“There’s a reason it’s called Quickbooks Connect,” says Firm of the Future winner Lielette Calleja of All that Counts . “While the apps are great and the speakers are inspiring, it’s the connections you make and the people and friendships you build.”
And if you’re flying solo, what’s the best way to connect with fellow ProAdvisors? The resounding response was to not be shy, say hello to your neighbor, swap business cards, follow them on social networks.
This matches up neatly with Sam Rotberg’s, CPA of AS Partners, first experience of Quickbooks Connect in San Jose in 2015. “I went there not knowing anyone, I think the most important thing to realize is that we're all in the same boat,” he explained.
“We all have great knowledge of our industry, and we're all still learning a lot about different areas. Don't feel like you're less a person than anyone else. Whoever you're sitting next to at any of the areas you're gonna go to, just introduce yourself, talk to them, ask them questions, I'm sure they'll do the same.”
THE MUST-SEE TALKS
Now in its fifth year, QuickBooks® Connect is bringing star power back to the main stage, with Alex Rodriguez and Mindy Kaling headlining inspiring main stage and breakout speakers in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 6.
Since its inception in 2014, small business owners and self-employed professionals have attended QuickBooks Connect and received actionable insights, resources, tools and connections to grow their companies, as well as motivational and uplifting stories from speakers and peers.
What’s in it for you? You’ll not only get to connect with business experts under one roof, but also receive one-one-one mentoring sessions in marketing, design and general business advice. From key workplace tools to online branding, customer acquisition, leadership insights and additional revenue, leading voices from across the country will help business owners triumph and transcend, whether they are just starting out and have a team of one, or already experienced and have a team of many.
“QuickBooks Connect is one of our finest examples of how committed QuickBooks is to helping its entire ecosystem on a journey to success,” said Sasan Goodarzi, executive vice president and general manager, Small Business and Self Employed Group. “We look forward to welcoming thousands of accountants, small businesses, entrepreneurs, self-employed, developers and partners to this year’s event, which will bring inspiration from the main stage to main street and breakout sessions.”
Here is a little bit more about the featured speakers:
Alex Rodriguez, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of A-Rod Corp – Baseball icon Alex Rodriguez is considered one of the greatest athletes in the world. At QuickBooks Connect, Mr. Rodriguez will bring his unique perspective, discussing how he managed two successful careers simultaneously. He will also discuss valuable life lessons that now rule his daily decision-making process, share his best business advice and explain why following your passion is key to success and survival.
Mindy Kaling, Actor, Writer, Producer and Director – Mindy Kaling, Emmy®-nominated actress, best-selling author, producer and director will grace this year’s QuickBooks Connect as a keynote presenter.
Dylan Lauren, CEO and Founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar – By merging the worlds of art, fashion and pop culture with candy, Dylan’s Candy Bar has revolutionized the way consumers see candy today.
In the past, 97 percent of attendees said they walked away with information they could immediately apply to their business, and the 2018 QuickBooks Connect aims to deliver that again.
LOOKING BEHIND THE SCENES
Lielette also uses the conference as an opportunity to connect with the people behind the apps.
“We use a lot of these products and apps, but we don't really know the people who are behind them. So I use it as an opportunity to get to know the people that drive the apps, the people that run Quickbooks, get to know all those people face-to-face.”
This approach can yield real long-term benefits. “Once you build that trust factor, you can always go to those people when you have an issue with the product. That's what I get out of conferences. Just put a face to the name because we live in such a digital, social world, we don't often get those opportunities to really connect on a face-to-face level,” says Lielette.
Tim Hoopman uses Quickbooks Connect to spend time with his app partners too. “They are an important part of my business, and it's great to go and chat with them, connect with them, have a discussion, and see what they are up to.”
STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Every year brings a crop of new technology developments. Being up on the latest tools is now a key part of making sure your clients are getting the best service possible.
We asked the panel for their hot tips.