Australia Case Study News Updates

Xerocon returns to Brisbane

INVNT and Xero create festival-inspired activations and immersive learning for annual accounting conference.

Known as the Coachella for accountants, Xerocon Brisbane welcomed more than 3,000 guests to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, where creative networking and educational sessions focused on the theme: Communities of Purpose.

Global live brand storytelling agency, INVT, once again joined forces with Xero to design and produce the company’s annual conference, Xerocon, in Brisbane earlier this month (4-5 September).

“With this [theme] in mind our big question was: how do you show something that can’t be seen?” says Adam Harriden, executive creative director, INVNT APAC.

“We set about strategising the ways we could help Xero to tell its Communities of Purpose story in a tangible and relatable way.

“We called on our local and global teams and after some intense brainstorming, worked with Xero to devise the underlying creative idea of ‘bringing the community in,’ which focused on inclusiveness and accountants’ purpose within the local community,” Harriden explains.

Colour-coded break-outs and activities

The resulting Communities Zone featured five festival-inspired activations:

  • The Board Room – This orange hued space included a custom-built skate ramp with pro skaters, attendees could customise their own skateboard with the guidance of Xerocon’s artist in residence Mulga, and add their artistic flair to his wall length mural.
  • The Parlour – This pink themed space invited guests to go for a trim at the barbers or get glammed up at the nail salon.
  • The Park – This green zone invited visitors to re-discover their inner child with a game of totem tennis, they could create their own beverages on blender bikes, and re-fuel at the gelato van.
  • The Sweet Shop – This insta-worthy, yellow themed space encouraged visitors to reward themselves with an assortment of sweet treats and a game of table tennis.
  • The Wellness Sphere – A dedicated spot for attendees to find their inner zen, the blue colour blocked area hosted yoga classes every 10 minutes during breaks, along with stress checks.

INVNT interlaced a colour blocking technique throughout these zones and the corresponding breakout stages, which spoke to the same pillars – a move that was designed to enhance the community feel and ensure a seamless customer journey.

Immersive design

The design of the keynote theatre (main) also embraced the community theme.

“Inspired by a parkland space, an important feature of any local community, the keynote theatre featured a 15m long thrust which meandered down to the audience at different levels – much like the sloping hills of a park – and took the speaker into the centre of the room, creating an intimate vibe,” explains Laura Roberts, INVNT APAC managing director.

“Speakers made their way onto the stage via a ‘red carpet’ made of astroturf, and a pared back, wooden curved backdrop complemented the stage’s three LED screens, which ensured content was displayed in a clear, crisp, and engaging way,” she says.

Xerocon Festival

Going out with a bang, the two-day event ended with the Xerocon Festival wrap party at Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane’s newest entertainment and lifestyle destination.

Reflecting on Xerocon Brisbane 2019 Cara Weers, head of events at Xero says: “We’re absolutely over the moon with the success [of the event] which garnered significant social and media traction, and attendee feedback has been incredibly positive across the board.”

She adds: “The INVNT team approached our brief in a highly strategic and creative way, resulting in an unforgettable experience that lived up to our ‘Coachella for accountants’ reputation and provided delegates with a platform to connect, participate and learn in ways that are wholly unique to the typical accounting conference.”