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?