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Executive PA Development & Training Day


Venue – Arora Hotel, 18-24 Princess St, Manchester M1 4LG

The Executive & Personal Assistants Association (EPAA) and Adam Fidler Academy are delighted to invite you to join us for a high-level and strategically pitched professional development day in Manchester, UK. 

​The day is designed for Executive PAs and EAs who want to improve their leadership and core managerial skills in order to effectively operate at the higher-level, now sought by many UK employers.

The programme will focus on real-life experience including lessons learned, ongoing challenges and barriers that today’s Assistants need to consider, and overcome, if their roles are to be sustainable in today’s commercial world.  It’s a day intended for those that have moved from ‘transactional’ to ‘strategic’ Assistant roles, or are soon to make this transition, and need to know how to do so effectively.

An overarching objective of the event is to identify and explore the critical gaps within the EA/PA profession, and champion the critical conversations that Assistants, and their employers, need to have to safeguard the PA/EA profession in the future.   

If you’re an Assistant who wants to remain at the top of your game, then this is an educational programme unlike any other.  


Why attend?

  • Shape the future of your career with the new mindset
  • Improve strategic agility and focus
  • Take the opportunity to network with peers from a diverse range of organisations from across the sector
  • Hear inspiring stories and different perspectives on what it takes to thrive in your role as an EA/PA or Assistant
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how to manage your career under challenging circumstances
  • Discuss the latest trends and issues – offering practical guidance, support and strategies to move forward in your career with confidence 


08:30 – 09:00 | Registration opens & networking

09:00 – 09:15 | Welcomes – Adam Fidler & Victoria Darragh

09:15 – 10:45 | Lessons from the C-Suite: Making This A Real Career; Shelagh Donnelly, Exceptional EA

You’re already adept at minutes, calendar management and more, and you strive to be a strong, strategic contributor to your company’s success. When you do so, you’re not only increasing your value to your employer; you’re also enhancing your own career satisfaction and elevating perceptions of the
admin. career as a whole.
Shelagh Donnelly, publisher of Exceptional EA, speaks from extensive experience; she held her first C-Suite appointment in her early twenties. Currently a direct report to both the Board Chair and the President and CEO of a large organisation, she understands the significance of aligning your professional development with your employer’s strategic plan and goals.
In this session, we will focus on the qualities of high performing EAs and PAs. The characteristics that lead to success in supporting roles in the C-Suite are equally important throughout the admin. org chart, and we’ll look at how you can distinguish yourself whatever your role may be.
  • Characteristics of a high performing EA or PA – what distinguishes your contributions to your organisation’s success?
  • Networking to your employer’s advantage
  • Effective communications
  • Emerging issues you need to understand
  • Taking control of your career

10:45 – 11:15 | BREAK

11:15 – 12:30 | Managing your Career; Vanessa Vallely, Wearethecity

This interactive session is aimed at injecting the “va va voom” back into delegates views of their careers, and makes the point that careers are no longer to be purely left in the hands of line managers – if individuals want to achieve success, they should drive their own career plans and seek the right opportunities to drive careers forward.

The workshop focuses on why and how individuals should create a career strategy and plan in order to unlock their potential and get themselves onto the path to success.   This session is not about theory, science or blue sky thinking, it is about a realistic look at what individuals want to achieve and what actions they should take in order to get where they want to go.

Session includes:

  • Reflecting on your 2016 achievements and lessons learned
  • Understanding the importance of career planning
  • Writing your career strategy and associated plan
  • Reviewing your network – who can help you?
  • Keeping yourself on track through time management
  • Strategies to avoid procrastination

Delegates will leave this session with the start of a career plan that you can build out.

12:30 – 13:30 | LUNCH

13:30 – 14:45 | Leadership, Management and the role of EA; Adam Fidler, Adam Fidler Academy

‘Today’s EAs just need to get more strategic,’ you’ll often hear Adam Fidler say. His work on the true role of the EA has gone viral on social media, making him one of the world’s leading authorities and educators on the future role of the Assistant. In this inspiring session, learn from Adam, EPAA’s preferred training partner, about:

  • The transition from PA to EA and the skills and competencies required to safeguard jobs for the future
  • Leadership and management: the optimum model for effective boss/PA working
  • The leadership challenge – where the EA role fits in
  • ‘Red box’ versus ‘Black box’ and why today’s Assistants need to take note of this – now!
  • What ‘being more strategic’ really means for an EA and how to accomplish it
  • Self-awareness – a key leadership trait that all EAs must develop
  • Developing the leadership competencies – it all starts with a managerial mindset
  • The EA Manifesto™ – join the thousands of Assistants worldwide who have bought into this way of ‘being’
  • Transactional to Transformational Assistant; you may have the skill, but do you have the will?

14:45 – 15:00 | BREAK

15:00 – 15:50 | Developing a deeper understanding of and identify strategic initiatives and projects that really matter to the bottom line of the organisation; Victoria Darragh, EPAA

Our forthcoming departure of the EU will place unprecedented challenges on today’s executives and in turn our organisations. Highly important strategic decisions will need to be made or have already been made to determine what resources are available and skill sets needed for the coming years.

The big question undoubtable facing leaders is ‘what can my organisation and/or department realistically deliver under challenging and exceptional circumstances?

Successful strategic initiative management is at the core of a high performing organisation. However, research has shown that there is a critical gap in project management skills among business managers, who have direct responsibility for determining such strategic initiatives.

The important questions EA/PA professionals now need to ask – do you really have a sound understanding of strategy and are your strategic initiatives and projects in high alignment with the organisational business plan? Are they really adding meaningful impact to your executive and in turn your organisation or is this a ‘nice to have’ or ‘tick box’ exercise? Do you have the strength and confidence to articulate to your leaders if you feel an initiative is going to have negative impact, despite your leader suggesting otherwise?

This session will seek to better your understanding of strategic initiatives and projects, what they really mean to the ‘bottom line’ and how to connect strategy with execution – end-to- end. We will work through the process of proposition to definition and then implementation and what the differences are between strategic initiatives and day to day operational projects and how you can add greater value at a much higher level.

15:50 – 16:45 | Transitioning & Operating as a Business Manager – Panel Session

Hear from our panel of top Executive Assistants, who have already made the transition to the newer frameworks of the emerging business manager. Enjoy a candid discussion on how and what steps to take, best practice and tips for the future.

  • Debbie Grimshaw, Brother UK
  • Dalya Perry-Bernstein, Select Concierge
  • Melanie Sheehy, Citation Ltd

16:45 – 17:00 | Closing words – Adam Fidler & Victoria Darragh


For assistance with the booking process please contact Georgina Farley –generalenquiries@epaa.org.uk


Arora Hotel

18-24 Princess Street

Manchester M1 4LG




Location to transport & city centre:

  • 1 km to city centre
  • 15k km to Manchester Airport
  • 1 km to Manchester Piccadilly train station (10-minute walk)
  • 1 minute walk to nearest metro station – St Peter’s Square

If you would like to stay at the hotel we are pleased to offer a negotiated rate for delegates as follows:

Tuesday 26th September 2017
Double room for sole occupancy – inclusive of breakfast £119.00
Please email Georgina Farley for reference and booking details – generalenquiries@epaa.org.uk

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