It’s no secret: as an office manager and administrative assistant, you play a critical role in your office. From ensuring employees have the resources and supplies they need, to scheduling interviews, meetings, and celebrations, you are the gears (and the grease!) that keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. When you’re set up for success, the entire organization will thrive.
Help you and your organization flourish in 2020, and check out these must-attend conferences for office managers in 2020. Explore the latest business trends, learn operational and organizational strategies, and hone your administrative skills in the company of experienced admin pros.
This spring, join OfficeNinjas and admins from across the globe in celebrating ‘The Era of the Office Ninja.’ Back in full force with online flash raffles, giveaways, and awards, OfficeNinjas’s Admin Week will run from April 20-24.
For those able to make it to San Francisco, grab a ticket (sooner rather than later, they typically sell out) for Office Ninja Con, a two-day adventure jam-packed with interactive instruction, thought-provoking discussions, and practical exercises. Make connections with admin pros from across the globe, learn about game-changing products and services, and plunge head-first into actionable best practices for everyday success as an admin.
On the night of April 22, Office Ninjas Con ends with the ultimate admin party: Admin Bash. With budget-friendly tickets, Admin Bash ensures Ninjas from all over have the opportunity to get the gratitude they deserve. So grow your network, indulge in tasty treats, and leave with a legendary swag bag: Admin Bash is your party!
Can’t make the trek to San Francisco? Explore OfficeNinjas’ line-up of Admingling events (smaller, after-work events that blend networking, hands-on activities, and partying) here to meet up with all-star ninjas in a city near you.
And don’t forget to subscribe to OfficeNinjas’ newsletter or follow them on social media to enter all of their Admin Week flash raffles and participate in the digital celebration!
2. Culture Summit
When: July 14-16, 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
Organizer: Culture Summit
Get ready for a whirlwind of speakers, workshops, and effective, no-fluff strategies to transform your workplace.
In July of 2020, founders, culture champions, HR professionals and admins will gather at Culture Summit with a collective goal in mind: build the culture you want to work in.
With cross-functional, cross-industry speakers from renowned brands such as Twitter, Stitch Fix, and Patagonia, this three-day summit in San Francisco is not meant to sell you perks. Instead, you’ll leave with the tools, data, and frameworks to reframe and revamp your workplace culture.
When: May 15, 2020 | 8:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Location: San Francisco, CA
Known for their extensive resources and active online network of admins, OrgOrg is gearing up for their second-ever conference, Camp OrgOrg.
This one-day conference is specifically designed for ‘Organization Organizers,’ or the people behind the scenes, like you, that make sure everything at work works. With a diverse line-up of panels, workshops, breakout discussions, and social activities, Camp OrgOrg empowers attendees to develop their skills, harness their creativity, and leverage their peers in order to do their best work at work.
In an effort to make Camp OrgOrg as accessible as possible, the organizers offer scholarships and discounts for those in need. And if you simply can’t make it to San Francisco this May, be sure to join their online community of office managers, executive and administrative assistants, people ops pros, and HR professionals. Gain exclusive access to resources, groups, and event announcements, and chat with like-minded peers from around the country.
4. Perks convention
SF: August 20, 2020
NYC: September 2, 2020
LA: September 17, 2020
Boston: September 29, 2020
Chicago: October 8, 2020
Toronto: October 29, 2020
The Perks Convention is more than just flashy products and Employee Appreciation Day inspiration: it’s an employee experience expo. With 100+ vendors, interactive lounges, and curated workshops, Perks Convention strives to connect office managers with relevant, research-backed, and affordable solutions for all kinds of organizations.
Better yet, it might be hosted right in your backyard! With six conventions in major cities across the US planned for 2020, Perks provides the opportunity to share stories and network with office managers from your region. Keep an eye out for their giveaways, health and wellness initiative ideas, and of course, groundbreaking perk ideas for your office.
5. Administrative Professional Conference
When: September 13-16, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Organizer: ASAP (American Society of Administrative Professionals)
With over two thousand attendees at last year’s conference, the Administrative Professionals Conference raises the bar for dynamic, professional development for administrative professionals and executive assistants.
The conference focuses on ‘real world’ admin education, offering 75+ training sessions that participants can pick and choose from according to their specific needs and goals. Boost your communication skills, learn new technologies, or refresh your finance knowledge: the choice is yours! The conference’s primary goal? Help you recognize your brilliance.
