Top (honest) tips for exhibitors at Xerocon

With less than 2 weeks to go, now is the time for sales leaders to be gearing up their teams for opportunities such as:

⭐ Maximum brand exposure

⭐ Lead generation 

⭐ Professional development

Spotlight Reporting has attended well over 20 Xerocons across the globe since the very first official con was held in Taupo in 2011. 

Our Founder & CEO, Richard Francis, has starred in many Xerocons over the years. “Have fun, learn and take notes - and leave with more friends and business contacts than you started with :)”, says Richard.

I’ll be on the ground again this year, and I’m super excited to be leading our AU team, supporting them to share the Spotlight Reporting goodness, and encouraging all to make many new friends and build industry knowledge at every turn. I’m also very much looking forward to reconnecting with our existing ecosystem friends.

As a sales leader, here are my top (honest) tips for getting the best out of your exhibitor investment across the two jam-packed days.

Tip 1: Start standing up now!

Being at Xerocon is like working in retail or hospitality for two very full days… you’ll be on your feet all day and well into the night too…

Action: Start working from a stand-up desk now (if you don’t already) for the next two weeks - ensuring you’re training your body to be well prepared for the long days (your legs will thank you for this prep). And of course, wear comfortable shoes, or if you’re like me… comfortable heels ;).

Tip 2: Plan ahead

Set clear KPIs and expectations:

These events are costly as an exhibitor investment, not to mention travel and productivity hours, so it’s important to plan ahead so the whole team has a very clear understanding of how to represent your brand and clear milestones you’d like to achieve. 

Action: set clear KPIs for the 2 days for each staff member. Ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, and what they need to achieve personally and as a collaborative team.

Identify fellow exhibitors to connect with:

Xero’s ecosystem has great diversity as there are over 1,000 app solutions for all kinds of practices and small businesses, and as we all have a similar target market, it’s ideal to ensure your team is planning to get to know the ecosystem partners. So before Xerocon kicks off, it’s a good idea to check out who else is exhibiting. This knowledge also ensures your team is educated on the wider industry, bringing that challenger approach to their sales craft long after this event.

Action: Allocate 3 exhibitors to each team member ahead of time. Encourage your team to visit exhibitor stands, to learn about that solution and how it helps. Plan for a quick team share after the event. It’s also a great way to ensure your solution is known so that suitable delegates can be sent your way.

Build an agenda for your professional development:

Check out the Xerocon agenda and decide across your team, who will be attending what sessions. It’s important for this event to be an educational opportunity for your team too.

Action: Give each team member a challenge to learn 5 new things to share at your next team meeting following the event.

Tip 3: Arrive early to build team camaraderie, and get the lay of the land

Getting there early to set up and get the team united and pumped is ideal. You can get snaps before the crowd arrives at the stand for early social posts. It’s also a great time to walk around, say “g-day” to fellow exhibitors and get the lay of the land. Xerocon is so exciting and different every year, with so much to see and take in over the 2 days, so knowing your surroundings early will help you and assist you to help others navigate.

Action: After setting up - ensure you and your team take a quick happy snap and then a walk around to feel comfortable in the space before it kicks off.

Tip 4: Believe in the delegates and yourself 

Events like Xerocon can be a little overwhelming if you’ve never been, especially if you’re used to being the reactive type that waits for someone to approach you. Some delegates can be shy folk but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. Know that the delegates are there to discover what’s new in our industry and to gain knowledge on what solution can help them run smarter businesses, and they want to chat with you to learn more about what you do.

Action: Be proactive, make eye contact with the passer-by and ensure your stand is a warm friendly place to approach. When you’re not on the stand - say "g-day" to everyone anyway and invite delegates over for more information.

Tip 5: Be SUCCINCT with your pitch

Delegates will want to get around to as many exhibitors as they can, and only have so much time during breaks in the agenda. When they approach your stand, be super succinct on what you offer and solve for. Plus be ready with clear cut-through questions to gain fast insight into their business and their current pain.

Action: Role play at your internal meetings prior to the event. Set up a form for a quick Q&A, plus QR codes are great to go straight to calendar bookings at the stand.

Tip 6: Be a great stand facilitator 

It’s fabulous to have the opportunity to engage with interested prospects to share your solution’s goodness, but it’s also important to know when the right time is to wrap things up. In busy times, your stand can be 3 or 4 deep, so having confidence and diplomacy to manage the stand is vital.

Action: If there are delegates waiting to talk with you and the team - bring everyone together and do a mini presentation to the crowd, instead of 1:1, which slows things down too much. Ask your colleague to collect details simultaneously. 

Tip 7: Plan to dedicate full days to Xerocon and the additional events

Xerocon isn’t just Xerocon - there will be events prior and after, which are perfect for networking over a drink in a relaxed environment. Encourage your team members to join these events too - to build their network, continue learning and have fun. Don’t forget to also look after each other.

Action: Introduce your colleagues when you see someone you already know. Ensure everyone is clear on the company code of conduct and safe travel home is planned prior.

Tip 8: Rest afterwards 

Over the years, I remember attending Xerocon and then coming home to a busy bustling household of young kids, where they thought I’d been away on a holiday. Xerocon can be your busiest few days of the year, and you’ll be super tired and worn out after the event. It’s advisable to let family / friends / housemates know you may need a break from human interaction afterwards ;).

Action: Let loved ones know in advance how hard you’ll be working and that you’ll need some r&r over the days following.

It’s not a junket for us exhibitors, it’s hard work, but I promise you’ll get out what you put in. Follow my tips, and we can all leave feeling proud that we have made the cloud accounting sector better for Australian businesses, and made many new friends along the way.

“Have fun, learn and take notes - and leave with more friends and business contacts than you started with" - Richard Francis

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