Next month, I’ll be speaking at OIVAC 2009 (OIVAC is the Online International Virtual Assistants Convention). I’ve checked out this event in previous years and I was blown away by the technology. It really is like attending a conference – but without the travel and big expense.
The event runs from Thursday, May 14-Saturday, May 16, 2009, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight, daily, and my session is on Saturday, May 16th at 8:30 a.m. [Update: This conference was rescheduled and will now take place on Thursday, October 1st until Saturday, October 3rd, with my presentation taking place on Saturday, October 3rd at 8:30 a.m.]
Since it’s my first year as a speaker, I wanted to find out a bit more about the event, so I agreed to be part of the OIVAC blog hopping tour and get my questions answered. Here is my interview with OIVAC founder, VA Sharon Williams.
Linda Dessau: What is the OIVAC?
Sharon Williams: The Online International Virtual Assistants Convention (OIVAC) is the yearly celebration of the launching of the virtual assistance industry. It is an opportunity for VAs to increase their knowledge and skills by participating in educational seminars, workshops, training and networking sessions led by experienced VAs, industry and technology experts, and niche-specific entrepreneurs. In addition, we celebrate International Virtual Assistants Day (IVAD), the 3rd Friday of the month. On this day, we acknowledge VAs for their Dedication, Experience, Expertise and Determination to Succeed.
As you can see, OIVAC is a great opportunity for the industry to “come together” and increase our knowledge, skills and abilities. But, it’s not all work and no fun – we host several online networking events and giveaway fabulous prizes donated by VAs, exhibitors and small businesses that work closely with the industry.
LD: Should other business owners besides VAs be attending?
SW: Absolutely! We have assembled 35+ exceptional presenters, offering the newest information about technology trends, Web 2.0 social marketing, branding, website development, Quickbooks, SEO, Google Analytics, and much, much, more – all subjects to aid entrepreneurs (not just VAs) in developing and growing their businesses. In addition, we are hosting 2 free and open to the public “Intro to the Virtual Assistants Industry” sessions. Entrepreneurs are invited to attend, ask questions, and learn how VAs can reduce their administrative and Internet-related workload, freeing them to handle responsibilities that fuel their passion. Check out the OIVAC schedule for seminar dates and times.
LD: Can you describe some of the technology behind this virtual conference?
SW: Seminars are conducted in VoIP, PC and Mac accessible meeting rooms. They are equipped with whiteboarding, web browsing, sharing of PowerPoint slides, desktop sharing and audio –visual capture capabilities. All sessions will be recorded for download and later listening opportunities. The exhibitor halls are equipped with 10-seat VoIP meeting rooms which can be manned by staff, volunteers, etc., designer exhibitor spaces, email message capabilities, video, PowerPoint, pdf, document, podcast, download facilities. We even have bathrooms with all the amenities expected when attending a traditional brick and mortar convention. Note: Exhibitor halls will be open 24/7 for browsing, chat and download of vendor giveaways.
LD: What favourite piece of technology have you discovered from putting on this conference that you are using in your own business today?
SW: Wow! VAs use all of these technologies on a daily basis, and have introduced them to many of their clients. One favorite is the VoIP meeting rooms, where we hold recorded seminars and one-on-one sessions. As VAs stay abreast of the newest innovations, we test and recommend technology to clients that may enhance their operation and business growth.
LD: Thanks for your time, Sharon! What’s next for your blog hopping tour?
SW: I’m glad I was able to stop by and visit for a bit. However, it’s time to move to my next stop, let me remind followers that we stopped by VAnetworking.com yesterday and tomorrow, we’ll be visiting Janet Barclay of Organized Assistant.com. Before I leave, here’s the second puzzle clue: einssbus. Stop by VAnetworking.com to obtain yesterday’s clue.