What I am about to share with you, is my review of the Australian Virtual Assistants Conference. AVAC, as it is affectionately known is an annual event that appears on most Aussie VAs calendars, as a must attend personal development and networking event.

Imagine an MC who puts the delegates at ease even before the event starts. That was how Rob Salisbury began AVAC2015. We met face to face the night before the conference started and from that moment and throughout the next two days, he was helpful, humorous, informative and entertaining.

The aim of AVAC is to network, learn, grow, and get inspired by a range of speakers, and the line-up this year was no exception. Starting with Caroline Kennedy, not from the famous US Kennedy family, but the author, and speaker, sharing her journey, struggles and successes. As she says “The strongest may survive, but the passionate thrive.” And ending with the truly inspirational Leanne Sklavenitis who didn’t fail to deliver and motivate, even though she was the final speaker to finish the conference. Leanne will be the first to tell you she isn’t as scary as she appears, but she is the accountability coach that many want to work with – Including me!

The theme throughout the conference seemed to be, or perhaps it was conversations with my mentor that were being repeated – Know your ideal client, know really well;

  • what motivates them, what is on their bucket list (Thanks Alli Price),
  • what language do they respond to (Thanks Suzanne Chadwick),

I’ve only mentioned a handful of the speakers who shared their stories, knowledge and imparted sprinkles of inspiration throughout the room. (Watch our Facebook page for more inspirational quotes and comments.) But from the eager faces of many first time delegates and VAs ready to start their journey into our awesome industry, sincere thanks to the AVAC committee for yet another successful event.

You may think that a room full of business owners in the same industry would be cold and unfriendly, think again! The VA industry is collaborative and supportive. In fact many VAs work together with clients and bounce ideas around. This brings me to the networking, for those VAs with not as much experience or looking for advice, and maybe even a mentor, AVAC is the perfect event to grow your virtual connections into real friendships.

My takeaways from the conference were clear;

  • Write with your reader in mind, a great reminder from Vikki Maver
  • Kerryn Powell taught me to continue to network, network, network (online and face to face)
  • A great tip from Paul McCarthy, when a client pays you a compliment verbally, ask them if you can transfer those words into a website testimonial.

So if you’re a VA or thinking about starting your journey to become a VA, mark your calendar now for March 18th & 19th, and we’ll see you in Manly for AVAC2016.

Related: Curious about previous years? Read our review of AVAC2013 and AVAC2014

by Sam Spence – Founder & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

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