Photo courtesy of Kathie Thomas.

Australian VA Conference 2018 – well what can I say? It was a blast!

This year was the 9th AVAC and proof that it gets better every year. We were hosted by the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane, a lovely venue with friendly staff and beautiful, modern amenities.

Fifty amazing VAs, plus guest speakers flocked to the venue for the 2 day event which started on Friday morning and finished Saturday afternoon.

The event was MC’d by Katrena Friel who started us off with a keynote exploring virtual strategic partnerships. Considering the variety of business types in the room this was an excellent point to start the conference with. What strategic partnerships do you have to help you advance and grow in business? How do you support them in return?

Lauren Clemett followed, talking about selling yourself and your personal brand. As a brain-biology junkie, I always love learning more and more about how the brain works and how it responds to situations. Neurobranding science is another interesting aspect.

After some morning tea and networking, where I got to catch up with old friends and start meeting some new ones, we heard from Janet Camilleri who loves SEO and writing SEO-friendly web content. It’s important to know who your target market is and how you ease their pain before tackling this topic – otherwise you won’t know which keywords to optimise for. Some handy SEO Tools include MOZ, SEMrush, Alexa, KWFinder and Google Analytics.

Kathie Thomas, VA of “only” 24 years (yep!) then talked about the importance of networking in business. We all know it to be true, but being reminded to get out from behind the computer and networking in real life (as well as online of course), is always a good thing. Kathie provided some tips and great questions to help everyone utilise networking well.

Lunch time included checking out the trade tables from the likes of IME Insurance Brokers, VA Institute, Refresh Your Thinking and my own, Virtually Yours.

After lunch we heard from Lyndal Harris from Podcast VA who reignited my determination to get a podcast started – the Virtual Assistant Wireless. I loved this presentation as it was easy to understand but full of practical information about podcasting. I quickly downloaded the Auphonic and Rode apps!

Kate Norris then inspired me to do more videos (you’ll love them I’m sure!) for business, letting my personality shine! Uh-Oh!

Heather Frame from Profit Edge spent some time with us talking about building and managing teams. VAs grow by hiring staff or working with subcontractors or alliances. The VA community in Australia is really strong so each VA has a great network around them to build their offering.

Sally Thibault finished off our day with her presentation about smashing self-sabotage to manifest success – she was really interesting to listen to and may have even convinced me to try some EFT….

That evening we all came together for a very chatty dinner in a beautifully sparkly-lit room. It was hard to break away to get enough sleep for the next day because with such like-minded business owners I think we could have talked all night!

The next morning started with a fun bang thanks to Michelle House who spoke about goal setting. When I first saw her title around RICH Living I was a little cynical, thinking ‘oh here we go – another person focusing on money’ – but I was wrong. I loved Michelle’s approach and how RICH doesn’t have to mean money when you know what’s important to you. If it resonates, inspires, brings on courage and harmony – you’re on the right track.

James Flaherty, in his bright orange top loudly declaring “SOCIAL BEAST” (because it’s an awesome name) was a blast. His stories and analogies really got me thinking and I’ll definitely keep following James online. And of course, he focused on one of my favourite questions – WHO?

Amanda Vanelderen was up next, talking about smart writing. And for someone like me who has seen a million inefficient and ineffective writing responses to jobleads, I loved that she tackled this very topic.

I was up next. Nervous much? Hopefully I was able to inspire the VAs in the room and get them thinking about how they can be a Stand Out VA.

After lunch we got to meet Derek Rowe, another great speaker who got me thinking AND laughing (the perfect combo). His points around the 3 types of time were so simple yet eye-opening and I’m keen to sit down and discuss this with hubby, who works from home like I do.

Andrea Smith then spoke about Copyright Myths. I had NO idea what Public Domains was and found that really interesting! Do you know?

With so many notes and so much information now up my sleeve, it’s time to sit down and work out what comes first. What do I want to change. When and how? Well all I can say is that a good AVAC kick up the bum is a great way to move your business forward for another year.

Will I see you at the AVAC 10th Anniversary Conference?

By |2018-06-06T17:48:46+11:00March 20th, 2018|Articles, Resources for VAs, Working with VAs|9 Comments

About the Author:

Virtually Yours was created in 2004 and is managed by Rosie Shilo. Who is Rosie Shilo?Since creating this thriving and ever growing network for Virtual Assistants, Rosie Shilo has become one dedicated business woman. Currently Rosie owns and runs ‘Virtually Yours’, a network for over 190 Australian Virtual Assistants which she founded in 2004.Rosie has mentored many new and experienced VAs in their business, and seen them overcome many hurdles to achieve amazing goals. This inspired her to write “VA VA Voom: How to become an amazing VA and every client’s most Valued Asset” which was published in May 2014 and has sold hundreds of copies to date. Since then she has also published ‘Reaching for the Stars: a woman’s guide to becoming a Stellar Virtual Assistant‘.Most recently she has posted a business book for all business owners who want to grow their businesses called 'The Outsourcing Secret'.She has also launched her own VA podcast ‘Outsourcing Mysteries Exposed' - find it on all quality podcast apps.


  1. Korryn Haines 20/03/2018 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    My poor baby addled brain is still buzzing from the conference – it may take me a week to get over! So much great content, and so many great people (including you!). DEFINITELY seeing you next year at the 10th Anniversary Conference!

    • Rosie Shilo 20/03/2018 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      Thanks Korryn! I hear ya! The last 2 days I’ve been pretty much useless! Lol! There’s only so much awesome we can handle all at once! xxx

  2. AnitaKilkenny 20/03/2018 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Awesome summary of the two days Rosie. On behalf of the AVAC committee, I’d like to say from the bottom of my heart a BIG thank you for supporting the Conference as you do. Looking forward to seeing you there next year (although I know I’ll see you before then!!) for our 10th Anniversary extravaganza! xxx

    • Rosie Shilo 20/03/2018 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anita! I think it’s a fantastic event and so accessible to those in our industry, which is really important. I’ll be there with bells on next year! xxx

  3. Katrena Friel 21/03/2018 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Fabulous Summary Rosie. It was a fabulous event and so well put together by the committee. It was so great to see you again. The community is amazing and the people just fantastic. See you soon on my travels Rosie, can’t wait to have another drink or two.

    • Rosie Shilo 22/03/2018 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Thanks Katrena! I LOVE the VA community – so lucky to be a part of it. Drinks soon! xxx

  4. Janet Camilleri 03/04/2018 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    I only attended the first day but really enjoyed it, you’re quite right the VA community is amazing!

  5. Michelle Hickson 12/04/2018 at 6:56 am - Reply

    I only started my VA business last year, and wasn’t sure about going to the conference. Thanks for the review – I might try to make next year’s conference!

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