Sunday, September 28, 2014

Administrative Professionals Conference 2014 - Sunday Recap

What a great first day of the 22nd Annual Administrative Professionals Conference! The day was jam-packed with fantastic workshops, networking, an amazing keynote, and a welcome reception (and raffle prizes) in the Exhibit at APC exhibit hall.
This is Kelly, one of our greeters this morning!
Today was my day to sit in on some fantastic sessions at the Executive Assistants’ Summit.  The EA summit runs concurrently with the APC. First up was Showcase Your Personal Brand With an Online Portfolio presented by Julie Perrine (her online portfolio is here

Julie highlighted how important personal branding is to get yourself noticed both in and out of the office. A personal brand, according to Julie, is “the process of taking your skills, personality, and unique characteristics and packaging them into a powerful identity that lifts you above the competition.” And again, this can benefit you in the office “Betty’s a PowerPoint pro, I’ve seen her online portfolio!” and outside the office: “Betty’s a well-known PowerPoint pro in the industry.”

Julie outlined three key strategies to boost your professional visibility: a print portfolio (work samples, project plans, even info from your performance review), a social portfolio (such as LinkedIn) and a digital portfolio.

Julie gave an example of hiring an admin for a project, and how you could ‘wow’ a hiring manager with a print portfolio that provides "proof on paper” and is compelling and adds value. That job applicant would definitely be memorable! A social portfolio is becoming more and more important in the digital age; Julie mentioned that 93%of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social profile. (Source: Jobvite)

With a  digital portfolio you don’t have to start from scratch – you can pull elements from your resume directly into a digital portfolio, with the added benefit of adding pictures, PDFs, and other ‘wow’ factors to showcase your skills and work. When a prospective employer or new division boss (for example) can go to a professional site and see examples of who you are and what you do, “they will fall in love with you before they even meet you.”

She cautioned however to remove super-identifiable info from a digital portfolio resume…after all people can contact you via a “contact me” page for more information. Finally, Julie provided seven specific technical steps for creating an online portfolio, including securing your own domain. Provided 7 steps for creating an online portfolio including securing your own domain. I learned a lot in the session, and I think others did as well as I saw some fast note-taking going on!

After lunch, I was able to briefly pop in mid-presentation to Corinne Hoisington’s session, The Latest, Greatest in Executive Office Technologies to share my thoughts on Google Glass, and was excited to catch some great tech tidbits. 

Corinne’s session was interactive, with different audience members sharing their tech thoughts, demonstrating new technologies, or “being” a technology example (such as a computer processor). I learned about (available with Office 365 or Office 2013) which allows you to insert video seamlessly into presentations (and much much more).  Corinne shared her thoughts on Windows 8.1, and demonstrated the built-in Skype capabilities…which included calling a local restaurant from the podium!

Corinne closed the session with a glimpse into the future-present of schools and hospitals with technologies from photovoltaic roofs to holographic telemedicine. It was definitely a “wow” session, with many of us exclaiming that when the new (cool!) technology ideas were shared.  

After an energetic conference orientation for first-time and solo attendees led by Colette Carlson, it was time for Jon Petz’s keynote. And I’m not kidding when I say there was laughter, tears and cheers in that keynote session!

With a  lot of audience participation, a $100 bill, some lemons, a “VP of WOW” and a very meaningful seven of hearts playing card, Jon highlighted the theme of “showtime” and taking the simple moments in what we do and making them significant!

He challenged the audience, asking “what are you going to do to make a difference, rather than just meeting expectations” and to “go for it when you want something.” In fact, he asked the audience who wanted a $100, and only a few took him literally and approached the stage (ran for the stage!). Jon reminded us to never use the phrase “just a” as in “just a new person”, “just an assistant.” By sharing the unique gifts that we have, we can share of ourselves and make moments special and extraordinary.   

We closed out the evening with a fantastic welcome reception at the Exhibits at APC and the awarding of the first raffle prizes. Great food, great conversation, and great networking had the room buzzing.

It’s an early morning so I’m off to determine what sessions I’ll attend tomorrow. Stay tuned here on the blog for another daily recap, and don’t forget that you can follow #apc14nationalharbor on Twitter and Instagram for up-to-the-minute coverage.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Katie's Top 10 Tips for Conference Prep

Can you believe it? We’re only four days away from the start of the 22nd Annual Administrative Professionals Conference! If you’re anything like me (and I’m guessing you are – organized and a planner!), you’re starting to prep for your trip to Washington, DC.