Beyond its extensive list of training sessions, the conference also includes a diverse line-up of keynote speakers that will tackle creative approaches to productivity, organization, and leadership. Achieve your professional goals, and be inspired at the Administrative Professionals Conference happening this September in Las Vegas.
6. IAAP Summit
When: July 17-21, 2020
Location: Orlando, FL
Join IAAP this year in sunny Orlando, Florida for their annual four-day summit. A morning until night immersive experience, the IAAP Summit creates space for all types of learning. Attend a deep dive education workshop with an industry expert, connect and learn from peers during an informal lunch, participate in interactive, think-tank style challenges with a group: everyone grows in their own way.
Registration also includes a first-time attendee orientation, cocktail reception, and awards gala, personalized consultations at the wellness bar, a marketplace expo of innovative vendors, and a closing keynote by Ted Ma. Get ready to brush up on your skills and renew your passion for administrative work at the 2020 IAAP Summit.
7. Conference for Administrative Excellence
When: October 27- 30, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Organizer: Office Dynamics
Catapult your career into the future of administrative excellence at The Conference for Administrative Executives happening this fall in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This year, the conference will take a journey to ‘2020 and Beyond,’ providing a suite of classes, talks, and company spotlights to help participants cultivate the necessary skills and perspective to excel in the administrative landscapes of tomorrow. From global perspectives to digital IQ deep dives, themed galas to a successful store of career-enhancing products, The Conference for Administrative Executives is the right blend of work and play to keep you engaged.
Invest in your career and your future: register today!
These conferences, summits, conventions are more than just educational experiences: they’re opportunities to connect with a national, sometimes global, community of passionate administrators like you. They’re also a great way to check out innovative vendors changing the face of the modern workplace; be sure to stop by the Bevi booth to learn how you can bring customized beverages to your office!
Mark your calendar, get ready to pitch your boss, and don’t miss out on these seven must-attend conferences for office managers and administrative professionals in 2020.
The best thing about hydration is that your body is good at regulating it for you.
Whether you’re thirsting for a big glass of cold water or feeling like you need just a sip, your body naturally gives you a nudge — in the form of a craving — when it’s time for a refill.
We sat down with Dr. Tom Ronay, Medical Director at Circle Medical (the doctor’s office that comes to you, paid for by your insurance, now operating in the Bay Area), for a deep dive into hydration in the workplace. Since the majority of people spend most of their waking hours at work, how you hydrate in the office can have a big impact on your our overall health.
What is happening on an anatomical level when a person feels thirsty?
Thirst is regulated by your blood vessels and kidneys via a complex and very fast-acting cascade that triggers your brain to crave fluids of any kind. This process all happens automatically: the human body is excellent at regulating hydration and is faster than any laboratory test out there. 1 out of 4 office employees say they don’t hydrate enough.
What do you consider the biggest limiting factor when it comes to workplace hydration?
Access is key. Some offices may not have a filtered water cooler, which forces employees to either buy bottled water at the Starbucks down the street or to try and ignore their thirst. Given that proper hydration can increase employee productivity up to 14%, it’s in every office’s best interest to provide a consistent and healthy source of beverages to their employees. In some larger offices, the water cooler might be tucked away in the corner or halfway across the floor. Small layout changes or adding additional hydration stations is a great way to give employees more immediate access to water.
Another key factor is how you decide to quench your thirst. When you feel thirsty, in reality any fluid can quench that initial thirst, but only some fluids — the healthy ones — will keep you hydrated and balanced.
Let’s chat a bit about the most common beverage in any office: coffee. Can coffee keep you hydrated?
Coffee is limited in how well it can hydrate you. It is in fact a diuretic, meaning it can actually cause you to lose more fluid than you gain. Similarly, it also can move your intestines more quickly than is typically comfortable. It doesn’t have to be coffee either — really any caffeinated drink will have this effect on the body, so it’s hard to work around it. While it is better than nothing, drinking coffee all day isn’t exactly the best way to keep yourself hydrated and focused in the office.
How do our bodies respond to caffeinated drinks and will they actually make us more productive?
How we metabolize caffeine is different from the way in which our body processes something like alcohol. Caffeine is metabolized and removed from your body quickly at first, but after about 4–6 hours its metabolized much slower, meaning it sticks around in our bodies for a fairly long time.
Contrary to common thought, coffee does affect people in the evening, sometimes even disrupting sleep. Besides disrupting the amount of sleep, it can really affect the quality of sleep you get; the time you spend sleeping becomes inefficient, meaning you require more sleep to compensate.
