London Montage

EXECSec Summit 2014

The EXECSec Summit 2014, was held on the 31st March & 1st April 2014 at the stunning Heythrop Park Resort, Oxfordshire and has become renowned as the ‘must attend’ event for Senior level PA’s, EA’s and Office Managers. The event sees over 60 delegates and 30 suppliers visiting and exhibiting culminating in over 750 arranged meetings over the course of an intense 36 hours.

The Summit’s proven format of pre-matched meetings was beneficial to all parties by exclusively targeting only the most qualified buyers and bringing them together with suppliers who are pertinent to their needs. The event focused on productive one-to-one appointments and multiple networking opportunities throughout the day and a half to build valuable business relationships, plus, the opportunity to attend our evening gala dinner followed by a showcase of entertainment with overnight accommodation at the event venue.

Alongside the face-to-face meetings, attendees remained fully informed on the most critical issues and legislations facing today’s PA professionals and advanced their career by attending a series of fully comprehensive seminars covering topics that were pertinent to their role .

This year’s EXECSec Summit was opened with a presentation by Susie Barron-Stubley from Castalia Coaching & Training.

Further seminars throughout the event featured excellent and well know speakers, including Shilpa Wymer from Pitman Training Centre, with a presentation entitled Excel – 17 Power Tips for Super PA’s”.

Donna Cullen, Celebrity PA, hosted a seminar on “Networking & Contacts – Building your Little Black Book” plus the ever popular Lindsay Taylor, Director of Your Excellency Group Limited who spoke about “Your Leadership Journey with Your Excellency: Assertiveness”. Nikki Far from Four Pillars Hotels, hosted a seminar on “Negotiating Hotel Contracts”, followed by Leaanne Graham, PA to the CEO of ACEVO who discussed “Leaanne Graham – Determined to Succeed”.

Finally, there was an insightful discussion panel hosted by the Editor of PA Life Magazine, Collette Doyle who was joined by panelists including Adam Fidler, Deborah Shaw, Sue France and Susie Barron-Stubley.

Attending delegate companies this year included professionals from ACEVO, Aviva, Barclays, Channel 5, DHL Express, Guardian Media Group, HSBC, Lidl UK, Nair & Co, MTV/ Viacom, Orange, RBS, Sportech, The Keystone Group, Visa Europe, Vodafone Procurement Company, Zurich…plus many more well known names.

“This is an excellent event where face to face meetings give you the chance to really get to know companies / partners you may never have heard of or given consideration to, in a professional, relaxed environment.  I learnt so much. Plus networking with my own peers is so worthwhile as I am the only PA in my team!” – University of Surrey / BP

 “ This event was brilliantly organised and completely inspiring and beneficial in respect of new contacts, new ideas and great information – thank you so much!” – Hitachi Capital UK

For further information or to book your place for the 2015 Summit please contact Charlotte Russell on 01992 374100 or email

Public Order Policing, Tuesday 9 October 2012 – Superintendent Craig Haslam, Metropolitan Police Service and his Staff Officer, Tracy Gunn

This talk was given from the point of view of a busy Chief Executive and his PA.  We normally tend to think about these roles from a traditional point of view – a commercial company executive and a PA.  It was therefore very interesting to hear about the a similar supporting role but in a totally different context – Staff Officer with The Metropolitan Police.  Craig summed up the diversity of the work they do as a somewhat ‘bonkers’ job with long shifts, but both agreed that they loved the job for all its idiosyncrasies.  Tracy added that she often felt the pull on her time of being a Staff Officer, a single mother and an individual, something very familiar to many a PA.

Craig introduced himself by telling us that he had joined the force some 25 years ago and summarised the different roles he had filled over the years.  Tracy had joined the force in 1991, just after the minimum height rule for police officers had been changed.  Although they were currently based in the London Borough of Newham, involved with day to day policing, their work also involved major events such as the Olympics, the Paralympics; Royal Weddings, Trooping of the Colour and football matches, marches, demonstrations and riots.  The last three come into the category of ‘unexpected events’, while the first are usually organised well in advance.  When an event is organised in advance, depending on its size, meetings are held with the event organiser to ensure that all concerned are aware of what is expected from all those involved.  For a small event this may range from making the event organiser aware of necessary insurance to larger events where everything is organised in detail and volunteers and police officers must know exactly where they should be and at what time, even detailing where refreshments will be located.  You can imagine “Teapot One” is important for catering at major events!