Part of my job is attending events, and over time I’ve created my own top 10 list for conference preparation. I thought you all might enjoy it, so here it is!

1. Create a packing list

I love checking things off a list so I have a packing list for every trip so I don’t forget anything. The last thing you want is to get to the airport without your driver’s license or passport, or forget business cards for networking at the event. A good packing list will help you plan that all out. As part of your packing list it’s helpful to print out the weather for the destination location (in this case Washington, DC). 

Don’t forget to have backup copies of your travel itinerary as well as key contact numbers such as the hotel for your carry-on. 

2. Determine how you’re going to take notes – paper or electronic

We all have a favorite way of taking notes, so decide ahead of time what will work for you – paper or electronic. If you’re taking paper notes, don’t forget extra pens or pencils. If you’re taking electronic notes set that up ahead of time. For instance, in OneNote I set up pages for each day of the conference ahead of time so I’m ready to go when I get there. 


3. Plan out your sessions, and know those plans might change

This is a great activity for the airplane. Go through the APC Preview and determine what sessions you want to attend. This will help you plan your days when you get to Washington, DC. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new – this is your time for training! If you’re not a techie but your boss wants you to learn Sharepoint, check out the tracks in the “Ignite your Tech Power” track. If you’ve always wanted training on financial management, now’s your time to learn them!

4. Determine what exhibitors you “must see” before leaving the Conference

I feel like this is something that we often overlook until we’re onsite, but it’s smart to think about this ahead of time. Time goes quickly at the conference so do this prep ahead of time. Thinking about your corporate gifting program for 2015? Now’s the time to scope out some new ideas.

5. Don’t forget your chargers!

I’ve got packed my chargers for my: 
Google Glass 
Samsung phone

I know not everyone is as heavily techie as me, but don’t forget chargers for any electronic device you’re bringing.

6. Bring business cards

Yes, this happened to me. I went to a large industry conference a few years ago and the one thing I forgot was business cards. Yikes. Here’s your reminder – pack those business cards.

7. Dress for comfort with a scarf and comfortable shoes

Conference rooms at any location are sometimes tricky when it comes to A/C. I’m typically too cold, so I make it a habit to always bring a packable scarf that I can pull out of my bag and pop on in a conference session if I get chilly.

And if you forget everything else (which I hope you don’t!) don’t forget comfortable shoes. I have a few shoes that I have deemed my “tradeshow/conference shoes” (my husband even calls them that) which are ultra-comfortable even after a long day of sitting, standing, walking, and networking.

8. Follow social media

I’ll be tweeting, blogging and Instagramming the conference, so if you want to follow along get those hashtag follows set up ahead of time: #apc14nationalharbor #apc14DC. And follow this blog as I'll be doing daily recaps for you here. 

9. Prepare to have fun!

There are plenty of great opportunities at the Administrative Professionals Conference for networking and socializing. From the welcome reception on Sunday night to the Tuesday evening party…and more!

10. See the town

Washington, DC is a fantastic city, and if you can, get out and see it! There’s plenty to do in the National Harbor area including seeing one of my favorite sculptures, The Awakening, which is within walking distance of the Gaylord.

Am I missing anything on the packing and prep list? Let me know! Add your thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to seeing everyone in just a few days!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Google Glass at Pri-Med East

A lovely work!

Yep, my work week extended into the weekend yesterday, but for a great reason. Yesterday I zoomed down to Boston for the second day of Pri-Med East. 

Pri-Med is a medical education company with conferences in over 30 cities in the US, online CME offerings, an electronic health record software, and more. 

Now, you all know I'm not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV), but I am the market research manager for Pri-Med. Now is it starting to make sense?

I had a special reason (beyond my regular research work) for attending Pri-Med East on Saturday: a special lunchtime session on Google Glass. 

The session came together through the efforts of our awesome Pri-Med team, Don Schwartz of VectorSpect, Jennifer Joe and her teams at MedTechBoston and Medstro and the fantastic speakers. 

The room was packed with clinicians interested in learning more about Glass.  

First up was Don Schwartz who gave a live demo of Glass, sharing the standard functionality of Glass and showcasing various features such as wink photo, dictation to Evernote, and more.

Don was followed by Karandeep Singh, MD, whose name you may recognize from my blog post on the Google Glass event in April. Dr. Singh is a physician and software developer in his Nephrology and Informatics fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr Singh is is developing a Google Glass electronic health record (EHR) prototype, which he shared with the clinicians at the Pri-Med session.

