2022 Executive PA Summit Highlights

Key themes were triumph over adversity, role progression and levelling up opportunities as a business support professional...

There was an air of excitement at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin last week as we hosted our first in-person annual conference since 2019. Although we did have a number of delegates joining us virtually, everyone at the Radisson (including ourselves) were so happy to be back in a room connecting and learning together.



Derek Kearney was the first speaker of the day and (pardon the pun) he did not pull any punches as he talked us through a very personal story of triumph over adversity. Derek explained how his experience training in MMA has influenced his EA career and vice versa. He gave us advice on how to truly excel in your role in business support, to get outside your comfort zone (be that in a personal or professional setting) to find your voice, strive to develop your own confidence and, bring your whole self to work. It was clear to everyone in the room that Derek’s tenacious attitude has gotten him to where is today. 



Siobhain Danaher was our next speaker to help us understand more about Decision Fatigue which can lead to burn out. As a lean strategist by trade, Siobhain used her expertise to create a strategy in her life to avoid burning out ever again.


She spoke a lot about the art of saying No, asking us to consider why we don’t like to say No and what is the worst that could happen if we did say No more often!

Siobhain’s theory is that if you agree on a clear strategy for the year (both personal and the organisations ), then everything you get asked to do in work - if what you are being asked to do fits in with the strategy then try to fit it to your work. If not, it’s a no.

A key to the effectiveness of working this way is not to have emotional attachment to the outcome of saying No, or worry about offending people - be practical about it because everyone else is just thinking of themselves anyway. 

We were humbled to learn during her presentation that the only thing she said Yes to this year was presenting at the Executive PA Summit!



After a refreshing morning tea break we returned to receive an industry update from Siobhan Kelly, Founder and CEO of Mosaic Consultancy who advised on what the top roles advertised are looking for right now. She talked through a range of websites and courses you can do to upskill in your role and get a better understanding of what is required to bag the top jobs. Siobhan also talked us through the importance of staying in control of your career narrative and personal brand that you want to portray! 


Adam Fidler  returned to the Summit to talk us through how the EA role legitimises leadership in 2022, and how you can demonstrate maximum contribution to the business. Adam advised to lean into your emotional intelligence, take on further responsibility and projects that assist the growth and success of the organisation, have greater visibility across the board, and work on speaking up and being more assertive.

All of these traits are more managerial than just supportive and taking on managerial qualities means you will be taken more seriously, entrusted with greater responsibility and will be spotted for more opportunities in the long run We have since this happened countless times in our own network and love how Adam encapsulates these into his teachings. 

Adam finished his insightful talk by delivering further information about the Executive Assistant Diploma which is a first for Ireland. Adam talked us through the various Diploma Pathways you can take over the course of 1-2 years, and which could increase your salary by up to €10K. 

We are working closely with Adam to enroll our network in the Diploma and if you are interested in learning more, please contact aisling@executivepaforum.com

Former Executive Assistant and now Leadership Facilitator and Performance Improver, Paula Brady hosted an interactive talk using Slido which was much needed after our lunch to keep us awake!  A number of questions posed included: 

What do you think of when you hear the word feedback?

There was quite a mixed response, but as a former FIFA referee, Paula pointed out that we should view feedback as a gift - it helps us improve and helps us in our careers in the long run. It can also be used to negotiate a pay rise, to receive a promotion or to make your life easier in the long-run!

There was also a mixed response for the question on rating the quality of your review with your Exec:

2 of Paula’s many key pieces of advice when it comes to improving your performance before you have to wait until your next appraisal includes:

-Ask the following questions: 

  1. What do I do that makes your life run smoother on a day to day basis?
  2. What else can I do to help and support you in the execution of your role?

And secondly - make a note of everything you do at the end of each day (or at the very least end of each week) that shows what you were responsible for, and how this helped both your manager and your organisation as a whole. Reflect if there was something you worked on that went above and beyond, and perhaps outside the remit of your role. You can then use this information to refer to when it comes to your performance appraisal each year.

Joining us next was Fiona Flynn who is an Executive coach and who also chairs the Professional Women’s Network. Although we acknowledge there are a number of male EAs and PAs in Ireland and across the world, the majority of people in the role are women. Fiona is particularly encouraging of women to find a support network in particular a support role who can feel isolated, and the idea behind PWN is to focus on gender balance leadership which is good for organisations as well as women.

The focus of Fiona’s talk was on Emotional Intelligence, an Assistant’s super-power as far as we are concerned. When looking to build your confidence and ambition you must first review where your strengths cluster is primarily - Is it in Emotional, Relational, Thinking or Execution - is it a mix of all 4? 

Fiona explained the importance of getting to know every one you work with on a human level and being open to diversity, difference of personalities and where others are coming from. An important element of developing EI is self awareness, and so if we notice what is going on for us emotionally at any given time, we can also recognise this in others around us.


