by Leilani Haywood
IAAP Summit 2017 is jam-packed with sessions from leading experts in technology, productivity, management and more. You want to get to every session but physically this could be impossible especially if two sessions are scheduled at the same time. Here are some tips for getting the most out of IAAP Summit 2017:
Plan ahead. Focus on the sessions that offer you the most expertise. “My choices will focus on areas in which I’d like even greater depth,” says Evon Wood, CAP, office manager, with ODL in Nashville, Tennessee. “Key sessions I’m hoping to attend: Meeting Fundamentals; Managing Up, Event Management, and Finance. I think these will be key strength builders as I transition to more office management processes.”
Divide and conquer. If you’re attending with colleagues from the same company or same city, divide the load for attending the sessions. One colleague can attend a session that’s scheduled the same time as another session you would like to go to. Everyone gets to attend the sessions they want to attend.
“Share the schedule with your supervisor to see if they want you to attend a specific session. You can bring the knowledge you learn back to the office to share with others,” says Phiandra Peck, CAP-OM, senior executive sssistant with Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. “If you are attending with others, divide up the sessions so that you cover more topics and ground and share/compare notes.” Peck serves on the IAAP Board as a Director at-Large. She has attended 8 IAAP Summits.
Ask your management and administrative team for advice and plan post-summit training to share what you learn. Your company can gain the most from your attendance when you share what you learn when you get back into the office. Kim Diana, executive assistant to the Provost at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida says she asks her peers for what they would like her to bring back from IAAP Summit. “I try to have ‘brown bag’ mini trainings when I return from an event,” says Diana. “It’s not a heavy duty training it’s more like a bunch of friends talking about what you learned. Sometimes that makes it more palatable for others. It tends to be more low-key, no agenda, lots of conversation, and of course lots of food! After we have our brown bag/mini training I send them hand outs in an email.”
Stay flexible. IAAP Summit also offers networking opportunities with leaders in your profession. You may meet someone at lunch or during break who could help you solve a problem. Carol Stockwell, CAP, City of St. Joseph Health Department, St. Joseph, Missouri says she looks at the session descriptions to see what appeals to her but she remains flexible. “In fact some of the best sessions I’ve attended were those I hadn’t originally planned to attend,” says Stockwell. “I also try to leave a little down time so that I can recharge.” Stockwell has attended 10 IAAP Summits.
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