Coffee may give you that extra boost you need to finish out the workday, but it will ultimately affect the amount of rest you get after work.
As the saying goes, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ How can someone like an office manager encourage employees to stay hydrated?
Forcing or shaming people to drink water is counterproductive, especially when there are many creative ways to integrate hydration into your typical office routine. For example, in our office, each person has their favorite mug, cup or glass. These personalized mugs or special glasses are fun and almost a form of personal expression.
Having a unique drinking vessel not only encourages people to fill up their glass, but also helps to lessen the occurrence of anonymous dirty cups in the sink.
What are some different types of healthy drinks an office can keep on hand for those employees that don’t usually opt for plain water?
The variety of alternatives out there is amazing. Many office now stock cold, fizzy drinks, hot drinks like tea, and everything in between!
In recent years, there’s been a national decrease in soda consumption and an increase in demand for healthier alternatives. People are now getting into different types of waters, such as mineral water, seltzer water, and fruit-flavored water, that are more satisfying alternatives to sugary carbonated drinks.
For offices that have a mixture of water drinkers and soda lovers, Bevi is a great compromise. Plain water drinkers can have their fill of plain filtered water, while soda lovers can make the transition to Bevi’s unsweetened fruit flavors.
Hydration is often cited as a form of disease prevention. How do your experiences align with this concept?
As young doctors in training, we learned that providing access to hydration was all that was needed for most of our hospitalized patients. Our patients did not require precise measurements or IV hydration, unless they were immobile or elderly. If you provide access to water, the patient will take care of the rest.
The same thing goes for flu or cold prevention in the office. Sometimes offices will provide their employees with Vitamin C during flu and cold season, but an initiative to hydrate more frequently could have an even bigger impact.
Keep in mind that our bodies are primarily water — somewhere around 60–78%. In general, our bodies are made up of elements that are subject to the laws of chemistry and physics, and therefore have many complex reactions. This means if you’re drinking poor quality water or your water level is simply low, you’re at a serious disadvantage on a chemical level.
When it comes to water, is there ever such a thing as too much?
In my own life, I have received a lot of conflicting advice on this point. My Sergeant in the Air Force always used to say “Drink water until you pee clear,” but this conflicted with what my marathon doctor advised me; he always emphasized that over-hydrating is a real risk for competitors.
These combined experiences taught me that forcing water on people (or in this case, marathon runners) was annoying and counter-productive, but providing access to water was critical in any situation. Unless someone is elderly or has limited access to hydration, they will most likely drink as much water as they need.
Do you have a favorite way of hydrating?
I will admit that I drink one cup of coffee at the office, and I could definitely do more to keep myself consistently hydrated. Having a Bevi in the office would certainly help me take care of that!
For Executive Assistant and Administrative Professional events, see here.
These 5 conferences for office managers, administrative assistants and executive assistants are much better than the ones you attended last year. We promise.
How many times in 2017 did you leave a conference thinking “that was a huge waste of time”? The answer is too many.
Sometimes hashtags, junk food, and unoriginal icebreakers are just not enough to make a boring conference better.
This year, make unengaging conferences a thing of the past. If you’re an Office Manager, People Ops Manager, Executive Assistant, Human Resources Officer, Culture Champion, or some combination of all these roles, you won’t want to miss these 5 conferences happening in 2018.
1. Admin Bash
Host: Office Ninjas
When: April 25, 2018
Where: Mountain View, CA
“You’ve found your Tribe! Now, it’s time to celebrate together.”
This is not an office management conference. This is a party.
Although it only lasts one day, Admin Bash is jam-packed with networking opportunities that are actually fun and worthwhile. They have also got sweet raffle prizes, amazing catering, the most legendary swag bag you’ve ever seen, hand-picked vendor marketing, and best of all, a massage lounge. It’s like receiving a whole year’s worth of gratitude in just a few hours.
One important thing to note is that the event is exclusively for “career admins.” If you don’t know what those words mean, then you probably shouldn’t register. In fact, they won’t let you: each registration is verified by their staff, so don’t even try to sneak in. (They don’t call them Office Ninjas for nothing…)
Sign-up here today to get the early bird discount, and get ready to party like it’s 2018.
And if you can’t make it out to San Francisco, try attending one of their smaller Admingling events in a city near you. Their 2018 schedule should be posted soon.
Host: live grey
West Coast: March 21–22, 2018 in San Francisco, CA
East Coast: October 23–24, 2018 in Brooklyn, NY
“Connect to the place you lead from.”
