xerocon 2011

Just had 2 days in Taupo at the Xero Partner conference – a couple hundred accountants and others from add-on software that works with Xero – gathered together to hear presentations from government, small business, software services and our team on what we’re building this year.

It was a great end to a week spent chaperoning Jason, one of our accounting partners from South Carolina, USA. He’s got such a cool southern accent and this was his first trip to New Zealand so we got to see our life and quirks through his eyes – the steering wheel on the wrong side, biscuits are cookies, light switches go the wrong way, no freeways between cities, everyone mumbles, mussels are huge, flat white is a type of coffee and you can go bungy jumping without insurance! It was a full on time for Jason with the Xero team and he barely got outside the office and didn’t get much of a look around Wellington – although here we are on the waterfront before dining at Shed 5.

Out with Jason

He made some small video diary entries while he was here and is posting the all up on his blog – thriveal.com (yes, one features me driving the car!)

The conference (dubbed xerocon) was amazing. If you think about any of the day-long conferences you’ve been to that are hosted by someone who supplies you with software or a service you probably think of boring speeches, neverending product demonstrations that go over your head, a conference bag of pamphlets and people dozing off in a much emptier conference room after lunch. Not so at our conference! Everyone seemed so engaged and they were all total Xero fans – I suppose the haters may’ve stayed away – but it was SO humbling to feel the buzz and hear the praise from everyone. And I thought we ran a pretty slick conference – mostly down to someone we work with but we all looked pretty snazzy in our matching t-shirts, engaging with everyone at the conference and there were no hiccups with wi-fi, aircon, lateness, boringness or walk-outs. It was just so great to get out of the office and see the effect we have on our customers.

The Mister unveiled a mobile application that he’s been building so that Xero works on your mobile phone – it’s a much awaited feature and there were two outbreaks of whooping and spontaneous applause as he showed how Xero would work on a phone – sending an invoice while on the road or taking a photo of a receipt and uploading it and storing it in Xero to save keeping paper. Awesome stuff!

Craig presenting

Here’s the team at the end of the conference – still smiling and a real family. First time I’ve worked for a company where I feel like that.

Xero conference team

Last night we had an awards ceremony to recognise the great work of some of our accounting and software partners in what they’re doing to get their clients using Xero or increasing the feature set of Xero with other programs which in turn brings us more customers. Mark Wright the comedian I most remember for satirical political skits where he played Ruth Richardson among others was the MC for the conference and awards ceremony and he was fantastic! Full of innuendo and in-jokes about accounts and technologists. I almost wet myself several times with laughter. And he was a good sport when The Mister said he looked like my bodyguard!

Me & my bodyguard

The awards were in a beautiful white marquee with Xero blue spot lights.

Xero Awards

The weekend finished off with a bungy jump for Jason and our Australia Country Manager, Wayne before we all went our separate ways – I’ve never been at a jump before – it was quite spectacular.

Jason bungy

1 comment so far ↓

#1 A visit with the twins — OrangeBlog on 02.13.11 at 9:32 pm

[…] was perfect to pop across to Mt Maunganui to catch up with our Chicago family after being at xerocon – just for a night but great to see everyone. The twins are almost 5 and we spent a few hours […]

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