and/or improved cloud-based applications and add-ons we were offering which could potentially make their own - and the lives of their clients - easier. This is exactly what simPRO does and being able to demonstrate that to the delegates was definitely the main highlight for me.
The sense of ‘industry’ was very unique. I’ve never come across a field where businesses share and collaborate rather than compete, but this is genuinely the sense I got from being at Xerocon (although that did change quite quickly when the dodgems were set up, later in the evening). On the back of this, there were a lot of people who had attended solo. Having an event where so many people are comfortable to do so is brilliant.
Day 2 was slightly less hectic, which gave us the time to have more in-depth conversations with some great potential partners. I suspect the Xerocon party the night before may have had something to do with attendees moving at a more relaxed rate. So, we’ve decided next year, we’ll be offering simPRO branded aspirins to help soothe the sore heads - you’re welcome!
What made Xerocon great was seeing a number of our current partners being nominated for prestigious Xero awards, helping solidify the fact that we’re working with some of the best accountants in the industry.
We also have a rather long list of potential partners to follow up within the coming weeks as well as a direct result of exhibiting here this year. It was an exceptional event and a great opportunity to speak directly to our user base and future partners - this is why we have, and will, continue to return.
Here’s to next year!