High 5: Our top 5 takeaways from Xerocon 2019

(plus 1 more for good luck)

Last week, chata.ai’s very own trio of Xerocon rookies — Erica, Phil and Robyn — arrived in California for a whirlwind week of conferencing, networking, and scootering (if you know, you know) throughout the city of San Diego.

And while the three of us are still suffering from the post-conference blues and asking ourselves, “Why can’t we Xerocon more often?!”, we thought we’d take this opportunity to reflect on the event, who we met, what we learned, and where to find the best tacos in San Diego— trust us, we did the research.

Here’s our recap from Xerocon 2019:

1) 99 problems, but change ain’t one 

We chatted with so many forward-thinking, future-building people at, and around, this event. Xero users and soon-to-be Xero users, app partners, influencers, and the awesome Xero team are really levelling up this ecosystem. Over the course of the conference, one thing became absolutely clear: Xerocon-ers are at the top of their game, ready and excited for the next challenge.

Xerocon-ers are serious about embracing change, continuously learning, and working together to build a promising future for this ecosystem. It was incredibly energizing to spend 3 days with this group of progressive individuals who are on a mission to make small businesses better, together.

Shawn Kanungo group pose2) “AI will be the greatest thing for accountants”

If that sounds familiar, it’s because we’re quoting the absolutely-legendary Shawn Kanungo who gave an incredible keynote on Day 1 of Xerocon. Shawn’s presentation was a highlight for our entire team. His positive take on the future of the industry was nothing shy of inspiring and motivating. As tech continues to advance, creating next-level value in service offerings becomes essential.

New tech, and AI in particular, clears a lot of heavy labour off the table through innovation like automation and natural language processing. Tech is a work-horse, so financial professionals can play the role of knowledgeable farmer: cultivating client relationships, providing nourishing guidance, and digging up solutions that make a client’s day.

Artificial intelligence amplifies the impact of human intelligence: the social, emotional, and experience-based intelligence that is the foundation for meaningful connection and trusted advisory. It’s clear that AI has the potential to supercharge the profound influence this community has on small businesses around the world, and we’re excited to explore that together.

3) Xero Staff = The All-Star Line-Up

We’re not sure who hired all of these people but EVERY. SINGLE. MEMBER of the Xero team has clearly graduated from the school of “Building Purpose-Driven Communities” with a specialization in “Knowing How to Have a Good Time.” 

As the new kids on the block (not the band, this is just a metaphor) we were genuinely blown away by the level of support and enthusiasm from the entire Xero team. From the pre-Xerocon Marketplace Lunch and Canadian Cocktail Night (shoutout to our fellow Canucks!), to a jam-packed two days of insightful, progressive content and meaningful networking, to an incredible Wrap Party on the final night, the Xero team absolutely blew this event out of the water. We’re thrilled to be part of this community and we’re already counting down the days until Xerocon Brisbane. It’s 71, in case you were wondering. 

4) Let’s taco’bout the important stuff

Like tacos.

We ate one or two (dozen) tacos while we were down in Cali, and there’s one very important takeaway: If you’re in San Diego, you should probably just eat tacos for every single meal.

Our favourites? La Puerta in the Gaslamp Quarter and The Taco Stand near Cortez Hill. Fun fact: If you want to eat tacos correctly, tilt your head, not the taco.

5) Xerocon, bring your ‘eh game!

We heard a little rumour that the jury is still out on a location for Xerocon 2020. Whether or not that’s true, we thought we’d throw our vote into the mix: Canada for Xerocon 2020!

We’re not picky though. We’d be happy with Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto… and not to inflict any sort of bias, but Calgary is a pretty perfect option too. The city is famous for the Calgary Stampede, so the theme for Xerocon practically writes itself… Saddle up, y’all.

If Xerocon does indeed make it North of the border, here’s a couple of things to note:

      Canadian delicacies will be in abundance! Think ketchup chips, poutine, and beaver tails (don’t fret, it’s a delightful dessert, not a carnivorous attack on our very own national animal!)

      There might be snow on the ground. Yes, Xerocon happens in June, but let’s be real: it’s Canada, crazier things have happened.

One more for good luck…

Scooter GangSomeone really needs to run a risk assessment on those scooters.

Like, really.

And a related hot tip: If anyone is interested in behind-the-scenes footage of Scootercon 2019, XU Magazine will be publishing a highlight reel in the next edition of their magazine*.

*This isn’t true, but we really wish it were.

That’s it, that’s all from the chata.ai team!

Until next time, Xerocon-ers…

X