VA Conference and Awards - About Us

About Us


About Us

The UK VA Conference and Awards started in 2007 by their founder Carmen MacDougall and her business, The VA Coaching and Training Co (

Since August 2013, the UK VA Conference and VA Awards are owned and operated by Storm Media and Publishing Limited (SMAP).

Storm Media and Publishing’s operations include BeMyVA (an independent directory of award winning Virtual Assistants) which has supported the UK VA Conference and Awards since the directory started operations in 2010 with a policy of supporting the growth of professionalism and standards across the VA industry for 10 years.

That milestone is reached and goal achievement completed in 2020, BeMyVA delivers on it’s part in the strategic journey and alongside the UK VA Awards, VAs are encouraged to list their business services on professional social media platforms to market their services and connect with audiences that are prospective clients.

From 2020 the UK VA Conference and UK VA Awards continues to gather and build on the year-on-year delivery of professionally valued content and sell-out sessions with leading speakers and influencers, to stand alone and go forward as a significant event that is a clear focus point for the UK VA profession in highlighting current trends and setting future direction. We will look forward to meeting you all at one of our future events!



BeMyVA has supported many of the major Virtual Assistant events around the globe – including:

IVAA (International Virtual Assistants Association) LIVE Summit
IVAA (International Virtual Assistants Association) Online Summit
OIVAC Online International Virtual Assistants Conference
VAVS Virtuosos Seminars
AVAC Australian Virtual Assistants Conference
New Zealand’s Virtual Professionals Conference and Awards
Office UK (The VA Breakfast)
Office Australia (The VA Breakfast)


Our CEO, John Palmer, strongly supports the role and value of Virtual Assistants and believes that VAs are an under-utilised resource that can be of great value to the business world, particularly for entrepreneurs, start-ups and businesses that are expanding and growing.

John says “The flexibility that good, reliable Virtual Assistants can be of enormous value to a business that is still finding it’s way, or reaching out on a new venture – they can tap-in to a top-class pool of talent that can be engaged without the exposure or commitment to longer-term employment contracts, and the challenges that those can present to smaller or new employers in this modern era of overly complex legal frameworks.”

John has acted as a Judge for the Awards panel, and is a member of the Judge’s panel for the New Zealand Virtual Professionals Awards since it’s inception last year.

John has also appeared as a speaker and runs workshops at the UK VA Conference and the LIVE summit hosted by the world’s largest not-for-profit VA association, IVAA (International Virtual Assistant’s Association).

John own professional development includes a Masters in Company Direction (MA), and he is one of the first Chartered Directors (C.Dir) in the world. He maintains an interest in professional business standards through a number of voluntary roles and committee posts with the UK’s Institute of Directors (IoD), including Vice-Chair of the IoD’s Professional Review Group for Chartered Directors.

John Palmer also owns a successful business consultancy, exec4, founded in 1999.