It’s almost time…
Email auto-responders are on standby, your suitcase is out and ready to pack and you’ve cleared space in your drawers for the next round of goodie bags.
This can only mean one thing.
Accountex 2019 is around the corner!
Now, I know what you’re thinking…
“Here’s another speaker bombarding me with info on why I should visit their stand or listen to their seminar”
Well…aside from that fact that you should come and visit my stand and see my keynote that’s not the purpose of this article…
Each year thousands of Accountants, myself included, head to Accountex to see what exciting trends, services and technology are developing in the profession.
Many people also head down without a plan, without any idea where to go, who to watch and what they want to take away.
In my opinion, this is a waste of a great opportunity.
With a bit of careful planning, you can ensure your visit to Accountex 2019 is one where you leave with a clear idea of what you need to do to improve your firm, and how you’re going to do it.
So, with this in mind, here are 7 ways to get the most out of Accountex 2019….
1.Decide what you want to get out of it
It’s important before you attend that you work out exactly what you want to get out of the 2 days.
If you don’t know why you’re going and what you want to get out of it, then you’re wasting your own time.
It’ll cost you time, and it’ll cost you money, so you need to make sure your attendance has a positive impact on your practice.
So, the very first thing you should do is to sit down with your team and figure out what you want to take away from the experience.
This could be a number of things:
- Increased knowledge around specific areas e.g. Tax
- Business connections e.g peers or providers to the profession
- Latest technology & innovation
- New systems that you can implement
- Marketing or growth advice
Sure you can do this step by yourself – but I find getting your team involved in these kinds of decisions is often much more beneficial.
2. Pick your keynotes & sessions beforehand
Once you’ve established why you’re going, you’ll have a better idea of who you want to listen to.
Now Accountex has an incredible line-up of key-notes and speakers across the two days and is showcasing some of the industry’s top experts, thought-leaders and influencers.
(Shameless plug time…You can find me on Day 1 in Keynote B at 4pm where I’ll be showing you how to deliver an exceptional client experience in an increasingly digital age. You can jump the queue and reserve your seat here)
But it’s pointless sitting listening to a session which has no relevance to your practice goals…however awesome the reputation of the speaker.
So, once you’ve worked out what you want to gain from Accountex, listen in on speakers that will have a genuine impact on you and your firm right now.
It’ll save you from information overload and mean you focus your time on what matters right now.
3. Pick out stands & exhibitors in advance
The same rules apply to exhibitor stands, as to the Keynotes and Speakers.
You can easily get drawn into spending hours watching tech demos you never intend on following up on…
…or you could be tempted by the stand with delicious looking cupcakes, you’re only human after all.
So check out who’s exhibiting in advance, and visit the ones most relevant to what you and your practice needs.
Psst! You’ll find me on stand 336 where I’m running a top-secret mission with a secret giveaway that will save you time AND put more cash in your bank… Just look out for the special agents – but be careful, you absolutely must NOT ask about our top-secret giveaway – the snipers will be watching you!
4. Teamwork makes the dream work
If you’ve involved your team in the initial planning of the event, then why not take a couple of your team members along with you?
That way, should speakers you’re interested in be on at the same time, you can ensure you’ve got both sessions covered and don’t miss out.
It’s also a good idea to allow your team members to explore over the few days and report back to you on their findings once it’s concluded.
Not only is it a great opportunity for staff to buy-in to your practice’s development but they can also pick up on useful exhibitors, make positive connections and may catch things that you potentially miss.
5. Get connecting
Not everyone is a social butterfly and the thought of networking and speaking to strangers can conjure up nightmares for a lot of people.
But networking can have a large number of benefits for your practice, and where better to start than the UK’s biggest conference for Accountants?
If you’ve done your research before, you should be able to pick out key attendees who will have a positive impact on your firm.
So, use your time wisely, put yourself forward, introduce yourself and have a conversation.
It’s going to be a very busy couple of days with plenty of people to meet, so make sure your connections don’t end the moment you walk out the Excel on the 2nd.
Taking someone’s business card, or scribbling down an email isn’t enough.
Get your diary out, get a date in and make sure your conversation will be picked up further down the line.
Another top tip – connect with them on Linkedin before the conference. That way you can let them know you’ll be attending and arrange a meet-up while you’re there!
6. Block out time and take action
It’s all well and good picking up your goodie bags, watching those keynotes, absorbing all the new ideas and making new connections.
But if you do absolutely nothing with the knowledge and connections gained, then you may as well hadn’t bothered…
So, it’s important to block out some time in advance so that when you’re back you can sit down with your team and figure out what action you’re going to take.
This could be:
- Meeting up with some of the connections you made
- Trying out that new software demo
- Implementing the new ideas and strategies you’ve learnt
Accountex 2019 will be as valuable as you choose to make it.
7. Consider it an investment in your firm
I all too often hear practice owners say “I just don’t have enough hours in the day!” or “I’m just too busy”.
So, it’s all the more important that we use our time effectively.
Why should you spend your valuable time, money and effort travelling down to the Excel with no plans for what you want to take from it or intentions to action afterwards.
Accountex 2019 could have an incredibly positive impact on you and your business…
It can kick-start valuable relationships, drive your business forwards and inspire your team to buy-in to your vision.
But only if you plan, engage and take action properly.
I look forward to seeing you there.
P.S. In case you missed all of the shameless promo plugs above, here’s how you can see me at Accountex:
- Come and visit me on Stand 336. This year, I have a secret mission for you….but you must absolutely NOT ask me or any of my team members on the stand about it. Seriously, shhhh, the snipers will be watching…. you heard nothing about a top-secret giveaway that can save you time AND put more cash in your bank.
- Why not come and listen to my Keynote speech at 4pm on Wednesday in Keynote B. I’ll be sharing how you can deliver an exceptional client experience that inspires loyalty, drives repeat business and maximises your profitability. You don’t want to miss it.
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