Simon Cocking delivered a Tech Talk. Simon talked through some of the more recent helpful tools available, and his main piece of advice is to understand what you really need first and foremost. That means identifying the vision, the problem you wish to solve.  Only then can you decide what will work for you, go ahead and develop templates, filter what you don't require and have an ongoing ‘To Do’ list.


Former EA and now Vision & Leadership Coach, Lisa Mitten rounded off the day asking us to reflect on the full day of learning we just had, what were our A-ha moments, and what were we going to do now we go back to the office and apply everything we want to put into practise.

Lisa left us with a clear message: YOU are the only person in the world who has the ability to alter or improve yourself or your life!


If you were unable to attend but would like a recording of the Summit we have a special offer of €270 which includes access to our Executive PA Forum online community platform.  Contact fiona@executivepaforum.com if you would like to purchase.


We would like to thank all our sponsors and partners who supported the Summit


We look forward to our 2023 Summit which we hope to host in May next year and will announce the details very soon so you can Save the Date!


Shelbourne Event | Miss Jones x Executive PA FORUM

What a memorable occasion at the iconic Shelbourne Hotel

It was so great to see so many familiar faces, and so many new back sharing a space. It spoke volumes to have so many people eager to connect again and understand the importance of staying informed of who you can and want to connect and do business with. We were hosted by Andrew, Hannah and the Shelbourne team who were fantastic in assisting us to have this event in such an iconic hotel steeped in history and their gorgeous terrace, as we were serenaded by their Spanish guitarist! The  delectable canapés and oysters went down a treat for our guests!

There were fabulous prizes on the night, we had: 

  • Dinner for 2 at Shelbourne, courtesy of The Shelbourne Hotel
  • Forest Walk Hamper Basket, courtesy of Hampers & Co
  • Three Superior Wine Gift Packs, courtesy of The Nude Wine Company
  • The Powerhouse Package, courtesy of Executive PA Forum
  • €250 voucher, courtesy of Ireland’s Blue Book

Everyone who attended was also treated with a gorgeous little gift from our friends at &Open and of course everyone went away with a goody bag that included

It was a great opportunity to introduce Lisa Boissel of Miss Jones, who we have partnered with to bring this amazing and essential(!) directory to Ireland. It is a club for EAs, PAs, office managers and event bookers, and acts as a premium directory for anyone responsible for booking venues and suppliers on behalf of their organisation. The Miss Jones team also specialise in organising corporate hospitality and team building workshops or retreats, another task often assigned to a PA. Miss Jones provides concierge services specialising in dining and lifestyle experiences.

For member PA’s, Miss Jones can secure reservations in hard-to-book restaurants, outsource private meetings and private dining, and even access sold-out tickets to event such as concerts, Wimbledon and Formula 1.

Miss Jones x Executive PA Forum will host regular events for members, across Ireland, in venues which we believe need to be on your radar. This will give you the opportunity to personally make contact with the relevant managers and grow your Little Black Book of contacts, all the while meeting like–minded individuals. You can keep up with changing practices, venue trends, and have a forum to exchange tips with one another and so many more added benefits. 

The annual subscription to Miss Jones is modest, coming in at only at €249 per year, usually covered by the PA’s employer. However to celebrate the Irish launch, the group are running a discounted offer of €100 off until July 31st . Simply sign up using the code LAUNCH100 at MissJonesGroup.Com/Ireland.

Private Dining at The Shelbourne

Private Dining at The Shelbourne is an immaculate, candle lit experience of bespoke dining in some of the country’s most beautiful and historic rooms. Elegantly craft your dining experience from select menus, and choose from wines carefully selected by our award-winning sommelier. 

Impeccably delivered for eight to eighty people with formal, elevated service in one of four historic rooms, this is a culinary event unmatched anywhere else in Ireland. This year to celebrate the centenary of Ireland’s first Constitution, we are offering a unique private dining experience in The Constitution Suite, complete with historical introduction, musical accompaniment by a harpist and a carefully designed menu, full of classic dishes chosen to reflect the era.

Enquire directly through Miss Jones here, and for more information visit the Shelbourne Website 

Top Virtual Conference & Event Platforms 2021

A Look at Virtual Conference & Event Platforms 2021


As we continue to evolve to a more hybrid way of living and working, these virtual platforms are here to stay. We’ve had some experience using and researching these and have had to weigh up the pros and cons depending on the event/conference/meeting. We get a lot of questions from people about which is best so let’s shine light on the best online meeting platforms that tick the requirements of most users. Hopefully you will find some answers you’ve been looking for when it comes to the best video conferencing technology.


1.    Zoom

Zoom is up there with the best. Having the feature of HD videos and audio, online meetings and events can be conducted with impact and quality. Any particular meeting has a room for 1000 participants. An internet connection and a gadget is all that the participants need to join anywhere from the world.


