Have you lost your business buzz? And would like to get it back ? Sign up to my free 4 week course today which starts 29th July 2019. This will be the BETA version and therefore for one time only will be free. Don’t miss your chance! Hear more here
Would you like to cut out hassle of travel time for meetings and be in the comfort of your own home? Have you ever used Zoom the video conferencing platform? Do you have lots of client meetings during the day, committee or other types or meetings to organise? Maybe you want to do podcasts or have lots of people to interview for your dissertation? whatever your scenario the Zoom videoconferencing platform is a very easy and cheap way to make calls without even leaving the comfort of your living room! Watch my how to video on how to schedule and setup a call. I’ll do another one this month about what to wear/where to look/extra features and if you have any other questions please let me know
Keep an eye on my VirtuAli Administrative Solutions YouTube channel as well for other how to videos
It’s my party and I’ll have a checklist if I want to! Do you know the one thing that doesn’t change in life whether you are an adult or a child? The complexity of who to invite to your party and where to have it! Finding a venue for your workshop/conference/anniversary can be very time consuming so I’ve compiled a checklist below to help simplify it. If you are based in Northern Ireland, Visit Belfast have a very comprehensive list of venues in Belfast with the maximum capacity theatre and banquet style.
Whether you are a freelance coach/trainer/speaker or working for a company you may often find yourself having to organise an event of some kind. I worked as a PA for 10 years so often had to book venues for Christmas parties or team away days. Now as a VA, I help small business owners research venues for Director meetings; speaking or training locations; event launches; business milestones etc. I’ve also been on the other side where I’ve been asked to speak at events about my own business. So, I’ve drawn together below a checklist of things to think about when booking an event. Keep reading if you are interested in downloading a checklist of things to tick off when you are in the middle of organising an event/conference/bootcamp
A few years ago, I had a big birthday and invited 40 of my closest friends. I had people from all aspects and periods of my life from primary school friend to friends I met while working in Luxembourg. So I wanted to find a venue and an activity that was pretty central for everyone to get to, that allowed people to mix easily and had good food. I worked in Belfast Welcome Centre for 2 years as a Tourist Advisor so I also wanted to showcase Belfast. In the end I booked Mulsanne Casinos and had a casino night at Crumlin Road Gaol with a tour beforehand. The customer service was fantastic beforehand and after. More about that at the end
Organising an event can be very stressful as there are so many elements to think of so I’ve compiled a list for the pre-event stage:
Researching a venue
Things to think about in researching a venue :
1. How many people you anticipate will attend
2. How easy it is for people to get to
2. How easy it is to park
3. How accessible is it if you are carrying any kind of equipment into the room
4. Will there be staff on the day/night present to help signpost people and with registration
5. Do you have to provide your own tea/coffee/biscuits or is there in-house catering
6. How well ventilated or heated the room is
7. How good is the Wi-Fi
8. How good are the acoustics
9. Does the venue provide an overhead projector and laptop on site if you are giving a Powerpoint presentation
10. Is there technical support on site in case anything goes wrong
By human nature we are programmed to remember the bad things and I remember vividly venues I’ve been in for events which have been freezing or roasting, where there is no tea on arrival, where the sound is poor and where it has been difficult to park.
Booking a venue
The Fine Print-things to remember to ask about:
1. What the cancellation policy is
2. If prices include VAT or not
3. If you are able to check the room in person in advance
4. Discount if you are booking repeat slots/ if you are also booking people into the venue to stay overnight/sister discounts with other establishments etc
5. Reconfirm everything at least 5 days in advance
And remember to get everything in writing from quote at the start to the final confirmation! Best lesson I was ever taught in a coordination role is never to assume anything. The person you confirmed the booking with on the phone, may get distracted and forget to write your booking down in their calendar or you may get the dates mixed up! Always try at least 5 working days in advance of your event contact the venue to reconfirm details and if needs be find an alternative venue if you are double booked.
Always plan for the unforeseeable
No matter what your event is, always plan or the unforeseeable ! Some elements will always be beyond your control. You can’t predict the weather/ a total powercut/bomb alerts/your keynote speaker missing their flight/rail strikes etc. but you can eat least make a Plan B or C in advance.
The Crumlin Road Gaol still sends me a birthday card every year in the post which I’m always touched by. A notification in an Excel sheet or in Mail Chimp is a very simple thing to set up but it’s the little things that sway you to go back or to recommend others!
If you are organising a training event, a workshop or a conference with several speakers and are feeling overwhelmed about the elements to organise please get in touch to see if I can help you in the lead up to it.
