Keynote - Patti denucci

Join us as Patti shares valuable insights, stories, strategies, and tips that will shift your thinking about networking (even if you already consider yourself a great networker) and empower you to:

  • Connect and build relationships with greater purpose, passion, and presence
  • Become a more natural, confident, thoughtful, and reputable networker
  • Identify, refresh, and leverage your most valuable connections
  • Use math, reverse engineering techniques, and neuroscience to attract more like them
  • Cultivate and exude traits that can help you attract and build better connections
  • Fill in gaps and add depth and diversity to your network

Special workshop - danielle Gray

confessions of a content whisperer: extracting content from wine-y experts

Marketers constantly juggle proposals, presentation development, external campaigns and whatever else their team throws at them. However, in the AEC industry, marketers must rely on technical experts for input in order to get these tasks done. There hasn’t been much insight into how to actually extract that content from a technical team...until now. This extraction (sometimes referred to as pulling teeth) has easily become one of marketing’s toughest challenges. If you’ve heard, “I’m too busy” or “I don’t know what to write about” when asking for content from your team, this session is for you. This session equips marketers with tools to get content from their technical team that help complete proposals, project data sheets, blogs, case studies, papers and other content pieces. We’ll discuss how to gain leadership buy-in, working with specific internal personas and five methods marketers can use to extract quality content from their team.


Negotiation Flights: For you, your team, and your company

Speakers: Hildegard Dodd, Patricia Costella McGuirk, Kate Mirante, & Kelly Koscielny

In business, what you get, and how much you get, is based on how well you can negotiate. Marketing professionals in the A/E/C industry already wear a multitude of hats to meet deadlines, add value, and work seamlessly with technical staff.Often though, soft skills, like negotiating, get put on the back burner to attend to“need it now” deliverables. Led by four industry professionals, this highly interactive session will teach attendees successful negotiation skills for themselves, their internal team, and their firm overall by using real-time role playing, as well as roundtable and group discussions of past negotiation wins and losses.

Swirl your Creativity: Enhance Your Facilitation Skills with Lego Serious Play Method

Speakers: Jennifer Newman & Donna Korlew

Are you looking for a unique, fun way to develop strategies, work through challenging issues, facilitate a meeting, process or design that is engaging and fosters creativity? Join your Lego Serious Play Facilitators as they walk you through how you can utilize the Lego Serious Play method to produce a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the world and its possibilities through this hands-on, minds-on learning tool. The Lego Serious Play method for facilitating meetings, communication and problem-solving goes through a series of questions, probing deeper and deeper into a subject. These 3D models serve as a basis for group discussion, knowledge sharing, problem solving and decision making and help foster creative thinking and finding unique solutions. By utilizing visual, auditory and kinesthetic skills, the method requires participants to learn and listen, and it provides all participants with a voice while serving as a shared language regardless of culture or position.

Fortify Your Reputation: Where Corporate Responsibility Meets Brand Marketing

Speakers: Sarah SomervilleRachel Harris

This presentation showcases the marketing potential that evolves from establishing a strong Corporate Responsibility initiative. Reputation drives success in the AEC industry, where relationships and trust are cornerstones to keeping an edge in a competitive and cutthroat environment. Corporate branding commands perception. It reflects a company’s culture and offers consumers the opportunity to identify with a message. In an industry that is so intertwined with its community, the way a firm engages the community is often the difference between whether a project is approved, which team is chosen, or how well a firm withstands negative attention due to mistakes or unforeseen delays. We lay out the path to an effective corporate responsibility plan and the natural marketing opportunities that position firms for maximum success.

Great Pairing: Serving the Right “Bottle” with Client Empathy Mapping

Speakers: Ryan SuydamChandra Storrusten

That great Cabernet which pairs perfectly with steak would overpower a subtler plate, ruining the experience of both. That expensive bottle doesn’t seem like a good value if matched poorly. Clients are no different, they select the firm that best demonstrates the right pairing: an understanding of their needs and situation. During this interactive session, you will learn a technique, Client Empathy Mapping, that enables practitioners to quickly recognize opportunities for differentiation with perfectly paired service.We combine several CUSTOMER experience strategies and translate them to the unique needs of CLIENTbusinesses. Client Empathy Mapping merges processes used in designing service with user experience tools from software development. We’ve added additional innovations to create a quick, simple way to think like your clients.Whether building a formal empathy map over several hours, or doing a quick “empathy sprint” in five minutes, the process is simple, teachable, and powerful.