Want to make a real change? Practice what you preach. As their unconventional conference model shows, Life@Work takes its commitment to new ways of working together very, very seriously.
Each conference participant is assigned to a team of 20 people; together, they will experience the conference as a unit. The team will act as a place to share personal experiences, have discussions, and do various kinds of team exercises, either within the team or in collaboration with other teams. Life@Work is nothing short of a personal journey, and it will leave you feeling more connected than ever to the human side of your team, your employees, and yourself.
While the Early Bird ticket sales have long since ended, there are still Advanced Special and General Event tickets available for purchase. Take a look at the San Francisco or Brooklyn tickets for more information on pricing. (Note: you don’t have to be a career admin to participate.)
3. Culture Summit
Host: Culture Summit
When: July 10–12, 2018
Where: San Francisco, CA
“Culture isn’t an HR strategy anymore, it’s an everyone strategy.”
Pictured right: the Bevi team at Culture Summit 2017.
Whether your office suffers from rampant employee disengagement or you’ve been nominated for a ‘Top 10 Places to Work’ award, the Culture Summit has something to offer. A true Culture Champion knows that culture is not built on perks, but on strategically-planned workplace initiatives and programs. Each talk and workshop at the Summit is designed to leave you with concrete, actionable items that you execute upon returning to your office.
Have a few culture champions at work you would like to bring along? Good news: you don’t need to be a career admin to participate. Everyone is invited. So grab an enthusiastic co-worker, and get ready to build a scalable, thriving culture in your office.
While tickets are not yet on sale, sign-up here to receive an email notification when their Super Early Bird tickets become available.
4. Thrive Summit
Host: Virgin Pulse
When: April 9–11, 2018
Where: Miami Beach, Florida
“Color your culture yours.”
Geared primarily towards those who work in HR or People Operations, the 2018 Thrive Summit is a 3-day adventure into the latest data and trends in employee engagement and wellbeing. With a high-profile line-up of speakers, the conference is focused on helping you — the employer — make your employees feel like people instead of numbers. What will the future of work look like? There’s only one way to find out.
And it’s all happening in a little-known city by the name of Miami Beach. Party time.
While the full conference agenda is not yet available, Early Bird tickets will be on sale until February 1st. Reserve yours here.
5. Executive Leadership Support Forum Series
Host: A branch of Q1 Productions
Where: Most major cities
When: See dates and locations here
Being an Executive Assistant is anything but easy.
The Executive Leadership Support Forum Series is half a professional development course, half a networking opportunity designed to address the specific needs and aspirations of EAs. Learn how to improve your product management ability and leadership development skills by attending academic-style seminars and comparing notes with your peers.
There’s still time to register for the upcoming forums happening in Houston and Chicago. Register in advance to get a discounted ticket.
These conferences are the best of the best, so make sure you sign up ASAP or you’ll be stuck going to the same roundtables as last year. Don’t you remember how fun those were? (Nope, neither can we.)
Looking for more ways to be the greatest office hero there ever was? Get Bevi, the smart water cooler with still, sparkling, and flavored water that never runs out.
Oh, and did we mention you’ll never have to restock the office fridge again? True story.
Not all company growth requires a brand new office; often times, a few adjustments to the current office layout can make a big impact, ultimately helping your space become both more productive as well as accommodating of future growth.
For quickly growing startups like Bevi, each round of hiring presents a challenge to the delicate balance of the current floor plan. Teams begin to outgrow their original areas, and suddenly 7 people are sitting in a space that was designed for 2. And since many startups have an accelerated hiring timeline, this puts a lot of pressure on Office Managers, HR, or Facilities Managers to change the office layout quickly and seamlessly. No matter what the occasion, rearranging an office space can be stressful — especially when current employees are not 100% on board.
We’ve got your back. We interviewed our own all-star Office Manager, Claire, to put together this list of 11 things to do before, during, and after a change to the office layout. We can’t promise that the office won’t mutiny, but at least you’ll have a contingency plan if they do (see #3 for some of Claire’s tips).
1. Get key stakeholders on board
Regardless of your company’s size, getting key stakeholders on board is the first step towards getting the entire office to buy into the changes. Key stakeholders are more likely to recognize how space adjustments will benefit the company as a whole and can communicate this directly with their respective teams. Especially if you work for a larger company and don’t know everyone by name, employees are more likely to cooperate with someone they know and trust.
