November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
There was a lot more to this year's Times Creme show than met the eye. ABTN editor Simon Warburton reports
One of the major reasons for attending last week's Times Creme show in London”s Olympia was motivational.
Yes, the thousands of PAs and secretaries flooding through the doors were certainly attracted by the free chocolates, Champagne and, on ABTN”s stand, a complimentary night”s stay at Reading”s Malmaison hotel, but there was an awful lot more to digest.
Times Creme ran an impressive 23 seminars repeated each day across the show that added genuine value to the event. The 200 or so exhibitors might disagree but for me, the educational aspect of this year's Times Creme was an eye opener.
And topics as diverse as managing stress, workplace fitness, negotiation and influence skills to building communication, managing workload to managing your boss, all formed the backdrop to what is the daily environment of the PA.
What was also heartening was how well attended most of the seminars were. Clearly once the fashion shows, chocolates and make-up had been sampled, a decent number of attendees realised they could get a lot more bang for their buck by listening to some experts.
One of these was Rosemary Paur, founder of the Global PA Network. Her talk was inspirational and she gave a remarkably honest and frank assessment of her career and personal life that had been fraught with difficulties but which had culminated in her becoming Executive Assistant to BT CEO Sir Christopher Bland.
That road to the top of her game had involved several detours, but Paur presented in a way that provided a genuinely motivational experience to all who heard it.
Clearly Bland demanded excellence at all times from his right hand woman and Paur noted how she had to ”work at my optimum peak” at all times but was at pains to point out the importance of ”not undervaluing yourself.”
The idea of the presentation and of several more was to provide concrete ways ” ”a 21st century toolbox” as Paur put it ” for PAs to manage their working lives ” and to use their personal ones to make that more efficient and enjoyable.
Paur also jeed the audience up by reminding them of just how much knowledge they possessed ” that”s true for any office isn”t it? Just think of the PA in any working environment ” she ” and it is overwhelmingly she ” is the fulcrum through which so much passes. ”Imagine yourself as the hub around which everything radiates,” she urged attendees.
There were several more presentations that gave genuine insight into practical ways to manage time and actually, enjoy work more. Times Cr”me is fast becoming ” along with its Manchester counterpart ” a must-do event on the calendar and companies should look to send more of their staff to it.
Who would want to start up an airline at the moment? Last week”s news that Euromanx has gone to the wall provides stark evidence that times are challenging indeed in the aviation community.
Euromanx joins a sorry and growing band of carriers that have succumbed to the twin vortices of stratospheric fuel prices and dwindling consumer confidence. Those that survive in the teeth of this storm will emerge leaner and more confident however.
Take Flybe. The UK carrier has invested heavily in its turboprop fleet and is gradually phasing out its remaining Embraer 145s from its BA Connect acquisition and investing in larger and more fuel-efficient machines such as Embraer 195s. It clearly has seen a huge spike in its kerosene costs but with the right fleet and prudent management looks likely to weather the turbulence.
And the more passengers fly airlines such as Flybe, Aer Arann, VLM and the like, the more the old idea that an aircraft must have jet engines to be modern, will disappear.
Simon WarburtonEditor, ABTN