VConThis year's Intuit VCon is bigger and better than ever!
While face-to-face instruction has always been the best possible form of training, thousands of accounting professionals are aware of the opportunities virtual technology affords for obtaining education when you simply can’t otherwise attend an event. Intuit has partnered this year with Joe Woodard’s Scaling New Heights to produce their annual virtual conference designed to provide in-depth topics on QuickBooks and practice development for Accountants, ProAdvisors and Bookkeepers.
This year Intuit's Accounting Professionals Virtual Conference will be bigger and better than ever. More than 5,000 people from various countries are expected to attend the September 24 through 26, 2013 VCon. (Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get the latest updates on the VCon as they announced)
Dan Lowell, Sr. Manager of Customer Training and Certifications for Intuit’s Accountant and Advisor Group, told me in a recent interview that Intuit’s partnership with Scaling New Heights has meant the ability to more than double the educational offerings and CPE credits being offered over prior years, but it also provides a closer alignment with the new QuickBooks product release. Lowell said, “The conference will be the first real training offered on QuickBooks 2014...”
Dan went on to say, “A virtual conference like this allows everyone to attend, there is no travel required, and no costs to attend; participants can connect from anywhere while at the same time immersing themselves into the virtual environment. They not only have the opportunity to attend training sessions but also network with experts, vendors and their peers.” I would note that some people may even jump into this kind of virtual networking more deeply than they would if they were at a conference in person. An individual’s “virtual persona” might not give a 2nd thought to introducing themselves and carrying-on a conversation with someone they have never met, even if they would otherwise feel uncomfortable in doing so face-to-face at a live conference.
The virtual conference will feature Intuit’s accounting products. QuickBooks Online will indeed have a prominent presence, but the real focus will be on the QuickBooks desktop versions with noted emphasis on QuickBooks Accountant and Enterprise Accountant. Lowell told me, “at least 14 sessions will be held over the three days covering topics on ‘What’s New for QuickBooks 2014’, The Cloud and Why it Matters’, ‘QuickBooks in-depth’ and ‘Practice Development’.” In the weeks and days leading up to the start of the conference, Intuitive Accountant will bring you updates on the specific education sessions and opportunities you can expect at this year’s VCon.
This year’s conference will include an Intuit-centric exhibition floor comprised of a wide variety of products that integrate with QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online. State of the art graphics bring the reality of the meeting room and speaker’s presentations to your desktop. Couple that with the ‘video-gaming’ style interface that includes an exhibition hall with vendor-stylized booths in support of their products and you can almost imagine picking up that ‘free key chain’, ‘pencil’ or the product literature you need.
Intuit will be prominent within the exhibit hall with booths for QuickBooks Accountant, QuickBooks Online Accountant, the ProAdvisor Program, and Intuit Payroll Products to name a few. Not only will participants be able to network with Intuit personnel manning each booth, but in some instances Intuit Product Managers will be available to answer questions. Throughout the three day event, industry leaders and experts knowledgeable about the products will be holding ‘scheduled chat sessions’ in the Networking Lounge. This will be a great opportunity for any attendee looking to dive deeper into the VCon experience.
Numerous vendors offering products which integrate with QuickBooks via the SDK (Software Developers’ Kit), or Intuit’s Cloud based IPP (Intuit Partner Platform), will be available to provide virtual demonstrations and discuss their solutions. Intuitive Accountant will feature many of these vendors in articles as the conference approaches, so be on the look-out for our conference updates.
In closing out our interview, Dan Lowell said, “like any education conference, one of the huge benefits to participants is the ability to ‘network, network, network’…” and I must say that I agree with that fully. While conference registration, which is 100% free (and will open soon) gets you in the door, and training sessions provide an avenue for education, the real success of your participation lies in your own ‘reaching out to others attending.’
At this conference not only can you network via scheduled chats and information exchanges around exhibits, but also within a variety of virtual lounges, as well as the game room and seating areas between speaker sessions. So start your networking by stopping at the Intuitive Accountant Booth to visit with ‘the Murph’ or Gary. Who knows, I might even meet you for a virtual beverage while we talk about QuickBooks 2014. Until then, make sure you stay up to date on the VCon by subscribing to our FREE e-newsletter.