6th Annual Australia National EA/PA Conference | Part One: Workshops

6th Annual Australia National EA/PA Conference | Part One: Workshops

We love sharing our experiences with you and as we often say, the best benefits of attending a conference are to share key learnings with fellow colleagues, friends and networks.

Last year I was delighted to be invited to attend the Clariden Global, 5th Annual Australia National EA/PA Conference and was excited to be asked to be a media partner again this year for the second time.

This year we decided to switch it up and offer one lucky PA Pages reader to win their registration for free. The catch? To provide us with a review.

Our winner attended the workshops in Sydney and the conference in Brisbane and has provided us with her key learnings and tips. Be sure to take note so you can gain even more benefit when you attend next year.

“Those who do not see their weaknesses, do not progress” Henry B Eyring

Part One: Workshops

Well, as is my usual style, for this conference, I did everything back to front. Due to the cancellation of the Day 3 workshops in Brisbane, I flew down to Sydney to participate in the workshops there, before attending the conference days in Brisbane the following week. It made for an interesting introduction to the event.

The Sydney workshops were held at the Radisson, and so given an early start, I flew in the night prior in order to be prepared.

*Tip 1 – Allow time for issues, if my morning flight was late, so would I. Better to be prepared and at your location for interstate events if they commence early. Also know how far from where you are staying to the event and plan for various ways to get there. It was a lovely morning, so I could walk, but if it had of been raining, I would need time for a car to pick me up and find the way there through traffic

While the Radisson was a leisurely walk from my hotel, the conference room location was not as easy to find so I had to go to reception for directions. Once I located the room I was given a very friendly welcome by the Clariden staff hosting the event. The room was not overly large, but more than adequate for the event, and the room adjacent was our break out space for catering. Both rooms were windowless which can distort your perception of time.

Hot beverages, fruit and juice were available for the arriving attendees, and we soon settled into our seats. A couple of the attendees were late, but we had to commence without waiting given the amount of work to get through.

*Tip 2 – Be on time. It shows respect to the hosts, facilitator and the other attendees. If something happens and you are late, enter the room quietly (as our latecomers did), take a seat and wait until a break to catch up on anything you missed

*Tip 3: Break times are the times when you check your emails/phone calls etc… This will help you become involved and benefit most from the conference.

Workshop A

Negotiation and Influencing Strategies for EAs/PAs with Katrena Friel

What a great way to start this experience. The workshop was fabulous and I gained a lot of insight from it as well as some fabulous tools. Katrena covered off Influencing frameworks, techniques and behaviours.

We all completed some personal assessments and analysis on how the workshop could benefit us. All attendees were offered a follow up personal career coaching session. I found the influencing framework and the communication starters guides especially helpful and I shall certainly be using these in future.

LUNCH BREAK: We were served fabulous food, so you certainly won’t go hungry. Each workshop also included a lovely morning/afternoon tea that gave us a break in the workshop time

*Tip 4: At lunch, go for a walk (Grab someone you just met and get to know them!) Eight hours is a long time to sit in a room and this will prevent that afternoon fade, as well as ensure you get a bit of exercise and sunlight

Workshop B

Working your way to the Top with Lizzie Wagner

Lizzie was larger than life and covered off a lot of information in the afternoon session. She covered a lot on self-belief, creating a first impression, personal brand and body language, goal setting, diplomacy, effective networking, leadership and work-life balance amongst other things. Lizzie used lots of her own and clients real-life experiences in order to relate the messages. Her ways of making you think about your career and possibilities as well as what to work on were insightful and have assisted a lot in defining my personal focus areas.

Workshops overview

It was terrific to see the common themes running through not only the workshop but the conference I participated in the following week. DISC was a big topic of conversation and if you have never heard of the DISC profiling model, it is used to identify personality types and communication styles. If you have never done DISC profiling before, I highly recommend it as a starting point to these types of events or even assist you in your workplace with understanding your boss, peers, colleagues and stakeholders.

It was a shame the workshops didn’t make it to the Brisbane (In saying that, I am not sorry I had to go to Sydney to attend as it gave me the opportunity to meet and network with a second group of lovely ladies!) agenda as they really brought to home all the items covered off in the main body of the conference and more intimate and practical ways on how to apply these to your own situation. Think of the conference as generalised information and the workshops as specialised.

*Tip 5: You only get out of an event, what you put into it. Be open, ask questions, participate, provide examples and above all, make the effort to network. I have had some amazing opportunities and job offers through networking!

*Tip 6: Make sure you have a business card or some contact details you can hand out and make sure you follow up! Your fellow conference attendees are showing an active interest in their career and learning, so are the perfect people to stay in contact with.

Overall, attending the conference and the workshop was a highly valuable event, not only for the contacts and networking, but the offered to follow up sessions from key speakers. We were also provided everything from little gems of helpful information to completely new ways of thinking.

I look forward to next year’s event and hopefully will see you there!

Review by: Linda | Personal Assistant to CIO

About Clariden Global

Clariden Global is the pre-eminent and influential global business leadership institution. Today, we host more than 200 global executive education and major conference events around the world. We have partnered with professional organizations such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accounts (ACCA) and thought leaders from prestigious universities such as Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government,Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University. To see our credentials and global engagement, visit us atwww.claridenglobal.com.

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