2020 Conference Program Sessions

Session 1

Your Summit Journey

Tuesday, March 17 | 9:30-10:30am

A career summit journey is difficult, challenging, invigorating… and rewarding. This session is reflective and interactive, so everyone walks away more knowledgeable, insightful, and motivated to take meaningful next steps. We investigate how Awareness, Acceptance and Action impact career development, with exercises for personal reflection and growth. Through insightful stories, compelling examples, and engaging group discussion, attendees will gain a better understanding of how these three A’s affect their career route and contribute to firm success. Each attendee will look at what’s behind and what’s ahead, discovering how he/she got to his point, accepting current realities, and then acting based on new perspective and insights. The speaker promises to deliver sound guidance and helpful resources that compel attendees to chart their leadership course beyond this conference session.

Your Captain

Barbara Shuck, FSMPS, CPSM, President, Everest Marketing Services, LLC

 

Social Media: A New Tool in your Business Development Toolbox

Tuesday, March 17 | 9:30-10:30am

The world is evolving around us. Digital media is more prevalent in our day to day lives. Social media isn't just for updating your relatives about your personal life anymore, it has become an important business tool. Learn how to harness this tool to add value to your marketing and business development tactics. Create and foster meaningful relationships online and in person. Bridge the know, like and trust gap with your clients, both current and potential, colleagues and teaming partners.

Your Captain

Macy Degnan, Marketing Communications Specialist, RS&H

 

Do This, Not That! Actionable Ideas to Transform Lackluster Marketing

Tuesday, March 17 | 9:30-10:30am

Modern marketing requires new strategies, tactics, skills and tools—and perpetual optimization. But many A/E/C firms continue to deploy the same marketing strategies and tactics year after year even though they may no longer be effective. This session aims to help attendees identify lackluster areas of their firm’s marketing and understand exactly what it takes to get results in marketing today. We’ll touch on virtually all facets of marketing, from strategy to branding, content to communication, digital to offline — even a little bit on proposals, too. Attendees will walk away with practical, actionable and transformative ideas that will help them elevate their firm’s marketing efforts and crush the competition.

Your Captain

Tim Asimos, Partner, Director of Digital + Growthcircle S studio

 

Session 2

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: A Corporate Rebranding Journey

Tuesday, March 17 | 11:00-12:00am

In 2019 TLC Engineering for Architecture became TLC Engineering Solutions, which was a comprehensive rebranding of our 65-year old firm, with a new logo to support the new name. Join the three of us to hear about our planning, partnering, execution, marketing materials, website and visual perspectives of this major rebrand. We’ll discuss the development of the new brand, the philosophy behind the name and logo and our process to build consensus across a 350+ person firm as well as satisfying the expectations of our internal clients. You’ll leave with a list of the items to consider when tackling a rebrand, as well as those to avoid. We learned plenty along the way and by sharing with you, we hope to minimize the surprises you encounter when tackling a rebranding journey.

Your Captains

Cheryl Maze, LEED AP BD+C, CPSM, Director of MarketingTLC Engineering Solutions, Massiel Barcenas, Associate, Marketing Manager, TLC Engineering Solutions, Teri Ashori, Marketing Specialist, TLC Engineering Solutions

 

Chart a New Course with Change Management

Tuesday, March 17 | 11:00-12:00am

Although change is constant, rolling out a new technology tool or process can really meet a lot of resistance at most organizations. In this session, Chaz Ross-Munro and Courtney Kearney will leverage their experience from hundreds of CRM implementations to discuss how to successfully roll out a new technology tool and/or process. Change doesn’t have to be painful, but it does require a strategic approach to ensure it’s a success. In this session, you’ll learn why employees may be resistant to change, how to help your employees overcome their fear of a “new” tool or process, and how to effectively implement these types of changes to small, medium, and large firms.

Your Captains

Courtney Kearney, CPSM, Founder and Owner, CKearney Consulting, Chaz Ross-Munro, CPSM, Professional Services Manager, Cosential, Christina Leahy, Integrations Project Manager, Cosential

 

Setting Sail for a Decade of Growth: The Latest 2020 Research on High-Growth AEC Firms

Tuesday, March 17 | 11:00-12:00am

It’s no secret that the AEC industry is undergoing significant change. So, what does it take for firms to continue to grow despite these changes? In this presentation, Karl Feldman will present the latest results of Hinge’s 2020 High Growth Study — the largest study ever conducted on how high-growth AEC firms separate themselves from their slower-growing peers. With detailed insights on how high-growth firms are increasing the visibility of their expertise and services offerings, Karl will ensure attendees leave the conference with research-based insights on the industry and actionable tips to chart the course of their firm’s future growth.

