With Xerocon Brisbane 2018 fast approaching, we chat to some of our partners about why they attend year after year. We caught up with, Karen Gambles from Paragons BDS – a platinum partner from Tasmania – about how she’s never missed a Xerocon, and why she never will.
You’ve known about Xero for years – but how did you first hear about us?
I used to work in Wellington at Edwards Accounting, and Rod Drury’s business was one of our clients. I had the onerous task of helping them with their accounting, and Rod used to say, “Oh my God, this is so much double entry, surely we don’t have to do it this way!” And off he went and founded Xero.
I moved home to Australia, but a few years later I was invited back to Wellington to test Xero for the Australian market. Once Xero was available in Australia we started getting all our clients on it. We went gold first in Tasmania, and then some time later we merged with another firm and went platinum.
How many Xerocon events have you been to and what’s been your most memorable session?
I’ve have been to every single Xerocon, including the first one in Napier. Each year the organisers manage to step it up with the sessions. Sometimes it’s the speakers who aren’t talking about accounting or technology who are the most memorable. In 2016, there was a Buddhist, Dandapani, who was amazing. I do also like the technical sessions because it gives us something to bring back to the team, but the sessions with inspirational speakers been really good. They’re the ones I always remember.
Do you have any tips for first-timers to Xerocon?
If you can get hold of the agenda beforehand and have a bit of a plan as to what you want to see and what you want to get out of it, then it helps when you’re there. There’s so much going on and there are so many people. Just relax and enjoy it, and make the most of networking. Everybody’s there to talk to everybody. It’s a great atmosphere.
How does Xerocon add value to your firm?
The value of going to Xerocon each year is the face to face contact. Normally all help provided by Xero during the year is done mostly by email. At Xerocon you get to meet some of the staff and get to speak with them face to face. Also you get to see firsthand the new features and they are demonstrated then and there. So you get to see what is coming up and see which solutions could help your clients.
The are inspirational speakers as well helps to keep your motivation levels up and if you take staff with you it helps to motivate them and allow them to feel part of the business Xero journey.
Why do you come back year after year?
I’ve never regretted going to any Xerocon. It feels like catching up with the family in a way. I kind of feel connected to Xero and I just simply wouldn’t miss it.
I’ve found that, ever since we started going, our interaction with our clients has improved. We get excited about the latest and greatest announcements from Xerocon and we pass that excitement onto them. The way we work with our clients is so much better.