XeroCon London 2017 – The 4 Common Mistakes To Avoid & My Top Tips For Success

XeroCon London 2017 is set to be a fantastic event.

There is a fantastic lineup of speakers, there’s some great exhibitors there, and you’re going meet so many other progressive forward thinking accountancy firms who are there to grow their firm, discover new technology, meet new people, and really get the most out of the event.

However, most visitors that turn up to any conference like this actually turn up half-cocked and don’t end up getting the most out of this event.

It becomes a waste of money, a waste of your time, and a waste of resources if you’re sending other staff there as well.

What I want to do is highlight the four key mistakes that most accountancy firms make when turning up to conferences like XeroCon, and how to avoid them so you can get the most out of it for yourself and for your firm.


Mistake #1 – No Plan

The first mistake that most accountancy firms make when they turn to an event like XeroCon is that they don’t have a plan.

They’ve not thought through what they actually want to get out of it for their firm, so they just turn up half-cocked.

What you must do is make a plan.

You need to know…

  • What talks you’re going to attend? If there’s more than one of you attending, who’s going to go to which talk?
  • Which are the stands that you want to go and visit?
  • What’s the technology that you’re looking to invest in?
  • Who are the people you’re looking to meet?
  • What are the other accountancy firms that are going there that you’d like to connect up with?

You have to have this plan in place, otherwise it’s just going to be a huge waste of your time.

If you go to https://theprofitablefirm.com/xerocon-marketing-tips/, they’ve put a fantastic detailed plan about all the different things you should be doing before you show up to an event like this.


Mistake #2 – No Action-Mindset

The next mistake that people make is they just take a bunch of business cards and think that that’s going to be enough.

They don’t actually turn up with an action-mindset.

They’re not going there thinking, I’m actually going to make a difference, we’re going take some actions, we’re going to do some things when we arrive.

They turn up with a bunch of business cards and they think that’s gonna be enough.

If you do that, what’s going to end up happening is, you’re going to end up leaving XeroCon with a bag of swag.

So you need to buy them something good by the way. What you’ll end up with up with is turn up with a just a bag of swag and business cards, which you’re probably going to take back to your office, set them on your desk for a week, maybe a month, and at some point you’ll then sweep them off into the bin.

I’m going to XeroCon and I’m going there to take action.


That’s my advice, don’t take business cards to an event like this.

Turn up with your phone.

Connect with people while you’re there.

Put dates in the diary.

There’s so many apps that you can take a screenshot of the business card, and it’ll turn it into a contact on your phone and actually enter them into your CRM system.

You can connect with them on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, connect with them on Facebook.

Send them an email there and then.

A really good tip that I like to do at an even like this, is to actually do a quick selfie with them, and then to send that picture through on Twitter, or to send it through via email, because by the end of the two, three days, you won’t remember all these names and business cards and who you met.

The point is, you’ve got this incredible piece of technology in your hand that can take photographs, capture details, start contacts, and set dates in diaries. It’s far more powerful than a business card.

I just turn up with my phone to events like this, because I’m actually turning up with an action mindset.

I’m going there because I want to take specific action, not just hand out business cards.

It is not enough for you to do that.


Mistake #3 – No Actions On The Day

The third mistake that a lot of accountancy firms make, and this is a really key one, I learned this from Terry Robins, is they don’t take action while they’re there.

What ends up happening is, you go to an event like this, you meet some incredible people, you hear some amazing talks and you leave there feeling really inspired.

The biggest thing for me about events like this, is the other people that are there.

Everyone’s there to develop themselves, to develop their firm, to make their life, their business, themselves better.

Just being around that positivity, for me, is the most wonderful thing about being at any event like this.

What then happens is you leave an event like this, you’ve all these great ideas, all these great intentions, things you wish to sign up for, people you wish to meet and dates to set in your diary.

But then you don’t action while you’re there and when you go back to your office, you find out that things have hit the fan while you’ve been away and that momentum very, very quickly dies.

What I learnt to do is actually take the action while you’re in that positive mindset.

Take the actions WHILE YOU’RE THERE.

If there’s some technology that you want to sign up for, a demo or a free trial of, sign up for it while you’re there, while you’re fired up about it.

If there’s some business mentor you think you’d like to do some work with, book onto their next programme, book onto their next session. At least book a day into your diary.

Take one step towards the goal while you’re at the event, because that one step will start momentum towards you actually achieving that goal, which is ultimately what you want to get out of the event.

Take action while you’re at the event.

Book dates in diaries, start free trials, sign up for subscriptions, arrange to meet people, book onto conferences.

I’m not saying get your credit card out your pocket and go absolutely mental and spend a fortune, I’m just saying take positive action towards the goals you want to achieve, which you can only do if you have a clear plan in the first place.


Mistake #4 – No Follow-Up Plan

The final mistake most accountancy firms will make which have been to XeroCon, is they will go back to work on Friday with all the very best intentions in the world and then….. nothing.

All motivation will have died, intentions will go, the people you planned on meeting, the things you planned on signing up for will all fade, because you never had a clear plan in place in terms of what you’re going to do afterwards.

We need a follow up plan.

This is really key.

What I encourage you to do is don’t work on the Friday.

Cancel all those meetings and tell people you’re not coming into the office.

Then what you should be doing with that Friday is…

  • Write up your notes from the event.
  • Write down all of your learnings.
  • Write down all of your key action points that you’re going to implement in the following week when you get back into work on the Monday.
  • Make the phone calls.
  • Send the emails
  • Do the sign-up
  • Book the date

Do whatever it is you’re going do, but use that following day to actually take all of the inspiration from the event and do something with it. Otherwise, again, nothing will happen.

You’ll leave with the best intentions, but they’ll just nosedive as you go back to work on the Friday.



There’s an interesting stat I once read which is, only 5% of people who attend events like Xerocon actually take any meaningful action once they leave.

The irony about that number is that about 5% would’ve taken those actions whether they went to the event or not.

What you need to make sure of is that you’re not part of the 95%.

You need to make sure that you’re are making a plan before you go, that you don’t take business cards, that you actually turn up with an action mindset, that you take action while you are there, and that you don’t work Friday.


Want To Meet Up?

I’ll be attending XeroCon of course, with my GoProposal team.

It’d be fantastic to meet up with you whilst we are there. We’re not exhibiting this year, but we’ll be doing so next year, because we’ve now just been awarded our partner app status.

GoProposal is now fully integrated with Xero.

We’re now featuring on their marketplace with five star reviews already which is absolutely awesome.

So it would be great to meet up with you while we’re there.

If you want to hook up with me, just find me on Twitter @TheJamesAshford. Connect with me on LinkedIn, or Facebook.

Drop me a message and we’ll meet up for a coffee or go visit some stands together, go watch a talk together or maybe grab a cheapy pint afterwards as well.

Hope you get everything that you’re looking for from Xerocon London 2017, and remember…

  1. Make a plan before you go.
  2. Don’t take your business cards. (Turn up with an action mindset.)
  3. Take action while you are there.
  4. Don’t work Friday, so you can make sure that you do the proper follow up that you need to.

It’s going be a fantastic event. I’m really excited about it. Hope you get so much out of it. Hope to meet up with you there. Hope that we can take everything from this event that you’re looking for to really take your accountancy firm to the next level.


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