Your Captain

Karl Feldman, Partner, Hinge

 

Session 3

Creating Business Development Strategies Through the Client Experience (CX) Lens

Tuesday, March 17 | 1:15-2:15pm

Business development involves relationship building with current and prospective clients, often prior to a request for proposal. How you Chart your course from the first interaction all the way to after a project is complete is critical for the opportunity of repeat business and negotiated contracts. Learn how leveraging the lens of Client Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX) will drive higher win rates with new prospective clients, drive higher profitability for new and existing clients, and grow your portfolio of referrals. New research by SMPS released in 2019 revealed a firm's Client Experience (CX) will be the single most important driver of growth and differentiation by 2022. .You simply ca not ignore this approach if you want your firm to outperform the competition and be poised for any economic challenges of the future.

Your Captain

Blake Godwin, Partner, VP of Growth and Operations, Client Savvy

 

Dissecting RFPs: Mapping Your Way to Consistent Compliance

Tuesday, March 17 | 1:15-2:15pm

Reading an RFP can be overwhelming—and deciphering the proposal requirements and evaluation criteria can be even harder. This program will take you step-by-step through dissecting the RFP and developing a comprehensive outline that addresses all of the proposal requirements, evaluation criteria, consultants, deliverables and pursuit calendar. We will break down typical RFP sections and review sample public sector RFPs for the A/E/C industry. Then, the attendees will be broken into small groups to participate in an RFP Scavenger Hunt and develop a proposal outline together. Finally, we will discuss best practices to responding to RFPs, including how to be more compliant in your responses.

Your Captain

Jen McGovern, CPSM, Mid-Atlantic Regional Marketing Manager, VHB

 

Course Correction: Turning Adversity into Opportunity

Tuesday, March 17 | 1:15-2:15pm

As the youngest female VP in her company, Liz catapulted her marketing department of one to twelve in just four years. Right when she thought she had her career figured out, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. After 16 rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, bilateral mastectomy and a partial hysterectomy - she stands with no evidence of disease, while many with the same diagnosis don’t make it through the year. Her battle has taught her five key takeaways that have made her a better marketer and person, and created a stronger team through cancer. Sometimes good things come out of bad situations.

Your Captain

Liz McCary, Vice President of Marketing, Collier International

 

Session 4

Q&A The Big Bold Way

Tuesday, March 17 | 2:45 – 3:45pm

These days, the shortlist is often won or lost during Q&A. Shoot, sometimes the whole presentation is nothing but 45 minutes of Q&A! Your teams need to be prepared to listen, think fast, and share their stories with personal, positive, passion. This Graceworks workshop uses improvisation techniques to help you do just that! What do you think of when you hear the word “improv”? We tend to see it as something that’s way out of our comfort zone — not something we can do. But the thing is, we do it all the time. No one hands us a script every morning with exactly what we’ll say throughout the day. We live our lives "doing improv.” Since it’s a life skill, why not get better at it? Even better, what if we use it to help us prepare for those tricky Q&A sessions at shortlist interviews?

Your Captain

Carol Doscher, President & CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer)

 

Fellows Forum | Inside the Fellows Studio: Fuel Your Growth and Your Firm’s Success

Tuesday, March 17 | 2:45 – 3:45pm

 Join this open exchange of knowledge & information shared by SMPS Fellows about how Businesses can be Transformed Through Marketing Leadership. The panelists represent decades of involvement & knowledge of the AEC industry, making this a unique learning opportunity. This conversation is open to professionals at all stages of their careers, where you will hear first-hand how these professionals were able to evolve their firms & the firms with whom they consult. SMPS Fellows represent the highest level of experience & leadership in professional services marketing & business development within the design & building industry. Fellows provide insight, ideas, programs & mentoring for the benefit of members at all levels of the Society. These individuals teach, write, & speak on marketing issues outside of SMPS, working to advance the profession of marketing professional services.

Your Captains

Moderator - Melissa Lutz, Principal, Champlin Architecture, Panelists - Beth Harris, Director of Business DevelopmentCumming Corporation
 

 

Food for Thought: How Content Marketing Created an Industry Authority

Tuesday, March 17 | 2:45 – 3:45pm

A half-billion-dollar AEC firm, Stellar is a world leader in designing and building food processing plants, serving clients such as Heinz, Starbucks and Nestlé. To market its food-industry expertise, Stellar knew that traditional marketing and sales tactics would not suffice. Instead, the company turned to newer methods to build a reputation as the go-to firm for food processing companies. In 2013, together with its marketing agency partner, Reputation Ink, Stellar launched Food for Thought, a blog focused on the design and construction of food processing facilities. In addition, the team developed a content platform full of e-books, checklists, white papers and infographics that attract and nurture high-quality leads. In this presentation, we will show how to build and manage a content platform like Food for Thought, which has generated millions in direct sales.

