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Opportunities to Learn & Connect – why attending conferences is a must for Bookkeeper’s personal and professional development

Wednesday 24th May 2017

As a bookkeeper, keeping up to date with what is happening in our industry has never been more important.

We are overwhelmed by the new technologies being released. We work harder, faster, smarter, stronger and still never have enough hours in the day. We are told that bookkeepers will be obsolete. We are told that if we don’t review our pricing models, we will be out of business.

Cloud technology enables us to be more efficient. The efficiencies it provides allows us to take on more clients. With growth comes new and additional challenges.

How can we make sense of it all?

For the last three years I have been attending conferences overseas. In 2013, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a special VIP event in Silicon Valley, California by Intuit (QuickBooks Online). Less than a month later, I returned to the U.S. This time to Vegas, to attend an industry conference run by The Sleeter Group http://www.sleetercon.com/ In 2014, I returned to this conference. This time accompanied by 4 others who were inspired to attend.

In 2014, Intuit ran their first QuickBooks Connect event http://quickbooksconnect.com/ I have just returned from QBConnect 2015 and what is now to be an annual event.

Why are these overseas events different to what we have in Australia?

I attend industry and software conferences in Australia, and will continue to do so. They are a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, to be updated with what is happening in our industry.

But there is something significantly bigger about the events held overseas.

After attending SleeterCon in 2013, I summed it up as a ‘Conference on Steroids’.

These events are not just about accounting but about how to run Small Business – more importantly, how YOU can help your clients in business. Turning a bookkeeper into a true advisor. To become THE Trusted Advisor for your clients.

The Exhibitors Hall (where the App Partners have their stands) is a one stop shop to view the App partners. Yes, we have that in Australia too. There is a difference though.

There are many Australian/NZ developers that attend these conferences. Being at these events with them is an opportunity to connect in a way we just don’t have back home. The connection developed at these events is far stronger than when attending a local event. Some very strong partner relationships can be established that will assist you in your business.

 Of course there are many partners who are not yet in Australia. Talk to these partners – discuss opportunities, build relationships. Who knows where they will lead?

Why are the App Partners so important?

The way forward is all about creating ecosystems – which apps are most important. Bundling Apps to help facilitate workflows. Helping to piece together a solution. Becoming the Trusted Advisor.

There are so many opportunities to learn at these events. With so many breakout sessions, led by industry peers and industry leaders, it is difficult to schedule in everything you want to participate in. Sekou Andrews, a key note speaker at QBConnect 2015, said “None of us have to be a self-made success – ALONE”.

How true. These conferences are all about making sure you are not alone. You are not alone in business, you are not alone in learning, you are not alone in life.

Back to my original question – How can we make sense of it all?

Be open to the change that is powering through our industry. “If we are not growing, we are dying”, (Robert Herjavec, Shark Tank USA)

Make a commitment to yourself. Just one small change in the way that you currently do things may be the catalyst required. For me, the most powerful statement of the QBConnect event was from Oprah Winfrey. “You are responsible for the energy you put into the world”. I believe in that with all my heart and soul.

 If this post has in anyway inspired you then I want you to join me in May 22-25, 2016 to attend a conference – Scaling New Heights https://woodardevents.com/

Should you require even more of an incentive to attend then how about this? The conference is being held in the BAHAMAS, at the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island!

I will be going. It is my opportunity to continue to grow. Let it be your opportunity too.

Send me a message and let’s see what we can achieve together.

This article first appeared in LinkedIn, November 14, 2015

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