Walking us through the EHR interface, Dr. Singh shared in a live demo what it would look like through Glass to navigate the interface - from viewing the location of current patients to viewing their labs, discrepancies, and other functionality which he equated to a "virtual intern." 

There was a palpable buzz in the room during Dr. Singh's demo, and there were some great questions and give-and-take. Dr. Singh reminded the audience: "You can do this at the bedside, you don't have to step out to do this, this is part of patient care." 

Next up, our fantastic emcee, Dr. Jennifer Joe, introduced the panel and kicked off the Q&A portion of the session. Before I go further, you need to know about Dr. Joe because I'm convinced she's superhuman (and awesome). Dr. Joe is the creator of Boston's first Google Glass Challenge, she's the CEO of Medstro, Editor-in-Chief of MedTechBoston, and still regularly works in emergency rooms and urgent care clinics. See, superhuman.

In addition to Don Schwartz and Dr. Singh, the panel included:  

Tristan Gorrindo, MD, a Child Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Director of the Division of Postgraduate Medical Education, the Massachusetts General Hospital Academy, and Managing Director of the Clay Center for Young Minds. 

Stephanie Shine, RN,  a Brigham and Women’s Hospital neonatal intensive care (NICU) nurse and early Google Glass Explorer. Winner of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s 2nd Annual Clinical Innovation Day for her Glass in the NICU Project, which was inspired by her own personal story which she shared at the session (more on that below).  

Carlos Rodarte, Director of Business Development and the Director of Wearables and Biosensors for PatientsLikeMe, leading the exploration of information collected from patients with products like the FitBit, Withings, Jawbone, etc, and also how patients perceive and desire the use of wearables such as Google Glass in clinical practice.

The panel introductions kicked off with panelist bios and stories related to how they are using Glass and/or investigating uses of Glass in the clinical setting.

One of my favorite panelist stories was from Stephanie Shine. Last year, Shine had a baby who was born many many weeks early, and was separated from her baby for the little one's first 18 hours. Her stress was lessened when family members brought Glass with them and let her see her baby (through their eyes) even as she sat in another part of the hospital.

She is now running a pilot study of mothers who are separated from their child when baby is in NICU. Nicknamed the "love at first sight study," her team is comparing iPad FaceTime to Glass to see if wearable technology can lessen new mother stress (when baby is in the NICU) and increase bonding. Pending IRB approval, they are enrolling hopefully up to 250 mothers and randomizing them between FaceTime and Glass and surveying them regularly. Studies have shown that new mothers with babies in the NICU experience PTSD, anxiety and depression and the hopes are wearable technology can help.  

Shine enthralled the audience with a story of parents with a baby in the NICU and the mother was separated from the child (she in Labor and Delivery and baby in NICU). The father wore Glass to go and visit the baby for the first time, so in a way the new parents were meeting the new baby "together" as much as possible, and the mother was able to see the baby through his eyes, via Glass.

As the panelists fielded questions from the audience, many topics arose such as etiquette wearing Glass around patients. Gorrindo spoke about etiquette and usefulness of Glass with psychiatric patients, highlighting that it's always important to be up-front and transparent as to why the clinician is wearing Glass.

Dictation to Glass was of great interest to the clinicians at Pri-Med East, including a fantastic question about how good speech recognition is with accents! 

Many questions centered on connecting to the patient's electronic health record and what features may be available. The panelists were all in agreement that this is in the very early stages, but there is a world of possibilities. However the panelists focused on what may not be good applications for Glass in a healthcare setting such as examining an x-ray.

Additional questions included security concerns, whether there are any health risks in wearing Glass, and is it possible to wear Glass with surgical loupes (yes!). 

The session ended with Glass demos for any clinician who was interested, and it seemed like they ALL were. I had a loooooong line of docs waiting to try out my Glass...and it was a perfect setting for it. Immediately after learning about Glass and starting the creative juices flowing about how Glass can be used in a clinical setting, they tried them on. Wonder what my Glass photo archive looks like after a day at a national conference? Below is just a selection...

All in all, it was a fantastic session, and a great conference overall! I hope we do more of these Glass sessions at clinician events as the doctors and nurses were a great and enthusiastic audience.

Stay tuned for more event coverage in a few weeks from the Administrative Professionals Conference in DC!