As Xerocon inches closer (less than 100 days to go!) we got in touch with some of last year’s award winners to talk everything Xerocon and why they continue to go year after year.
Karla Hourigan is the founder of Infinesse and winner of the Xero Bookkeeping Partner of the Year for Victoria in 2016.
What do you enjoy at Xerocon?
In 2015 we attended our first Xerocon in Melbourne and we were overwhelmed with the all of the amazing things going on. It was fabulous! Last year in Brisbane it was all about collaboration. We had the opportunity to meet up face to face with lots of different people we had previously chatted with online. In particular there is one group of amazing people we connected with who we continue to meet with online once a fortnight to this day. We continue to collaborate and support each other in strengthening our businesses. That has to be a highlight because we formed those trusted relationships with one another at Xerocon. We’ve also got to know each other personally. Talking to people that understand the industry and meeting new people are the key opportunities from Xerocon.
Why do you chose to go?
I love what I do, so I go to Xerocon because I want to and need to know where the industry is heading. I gain insight and broaden my horizons as to what else is available for the longevity of my business. There’s so much knowledge and information at your fingertips. It’s great to be able to take away this knowledge to consider later on. I think that the whole add-on space is amazing. You’ve got all the key players there in one place. There are real people on the ground to chat with to get an idea of what’s available and compare solutions. I also really love the presentations: some of the keynote speakers give you something to really think about.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had there?
I love the wrap up party! It’s an opportunity to just get in and have a bit of fun. I love all of the spaces that are available. The experience is different and it’s nice because it’s not this corporate style event. It brings you out of your comfort zone a little bit and you get to shake off some of the stress.
What have you learnt at Xerocon?
Listening to Dandapani last year was a key takeaway for me. He spoke about time as a ‘finite resource’ and about knowing where to put your energy. It’s something that I never really thought about previously so it really hit home. This theory and the lesson learnt is now an important consideration in my decision making within both my professional and personal life. It was a really memorable session.
How has winning an award at Xerocon helped your business?
Winning the award has created a lot of discussion amongst industry peers within my region and the recognition from it has opened doors. The opportunity to collaborate with the leaders of Xero and with the XPAC community has given us a chance to be a voice for our industry. I think having these awards is changing the landscape. We’re a small practice in a regional area and we won such a prestigious award so I think it shows other bookkeepers what is possible and achievable.
Who are most looking forward to hear from at Xerocon 2017?
I always get excited to see the presentations on the product development. I get insights into what’s coming and see new features in action. But I can’t go past Magda Szubanski. I’m so excited to see her; she’s hilarious! The MC Marty Wilson should be great too. It’s a good balance between the humour and the serious side with the statistics and business. I like the fact that you can have a laugh as well as learn something.