The first question Craig would ask an organiser would be ‘does this event need to be policed?’  If the answer is ‘yes’, then a Strategy would be prepared that in effect works like a log for the whole event.  If the event is organised in advance, the Strategy will grow whilst preparations are in progress.  In the case of, for example, the 2011 riots, the Strategy gets written as events happen, including decisions made in response to prevailing circumstances.  From the moment a request for assistance comes in, Tracy will be organising the Strategy.  For major events, a Gold Command may be appointed to ensure clarity of communication, at other times there may also be a Silver Command and/or Bronzes.  There is only ever one Gold Command, often one Silver, but there may also be a Gold and Silver; there may be one Bronze, or several Bronzes depending on the size and complexity of the event.  Tracy may often go out with Craig to an event and be his Runner – this means that she is literally at his side recording all the decisions that he makes.  There may be a second Runner, being the Technical Adviser.  Usually Tracy keeps Craig’s diary and ensures that he is always in the right place at the right time – we all know what that’s like!

If you think that this is a pretty hectic job, you should know that Craig and Tracy do all this in addition to normal policing duties in Newham.  The greatest compliment they felt they could get was if an event passed successfully without the police ever being mentioned.  The pressure is high these days as due to modern technology, Twitter, mobile phones with cameras etc, the police force is now constantly in the public eye.  The talk ended with an entertaining question and answer session and a formal thank you from the PA Network for such a stimulating insight into police administrative work integrating with the management of public events.

Trijntje Ytsma

Office* Show




office* – the UK’s only business event for today’s modern office professionals, including PAs, EAs and office managers – returns to London’s Olympia on 8-9 October 2013.  With over 175 leading suppliers, 32 training seminars, inspirational free keynotes and unrivalled networking opportunities, if you can only visit one event this year make sure it’s office*. Find out more at

Register free online, saving £20, here.  <<link to  >>

Office Management & PA Exhibition and Conference

This fantastic conference is taking place on 6/7th June at ExCeL, London. This event really isn’t to be missed. It’s your opportunity to gain new skills and be inspired. Visitors to the show will benefit from:

60 Educational Seminars
The seminar schedule is tailored specially towards Office Managers and PA’s with a superstar line up of expert speakers including Jacky Workman Chairman and co-founder of the IAVA who will be talking about The virtual assistant, professional, efficient and friendly. Other highlights include; Darryl Samuels (Business Writing) Heather Dallas (Developing your role to your full potential) and Deborah Shaw (Being a celebrity PA).

Workshops to improve your skills
Take part in some free training in one of the show’s workshops.

There’s nowhere better to make new contacts and share ideas with 3,000 other liked minded delegates in one of the networking areas and then take time out to relax in the Champagne bar. There is also a fantastic fashion show with Made in Chelsea’s Louise Thompson!

And it’s all free!
So your ticket to Office Management & PA entitles you to workshops, seminars, networking areas and access to The Business Show and it’s all completely free!

Book your FREE Tickets:

Hidden Meeting Rooms

From experience I know that finding unusual spaces in the well-trodden world of London events can be a bit of a tiresome task.  So when Anne called us up and asked if we could, I was more than happy to help save her some legwork and find a suitable venue. As part of the team setting up Hire Space, a new site for booking meeting and events spaces, I’ve pretty much seen them all.  I’ve been to spaces below and very much above ground, I’ve been to every borough, climbed thousands of stairs, gone up and down in lifts more times than my 13 year old self’s YoYo, and even stepped south of the river, I know… But what did I find, what and where are London’s hidden venues? Here are my tips.

Whitechapel Gallery Study Studio 5

Whitechapel Gallery   A well-known venue yes, but do you really “know” it. Hidden behind its famous arches is not only a realm of super events space but also some of London’s most creative conference facilities. With a mix of natural light filled training rooms and professional but unique presentation rooms. Whitechapel is one of the most complete conference venues I know.

Watermens’ Hall  A hidden gem in the city that is lesser known than its bigger livery siblings like Drapers’ Hall. Watermens’ makes a great meeting venue, or like its role in the upcoming London PA Network event a great home for small presentations. Their wonderful caterer always ensures food is top notch, but for me at least it’s the history of the place that really sets it apart. With hundreds of years of managing London’s waterways the hall is packed with wonderful curiosities and artefacts.

Monticello House For my third tip I wanted to tell you about a venue which is perhaps a little less opulent than the others, but with its low pricing offers recession proof value. Monticello is an airy and business ready venue is ideal for corporate training, interviews and relaxed meetings. A large space in this well managed venue costs just over £100 for a half day session, bargain.Want to know more, have a look at our meeting or events page, ping me an email, or grab me for a chat at the event at Watermens’ Hall. Cheers!

Hire Space is London’s biggest venue search site and is a little different from the raft of ‘listing sites’, firstly we proclaim, like all other venues sites, that our spaces are something different (ours actually are), secondly we give you the prices and availability of spaces up-front and let you book and pay online, no more frustrating calling just quick and easy search!