Last month we were invited to head to Troxy in London to join Xero, along with others from the accountancy industry for the Xero Awards. The whole team was invited but sadly (or maybe not so sadly for her) Ellie is travelling in Panama so couldn’t attend but the rest of us dusted off our glad rags and made our way to London.
Now when we got our invite from Xero we were told it was to “Celebrate the Rockstars of Accounting’’ and the dress code: Channel your inner rockstar! Having personally never attended a Xero event, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I played it safe and went for a black dress and heels but looking back at the night, I definitely could have whacked on some Kiss make-up and a pair of Dr Martens and totally wouldn’t have been out of place!
Having met the rest of the team in London we headed to our nearby hotel to get glammed up and even have a few sneaky pre-drinks in the room. Once ready we took the short walk to Troxy, excited and anticipating the evening ahead. As we walked into the event which started with a runway lined with cardboard cut-outs of many past & present legendary rockstars, electric blue lighting and a Nirvana song playing in the background, I came to realise – when Xero said rockstars they absolutely meant it.
Shortly after, it was time for the awards ceremony to start and we took our seats, prosecco glasses in hand and Ellie on facetime so she could be involved. We were finalists for 2 awards this year, Small Firm of the Year and Total Xero. Unfortunately we didn’t win either, but we were so grateful to be finalists and had so much to celebrate regardless of the award. Either way we got to have an amazing night out as a team and Xero really does know how to host a party.
Once the awards were given out, the rest of the party could get under way, and what’s the best part of a party…food! I have to say, Xero nailed it when it came to the food they served. Many might think an awards evening might be a sit down meal, where half of it goes uneaten because people are too busy mingling and drinking to think about sitting down to eat. Not Xero, they had several different stands serving a variety of food and there was something there to please everyone. There were stands for burgers, hotdogs (and not the cheap nasty kind – they were the real deal and super delish!!) Fried Chicken, Chips and even a little stand with pulled pork bao buns – you would have had to be the world’s fussiest eater if you couldn’t find something you liked. It’s times like this when I wish I could eat endless amounts without getting full because I definitely wanted to try a bit of everything.
After we had a bite to eat, a go in the karaoke booth and some pictures taken, it was time to head back down to the seats to enjoy some entertainment. To start off they had this 2 person group named ‘Abandoman’ that picked people from the audience, they would ask a few questions then make up a full on (hilarious) rap song on the spot using the information they had just been given. They were soo good, that we thought it had to be pre-planned info but later after having a chat with some of the people they selected we found out that it was all just off the cuff. I’d love to know how they come up with it all so quickly.
Following on from their act, was a band called ‘The RPJ Band’, the lead singer is the son of the late Rick Parfitt of Status Quo and it’s obvious that he has spent years around music and performing as he really knew how to engage with the crowd and get everyone involved and dancing. This is the point where for most of us the heels came off and out came the flats ready to dance the night away (except Laura who managed to dance in her heels all evening). After 2 years of not going to events and having a good dance, it felt so great to let our hair down and get involved again and just enjoy ourselves as a team. The music was excellently picked and included plenty of well known covers of some definite rockstar legends.
After our dancing feet were done for, it was time for some more mingling and meeting plenty of people, and of course time for dessert! They had an amazing cookie & brownie stand that had a huge array of different toppings and flavours to satisfy any sweet tooth. Near the stand they had some old style arcade machines and guitar hero for those who wanted to show off their rockstar skills. There was also a fantastic caricature artist, sadly though after waiting in the queue, the evening came to an end and none of us from PPF managed to get ours done (so if Xero is reading this – make sure you book him again for XeroCon!)
All in all it was an excellent event and one that all of us really enjoyed. We are so grateful that we could attend and celebrate, not only being finalists but also the PPF team’s success over this last year. It’s cranked up the excitement levels for XeroCon where Ellie will be back in the UK and joining us too!