The Virtual Summit is this Friday

The Virtual Summit is this Friday

I can’t quite believe it, but the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit is taking place this Friday 20th October 2017. The whole event is online and can be viewed wherever you are in the world. You can download the full Virtual Summit Programme here. With over 20 sessions across the day, this event is not to be missed!

The Virtual Summit sessions

We really do have a packed programme, here are just some of the highlights:

  • Managing your Executive’s schedule like a mega star
  • Working 9-5: A day in the life of the world’s top level assistants
  • Successful Networking – How to take care of other people’s power, experiences and energy from our wonderful IMA partners
  • Personal Branding for Pas
  • What are the traits of a high flying Executive Assistant?
  • The Productive PA
  • How to make minute taking an absolute breeze
  • Starting out as a VA
  • What if I look stupid? Empowering women in the workplace
  • Am I really being proactive?
  • LIVE Q&A with Jan Jones, former EA to Tony Robbins and author of the CEO’s Secret Weapon.
  • Real life job interview questions and answers
  • Developing your business acumen on a shoestring budget
  • Managing Multiple Executives

The beauty of the Virtual Summit is that it can be viewed wherever you are in the world. You just need a computer, internet access and a notebook. You can watch the Summit from your office, your home, or even your bed!

Attendees will also have access to the Virtual Summit for a full month after the event. So, you can watch the sessions again or if you cannot make the 20th you can watch the Summit in your own time!

For only £50, the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit really is a must attend event for Assistants who are passionate about their career.

And if you need a little more convincing here is a handy infographic with more details:

The Virtual Summit is this Friday

10 tips to tidy up your inbox

So it goes without saying that you get tons of emails, oh and your Executive probably gets tons of emails too! These days, we are all swimming in the sea of digital communications and most of us are drowning! Recently I have been doing a lot of research on how to maximise my time, be more productive and generally kick ass during the hours I can dedicate to work (the rest of my time is taken up with making meals that my kids don’t eat, tidying up Lego and my other half’s dirty clothes that never quite make it to the laundry bin and binge watching Orange is the New Black). One area that is my absolute weak spot is email. I am guilty of being an email addict and spending unnecessary amounts of time reading, replying and filing my emails. So today, I am sharing my 10 tips to tidy up your inbox. I am using these tips and can vouch for them!

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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

Tech of the week: WeTransfer

Tech of the week: WeTransfer

Today’s Technology of the week: WeTransfer. Here are all the details…

What is WeTransfer?

WeTransfer is a really simple website that allows the user to send big files to other people.

What does it do?

The website really is simple. You enter the details for the person receiving the file, you then upload your file (up to 2GB) and voila! The recipient is sent an email with a link to download the document. The service is free, but they do have a WeTransfer Plus service which gives you access to more GB, security with password encryption and customisation.  This is €12 per month.

Why does it benefit Assistants?

We work with huge documents every day, from PowerPoint presentations to PDFs, video files and everything in between. Sending documents like this over email causes no need of problems so having a really easy platform like WeTransfer is an absolute lifesaver. It is really simple, secure and fast.

Why is it Practically Perfect PA’s tech of the week?

With all of the amazing speakers taking part in the Virtual Summit sending me huge MP4 files, I have been using WeTransfer a lot! It is simple and effective – which is just how I like my technology!

Dealing with confidential electronic documents

Dealing with confidential electronic documents

A few years ago I wrote a really detailed blog about dealing with confidential electronic documents and paperwork. This is obviously an important subject for assistants because we have to, have to, have to, keep our Executive’s confidence. We must be trustworthy and as hard as it is, keep all confidential matters to ourselves. Today, I thought I would write an update on my blog from a few years ago and concentrate on electronic documents. With cloud technology, the increased use of email and other electronic forms of communication (Slack, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, etc. etc.) we have to be even more aware of how we deal with confidential and information that is discussed and communicated through technological channels. Here are my ten top tips on dealing with confidential electronic documents.

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Think You’re An Honest Person? Think Again!

I’ve been doing this personal branding thing for a long time now. For nine years I’ve been digging into people’s brains to find out what makes them tick and therefore what’s important to their brand.

When I come to the bit regarding people’s values and what it is that sets their moral compass (a very important aspect of the brand pyramid), there’s one that’s far and away the most commonly cited:

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The Virtual Summit Hubs

The Virtual Summit Hubs

With just a few weeks to go to the Virtual Summit (eeekkk!!) I wanted to send you a few more details about the Virtual Summit hubs. So far, we have 25 official hubs dotted around the world from large conglomerates, universities, the travel, fashion and leisure industry and some very funky startups. We are so excited to have you guys on board!