If you are interested in receiving an extra checklist of things to think off whilst organising an event please download it here
Virtual Assistant collective with global clients, the upcoming event by VA Heroes promises to open your eyes to the depth of services offered by such companies.
The VA Heroes are delighted to be guest bloggers for Sensei who help you communicate better with your clients and teams, in person, on paper and online
Editor: This month, we welcome Alison Matthews as our Guest Blogger. She is one member of a local, boutique Virtual Assistant collective with global clients, VA Heroes, whose upcoming event promises to open your eyes to the depth of services offered by such companies.
My casual observation on the rise of this new type of laptop-toting, location-agnostic entrepreneur is that Administration seems like the obvious choice of services to offer: like the traditional PA, managing diaries, booking travel and accommodation, and running events. But, the latest wave of VA has wider ambitions. We’re seeing seasoned professionals with skills in marketing, IT, data management, HR and other surprising niches. Think again. Could VAs provide a solid, credible asset to your existing team?
What is the VA Heroes?
They say the most powerful conversations are a result of just four people chatting together. In our case, after a throwaway comment about the lack of female superheroes and the magical powers of Virtual Assistants (VA) to organise everything from scheduling social media posts to planning events, ‘VA Heroes NI’ was born.
The VA Heroes The VA Heroes
The VA Heroes are a collective of four experienced Virtual Assistants, based in Northern Ireland. We have clients across the USA, Europe and Australasia.
Collaboration Not Competition
The beauty of this collaboration is that while we are all working in the geographically small area of Northern Ireland, we all hail from different backgrounds and offer very different services and expertise.
We’ve replaced competition with collaboration. Our reasoning is very simple:
• First, we all have very different specialities, and therefore can refer work within our group.
• Second, the nature of what we do enables us to work with anyone, anywhere.
• Finally, and perhaps most importantly, all of us started our businesses because we were all already in the business of collaboration. We love helping busy entrepreneurs by giving them back their time, saving them money back and ultimately Saving Their Sanity!
Who are the VA Heroes?
It’s time to meet the heroes!
Gayle Alexander is a creative professional who focuses on video and digital marketing. Her visual and branding services business is called AVA Alexander Virtual Assistance.
Wendy Cree is a specialist in Executive Assistant Services, and works closely with busy MDs and business owners. Her business service is called Ambriel Ltd.
Ellie McBride is an experienced expert in software workflows, tools and systems, and social media support. Her business is called Calibrated ConceptsCalibrated ConceptsCalibrated Concepts.
Finally, Alison Matthews – that’s me! My expertise lies in automating and streamlining processes and data management. My business is called VirtuAli Administrative Solutions.
Save on Sanity Event
Are you getting worn out by having to do all the things wearing all the hats? Let the VA Heroes Save your Sanity!
Book to attend the next event,Book to attend the next event,Book to attend the next event, Save on Sanity on 05 June in Clockwise, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Who Should Attend?
The event we are organising on 05 June is aimed at any business owner who is simply worn out with the responsibility of having to do everything by themselves. We want to educate busy entrepreneurs on the value of hiring a Virtual Assistant.
We have also extended the invitation to other VA’s in NI because we want as many entrepreneurs solopreneurs and start-ups by professionals of all ages to grow their businesses efficiently.
What You Will Learn
• How to automate and systematise your business to give you more time to grow your business and to give space for your personal life
• Tips and tricks to manage your time better
• How to take charge of your to-do list (and your life)
• What a VA actually does and the many ways they can help you
• What types of tasks you can, and should, hand over to a VA
• How to engage a VA
• The advantages of hiring a contractor
Don’t spend the rest of this year stressed out, overwhelmed or drained. Let the VA Heroes come to your rescue!
If you are curious and want to supercharge your business, register at the link for our next event. Depending on how magical your own superpowers are, you may even catch a glimpse of us in our superhero capes!
Further Info & Booking
BookBookBook to attend the next event, Save on Sanity on 05 June in Clockwise, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Follow the VA Heroes Online:
Facebook Facebook Facebook and Facebook Messenger
LinkedIn GroupLinkedIn GroupLinkedIn Group
Follow the activities of VA Heroes using the following hashtags: #powerof4 #saveonsanity #superpowers #vaheroesni.
Photo by Gabriel Beaudry on Unsplash
Do you know what the term Virtual Assistant means? Being a ‘virtual’ assistant doesn’t mean a faceless voice like Siri or Alexa. I’ve made this video to explain #Fatherted style the difference between real and virtual!
Who is VirtuAli? The skills I have acquired over a long career have forged the services I offer and how I now help to take away the admin pain from a diverse number of businesses