Last year, #QBConnect was the event of the year for accounting and bookkeeping professionals.
Of course, the food was yummy and the entertainment divine. But, to fully relish in the glory of being at this event, you must do 3 things:
- Step out of your shell. Say hi! Exchange information and social media channels. Your next mentor may be just a handshake away. At these events, individuals are in the sharing mode. Embrace it. After all, knowledge is meant to be shared.
- Take in the show room floor, abound with third party applications that integrate with QuickBooks® Online (QBO). Visit each booth and introduce yourself. At elite conferences such as QBConnect, you can expect to find the best of the best when it comes to knowledge, sales and leadership. These application companies don’t send the D team; they send an A team (CEOs, developers, and perhaps, the VP of sales) to teach you everything about their application. Be prepared to take notes. Evernote is super handy for this. Ask to video a demo that is being done for reference. Get contact information and find out when their next webinar series is. At these booths, you’ll likely find other accounting pros using the product. Don’t be shy. Ask for their candid feedback, too.
- Learn. Before the conference, come up with a plan. Carefully review the presenters and make a goal sheet for what you want to learn. Do you want to learn more about social media? Perhaps, leadership or value pricing? Either way, come up with a plan to get the best out of your day. Remember to fuel yourself and sneak in a couple of snacks with you. If an opportunity exists to research something or speak to a key individual, it may be worth skipping the all-you-can-eat buffet. Remember to get sleep in order to take in the early morning sessions. I know it’s hard with the late-night after parties.
For me, the real gold was in two events held on the last day, early in the morning. I wanted to focus on the breakout sessions, and I’m glad I did because this is where I gained the most profound insight. Sometimes, the best knowledge comes from the smaller venues.
Geni Whitehouse was first. Wow! I think I found a new mentor! This rocking CPA is also a bona fide comedian. Her message resonated strong and true. Here is what I jotted down, while giggling like a schoolgirl:
- Even a nerd can be heard.
- Don’t start on social media.
- Your message starts in the heart, and comes from within.
- Then, take your message to social media.
Isn’t that something? Honestly, it’s common sense, but so many business people don’t think that way. “To be an influencer,” Geni said, “you have to find a way to connect. It’s not about you; it’s about caring about your audience. If there is one person in your audience who needs to hear what you have to say, then that’s all that matters. You can’t please everybody.”
What was even more amazing was that Geni took the time to speak to this little Canadian, who is only just getting her feet wet. I felt she took me under her wing when she shared with me how to be a great speaker and how to influence change. I was awestruck by her super helpful presentation and her energized stage presence. When I paid her this compliment, her response was simple: “This is how you do it.”
My next favourite was Nerd Enterprises Inc., brought to us by Seth David.
This was a “hang onto your hats” kind of session. It totally was against the grain, and I loved it! The focus on this breakout session was to educate the audience on how to use video as a medium to communicate with clients and the benefits of it.
It was fast-paced and amazing! We went in-depth through video editing software called Camtasia Studio.
Seth described how he uses videos to reach potential clients and service existing clientele.
So, thanks Geni and Seth! Meeting you at #QBConnect in San Jose, Calif., has made my 2016 look even brighter and more promising than last year!
To keep the conversation going, let’s connect on social media. I can be found on Twitter @mooredetails, and on my blog.