San Jose, California is beautiful in October, and I had the privilege of attending the 1st ever Intuit Global Conference there called QuickBooks Connect. I didn’t know what to expect, but the easiest way to describe the conference would be – If Google held a conference for Accountants and Small Business Owners, this is what it would look like.
There were 4000 attendees comprised of Accountants, Bookkeepers, Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs and Developers. It was the first event of its kind to bring these three groups under a single roof for a single event over 4 days. I had the honour of being there with the Canadian contingent, but met people from across the US, the UK, Australia and India, who had travelled a great distance to be there. And in my very humble opinion, it was well worth the trip.
It was evident by everywhere you looked how much time, money and resources were invested by Intuit in hosting such a global event. (I’ve heard the number $10M tossed around, but Intuit hasn’t confirmed that number.)
There were bookkeeping and accounting specific sessions – such as What’s New in QuickBooks Desktop 2015, Bookkeeping for Non-Profits, Bookkeeping for Construction, and Inventory Management. None of which you, as small business owners may be interested in, but were certainly excellent resources for us.
But unlike what you would expect at an Intuit QuickBooks conference, there were tons of sessions held for us on Managing and Growing our Businesses. Although most of us in the room were in the Financial Services profession, many were not, and the ideas presented ranged from marketing and social media, to staff and hiring issues, providing better service to our clients, to choosing the right clients. (I found that one of particular interest)
We got to hear from the Best of the Best in the industry, as well as speakers such as Martha Stewart, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Debbie Sterling and Arianna Huffington. (Arianna was probably one of my favourites of the event) We were inspired by poets like Sekou Andrews, who made me believe that bookkeeping could be poetic, and Intuit insiders, Scott Cook and Brad Smith also shared their thoughts for the future of our industry.
I made so many notes, and took so many pictures, that I don’t even know where to start in sharing all that I learned with you. (I’ve uploaded some of the pictures onto our Facebook page if you want to view them) The conference left me excited for the changes to our industry, and thinking about where AIS and my team would fit in this ever changing landscape, and what exciting new things are in store for small businesses everywhere.
I can’t possibly share everything that I’ve learned in a single blog post, because there are just so many different topics. But over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be trying to share what I’ve learned.
I’ll start with a quote by Mark Twain, that resonated with me for days afterwards – “There are two important days in your life. The day you were born and the day you realize why”.
My mind is still reeling from all of the ideas that were presented, and at the end of it all, that is what a good conference is meant to do – Inspire you, Encourage you and get you thinking about what kind of an impact you can make.
I’m hoping that in the coming weeks of posts, sharing what I’ve learned, may help you realize why you were born.