For those of you that are still thinking about purchasing a hub ticket – which by the way is just £250, here are a few more details on what you can expect from your hub ticket:

What are the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit Hubs?

Well, a Hub is the opportunity for your PA network (whether that is a regional network, internal network or group of PA colleagues in your organisation) to get together to watch and interact with the main Virtual Summit. We provide a Hub Pack that will help you structure your discussions and breakouts during the summit. You will also have the opportunity to feedback and interact with the 100s, possibly 1000s of PAs watching online.

All you will need to set up a Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit Hub is a meeting room, a computer, a projector / plasma and access to Wi-Fi! The Hub pass is unlimited, so you can invite all of your PA colleagues (including PAs based in other offices) along and engage with each other and the amazing content.

To sum up, the hub includes:

  • An official licence for you to have an unlimited number of participants at your Hub
  • The opportunity to host your Official Hub in your offices or off-site
  • Direct access to the “Social Sidekick” who will be running the interactive elements on the day of the Summit
  • Receive a HOW TO RUN A HUB organiser pack which will include exceptionally useful and detailed information on:
    • Setting up the room
    • What to do to make the most of content covered on the day
    • How to best follow up attendees after the summit
    • How best to engage with the virtual summit on the day

We believe our Hubs offer an excellent opportunity for internal PA networks to get together for the day, and to use the content to develop their careers. We also believe that the hubs will be used to improve relationships between assistants. What better way to strengthen relationships between your important contacts?

At the cost of £250 for a day’s training, for an unlimited number of PAs, this is exceptionally good value for your organisation.

What else can you expect? Well, we will be having lots of interaction throughout the day and as an official hub we will ensure your questions are answered by the speakers and panellists. We will have an official hub whiteboard that you can use to comment and feedback to us throughout the day. The hub pack gives you lots of great ideas on how to set up your meeting space so that you create a fun and informal atmosphere that helps all of your hub attendees learn and engage with the content from the summit.

The Summit programme has now been finalised and can be downloaded here. The summit starts at 11am GMT and finishes at 7pm GMT. I know this time might not suit everybody so we will also give every attendee (including everyone in the hubs) access to the content for a full month following the summit so that you can catch any sessions you may have missed.

If you would like to purchase a hub ticket for your colleagues or PA network all you have to do is head over to the Virtual Summit page and book your ticket.


The Strategic Executive Assistant

The Strategic Executive Assistant

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” and keynote speaker at the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit in October. In November she will be the special guest speaker at Adam Fidler’s groundbreaking one-day program “The Strategic Executive Assistant” in Milan and Paris.

As many of you will know, Adam is a world-renowned EA educator. His Manifesto “The Executive Assistant: What I Am” has exploded through the worldwide EA network with thousands of assistants viewing and “liking” it on social media.

This is the first time these two respected industry thought leaders will be appearing together in Europe to share with European assistants their first-hand knowledge of what it takes to excel in the EA role.  Adam and Jan both have 20+ years experience as former high level international executive assistants.  In a fun and supportive learning environment, they will show you how to maximise your success and longevity in the EA profession. You will learn how to take your performance from good to outstanding by becoming more strategic in how you approach your job. Adam and Jan offer an unbeatable combination of know-how, experience, wisdom and practical advice that will provide you long term benefit in your assistant career.

What you will learn

  • A redefinition of the role of the executive assistant – challenges and considerations for holders, executive jobs and organizations
  • Leadership and management in the context of the EA/Business Support role
  • Developing a managerial mindset and aligning your behaviour accordingly
  • Elevating your role – getting more strategic, being more involved and taking on more responsibility
  • Introduction to business strategy for the executive assistant
  • Being a more effective executive assistant – Adam Fidler’s Five Folder System™ for improved workflow and productivity
  • Gaining prestige, leadership and achievement through personal impact and executive presence
  • Leadership styles: your executive and you
  • The criticality of Emotional Intelligence – especially self-awareness and authenticity – to perform at an optimum level
  • Pushing back appropriately and diplomatically – saying ‘no’ with confidence
  • Adam Fidler’s EA Success Factors™ – a competency framework for you to follow and implement when you return to work
  • Transition of job descriptions: Administrative assistant to ‘true’ executive assistant – a new role profile that best describes and elevates the role and value of the assistant
  • Case Studies of assistants who have transitioned from administrative assistant to the senior executive assistant
  • A personal action plan: what do I do now to take this forward with my executive?

The dates

Milan, Italy: 17 November, 2017   |   9:00 – 17:00   |   Hotel Grand Visconti Palace
Paris, France: 24 November, 2017   |   9:00 – 17:00   |   Hotel W Paris – Opéra

If you would like to attend The Strategic Executive Assistant training event. Here are the details: