We chat to WorkflowMax Account Manager Dion Eade and Channel Manager Lauren Hicks before they head off to Xerocon Atlanta 2018. Get the inside scoop on who they are, why they love Xero and their tips on making the most of your Xerocon experience as an attendee!
Want some advice on the team’s Xerocon must-dos? Click here.Hi Dion and Lauren! What are your respective roles and how did you get started?
Dion: I’m an account manager at WorkflowMax and I look after new trialists in New Zealand, the US, and Canada, alongside my colleague Lauren Hicks.
I love that because we’re in a global business there’s quite a lot of breadth in terms of what I do.
I also deal with WorkflowMax implementation partners and our new partner program which will have a big impact on my role. My background is somewhat non-traditional - I did an Economics and Finance degree but ended up getting into sales. When this job came up at Xero I jumped at the chance!
Lauren: My current role is the WorkflowMax Channel Manager for the United States and Canada. I’ve been at Xero for 6 years. I started out as a Xero account manager working within our accounting and bookkeeping channel, eventually working my way into a more senior role working with some of our larger partners. At the first US Xerocon in 2013, I met one of the co-founders of WorkflowMax who asked me to become the first member of the WorkflowMax sales team in North America. About 6 months later I was flying out to New Zealand to meet with the team and learn the ins and outs of the product. It’s been a wild ride ever since!
Since you’re the newer of the two, what do you think about working at Xero Dion?
Dion: It’s an amazing place to work. It’s unusual to be in such a large company but still feel like you’re in quite a small tight knit team.
The culture is amazing, the people are great - that’s probably the best thing about working at Xero and WorkflowMax.
Just on the spot, what do you get up to outside work? What makes you tick?
Dion: Interesting question! I do all the normal stuff like catching up with family and friends and watching Netflix etc. but I tend to actually do a lot of learning in my spare time - I used to brew my own beer too. I also teach myself programming and have a bit of an interest in genetics.
Is there anything you personally are excited about - like any of the events or speakers at Xerocon?
Lauren: This will be my 6th Xerocon so I am most looking forward to seeing how this conference has evolved from the first one way back in 2013 and to hear what our partners are most excited about (product wise) for the future.
Dion: I’m just excited to be there in the atmosphere of the conference as a whole.
You just know that the event is going to be filled with all sorts of exciting announcements, feature updates and inspiring speakers.
Have you ever been to Atlanta before? Is there anything you’d like to do or see when you’re over there?
Dion: I haven’t actually! I only really know two things about Atlanta: One, the TV show (which I loved - it was great!), and two, my Dad’s been there and he said it was fantastic. He recommended I should definitely see a sports game while I’m there - even if I’m not that interested in sport (which I’m not.) It’s supposed to be an awesome experience, they go all out over there; a basketball game would be great if there is one on.
Image from nba.com
Otherwise I think there’s an aquarium and a botanical garden there, the nerd in me would want to go to those!
Image from Atlanta Business Chronicle
Lauren: I have been to Atlanta before, we had a Xero Roadshow there a few years ago. The south is quite a different culture from where I live in California, so I always look forward to some good southern food, music and of course the accents!
What will you personally get out of attending Xerocon?
Dion: Just based on what other people say after going to Xerocon, there’s just such a buzz to it, and everyone loves going. The networking, insights and the overall connections that are made are so valuable and the chance to meet some of our customers in person will be a real highlight.
Lauren: It’s a chance to meet, mingle, and develop relationships with Xeros that are remote and work out of the other offices, which is always a plus.
Must Do #1: Set a goal. What outcome do you want to achieve from the conference and what will have the most benefit to your company? It’s a sentiment we hear often and rarely apply but getting a clear picture of what you want to get out of Xerocon will help you avoid information overload.
Must Do #2: Plan your time effectively. With so much going on at Xerocon, you’ll need to manage your time carefully and avoid being pulled in all different directions. For example, focus on going to only the relevant sessions to your goals, make sure to hang out with your team, take the time to meet new people, share the love on social, and get some R&R in the evenings!
Must Do #3: Pre-arrange your meet ups - The real joy of conferences comes from the opportunities to connect with people in the accounting and bookkeeping industry, as well as the Xero team. But with so much going it can be crazy! If there are people you know you want to connect with, it pays to arrange a meetup with them before you arrive at the conference. Send a LinkedIn message to connect beforehand, or make a point of direct messaging them to connect.
Thanks Lauren & Dion! We’re sure you’ll both have an amazing time.
Heading to Xerocon? Make sure you check out the WorkflowMax stand, chat to the team, and find out about how WorkflowMax can help you or your client’s business. For more information join one of our free webinars below!