Today I wanted to give you a little of what to expect at the Future Assistant Conference in February next year by sharing one of the panel sessions from the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit. The topic was ‘managing your Executive’s schedule like a total megastar’ and the panel was made up of four brilliant assistants offering fantastic advice on managing complex diaries. We have two panel sessions taking place over the course of the two day event, here are a few more details.
I’m very excited to announce that following the success of the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit I have decided to live stream the Future Assistant Conference which is taking place in London on the 8th and 9th February 2018. So, now you can come to the event, interact with the other attendees and speakers. Or, if you are not able to get out of your office or you live far from London you can also watch the conference online. And, the best part, like the Virtual Summit, you will have a full month after the 8th and 9th to re-watch the content. Pretty awesome huh!?
As you guys can imagine with two weeks to go to the Virtual Summit I am literally up to my head in videos, online event technology, marketing and social media. I’m not going to lie, it is pretty intense BUT, it is going to be so awesome! Today, I thought I would take a breather and send you a little update on where I am with the Future Assistant programme. It is still a work in progress, but I have been talking to some amazing speakers and I’m really pleased to share with you a quick update on who we have coming along to present and give you a sneaky peek at the Future Assistant programme.
Back in 2013 HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland released the Management Assistant 2020 report, which detailed how the role of an Assistant will change by 2020. It is a fascinating document and many of the suggestions are coming into fruition four years on. One of the predictions centred around the idea that Assistants would become information managers in their organisations. I think this is absolutely happening within the role today and will become ever more important as the years go by and more and more organisations move to the dream of a paperless office and cloud based technology. In fact, I am going to dedicate a whole session at next year’s Future Assistant conference to this very topic.
This week I have been working on the programme for the Future Assistant conference taking place next February. The conference will look at how the industry is changing, how the role is evolving and what skills are required to keep up with these new demands. A huge challenge we face as assistants is moving from a position of support staff, where we take on any task assigned to us, to a more proactive position where we source our own work, take on projects that we think will make a difference and make decisions based on the best interests of the business and our Executives. This is a big leap for many assistants, but one we must take in order to move the industry forward. Over the course of the year I thought I would write a few blog posts that break this challenge down. Firstly, how can you be more accountable at work?
I thought I would start the day by launching the Future Assistant 2018! Hurrah! Following the success of the last two Assist Conferences, which both sold out, I couldn’t wait to tell you about what we have planned for the new conference and I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to book their place on the conference.
Recently, the OpenMeet team had the pleasure of participating in the annual Practically Perfect PA Assist Conference 2017, where we ran a few workshops on career development for assistants: 5 common problems and how to solve them. This is the second of three blogs that we are producing based on all the great information and feedback we got from our workshop participants. Read the first one, on what to look for in an event supplier, and watch out for the third and final blog, on how to ensure organisations value PA work!
Last Friday we held our third Assist Conference at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. I can’t quite believe I’m saying our third conference as we have been on quite the journey since our first conference. Back in 2015 we had just over 50 assistants attend and this year we sold out (for the second year in a row) with 125 attendees! Looking out at all of the different faces, some familiar and others completely new, I felt pretty chuffed that so many wanted to spend the day with us.
Over the years I’ve had some wonderful feedback from readers that I tuck away and come back to when I need a little confidence boost but I never share the messages with other readers. Well, today is a new day, folks. This week I received a wonderful email from an assistant and reader of Practically Perfect PA who attended the Assist Conference last year. The email brought me to tears (which, I must admit is not difficult these days – a five month old baby and raging hormones will do that to you!) and I really wanted to share the powerful message with all of the readers.