We here at CloudCounting have made a large investment in sending our three staff to #XeroCon. The cost of the conference tickets, flights, hotel rooms, and lost productivity is significant. In this blog, I’d like to share with you some of our thoughts about getting the best return out of your investment if you are attending the conference
Network, Network, Network
If you are anything like me, you may be extroverted when you are in a comfortable setting, but in a room of strangers, its a different matter. Just remember, its only two (or three) days and everyone is in the same boat as you. Sure you will see quite a few people who seem to know everyone – but that’s only because they have made the effort in previous years. One of my favourite pieces of advice is from Heather Smith, author of Xero for Dummies, host of the podcast Cloud Stories, and speaker, and the best networker I know. She makes a list of all the people that she would like to meet at a conference, then goes on a mission to introduce herself to those people. People will be flattered you have sought them out, trust me!
Use Social Media like a pro!
Last year, I had no Twitter Handle. I used Twitter for the first time at #XeroCon2015 and loved the level of engagement it gave me. Twitter provided me the opportunity to connect with other Xero advisors at the conference and made me aware of the people I wanted to meet at that conference. One year later, I tweet regularly and am well on my way to my goal that I set for myself last year of 1,000 followers. Follow us on @CloudCountingAU we can tweet to each other at #XeroCon!
The staff at Xero use Twitter during the conference to promote information, and you may even see your tweets on the big screen! This has happened for us and it is such a nice feeling to know that the Xero staff are reading and enjoying our tweets.
All of our staff tweet from the same handle at #XeroCon so we can share our impressions from different perspectives. If you haven’t tweeted before, ensure you set up an account before the event and get some tips on how to use Twitter. Many of our add on community host webinars on this topic – last year I listened to one by Wayne Schmidt (Karbon) and Anna Cochrane (TSheets) which was really helpful. Anna was even kind enough to give me further pointers during the conference.
The other platform we use all the time is Facebook. This year you are spoiled for choice with Xero specific Facebook groups such as AU Official Xero BAS Agent, AU Official Tax Agent, Xero Eco System Community, XeroCon South Brisbane 2016, and Xero Mastermind. Some of these are closed or secret groups, but assuming you hold the right credentials, ask to join the groups. These are a great way to stay involved with what is going on and find out where those networking events will be held during XeroCon.
Plan out your sessions, and if bringing staff ensure you divide and conquer!
Add-Ons – The Xero Eco-System
Have a debrief session right after XeroCon
This needs to be done with your staff and your Xero Account Manager. We are very lucky to have a great account manager in Justin Campbell, and he has already been in touch to schedule a Monday morning chat after XeroCon to hear our impressions and find out what plan of action we have in place for acting on the momentum of XeroCon.