A sneaky peek at the Future Assistant programme

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.

The Future Assistant Programme

Here comes a little humble brag… I’m so proud of the Future Assistant programme. It is without doubt, the most ambitious programme I have put together to date. Here is why. When I started looking at the programme I thought to myself, I really want to put a conference together that truly inspires and empowers assistants. I want to show you where you can take your career, showcase the opportunities that are out there for you and I want to give you the right tools to achieve so much more. This is a big dream, but I hope the programme reflects my objectives for the conference.

The Future Assistant is taking place over two days, the 8th and 9th February 2018. Here are some of the programme highlights:

What do future leaders want from their Assistants? 

What will the future leaders look like and what will they need from their assistant? In this session, we will look at the trends for future leaders, their characteristics and what they bring to their organisation. Will they be self-sufficient millennial or will the baby boomers still be leading business? We will also find out what they need from their Executive Assistants, what support we can offer and how we can keep the future leaders on track.

Empowering women in the workplace

Madeleine Albright once said ‘there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other”. Well, we don’t want to head that way, so this session is all about empowering women. We will look at the future for women in the workplace, flexibility with working hours and work/life balance, the wage gap, maternity regulation, career breaks and retirement. We will talk about how women can break the glass ceiling and what organisations can do to support their female employees.

How has the role of a PA changed and where is it going?    

In this honest and lively panel session, we will speak to assistants who work for Millennial bosses, entrepreneurs and start ups and assistants who work in traditional c-suite level roles. We will compare the skills and the level of support required in these different environments, the challenges and the benefits.

Stepping up and leaning into meetings 

As Assistants become more integral to the business they will find themselves in meetings with their Executives, in meetings with their project teams and colleagues and of course running their own meetings. In this session we will look at how assistant can actively participate in meetings, ‘lean in’ and make themselves heard. Inspired by the wonderful book – Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg this session is for every assistant that has come out a meeting frustrated that they didn’t make the comment or voice their opinion.

The PA as information manager 

In 2017 and beyond Assistants will be seen as their organisation’s information managers. We will be asked to keep the flow of information moving, not just retain what we know for when people ask but to help our teams and the overall business connect the dots, make connections and lead colleagues to make the right decisions for the business.

In this session we will look at how assistants can keep on top of new ways of working, new technology and other ideas that can help with the flow of information.

The PA as time manager 

The single most important aspect of the PA role is to save our Executive’s time. Saving our Executive time means they can spend that time on making the organisation more successful. There are loads of different ways we can save our Executive’s time and in this session we will look at a whole range of tips and tricks that will not only make you more productive but help keep your boss on track, free of distractions and productive!

These are just a few of our sessions, over the two days we will also have skills workshops, panel sessions, breakout groups and loads of chances for you to network with each other.

The Future Assistant Speakers

A sneaky peek at the Future Assistant programme

We already have confirmed some fantastic speakers at the Future Assistant conference, including:

  • Diana Brandl, Senior EA at Mister Spex – Most of you will be familiar with Diana’s blog The Socialista Projects and you might have seen her speak at a number of events across Europe. Diana is an absolute expert in PA networking, working within a startup culture and the role of a modern day assistant.
  • Liz Taylor, Owner of The Taylor Lynn Corporation – Liz has been at the forefront of the events industry for the last 30 years. In 2015, she gave cameras unrivalled behind-the-scenes access to some of her events, the Taylor Lynn Corporation’s (TLC) exclusive clients and her team of hand-picked suppliers, who deliver private and corporate events right across the UK and Europe. The result was the hit Channel 4 show, ‘Millionaire Party Planner’ which won the National Reality Television Award for Best Business Show.
  • Richard Newman, Director of BodyTalk – Richard spoke at our very first Assist Conference back in 2015 and he was, without doubt, an absolute hit. His fun and interactive session on building confidence is a real eye opener for anyone who could use a little confidence boost.
  • Charlotte Wibberley, Founder of VIP VA – Charlotte launched VIP VA in January 2016 because she was keen to support, nurture and champion the VA industry, and she wanted to create a safe space for high performing VA businesses to collaborate, knowledge share and continue their professional development. Charlotte supports aspiring and existing VAs as their coach, mentor and chief-cheerleader for their goals and ambitions.

I am so excited about the Future Assistant and I hope you can see the value in coming along too. The conference is taking place at the very cool Proud Camden on the 8th and 9th February 2018. For more information and to book your place head over to the Future Assistant website.

A sneaky peek at the Future Assistant programme

Assistants as information managers

Assistants as information managers

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.

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