It attracts thousands of accountants and bookkeepers from around the world, puts the latest Xero product announcements up in lights, and invites you to choose your own adventure among our breakout discussions and ecosystem partners, but the importance of coming together for Xerocon Brisbane 2019 is about more than fun and fanfare.
As we focus on our partner and small business community, we’ve also been busy making improvements to create a more sustainable Xerocon for 2019 – and here’s some of what you can expect.
Love local: We are happy to be hosting Xerocon in Brisbane this year, but we’re not doing it alone. We’ve invited local businesses – including Gelato à Go-Go – to join us on-site, to give you a taste of Queensland as we support local trade.
Consider the coffee: Xerocon is a packed two-day agenda and, for many, we know coffee keeps the cogs turning as you soak up new information and share amongst your peers. We’ll ensure the hot stuff is pouring out of pit stops around the exhibition hall, as usual, and have non-toxic, non-harmful recyclable BioPak coffee cups at hand. But we’ll remind you to leave the lid (which is less easily recycled) behind. More of a water baby? No need for single-use plastic. You’ll receive a reusable Xerocon Brisbane 2019 water bottle that you can refill at various water stations.
Plastic pocket-less lanyards: Lanyards help us to keep you registered and safe at big events, but this year we’ve said no to the plastic pocket and ensured the backing card is made with a biodegradable laminate. We know that’s only part of the answer – the other part is up to you. We’ll have a place for you to deposit your lanyards at the end of Day Two so, with your help, we can ensure the materials are recycled appropriately.
Swag savvy: Conferences are not all about the freebies – as many of us become increasingly conscious of the environmental impact that discarded swag can have. Over the last few months, our events and ecosystem teams have been attending speaking events and sharing tips with exhibitors to encourage a conscious approach to merchandise. Meanwhile, we encourage you to only take home with you what you think you’ll re-use.
Bags of promise: You may remember from previous Xerocons that we had reused backpacks and cotton totes on hand for anything you couldn’t carry. This year, we’re introducing reusable jute bags. The jute is a vegetable plant that grows in India and Bangladesh. It’s then harvested and put through a process to shred it and then knitted into a material we use. You’ll recognise jute as the material of choice in many supermarket shopping bags – so whether you’re carting around groceries or your gym gear, it’s sturdy enough to use time and time again.
Bring back buffets: Individually packaged lunch boxes may be all the rage, but single-use catering plastics can take over 200 years to decompose. In an effort to dramatically reduce event waste, we are going old school and bringing back the buffet-style lunch.
Vet the venue: We’ve also been chatting to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre about their wider sustainable practices – and were encouraged to learn some of their thoughtful food facts. The BCEC’s organic food waste dehydrator turns 100kg of organic waste generated by the Centre into 10kg of SoilFood – a nutrient-rich safe-to-handle soil enhancer. This is donated to the City Parklands Services and used in the South Bank and Roma Street Parklands.
Move your mind: Sometimes, the move to be more sustainable is as much a psychological change as it is a physical one. We’ve invited Dr. Richard Denniss, Chief Economist and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute, to Xerocon to share his thoughts around our need to be more materialistic. Sounds counterintuitive? If you love something, truly love it, he argues, you would cherish, maintain, repair and find new homes for your things when you no longer need them – and if we reshape our spending patterns we can reshape our entire economy. You can find Dr Denniss on a breakout stage, Day One at 4.30pm.
We believe in incorporating sustainable choices into our much-loved events, but we know we are early on our journey – and you, our community, are a fundamental part of it. We will share a digital feedback form with our attendees after the event, and we invite you to give us more tips toward a sustainable Xerocon in the future. If you’re interested in our broader work on social and environmental impact, check out xero.com/socialimpact.
See you at Xerocon.