infusioncon 2017 phoenix

Why invest in sending your accountancy team members to live events?


I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to attend ICON 2017 (the Infusionsoft conference in Arizona): which really got me thinking about what difference attending a live, in-person event can make.

There’s so many ways to learn and get your skills up to speed: online courses like we run ourselves, blogs, how-to videos and webinars. All from free to low paid options so why take on the expense and time involved with a live event?

Live events from conferences, business breakfast briefings and workshops provide learning and career options for you and your team that can’t be found anywhere else.

Here’s what your team members will get from attending relevant live events:

Meet experts face to face

Depending on the event there may be a chance to hear live from an expert in your field, or inspirational speaker.  They’ll often welcome questions at the end of their session so everyone has the chance to get a personal answer. At big conferences like Accountex, some of these people may be on the company stand so your team can share their thoughts with them or get help from gurus during breakout sessions.

This can help the team get to grips and really buy into a product you’re using, or recommending.  Following these experts on social media is a great way to get extra tips and keep on top of the latest developments.

I met up with the Design Pickle team who I follow on Twitter: they have some fantastic blog content and great service! Their work process is all online so I’ve never spoken, or seen the team until now.


Social media, online forums and tools like Slack are fantastic for networking but there will also be a lot of other like minded people at live events.  Your team can build new relationships with prospects or other accountants during a break-out session or over coffee.

Being in a room with other people who are willing to take time away from the office, and are eager to learn something new can be really inspiring.  The saying ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is so true!  Your team might meet some businesses who could really help improve your firm’s processes or help your clients.

They could also use the opportunity to meet some of their ‘online network’ at the event in person.

During ICON I bumped into one of our clients who also use Infusionsoft: was really lovely to meet in person and grab a coffee.


Pick specific sessions from large events or get really stuck into one topic during a small event.   Either way learning face to face is a really powerful way to take in all the information in a short space of time.  

There’s YouTube videos on almost everything but some complex subjects are much easier to absorb in person where you can give it 100% of your time.

Focus is key: ask your team to set time after the event to put into practice the main points they’ve learnt during the event.

This is what I plan to do following ICON: to really get value from what i’ve learn and take action.  I wanted to boost my understanding of Infusionsoft and pick up tips on campaign building so the majority of sessions I attended were all around this.

Learn about new tools and tactics

Events are a good way to meet companies like Xero and the Add on Apps to find out more about changes in products your firm uses: or learn about new tools from new partners.

Your team could check out a live demo or ask about how it could work for your firm.  See if they have any tips on speeding up your process or making it more efficient.

Of course this could all be done online but sometime it can be overwhelming and we just settle for the easiest, or tried and tested product: rather than something cutting edge.

I met some really cool and brand new businesses exhibiting during ICON. The ones that really stands out are Writers Access (content writer platform) and So Tell Us (Video review platform). Infusionsoft also held one to one assessments which I loved and will be implementing ours next week!

Pick up industry trends

Large conferences specialise in honing in on the latest topics and having top speakers for their sessions. Attending the event and learning about the latest trends and how they’re being used in your industry will build your team’s knowledge and give great talking points for your content, social media and with clients.

With Xero it’s been digital transformation, or ICON it’s been about focusing on the basics and simplicity.

Develop ideas for content based on sessions

Conferences can spark new ideas for content, for your clients and prospects.  The Xero roadshow is a great example: they shared future plans, inspirational changes with AI and practical tips on using their new features.  Note down the top level points and craft your own blogs – sharing the update, or the team could put  their own spin on it.

I’ll be doing this for The Profitable Firm following ICON – keep an eye out!

Re-discover excitement about work

Day by day behind the office desk can sometimes dry up new ideas and excitement about why anyone is in the role their in. Getting out of that space, away from the computer screen to hear from real people can be a breath of fresh air. It can help to discover the excitement again: the reason your team work in accounting or why they specialise in helping a specific niche.

My own role is remote (which I love) but being in a space with other people wanting to make a difference is exciting.  I’m buzzing about ICON!

Loyalty to your firm

These events aren’t cheap when you add up time out of the office, travel and tickets: but your team will know that.  They will feel valued.

Investing in their education and future will help build loyalty: helping you get the best from each other and build a longer relationship.

Have fun

This may not be the top reason you send your team to an event but it is important.  As work and personal life continue to blur it’s important you invest in your team’s health and make sure they also enjoy what they do.  Although attending an event will be full on mentally: the change of scene and opportunity will give them a huge boost.

This is definitely the case for me with the ICON event: who wouldn’t love the opportunity to build better marketing campaigns in a beautiful city like Phoenix!

Events provide a great combination of learning, networking, and ideas that can be shared with your clients and prospects.  Allowing your team to attend events is a strong investment in your firm’s future, which far outweighs the costs.