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Preparing for Your Next Professional Development Conference

As I have mentioned a few times, last year, when I attend the Accelerated Assistant conference, I learned so many great tips over those four short days from the professional speakers and during the group activities. Joan Burge shared her experience and resources with the group daily to make the conference a true game-changer for me.

Once you have approval and you’ve researched which conference is best for you, how do you prepare for those few days packed full of beneficial information?

I’d like to share how I am preparing for this year’s Stellar Assistant conference :

  • Review the agenda carefully and research each speaker, their experience and the conference-specific topic they will share. Highlight/take note of areas that really speak to you and the education that fits your interest. I have already started my note journal and highlighting!
  • If a session requires you to choose one topic, such as the hands-on labs, research carefully and choose that topic early (have a backup in mind).
  • Be prepared to discuss your current concerns about your work projects, seek input or share tips and resources that you use daily.
  • Prepare some icebreaker questions, ask others what they are most proud of currently, what they are working on, how they balance life and work, etc. These are men and woman who most likely know exactly what you struggle with and achieve daily!
  • Ask questions and interact as much as you can. Even if this makes you a bit uncomfortable, you’ll regret NOT interacting! You will be with your peers, your team…get to know them and share ideas!
  • Visit the success store & take advantage of mingling opportunities during breaks and during breakfast and lunch.
  • TAKE NOTES – practice your best notetaking skills and record important quotes, tips and information from the speakers and from your peers! Review them each evening to make sure you captured everything from that day.
  • Plan on attending the Gala. This is my one regret from last year…I did not attend the Gala and missed out on that extra time with my peers, the speakers, Joan, and others! This is an opportunity to relax a little and have more conversations! Plus, you have an opportunity to dress up!
  • If traveling, pack lightly…just a suggestion, but don’t stress and pack only basic outfits, the essentials and a book or two, your journal or notebook and business cards to share.
  • Pick up brochures or cards from speakers and sign up for their newsletters if they offer links.

Office Dynamics offers a great article and information about getting approval to attend an upcoming conference.


I highly recommend attending a conference:

  • To open resource doors
  • Continue your education about your industry and position
  • Learn time-saving tips that will benefit you long after you return to work!
  • Network and meet some amazing woman; inspire and be inspired!
  • Share your enthusiasm with your team when you return to work
  • Implement what you learned into your daily or weekly routine!

I am really looking forward to attending this year’s conference – The Stellar Assistant. Who else is super excited about the speakers, new content, learning labs, and opportunities to get to know the other attendees?? If you plan on attending, please connect with me!

Let the countdown begin!




Dana Buchanan is a 20 plus year professional assistant with a passion for writing and offers a unique and professional perspective to projects and brainstorming sessions! She enjoys helping others discover key steps toward their career focus, job search, or self-employment exploration by creating or editing resumes, researching a particular type of job search, discovering business ideas and the action needed to succeed and loves sharing interviewing tips! Dana is also available to speak to small groups.

You can read and follow Dana’s blogs at Success Encourager



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1 thought on “Preparing for Your Next Professional Development Conference”

  1. Hi Dana,

    I will be at this year’s Stellar Assistant conference. I would really love the chance to connect!

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Check out our tips and get our ‘Getting Approval’ packet, featuring a comprehensive brochure with conference details and a ‘Request to Attend’ letter to help convince your superiors of the event’s value.