  • Extremely user-friendly, no tech knowledge or particular software required
  • Chat function, breakout rooms, Gallery view means you can see everyone at one time
  • Can use via the app or via the browser
  • High-quality video and audio
  • Good quality filters – from lipstick to eyebrows, to moustaches and everything in between
  • Ability to change your background to whatever or wherever you like- even if you are just at your office window
  • Integrates with Outlook
  • 24/7 customer support. Very responsive
  • Most people use it – this is a big pro for us!


  • Restricted meeting time on the basic plan
  • The paid versions are slightly on the pricier side

Zoom Pricing

In terms of price, it has 4 packages:

Free – supports up to 100 participants for 40 mins or one-on-one for unlimited time.

Pro (€139.90 /year/license)- allows 100 participants for up to 30 hours.

Business (small or medium) (€189.90 /year/license) - 300 participants and a minimum of 10 hosts

Enterprise (large) (€223.20 /year/license) - 500 participants and a minimum of 50 hosts.

2.    Zoom Video Webinars

For greater impact and penetration, Zoom Video Webinars allows 10,000 view-only attendees with 100 panelists. There are options for streaming over YouTube and Facebook.


  • Enables recording of sessions that can be shared
  • Options of integrating with other platforms to widen the reach
  • Ideal for town halls, educational lectures, global MNC quarterly updates
  • Can set up event registration page (alternative to Eventbrite) so everyone really is in one place


  • Integration with other platforms can be glitchy at times.

Zoom Pricing

In terms of pricing, it has 2 packages:

Video Events - Up to 10,000 attendees (€1,300/year/license) - unlimited webinar sessions with no time limit per session. Option of live streaming and video recording along with in-depth engagement reports.

Large scale video events- Up to 50,000 attendees (Contact their sales to get ideal pricing) - ideal for large-scale video events.


3.    Airmeet

We used Airmeet for Adam Fidler's Global Summit with the techical assistance of GlobalEvents247.com. Please get in touch with us if you need technical support for your event.

Airmeet is a fast-evolving web-based platform for virtual events. It is generally a preference for organising and hosting virtual and hybrid conferences, workshops, expos, etc. Organisers have to hold over branding on Airmeet, allowing them to customise the session stage, the lounge areas, the event reception, and a lot more.


  • Seamless to use for both the hosts and attendees.
  • The flexibility of holding both large and small virtual meetings.
  • Great features to engage the audience
  • Has a ‘backstage feature’ for host and speakers to prep before going live in the session
  • Has great sponsorship capabilities like exhibitor booths with networking tables, sponsorship tiers.


  • The safari browser does not support some networking features.
  • The full profile of other attendees is not visible to other participants.
  • The chat of networking tables doesn’t support file submission

Airmeet Pricing

Airmeet works on a usage-based pricing feature. The monthly bill depends on the number of registrations required per event.

The free version allows 1 organiser and up to 100 participants per event. Access to some features like the social lounge, 1:1 networking, polling, Q&A.

Business (€99/month)- allows 10 organisers and up to 100 registrations per event.

Enterprise (Contact their sales to get the best deal)- allows 10 organisers and up to 100,000 registrations per event.



4.    Livestorm

Livestorm is a browser-based video conferencing platform that allows the marketing, sales, or HR team to organise online events for the audience. The events range from webinars, conferences, podcast interviews, online training courses, or product launch and demonstrations.


  • A co-host can be invited who doesn’t hold a subscription
  • Excellent customer service support team
  • Supports integration
  • Good data availability for analytics
  • It also offers various audience interaction tools


  • Sometimes, starting a seminar gets glitchy
  • It no longer hosts recorded webinars

Livestorm Pricing

It has 4 packages to offer:

Free trial.

Webinar and meet basic- free.

Meet Premium and meet basic- €40/host/month

Webinar Premium- €110/host/month€


5.    Hopin

We used Hopin for our very own Symposium and The Executive PA Forum 2020 via our hybrid event partner Fuel. Please get in touch with us if you need technical support for your event.

Hopin is an all-in-one platform for online events that supports tools for virtual or hybrid events like ticketing and registration, limitless event rooms, chat, and networking, as well as some tools for audience engagement. It is also supported on mobile, both iOS and Android.


  • Hopin has taken over the platform StreamYard which is a great and simple solution for the live studio
  • Has some extra in-built features like a speaker’s lounge, a private channel resembling slack
  • Quick customer service
  • Supports 1:1 networking element
  • Also has a sponsor area that is great if the event has sponsors


  • Does not allow adding of pre-recorded videos to the platform for use during different events
  • Charges are based on “registrants” and not “attendees”
  • Has customer support staff just in the UK and not other countries

Hopin Pricing

In terms of pricing, it has the following packages:

Starter ($83.25/month) - hosts up to 100,000 attendees and unlocks Hopin’s easy core features

Growth ($667/month) - 5 seats and includes 5 organisers

Business- provides advanced services and is customisable so you’ll have to contact sales.

