Julie’s Picks: My Favorite Midsize and Large Administrative Conferences

Dec 12, 2018 | Career Development

favorite conferencesAs administrative professionals, it’s crucial to continue to hone our skills if we want to remain relevant. Attending conferences and training events is a fantastic way to keep up with the innovations, changes, and trends of the profession. But when training dollars and time off for professional development are scarce, it’s impossible to attend every event. It’s important to do your research and make sure that the conference you choose is the best fit for your personality type and learning needs.

To make your decision a bit easier, the following are five of my favorite midsize (300-400 attendees) and large (1000+ attendees) administrative conferences.

Administrative Professionals Conference (APC)

If you love the buzz and excitement of a conference venue full of people, inspiring keynotes, custom learning tracks, and limitless networking, the APC is for you! It attracts a global audience, top brands and influencers, and it’s a great early fall getaway from the office.

  • Produced by the American Society of Administrative Professionals
  • Typically a three-day conference with an additional day for pre-conference and/or post-conference workshop options
  • Usually takes place in September
  • Excellent education topics, speakers, and networking opportunities with entertainment mixed in
  • 1000+ attendees
  • Held annually in cities across the U.S.
  • Offers PACE certification credits for most training
  • ASAP members enjoy a discounted rate (membership in ASAP is free!)
  • Targeted training for Executive Assistants with the EA summit

The 2019 APC takes place September 22-25 in New Orleans, LA.

IAAP Summit

As a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals for nearly 20 years, I’ve attended the IAAP summit numerous times, and I always walk away inspired.

  • Produced by the International Association of Administrative Professionals
  • Typically a three-day conference with an additional day for pre-conference and/or post-conference workshop options
  • Usually takes place in July
  • Fun and informative with a wide range of speakers and trainers
  • 1000+ annual attendees
  • Held in cities across the U.S. and Canada
  • Most training qualifies for CAP recertification points
  • Discounted rate for IAAP members

The 2019 event is scheduled for July 18-21 in National Harbor, MD.

APC Canada

APC Canada is the top conference for assistants in Canada, but you don’t have to be a Canadian to attend! This conference has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years because of the top level speakers, training topics, and organization of this event. It’s big enough to provide plenty of variety, but small enough that you don’t get swallowed up by the sea of people coming and going from the main sessions.

  • Produced by Macgregor Communications
  • Usually takes place in April, May, or June
  • Typically a two-day conference with an additional day for pre-conference and/or post-conference workshop options
  • Premium training, an expert faculty, and lots of opportunity for peer networking
  • 600+ attendees

APC Canada will take place in Toronto, Ontario, June 16-19, 2019

The Conference for Administrative Excellence

There’s no mistaking the leading attraction at the Office Dynamics Conference for Administrative Excellence: It’s Joan Burge, Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics. Joan’s attention to detail in planning her conference is unsurpassed. She personally interacts with the attendees throughout the event. The conference theme is integrated into each session and aspect of the conference. And she delivers a conference experience that makes you feel like the most important person in the room.

  • Produced by Office Dynamics, Inc.
  • Usually takes place in October
  • A two-and-a-half day conference
  • Primarily a focused-theme event with main stage keynote speakers and an annual team building activity highlighted with a welcome networking reception and an evening of celebration during the conference
  • 300+ people in attendance
  • Held annually in Las Vegas

The 2019 Conference for Administrative Excellence is October 15-18 in Las Vegas.

The PA Show (previously office*Show)

The PA Show is the UK’s largest event dedicated to personal assistants, executive assistants, virtual assistants, and office managers. This event has more of an expo feel to it with professional development theaters that provide specific training courses throughout the event. It’s a fantastic event for networking with peers, finding resources, and connecting with the suppliers and services you need to help you be more effective doing your job.

  • Produced by MASH Media Group ltd.
  • Usually takes place in February
  • Typically a two-day conference and exhibitor showcase event
  • Held annually in London
  • Includes four PA Life Masterclass theaters (for a fee), keynote theatres, networking sessions, and industry suppliers and exhibitors
  • 1000+ attendees
  • The show is complimentary, with CPD accreditation available for those formally tracking their development

The 2019 event takes place February 26-27 in London.

Whether you love the fast-paced, high energy scene or a more laid-back, intimate feel, there’s a conference or training event to meet your needs!

Did we miss a conference you really enjoy? Let us know at AdminSuccess@AllThingsAdmin.com so we can update our list! And watch for our list of smaller conference recommendations next week.

© 2018 Julie Perrine International, LLC


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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.

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