Group At Lunch

17 Oct, 2017

Event Recap: B5 Program Sculpture Garden Hunt with SMPS VIPs

Jessica Gillette

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Event Recap  
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Read time: 2 minutes, 49 seconds

An adventurous group gathered at the Washington, DC Sculpture Garden on September 28th to experience an interactive scavenger hunt, created and organized by Jessica Gillette, recipient of the SMPS DC 2017 Pay-It-Forward Grant for Build Business. To bring back the best of the conference, she invited three SMPS VIPs to get to know attendees and share insights related to the conference’s theme of “Build Yourself. Build Your Firm. Build the World.” Three teams set out to find each VIP at a different sculpture.

Build Yourself

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SMPS DC President and CPSM Pipper Mosley provides valuable tips.

SMPS DC President Pipper Mosley, CPSM, was stationed at the sculpture entitled Spider. With each team, she shared invaluable productivity tips she lives by as a successful business development professional. She had three main takeaways:

  1. Keep your workspace tidy and neat, and try to only accept information electronically. Not only do business cards and marketing brochures create clutter, but a more personal, meaningful connection is established when you immediately connect to someone via LinkedIn or cell contact.
  2. Found out what time of the day works best for you to be productive. Some of us get things done early in the morning, while some of us are night owls and do our best work after normal hours. Try to find a way to adjust your schedule so you are working on difficult tasks when you are at your peak productivity time of the day.
  3. Set realistic expectations. For instance, when different vice presidents/project managers/executives are all asking for different projects and don’t know about the work the others have assigned you, make sure you provide a realistic timeframe for completion, and know when to say no.

Build Your Firm

SMPS President Nancy Usrey, FSMPS, CPSM, met participants at House I to discuss the importance of building your firm. Nancy earned her CPSM in 1993, led the (then) Dallas-Fort Worth chapter as President in 1997, and became an SMPS Fellow in 2000. She has more than thirty years of experience in the AEC industry, guiding firms to successful development and implementation of marketing and sales initiatives. As part of this program, Nancy gave helpful synopses of the sessions at the conference that were focused on adjusting company culture and driving marketing focus, as well as a few tips of her own. In addition, Nancy detailed why she personally values attending Build Business, and how to sell your own firm on the measurable benefits of the conference when requesting to attend.

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SMPS DC Membership Director Michael Knowles and chapter member Sachiya Sloley chat with SMPS CEO Michael Geary during the scavenger hunt.

Build the World

SMPS Chief Executive Officer Michael Geary, CAE, met attendees in the Garden to discuss his role in the success of SMPS. Once team members found him at Thinker on a Rock, he gave insight into the founding of SMPS in St. Louis, where we are now, and where he is taking the association in the future. Michael shared some of his favorite moments from Build Business, including futurist David Zach’s session, The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be. This main stage presentation got AEC marketers thinking about how changes in the future can impact our firm, asking thought-provoking questions like with more car sharing services like Zipcar and massive transit-oriented mixed-use hubs, will we even need parking garages? And what will we do with the ones that are already built? As the best CEOs do, Michael left participants thinking of innovative ways to brace for what’s to come in our future marketing endeavors.

What did Jessica find the most valuable at Build Business? The MAX Presentations (Note: These are available on the SMPS YouTube page, under the created playlist titled Build Business 2017). These fifteen minute sessions were presented by creative, energetic marketers and chocked full of information and prompts to get your brain thinking of exciting ideas to bring back to your firm. Although they were all fantastic, Andrew Davis’ Loyalty Loop stood out the most. He comically pointed out how we spend a lot of time telling our clients how different we are, but a quick visit to everyone’s website shows we all pretty much say the same thing. Stop saying you are different, and instead find a way to show you are different. There are countless ways to do this, so stop churning out the same old marketing and change things up!