Around 70 members of the PA community gathered in the Northamptonshire countryside at Whittlebury Hall in early July to network, meet suppliers and be inspired. This year’s ExecSec Summit was once again a resounding success, with great feedback from all concerned – see the video below for comments from those attending.
“It was two days out of the office well spent, providing [me with] a wealth of useful and informative contacts in a fun, social networking environment,” according to the delegate from the British Arab Commercial Bank. The representative from Crabtree & Evelyn, meanwhile, describes it as “a really useful way to meet new suppliers and network with other executive PAs, sharing knowledge and broadening the community”.
Suppliers also appreciated the format of the two-day event, with Somerset House calling it a “great concept… it makes you talk about the important things straight away”, Resolution commenting that it was “superbly put together and delivered” and the National Sporting Club noting that they “met an interesting and varied clientele with potential”.
The summit comprised a series of one-to-one pre-scheduled appointments between companies and the PAs in attendance, giving them the perfect opportunity to meet new suppliers in a relaxed yet business-like environment. Running concurrently with the individual meetings was a fascinating seminar programme that offered delegates invaluable advice on various aspects of their role.
Kicking off the proceedings was Gareth Osborne, who spoke about the true worth of the personal assistant to any business and how office professionals can ensure they are valued as they should be. Next up was Susie Barron-Stubley of Castalia Coaching, who looked at how to break the PA paradigm paralysis, followed by Angela Garry, the most-connected PA trainer on LinkedIn, who discussed the issues surrounding change management.
On the second day, Merryl Futerman and Josephine Green of PA Access All Areas gave an insightful talk into the crossover between a corporate and a celebrity PA role. In between meetings and seminars, PA Life editor Colette Doyle conducted video interviews with a number of participants who candidly shared their views on the event and the future of the profession – the resulting footage can be seen below. For a fun break from the proceedings there was also a photo booth where attendees could take a souvenir snap wearing an array of fancy dress hats.
At the end of the first day, delegates and suppliers alike attended a glitzy gala dinner with an amazing performance from Stringfever, a quartet that blends a unique sound with off-beat humour and great entertainment.
As the event drew to a close, participants were fulsome in their praise of the ExecSec Summit. As the delegate from Maritime Asset Security & Training puts it: “A fantastic experience, very well organised, allowing me to make the most of the suppliers, seminars and networking – it will make my career as a PA so much easier.”