Xerocon London 2016 Wrap up blog

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, when you tell most people you’ve been to an accounting conference they look at you like you’ve just arrived back from planet boring. The reality is that Xerocon is genuinely fun to be be at. We've prepared a blog post to share a little of what we learnt and highlight the popular topics we helped Xero parters with.

A lesson in building a brand

We were Xero users before we were a Xero add-on partner and it’s been cool to see both the platform and the brand develop each year. I downloaded the Xerocon app shortly before before the big event and was amazed to see the genuine delight and excitement amongst accountants, bookkeepers and add-on partners on route to the event. Xero certainly know how to run a great event and those that have been there before look forward in anticipation.

Here’s what I observed about building a brand:

  • Xero genuinely listen to their users and Xerocon is a great chance to show how they listen by showing new features and their roadmap.
  • Xero make it fun. Starting with the free cabs and old Routemaster double decker bus transport, through to engaging speakers, tasty food, real coffee and juices and then the Xerocon party (more on that below!).
  • They bring their partners along for the ride. Xero are great at sharing their knowledge of running a SAAS business with smaller businesses like ours and that in turn builds a fan base amongst the add-ons who genuinely appreciate Xero’s support and we spread the word too.

Photo from Xero

The winners - a common theme

There is a common theme amongst the winners of the various awards - they truly work to the benefit of their clients and harness the tools which can help their clients streamline their business.

This year Carpenter Box took home the partner of the year award and their creation of BITE2015 (a Xerocon type event for end users to introduce them to Xero and add-ons) was noted in the award announcement. We had the pleasure of supporting BITE2015 by designing via our friends at The Profitable Firm marketing agency.

Similarly, Sharon Pocock of Kinder Pocock won the MVP award and she actively seeks out not only to understand Xero but the wider Xero ecosystem.

BTW - What do Partner of the Year winners Valued Accountancy (2015 UK), Carpenter Box (2016 UK) and Rightway (2015 NZ) have in common? They are all Rocketspark clients for either their main site, an event site or team intranet site.

Strength in the add-on community

Xero shared that their own conversion to paying users is 3x higher when connected to an ecosystem partner and in the UK the attach rate for an add-on is 27%. With so many add-ons that can genuinely streamline a small business there is still a lot of potential to help small businesses harness these great tools for doing expenses and invoices, payments, online booking, project management, time tracking and ecommerce.

Learn more about Rocketspark ecommerce with Xero.

Don’t wait a year!

We had the pleasure of meeting clients who we first met at Xerocon last. It was great to hear their stories and we filmed a few for you.

There were others we met who were interested in a new website at Xerocon London 2015 and came back to see us again this year and said “we’re finally ready to get going with a new website”. A year is too long to wait and an accountant or bookkeeper website doesn’t need to be overly complex. Check out our blog about the essentials of an effective website for accountants.

See what a few clients had to say about Xerocon and Rocketspark in the video below.

The missing basics on a website

We reviewed many accountant and bookkeeper websites over the course of two days at Xerocon and there were some consistent observations for quick wins to improve their websites.

The Xerocon party

After a long day standing (sore feet!) and talking I must admit that a party wasn't top of the list. This party though gets a special mention. It was fun! With a steady stream of great food, a pancake bar, large live band, dance floor and most importantly 2 mechanical surfboards and the chance to win an Apple Watch for the longest ride.

Rocketspark was well represented on the surfing leaderboard but we were pipped at the post.

Thanks Xero for a superb event!