2. Use the layout change as an excuse to check in and ask what each team needs
Another strategy for getting each team excited about the change-up is to actively incorporate their goals and needs into the new office schematic. Whether informally in the hallway or at an all-hands meeting, check in with each team to see what they like about their current format and what they would change. By proactively discussing their needs and concerns, you are helping deflect any dissent in the long term.
3. Establish a trial period and streamlined feedback system
No matter how much you plan, there will always be something to work out after the rearranging is done. For this reason, it’s good to establish a trial period, so that in one or two weeks time you can reassess whether the new layout is working out.
During the trial period, have your employees send feedback to a designated Slack channel or survey. This way, folks have a space to express their concerns and you have the ability to mute their reactions until the trial period comes to a close.
If you’re really getting bombarded with comments or requests, ask your own manager to openly address (and shut down) any opposition. It’s always nice to have someone on your side to help deflect any whining — it really gets old after awhile.
4. Keep open positions in the hiring pipeline in mind
If you have the opportunity to make a change, think big! Chances are there are several open positions at your company, so think about how your desks will be populated once new employees arrive. Consider syncing-up with HR or senior management to find out the teams the company is looking to expand over the next quarter (or year) so you minimize the amount of times you’ll have to reorganize the office.
5. Put yourselves in a visitor’s shoes
Whether they’re investors or user testing groups, visitors expect to see people hard at work upon entering your office. Put your company’s best foot forward by making sure the teams closest to your front door (or visitor entrance, if you have a larger company) are typically in the office.
Here at Bevi HQ, we have a stellar hardware team that spends a good portion of their time in our engineering lab a few floors down. Our Office Manager Claire had the foresight to situate the hardware team in the back corner of our office, so our visitors would never be greeted by empty desks.
6. Constant communication before, during, and after
Similar to #2 and #3, constant communication is key. Between Slack messages and email updates, be sure to remind your employees to pack up their belongs 1 week and 1 day before the move as well as on the day of.
Once the layout has been changed, it’s a good idea to send an early morning reminder with the new seating chart and instructions on how to inquire about any missing belongings. Our Office Manager Claire made sure everyone stayed in the loop by giving email and in-person reminders in the days leading up to the reshuffling.
7. Sketches, diagrams, and maps, oh my!
X marks the spot. Before moving anything in your office, sketch out a few options for a new office set-up. Pro-tip: always make sure they are to scale!
Office Manager Claire breaks down Bevi HQ’s most recent layout change.
If you consider yourself visually or spatially inept, ask a designer or engineer to help you realize your vision. They might even have some handy software that can help make testing different layouts much more efficient than using a ruler and graphing paper. For example, Eliza, one of Bevi’s co-founders, helped Claire model different versions of the office without moving a single desk.
8. Strategically pick a time when the office will be nearly empty
While you will need an extra set of hands to make the rearrangement happen, less is more when it comes to having people in the office during all of the shuffling.
Aside from staying late on an arbitrary weekday, the day before a long weekend or holiday is often the perfect time to make your move. Back in November, our superstar Office Manager Claire planned to change things around in the office on the day before Thanksgiving. It worked out well as there were a few folks in the office to lend a hand and enough room to reposition the furniture without disturbing anyone. Within a few hours, everything was readjusted and ready for the new hires starting the following Tuesday — myself included!
Plus, let’s be honest: when the majority of people are out of the office, those who do come into work often look for fun side projects to work on. These people are your biggest asset on the day of the move.
9. Set aside time for furniture assembly
A new layout often means new furniture. But don’t be fooled: you’re going to need a screwdriver and hammer before your furniture looks as shiny and perfect as it did on Ikea’s website.
10. Four hands are better than two
Even the office hero needs a little help once in a while. Rather than trying to rough it by yourself, enlist a few helpers to move or assemble desks and chairs while you double check the diagram of the new set-up. For medium-sized or large companies, you’re better off hiring movers to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.
11. Label like your life depends on it
With just over 30 people working in Bevi HQ, the office is certainly on the smaller side. Nevertheless, a few things did get lost in our most recent round of office rearrangements. Take it from us: labeling is everything.
Whether with masking tape, printed labels, sharpies, or cute cat stickers, make sure everyone clearly labels the box containing their belongings before anything gets touched. You’ll thank yourself later.
Looking for more ways to keep your office happy and healthy? Meet Bevi, the smart water cooler designed to make your life as office manager that much easier.
Request a free flavor tasting for your office here.
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