Your Captains

Michelle Calcote King, Principal & President, Reputation Ink, Justin Bridegan, Director of Marketing, Stellar

 

Session 5

Building a Culture-Driven Brand Campaign through GRIT

Wednesday, March 18 | 8:45 – 9:45am

GRIT – We Have What it Takes. This single sentence encapsulates how it feels to be an ECS employee. For current ECS employees, inherent in this statement is a sense of pride and accomplishment. For potential recruits, it begs the question, “Do I have what it takes to work at ECS?” We wanted job seekers to understand what type of person was successful in our company, as well as to provide them with information about our company culture. We also wanted a brand that our internal employees could identify with, one that was honest and motivational. As a 2019 SMPS National Marketing Communications Award - Award of Excellence in Promotional Campaign- Mixed Media Winner, hear how our team created a campaign within four months designed to help lower field technician turnover and create an identifiable employer brand.

Your Captains

Beth Ganoe, CPSM, Marketing Executive, ECS Southeast LLP, Julie Smith, Senior Marketing Specialist, ECS Southeast LLP

 

New Market, No Problem: How to Open a New Market Anywhere

Wednesday, March 18 | 8:45 – 9:45am

Opening a new market on takes the combined, collaborative efforts between business development, marketing planning, public relations and a lot of grit. This session will provide a case study on how this team created a marketing plan to penetrate the USVI and Puerto Rico to address the needs of these devastated communities. We will explore all of the facets of how the plan was conceptualized, the boots on the ground work done by business development, the behind the scenes PR efforts, the hours of research, numerous meetings, proposal efforts and the results of this collaboration. And most importantly, we will show the ROI on this large scale effort.

Your Captain

Dierdre Gilmore, FSMPS, CPSM,  President + Lead Strategist, Tank Girl Marketing, Rick FairclothDirector of Business Development, State & Local Government

 

How to Live the Best Marketer Life

Wednesday, March 18 | 8:45 – 9:45am

As marketers, we are constantly challenged to dig deep for inspiration and creativity to position our firms as market leaders. But how do we bring inspiration and laughter to our own work days and experiences in the midst of a jungle of crazy deadlines, the multitasking circus and the never-ending story of messaging. Through stories and audience engagement, this experience will offer attendees the much-needed moment to take a breath, laugh and connect with their inspirations. It will allow them to recall the at times silly nature of our vocation in the AEC marketing universe. All leading to how we can best clear our minds, focus on inspiration in our positions and company culture and lastly, find laughter in the most stressful of situations.

Your Captain

Jeff Anderle, Director of Marketing and Communications, Donley's Concrete Group

 

Session 6

Creating Infographics: Big Ideas in Small Packages

Wednesday, March 18 | 10:15 – 11:15am

Infographics are a serious trend, one that’s here to stay. Whether you’re looking to spruce up a boring page of text, or turn a complicated chart into something easier to understand, infographics are a smart way to quickly and concisely convey big ideas. Today’s clients are saturated with brochures, proposals, presentations, and other collateral, so it’s critical to deliver your message as simply and as beautifully as possible. In this session, we’ll go over what infographics are, how and when to use them, how to transform existing boring graphics (bar and pie charts are a thing of the past), and how to create them even if you don’t have a background in graphic design.

Your Captain

Barbara Hicks, CPSM, Owner/Partner, B-Graphic

 

Peopling: Building a Legacy with Our Teams

Wednesday, March 18 | 10:15 – 11:15am

“Peopling” refers to building a legacy with a firm's most important asset - its team. This session on simple people skills is intended to reach the audience by tapping into the basic desire to be connected and accepted. Attendees will be faced with introspective questions, tools to help better connect to teams, and an interactive section that will drive each team toward its goals. The ability to communicate, connect, and share with one another, while staying above board is essential in every business. Presenters will cover accountability, ownership, and general skills to help every team achieve the outcomes it desires. “Peopling” spans genders, race, ethnicity and personality and the more team members grow in this skill set, the more they will see differences as strength, rather than weakness.

Your Captain

Donald Miller, AIA, CCM, CEM, LEED AP, PM,  Vice President of Project Management, Cuhaci & Peterson Architects Engineers Planners Inc.

 

Navigating Together: Using Feedback to Enhance your Client Relationship Journey

Wednesday, March 18 | 10:15 – 11:15am

The nature of professional services business development requires that we build and maintain strong relationships with long-term repeat clients. Do you really know what your clients think? How confident are you about your firm’s ability to deliver a client experience that leaves them no better choice but to hire you again and rave to others about your awesomeness? If you’ve attempted a client feedback process in the past, were you able to maintain and scale it as your firm grew? What’s YOUR first thought when you hear the word “survey”? This session will explore questions like these through the lens of a planned, proactive approach to seeking feedback from the stakeholders involved with your firm’s work – as a normal routine, not an afterthought!

Your Captain

Kevin Hebblethwaite, FSMPS, CPSM, Principal Consultant, Full Sail Partners