Prepare Your Vineyard: Roadmap to Win with Interactive Mock Client Meetings

Speakers: Linda HollingsworthRania Sadrack

Contacting a client to learn about a project opportunity is one of the first steps in winning exciting work. Relationship-building becomes essential, so establishing rapport and listening to what various client representatives have to say about the project scope, hot buttons of concern and the dynamics of the players is vital to building a road-map to win.  Participants will get an overview of how clients choose, learn what techniques are effective to engage clients and build rap-port, and identify the elements of their communication skills that can be honed to get the most out of their marketing efforts. Mock client meetings for an oh-so-fabulous jewel of a new project will give par-ticipants - divided into fictitious teams-  interactive time with some colorful characters on the selection committee to get the info they need to be victorious as the selected team.


Harvesting Knowledge: Best Practices for Data Collection and Maintenance

Speaker: Lindsay Diven

One of the biggest headaches of proposal production is having reliable, up-to-date information readily available. When you are on a tight deadline, you don’t have time to constantly look for data or hunt down project managers. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a data collection and maintenance system in place that enables you to rely on your information—no matter how you store it? In this breakout session, we will guide you through best practices to collect and regularly maintain project and personnel information. We will also highlight some real-life examples from actual firms. You will leave this session with a start-up guide and actionable checklists. It won’t matter if you have a dedicated CRM system or store master documents on a network server—these best practices are for anyone who is responsible for producing proposals.

Roses in the Vineyard: Indicators of Proposal and Presentation Health

Speaker: Meg Winch

What makes some wines exceptional and some merely average? A vintner considers variables such as soil conditions, weather, best management practices, etc. We should be asking a similar question relative to our pursuits. Marketers should be like vintners, considering the science of marketing to reveal indicators of pursuit health. With more than 30 years of experience winning work with teams across the industry, Meg Winch will explore the details of why some teams win and why some lose. She will discuss a research-based performance metric that marketers can use to assess the health of their firms marketing processes as well as a springboard for pursuit creativity. Using significant industry pursuits as examples, Meg will reveal some of the secrets winning teams use to create memorable wins, some of the more promising tools and tactics, and tactics for inoculating teams from the hidden parasites in their marketing vineyard.

Don’t let What You Learn Die on the Vine: Develop a Plan to Bring Back the Best of PRC

Speakers: Bryan GrayMarion Thatch

You’re attending the West Coast’s top educational marketing conference and looking for best practices, tools and wisdom to keep yourself and your firm at the top of its game. Several sessions into the conference, you’ve realized a number of great ideas to take back to the office and can’t wait to get back to make them happen. Fast forward 6 months – little (maybe even nothing has changed) and you are feeling deflated. This workshop will expose attendees to a process for developing a plan to bring improved processes, needed coaching or training, and new ways of thinking back to your management. One that uses the latest in brain science to persuade them they’d be crazy not to move forward with your plan. Attendees will work in groups to draft a hypothetical plan of action they can use as a guide to bring the best of SMPS PRC 2018 for themselves, teams and firm.

From Good to Grape: Innovative A/E/C Websites

Speaker: David Lecours

In 2017 the SMPS Foundation published this study: How A/E/C Clients Use Websites to Find and Vet Services Providers. In 2018, David Lecours published research on best practices of ENR 500 and progressive firm websites. Merging these two studies, David will share data, and what we can learn about the effectiveness of top A/E/C websites. You’ll learn the latest tactics that firms are using to attract and convert great clients and talent. You’ll return to your firm buzzing with best practices to help improve your firm’s website.

Clarity and Color: Seven Graphic Design Principles

Speaker: Julie Shaffer

With demanding deadlines and limited resources, many AEC marketers don’t have time to think about submittal design that graphically complements the message and is visually compelling for the reader while still responding to the requirements of the RFQ/RFP. This session will focus on the seven graphic design principles relevant to our industry with visual examples and software applications that support strong design.


Uncork Your Leadership Potential: Lessons from Top Female Marketers

Speakers: Sharon PortnoySaskia Dennis-Van DijlMaggie ThackerJill Capanna

Although the A/E/C industry is male-dominated, a majority of Marketing and Business Development professionals within A/E/C firms are women. Too often, a double whammy of implicit bias based on gender and a lack of respect for those in “support” roles conspires to marginalize non-technical professionals. This panel will address the issue by highlighting examples of female marketers and business developers who are strong leaders within their firms and have used their positions to drive change within their organizations. The session will focus on opportunities for leadership in the marketing/BD role, from setting growth strategy to influencing workplace culture to retain talent. The panelists are women in Marketing and BD positions at nationally recognized firms who have attained a level of influence within their firms, in some cases attaining a Principal or Partner title. They will share how they came to define their roles, gain the respect of firm leadership, and transcend the bias they confronted early in their careers.

