05 Feb 2024

Attending an APDO conference for the first time

3 min read

APDO member Amanda Biggs of Professionally Organised shares her experience of winning a free ticket to APDO’s 2022 conference, Time for change. 

My first visit to an APDO conference happened before I had even started working as a Professional Organiser. 

I had just sold my previous business and planned to join APDO and get going in this new industry. I spotted a competition on Instagram to win a free ticket and decided to enter. To my surprise, I won! I hadn’t even started my business yet and wondered what everyone would think of me? Nerves and imposter syndrome kicked in.

However, my nerves abated as soon as I arrived. I  was met by 2 smiling faces, welcoming me and guiding me down to the conference area where the room was full of small groups chatting and laughing. Once again I felt nervous - it had been years since I had done networking like this and I was truly out of my comfort zone. 

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I grabbed my name badge and took a seat on my own to wait for the first presentation to start.  I must have been there less than 2 minutes before someone came over to chat to me, and just like that, I wasn’t on my own anymore! In fact, by lunch I was in a group with at least 6 other people. Lovely people, some of whom were also quite new to the industry but all more than happy to share their knowledge and experience with me.

I knew then that this was definitely the career and industry for me. I couldn’t wait to be part of this collaborative group of inspirational people. The atmosphere here was exciting and refreshing, everyone was in it together.

What about the conference itself? 

Well, the day started with an encouraging presentation about the menopause, useful for both our clients and ourselves. 

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After this, it was hard to choose between the speakers. There was a choice of  2 presentations both in the morning and in the afternoon and I wanted to see them all! I decided to attend Jonathan Tilley’s ‘Social media made easy’ presentation and  ‘Organising photos for profit’ by Mel Carruthers  and Amanda Littlecott. Both were fantastic and I could barely write notes fast enough, there was so much useful information. 

A lovely buffet lunch with both hot and cold options was provided in the middle of the day which was a great chance to properly chat with some of my new colleagues. There was also an opportunity to attend a guided meditation session in the afternoon. I still hadn’t had a chance to look around the stalls that were set up in the exhibition area, so I headed there first. There was a fun competition to see who could fold items the quickest, an APDO book club stand  and a conference sponsor - A Place For Everything-  had brought along a selection of their storage for us to look at. I managed to check it all out and squeeze in a cake and a coffee before attending the closing keynote for the day by Leslie Josel.

I left after a busy day, full of inspiration and ideas and feeling 100% more confident and excited about my new career path. I would highly recommend the APDO conference to anyone in the Professional Organising industry, even if your business hasn’t got going yet. You won’t regret it.

Tickets are available until 23rd February for APDO’s 2024 conference, Inspiring a sustainable future on 7-8 March, at DoubleTree by Hilton in Docklands, London, UK. To find out more and to book your ticket, visit our Conference 2024 page. Everyone is welcome!

Amanda Biggs founded Professionally Organised in 2022 after 19 years as a self-employed business owner in hospitality. She loves working one to one with her clients and helping them with their individual challenges. Amanda joined the APDO board as membership director in November 2022. She lives with her family in Lancashire and loves her allotment, cooking and traveling.

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