In a few days, I will attending the Greater New England Division Conference for the International Association of Administrative Professionals. This will be my second year attending.
I am really looking forward to this for many reasons. Just like the change in the seasons, I need to change the way I do things from time to time. Living in New England, I actually have 3 types of clothing: winter, summer and spring/fall. I have to change the type of clothes I wear to suit the weather, so why not change the way I run my business.
I worked as an administrative assistant for several years and now as an independent virtual assistant, I am always looking for new ways to do things, which I pass on to my clients. The goal of my business is to make my clients more successful, while helping them to grow their businesses. I do this by staying current with office trends and technology.
The GNED Conference is much more than a gathering of like-minded professionals. It is a chance to learn about new technology, new workplace changes, behavior patterns and ways to self-improve and improve the office culture.
This conference is like a shot of Miracle-Gro for me. I think I’m doing fine just the way I am and then I attend this conference and I learn so much more and find new ways to improve myself and my skills. I leave the conference with a renewed determination to change for the better and become more successful.
This conference is also a lot of fun. I don’t seem to have much fun lately. With all the problems of the world and the constant effort to market my business and advertise on a low budget, I find I get too serious about everything.
This is a chance to get away from it all, meet new people and RELAX. Knowing that I don’t have to cook or clean for a few days is a plus! I enjoy meeting new people. Even though we come from different states and regions, we still have many things in common.
Workplace problems are the same everywhere. It’s encouraging to hear new solutions to old problems. Some attendees have tips and pass them on to everyone. When I hear this, I sit there and say to myself, now why didn’t I think of this.
I especially like the technology sessions. As a virtual assistant, I need to know the latest technologies, what to use them for, how much does it cost to implement and more importantly how to use them. These sessions provide that information in a clear, concise style, while allowing time to ask questions and present different scenarios.
The speakers are usually top-notch. They’re usually funny and present the topics in a casual, yet business-like way. No two speakers are alike and they range from those who mostly read from their cards to those who play music to illustrate a point.
Of course there’s GNED-IAAP (Greater New England Division – International Association of Administrative Professionals) business to take care of. For example, the installation of officers for the division, voting on amendments and learning about changes to the IAAP in North America. All of this is very interesting and helps me to learn about this great association.
I also enjoy the food. I usually watch what I eat and try to eat healthy. When I’m at a conference, all of that goes out the window. I enjoy the buffet as much as a plated meal and of course, there’s the entertainment. We’ve had a hypnotist, DJ from the 60’s and now Plymouth Rocks – a costume event, where attendees dress up like their favorite rock stars.
All in all, I really need this event once a year to get me back on track. I need to develop and grow in other directions and weed out the bad habits or habits that inhibit my productivity and efficiency.
I am really looking forward to the next few days and I encourage any administrative professional to check out their local International Association of Administrative Professionals group. It’s a great way to get continual education in a professional and interesting way.