Bold Flavors: Diversity and Inclusion in A/E/C Marketing

Speakers: Damion Morris, Frank Lippert, Tracy Librea, Alethea O'Dell & Nancy Martinez

“Business transformed through marketing leadership” means that marketing leaders must be activists for human potential. That means acting for, not just talking about, diversity and inclusion. Diversity is becoming more expected in the workplace—especially as a new generation of workers moves in—and it can be the ultimate competitive brand advantage. Research demonstrates that diversity and inclusion nurture individual and overall firm success, and is a cornerstone of creativity. However, women and minority participation in the AEC industry is low and the effort to be more inclusive is challenging.
This interactive panel will take a closer look at diversity and inclusion in the A/E/C industry, why it matters not only for individuals. On a firm‐wide level, we will examine the role Marketing and Business Development professionals play in promoting diversity and inclusion. In a time of greater competition and swift changes in the business environment, it is the firms best equipped to engage their entire workforce that will thrive

Crush Your Fear: Sharpen Your Public Speaking Skills

Speaker: Dena Wyatt

Verbal communication is the backbone of our lives. It helps us form connections, influence decisions and motivate change. Effective communicators garnish respect, are seen as leaders, and advance in their careers. Start Building Yourself and take charge of your career and your ability to impact others by sharpening your public speaking skills. Don’t settle for merely “getting through it” or “avoiding it” all together. Gain a real sense of comfort and even enjoyment of public speaking. Dena will help you appreciate the art of public speaking and give you tips to banish your fears and distracting habits and learn to inspire and move your audience. This interactive session, will have you on your feet practicing new techniques and having fun.

Produce Marketing Transparency: Educate and Engage Your Technical Team

Speaker: Laurie Lumish

Break out of the “no one understands what I do” mode and get buy-in from non-marketing staff for initiatives. Create technical staff willing to participate in content marketing, in BD meetings, in branding efforts. Marketing transparency is an internal communications strategy that de-mystifyes what we do, how we do it, and demonstrates our value all at the same time. Transparency is more than publishing your accomplishments in the weekly report. It’s distributing marketing messages internally to every employee, your newest designer to the 50-year veteran, over the long-haul. Presentation attendees will receive a handbook of internal communications tools and plans that can be adapted for their firm’s needs and initiatives.

Sowing Your Marketing Seeds: Garner the Recognition You Deserve

Speakers: Liza HallStephanie WoodBonnie Temple

Since the Great Recession, marketers have had to up their game in order to stay relevant and be an invaluable asset to an organization. The days of having a role in a marketing department as proposal coordinator has evolved to also include additional responsibilities (i.e. market research, proposal strategy, event promoter, and business development). Today’s marketer is multi-faceted and savvy, with a will to empower their teams and garner the recognition deserved from their bosses and colleagues. Learn from three seasoned A/E/C marketing professionals about how they exercised their industry network, developed new skills, obtained further education, and accepted new challenges, to expand their role responsibilities as they endured the hardships of an economic downturn. Discover how the panelists ultimately elevated and advanced their careers to the next level as an A/E/C marketing professional.

Inside the Fellows studio

Join us for wine and appetizers as we wind down the day and present 'Inside the Fellows Studio.' This program is patterned after the Emmy award-winning series Inside the Actors Studio on Bravo TV. Bill Strong, FSMPS, our moderator will channel James Lipton, the well-known host of the series, and interview some of our esteemed Fellows in a one-on-one format. They will open the door to a kind of intimacy you've not seen at PRC before. This is a no holds barred format that might reveal a pivotal decision, a specific marketing initiative, a career turning point, a significant accomplishment, and lessons learned—and you'll be encouraged to ask your own questions.

This is a masterclass for all marketing and business development professionals who want to hone their craft and learn from some of SMPS' most accomplished Fellows. 

SMPS MAX - MAX (to the power of F)


Get ready to experience a brand new program mashup featuring three of our distinguished SMPS Fellows. It's called MAX-F (MAX to the power of F), created specifically for the 2018 SMPS PRC. 

The SMPS MAX™ (Market.Act.eXchange) format provides a short-form, creative, fresh platform to celebrate and exchange marketing-led innovations, big ideas, and inspiring stories. MAX helps open our minds to possibilities. MAX-F delivers insights and world-changing ideas from your Society's Fellows.

Your emcee and host, Josh Miles, will guide you through our MAX-F program, featuring a great mix of topics:

  • Barbara Shuck - The Pitfalls and Purpose of Passion
  • Sharyn Yorio – Marketing’s Engagement in the Project Cycle
  • Ted Sive – Your ‘Why’ is Both Everything and Yet Nothing... By Itself (Why I’m a Cynic of Sinek)

2018 SMPS PRC is the only place to experience this brand new program. Don't miss it.