Enterprise- custom pricing and custom API integrations, so contact sales.


6.    Whereby

Whereby stands top in terms of being the most reliable collaborative tool for business executives who wish to host fuss-free and secure video meetings. It is well known as an easy-to-use tool that allows small and medium scaled businesses to connect to their teammates, clients, and partners.


  • Easy to join with just two clicks. Does not require any additional downloads or no setup, just sending the link and the user can join
  • Customisable rooms
  • It has an extensive emoji collection


  • Up to 60 users can be added to the room, however only 20 can turn on the camera
  • Video quality deteriorates in a large room and is only good in a small room
  • Does not support dial-in to calls

Whereby Pricing

In terms of pricing, it has 4 packages.

Free- hosts up to 100 participants. Unlimited one-on-one meetings, however, group meetings last 45 minutes.

Pro ($6.99/month) per host per month- no time limit on group meetings, unlimited recording.

Business ($9.99/month) per host per month- priority support and early access to new features.

Embedded (Contact them to get the best bet!)- customisable.


Please make sure to leave a comment below if you have any pros or cons you would like to mention if you have used these platforms - I will then add those comments above so as to make it even more helpful for those who need it.

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March 31, 2021



A new strategic partnership for Australian-based The Global Assistant Online, with Ireland's Centre of Excellence by The Executive PA Forum, will benefit administrative professionals seeking high-end, online courses in global skills.


The collaboration gives executive and personal assistants in Ireland, Europe and the UK more opportunities to build in-demand competencies for the new way of work. They'll be able to access exclusive pricing offers on The Global Assistant Online's training products through The Executive PA Forum's Centre of Excellence.


"It's always great to align with organisations that share a vision for the profession," said The Global Assistant Online founder Patricia Butera. "In 2020, we supported Zoom In Events' hugely successful Executive PA Symposium and Executive PA Forum. This partnership, the first at an international level, is the natural progression of that collaboration which allows us to continue to contribute to The Centre of Excellence's 'quality over quantity’ ethos through the platform's high-quality e-courses and coaching programmes." 


As organisations evolve with the changing economic times, they look to their people to help meet global business demands in the new normal. Executive support professionals have a broad skill set that is readily optimised through focused capability building. The international skills offered at The Global Assistant Online prepare assistants to be the agile support leaders need in these challenging times by strengthening competencies that are determinants for future success.  These include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, cultural competency and leadership acumen.  


"We are proud to announce our partnership with The Global Assistant Online, which offers one of the best training programmes available for the executive support profession - no matter where they are in the world," said Fiona Kelly, co-founder of The Executive PA Forum and The Centre of Excellence. 


Co-founder Aisling Kelly added, "We have been working with Trish for the past six months - our values and goals align with what we want to achieve for the profession. This partnership makes absolute sense for us, considering our shared mission for every EA/PA and executive support professional to reach their fullest potential and thrive."


Free Webinar:  Fiona & Aisling from the Executive PA Forum have invited Trish Butera from The Global Assistant Online to host an insightful Lunch 'N Learn on April 14th with our network. There is no registration charge, but you do need to register your details HERE...

Join us for an exclusive lunch'n learn with Trish Butera, where she will share some insights she teaches only through The Power EA International Masterclass.  Learn a little more about 'future skills' competencies to succeed in the modern workplace and leadership and communication skills that are universally in demand, plus meet international graduates of the programme from the US, Italy and Australia. 


The Centre of Excellence will offer discounted enrolment on any of The Global Assistant Online's programs when using code EXECPACE on purchase.  

For more information, contact: Patricia Butera: pbutera@60zone.com  Fiona Kelly: fiona@executivepaforum.com 


About The Global Assistant Online 

The Global Assistant Online is a hybrid e-learning platform supporting career executive support professionals in their leadership skills development. The platform offers affordable and accessible e-learning opportunities and professional coaching to assist in their career growth. Since its launch in June 2020, the platform has welcomed registered students from across five continents. As a strategic learning partner, The Global Assistant Online offers organisations the opportunity to implement targeted Learning & Development programs for their executive support teams. http://theglobalassistant.com 


About Executive PA Forum 

Our purpose at the Executive PA Forum is to champion and empower EA, PA and administrative professionals so they can reach their fullest potential and thrive. Our motto is quality over quantity, and the learner is always at the centre of everything we do. This is why we have created the Centre of Excellence – to offer you the highest quality in learning and self-development opportunities, with a select number of qualified national and international coaches and trainers. https://executivepaforum.com/centre-of-excellence-training/