London’s Olympia was at the epicentre of all things office* just a few short weeks ago, with the award-winning event for executive office support professionals welcoming over four thousand attendees through its doors on 13-14 October.
Boasting a fresh new look for 2015, office* provided the perfect backdrop for the nation’s PAs, EAs, VAs, and office managers to network and share best practices, top up on vital training, research new products and services from 150 exhibitors, and get inspired by over 50 expert speakers.
This year’s show certainly gave the Twittersphere plenty to talk about and thousands of comments using the #office15, #NationalPAday and #PApower hashtags helped share the office* experience to followers at the show and beyond.
‘Busy’, ‘fantastic’, ‘insightful’, ‘motivating’, and ‘fun’ – are just some of the words attendees have used to describe office* 2015 so far, with nearly 90% of surveyed visitors already planning to return in May 2016, when the show moves to ExCeL London.
“Still processing all the great things I’ve learnt today from some very inspirational speakers. Thank you for a great show,” tweeted Julie Mann, portfolio support manager & PA at UBM.
“Excellent, inspirational and informative event: good networking, fantastic keynote speakers and seminars, and a good opportunity to meet new suppliers,” says Jacqueline Kershaw, assistant to commercial director and commercial team support officer at HS2 Limited.
“I absolutely love coming to office*. I’ve attended three times now, and enjoyed it every time. It’s a fabulous one stop shop for all the things that PAs really need to have, and have access to,” says Teely Webb, EA to Professor Judith Petts, pro vice-chancellor (R&E) at University of Southampton.
“If you’ve never been to office* then you’re missing out. It’s the perfect opportunity to network and meet likeminded EAs and PAs. The seminars were inspirational and motivational – I left feeling empowered! It was definitely worth the visit,” says Sarah Pratt, PA to CEO at Lexia Solutions Group.
PAs, EAs, VAs, secretaries and administrators (68%) are by far the show’s biggest audience, with just over half working at companies which employ 250 staff or more. Attending seminars topped their list of reasons for attending, together with researching products/services, sourcing new suppliers, networking, and attending Keynotes.
“The energy from this year’s office* was electric, with 4,020 visitors of the highest calibre converging for two days to develop their business networks and expertise,” comments Sarah Cooper, office*’s event manager. “Thanks to the dynamic mix of engaging and relevant exhibitors, and renowned world-class education programme, office* 2015 has been cited our best edition yet – so we really couldn’t ask for a better result!”
One of the show’s key draws has always been its exceptional educational content. Nearly 80% of all visitors took in one or more of the show’s ten free Keynotes, eight free office* Experts Theatre sessions, eight hot topic group discussions, and 32 seminars on offer across the two days.
“Collectively, universally, I can’t think of one executive professional that can succeed without support,” commented Melba J. Duncan, a former executive assistant and president of the Duncan Group. “It’s a great profession and it takes great people to do this profession,” she said, calling for assistants to stand up and “acknowledge how great they are in doing what they do.”