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Xerocon Sydney: Reflections from our APAC leadership team

September 21, 2022

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It’s been exactly two weeks today since Xerocon Sydney kicked off, and it’s safe to say we’re still buzzing from the experience. In case you missed it, we wrapped the event with a special sign-off from our APAC leadership team. Joseph Lyons, Managing Director for APAC, took to the main stage with Will Buckley, Koren Wines and Bridget Snelling – our Country Managers for Australia, Asia and New Zealand, respectively. They shared their highlights, reflections and all-around gratitude to our community for making Xerocon 2022 one to remember. Read on to hear what they had to say.

Tell us, what are your biggest takeaways from Xerocon Sydney?

Joe: “Throughout Xerocon, we spoke about purpose, partnership and continuing to drive innovation. But what really stood out to me within these conversations is the importance of community. It’s clear that together, we’re committed to collaborating in order to keep improving – which is pretty special.”

Bridget: “I thought about our purpose – to make life better for small businesses, their advisors, and communities around the world – and asked myself, what does this actually mean? What brought it home were the real-life stories I heard at Xerocon. For instance, we have a customer in the trucking industry who has digitised their logbooks so their drivers can spend less time on manual, written entries and get home to have dinner with their families. This is just one (of many) examples that shows us what an amazing opportunity we have to guide small businesses into a more digital, efficient and productive future – all so they focus on what’s most important in life.”

Why is Xerocon such a special event, and what does it mean to our community?

Will: “I’ve been with Xero for seven years now and have been lucky enough to spend a lot of that time in Canada and the US. But there’s nothing like coming home to familiar faces. So what’s been most special about Xerocon for me is seeing people smiling from ear to ear. I walked the expo floor and witnessed how everyone interacted, sharing stories and learnings. And it reignited a desire for us, at Xero, to do more of that. Moving forward, I’m excited to be more outward facing – working alongside our partners to help their clients get the most out of being a connected business and enjoying the experience along the way.”

What gives you a sense of hope and optimism from Xerocon?

Koren: “There are so many reasons to be optimistic about what lies ahead, and Xerocon was a real testament to this. What stood out to me is that everybody – especially our partners from Asia, who contended with complex travel requirements from visas and in some cases, quarantine to get to Sydney – made a huge effort to show up. It speaks volumes about their commitment to our partnership. This camaraderie between Xero and our community fuels a sense of hope that we can make a real difference – not just in Asia and APAC, but across the globe.”

What was one Xerocon highlight you’ll remember for years to come?

Joe: “There are so many, like connecting with our partners and hearing from our amazing external speakers. But if I had to pick one, it would probably be Yve Blake’s keynote about the power of fangirls. As a father of two young daughters, I immediately wanted to pick up the phone and tell them how special and important they are to me.”

Bridget: “I have two highlights. The first was Rachael Powell’s keynote about Generation Alpha being the customers of the future. I have three little Alphas at home, so seeing the world through their eyes was fascinating. The second was Connor McLeod’s speech. At age 15, Connor lobbied Australia’s Reserve Bank to include tactile features on banknotes so that people like him, born blind or with vision impairment, could move through the world a little easier. His resilience and tenacity blew me away.”

Will: “My highlight would have to be hearing from Chris Jordan AO, Commissioner of Taxation for the ATO. As a tax agent myself, the Commissioner has always been a bit of an enigma. So I appreciated his willingness to be open and transparent with our partners. And yes, I was fanboying!”

Koren: “I thought the opening ceremony and Welcome to Country were beautiful, as was Adam Goodes’ interview with Matt Okine. Although I’m a Melburnian, I don’t follow football (I know, it’s sacrilege!). But his story is one that changed Australia – AFL fan or not. He proved that if we shine a light on important issues like casual racism, we can act and collectively change the situation for the better. Hearing his story shared on the Xerocon main stage is something I’ll remember forever.”

Thank you to our partners, ecosystem, keynote speakers and everyone involved in making Xerocon Sydney a resounding success. We had a ball, and hope you did too. Until next time!

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