Industry Experts' Guide to Xerocon Sydney 2023

August 17, 2023

Xerocon Sydney offers up a smorgasbord of financial fare, but it can be tricky to navigate if it's your first time at the table. To get the most out of Xerocon and ensure you're not just filling up on bread, get the top tips from industry experts on how they fill their plates.

Meryl Johnston - Founder and Advisor, Bean Ninjas 

How do you bring your game face? How do you mentally and physically prepare yourself and maintain a balanced pace during Xerocon? 

Don't feel like you have to attend every single session! I've made that mistake in the past and was so exhausted I missed the closing party ... and Xero throws a good closing party! Instead, be selective about which sessions you go to, visit the app hall at a less busy time, organise 1-on-1 meetings with people you want to meet, and enjoy the social part of the conference. 


How do you decide which sessions to attend, and which ones are you eagerly anticipating?

I review the agenda prior to the event and pick out a few key sessions I want to attend. Outside of that, I'm open to changing plans and attending other sessions based on who I run into, what they are going to, or whether I want to stop and have a longer chat with someone. I'm looking forward to the 'What's next for AI in accounting?' session. 

Also, a small plug for a panel discussion I'm involved in 'Mastering the art of marketing to grow your practice' at 12:30pm on Thursday 24th.


What strategies do you implement to retain learnings from conference sessions?

I try and stay for another day after the conference ends so I have time to reflect. That isn't always possible, but I at least aim for an afternoon flight so I have the morning to reflect. Then I write up my notes, add ideas to my 'someday' list and try and pick 1 thing that I'm going to implement.

Someday list: I add ideas here rather than to my task list to reduce overwhelm. That way when I'm doing quarterly planning I can review all projects and pick the one with the biggest impact rather than getting distracted by shiny object syndrome.


Heather Smith - Accountant & 'Xero for Dummies' Author 

What do you need to pack for conference day?

On conference day, I pack light:

  • A smile and a positive present mindset
  • Back-up food for the day, so I'm independent of conference food
  • Battery pack with extra charger cables (just in case)
  • Charged phone with the conference app installed
  • Lip balm and lipstick
  • Pre-filled calendar of agenda selection
  • Printed-out venue map
  • Shoes with cushioning and arch support
  • Small water bottle
  • Two sachets of electrolytes to stay hydrated without excessive toilet visits
  • A stylus: for digital note-taking


What are your top tips for leveraging social media before, during and after #Xerocon?

Use and follow the hashtag #Xerocon to connect with others interested in the event.

Ahead of #Xerocon, post a recent photo of yourself on your main social media platform and let people know you're attending and what you're looking forward to.

A picture tells a thousand stories. During the event, capture fun photos with exciting backdrops. Use them on social media daily, but keep them handy for future social media posts. Some people pull out the pictures of them in the ball pit every chance they get!

Afterwards, post three highlights of the event on your main social media platforms, along with your favourite photo.


What steps can attendees take to make the most of their time in the App exhibitor area?

  1. Study the exhibitor list before the conference.
  2. Consider any pain points that your business or your client's business might be experiencing and identify solutions that could solve them.
  3. Use the plentiful networking events around Xerocon to chat with other delegates and ask what interesting solutions they've seen at the event. 


Tyler Caskey - Founder and CA, The Bean Counters 

Considering the size of Xerocon, what approaches can you take to successfully network and meet the individuals face-to-face? 

I like to follow what could be of interest or benefit to myself or my clients. It makes for genuine conversations, a good outcome for your time, and could lead to a broader service line offering or knowledge base. There is no better place to sniff test multiple apps at speed.  When at a vendor stand, I sometimes listen in from afar, which helps me learn what type of business an app or service could suit, then tag in if it’s relevant.


How do you debrief and actively think about how to apply the conference learnings to positively impact your business?

I love doing a bit of online research and testing.

For new apps or systems I haven’t heard about, I will trial the product and give a five-minute demo or summary to my team. With all the free trials available, it’s great to touch the system if you are an experiential learner.

Presenting (or asking a team member to present) the system means you need to learn enough about it to be dangerous!


Any other tips?

Shake some hands, say hello, score some merch (if you will actually use it), and pop in and out enough to ensure you keep your day job on track and your energy tank full.  

Plus, try to get the learnings and potential new business contacts at the same time.


Speaking of shaking hands and making new business contacts, #IgnitionPrecon is the best way to kick-start your Xerocon experience! Register for free now to join us on 22 August at Bungalow 8 in Darling Harbour for a free night of networking, nourishment and festivities! Plus, the Fathom team will be serving up a special game (with great prizes) on the night. Don't miss out! 

Learn more 

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