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The DL on SMPS Conferences

Have you signed up for Build Business 2018? You have until June 15th before prices raise – what are you waiting for? Sign up, here,  today!

This annual conference brings together leading professionals and decision-makers responsible for bringing in business and building your firm’s bottom line. The three-day conference is packed with meaningful learning sessions, energetic keynote speakers, and an array of networking opportunities that encourage you to make and renew business contacts.

Winning projects, keeping clients happy, growing our businesses, and making our industries better is the focus of Build Business. Extra bonus? This year’s conference is being held in San Diego from Wednesday, August 15 through Friday, August 17! Escape the heat and expose yourself and your firm to top marketers and business developers throughout the entire country.

Are you a CPSM? You can earn up to 16.25 hours of continuing education units by attending this conference! Still not convinced a conference is worth missing work? Here’s just a few pieces of information our very own SMPS Arizona Chapter members learned from the recent Southwest Regional Conference:

Six Survival Tips (Michelle Aikman’s Keynote on Survival Skills)

  1. Support – Make sure your team has a shared commitment to the mission; trust the experts and diversity matters
  2. Kit – Having tools and continued training are paramount
  3. Innovate – New ideas bring life to old ways – Be creative & challenge yourself
  4. Lens – Change perspective to change the focus
  5. Lead – Share responsibility based on expertise and situations
  6. Spirit – Don’t lose your spirit or you’ll be defeated - Find the positive even in bad situations. Change your mindset and celebrate little victories

These are six great ways to “survive” in the fast-paced, deadline-driven, crazy-but-fun, A/E/C world we live in. It’s okay to schedule “brainstorming” time on your calendar if you need to come up with some new ideas! Or, take a coworker to lunch and bounce some ideas off of them – you never know what feedback you can receive.

Time vs. Priority (Adam Kilbourne, FSMPS, CPSM)
Create structure to have more freedom – This seems ironic but it helps you stay focused on priorities instead of being busy without a plan. There are endless ways to stay organized – Check out this former blog post written by Christina Rice for some ideas/suggestions

Incorporating Technology into your Marketing Strategy (Tim Asimos)
It is crucial to incorporate technology into your entire marketing strategy and plan, not just one piece of it. However, you must ensure that your business is still client-centric, not tech-centric.

  • Have a marketing stack! A grouping of technologies that marketers leverage to conduct and improve their marketing activities (Optimizely)
  • Every aspect of marketing from brand, experience, design and demand generation to content marketing, analytics and measurement is affected by technology. (Gartner Research)

What’s in your marketing stack? You should have a list of your all the technologies you utilize to improve your marketing activities and then analyze so you know which ones are working and which aren’t! This can include your CRM, your email marketing tools, social media scheduling, public relations distribution and etc.

Bridge the gap between marketing and BIM/VDC (Cassandra Vagher)
Convey a story!

  • Highlight a problem your team overcame
  • Demonstrate a solution to a client’s issue
  • Illustrate how your future project will fit in with the surrounding environment
  • Demonstrate your team’s expertise
  • Create a video highlighting an award-winning project

If your firm is utilizing BIM/VDC then that is wonderful but not necessarily a differentiator right off the bat. Making your BIM/VDC stand out is where marketing and BD can come into play. Work together to CONVEY A STORY!

Chase Relationships, not projects! (Taking the Sting out of Transitioning from Marketing to BD)

  • Networking is key!  Join organizations.
  • Be a resource and a connector.
  • Learn how to work a room
    • Scan the room and look for people you know – join the conversation
    • Don’t discount anyone – (ex. talk to the interiors people even if you only work with civils)
    • Stand in a popular place (bar or coffee area)
    • Rescue a person standing alone
  • Be strategic – think about who you want to talk to and look for them

Introducing a Speaker? (from Dena Wyatt, Principal and founder of Marketing Evolutions, Inc.):

  • 3 simple tips
    1. BE HEARD - Use a mic (don't be shy)
    2. BE CONVERSATIONAL - don't just read over the bio - you can keep notes for reference
    3. HAVE FUN - make it fun, add your personality to your message delivery. This is also a chance for attendees to get to know you!
  • Formulating your speaker introduction:
    • Do your research - read their bios from LinkedIn/Google/Conference brochure
      • Pick 2-3 interesting things about them (what makes them important and what should attendees know about them or gain from this session)
    • What information resonates with you, will resonate with everyone else.

    • Chat with the speaker before the session and learn something interesting about them (to add to your intro)
    • Check if they have notes or surveys to hand out before/during/after the session, and mention that in your intro
    • Be sure to pronounce their name correctly - check with them beforehand
    • A Simple Formula to help you remember:

- Topic (mention the topic, and what the attendees will gain from it)
I - Importance (Why is this important to us marketers - reiterate the importance of this topic)
S - Speaker (mention 2-3 important/interesting facts about the speaker)

  • Finally, end your intro with inviting them to the podium ("Please welcome XXX…")
  • You're setting the first impression, so set a positive tone, use vocal energy, be loud, and emphasize where needed
  • While mentioning the speakers name, say the first name, then add a mini pause, and then loudly emphasize the last name - this will make it memorable. Same goes for your name, when you introducing yourself :)
  • Stand tall, have a good posture, and make sure your delivery is short & impactful!

Thank you to our local members for providing great tips from this year’s SMPS Southwest Regional Conference! Did you miss out or are you itching to learn even more? Sign up to attend Build Business! Build Business is a great conference that brings A/E/C clients, content experts, principals, business developers and marketers together to learn from and challenge one another to think differently about business.

Ashley Black
Marketing Coordinator, Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Ashley joined the AEC industry in January 2015 and became a member of SMPS shortly after. She is the current Blog Chair and a member on the hospitality committee. Ashley loves traveling, basketball, cooking and spending time with her niece, Halle. 

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