Hello again!
Hopefully everyone had non-eventful travel back to their home offices and are reading this with a nice cup of tea or coffee...and that work isn't too crazy after being away for a conference. 

As promised, I want to provide you with a final conference recap before we shift gears and start planning the 23rd Annual Administrative Professionals Conference kicking off next October 4th (2015) in Grapevine, Texas!

I had the great pleasure of meeting many of you at this year's conference and chatting with you about your key takeaways from APC 2014.  I've combined those with my own observations and outlined all of that below.  

Is there anything I missed? If so, let me know in the comments below.

Key Theme: Getting Out In Front of Technology
For many of you, sessions focusing on technology were key to your Conference experience. Sessions on office applications such as PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook were well-attended and many folks mentioned that they learned new tips and tricks for each of those applications. Others needed a quick ramp-up on technologies they've been asked to use, such as SharePoint. Sessions such as The Accidental SharePoint Owner were geared specifically to those who had SharePoint assigned to them...sometimes without their input! 

There's lots of chatter about social media (did you know we covered the conference via Twitter and Instagram? Search #apc14nationalharbor!) and sessions focusing on social media platforms were important for those who wanted to "get out in front of" what their bosses are doing on social media...especially when you're the one being asked to help manage their social media accounts. From what I heard, it's less about being a "super-user" of these social media platforms, but rather it's about an overall better understanding of them...such as what was shared in Kemetia Foley's Social Media Fundamentals session. I heard a few requests for webinars specifically on Twitter (essentially a "how-to"). If that's of interest, let us know in the comments below.

Many who attended Corinne Hoisington's The Mobile Tech Scene of 2014 left marveling that "the future is now" and there are a lot of new technologies emerging that may fundamentally change how business is done...and it's good to get a head start in understanding those.   

Key Theme: Now Is The Time! 
This was a key theme of the keynotes especially: there's no time like the present to go for your dreams! As Diana Nyad said, "If you want to make it across to whatever it is you desire, you'll find a way to make it happen."  Life (and lost bathing suits) will happen, but you'll succeed if you persevere. 

I know that many left each keynote invigorated and inspired, and I heard from at least one attendee that she was inspired by the keynotes and the session Get the Recognition You Deserve session led by Pamela Green to have a frank discussion with her boss about wanting to take on more responsibility...but only if it comes with more pay!

Others mentioned to me that they had put training "on hold" for a long time because "real work" took priority...but they were so very happy to have attended the APC...and put themselves first for once!  

Key Theme: Banish "Just a" From Your Vocabulary
They theme of banishing "just a" from your vocabulary arose on the very first day of the Conference, with keynoter Jon Petz telling us never to use "Just a..." as an excuse. Never say "I'm just an assistant/just a new hire/just a wife/husband, etc." 

This theme resonated throughout the following days at the conference. In many of the sessions, it was highlighted that administrative professionals bring a unique set of skills to the table and are needed in the workplace...thus "just a secretary" shouldn't be in our vocabulary.

As one attendee mentioned to me at the Tuesday night party: "I love this Conference as I'm treated as a professional with something legitimate to add to the conversation...not 'just a' secretary or admin." 

Key Theme: Connections
It was clear throughout the conference that connections were happening. Business cards were being traded, many geographical connections were being made, and even folks who work in different divisions of the same company (but who had never met in person) were connecting. One of the powerful things about an in-person event is connecting with your peers at different companies, finding commonalities and support! 

To that end, we'd love to stay connected with YOU and ensure you have ways to connect with each other!

Here are a couple of ideas (and yes, some shameless plugs!):

Join the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) 

Connect up with folks in the ASAP LinkedIn group

"Like" APC on Facebook and ASAP on Facebook
  Check out photos from the event

Join the ASAP Power Panel! Share your opinion and earn rewards.  

Finally - did you enjoy the event coverage here on the blog and on Twitter and Instagram? If so, let us know in the comments below! 

See you next year in Texas (and our social media hashtag is #APC15TX)!

Thanks from me (Katie) and all the APC team, it was a pleasure to meet, connect, train, and chat with you in DC!