Regional Conferences

SMPS South Eastern Regional Conference

January 31 - February 2, 2018

The SMPS Southern Regional Conference began in 2002. Each year since, this annual event has occurred in participating chapter cities within the Southern Region which includes the following SMPS Chapters:

SMPS is an organization composed of business development professionals, marketing professionals, and principals from architectural, engineering, planning, interior design, construction and specialty consulting firms.  Today, SMPS has 7,000+ members active in 58 chapters across the United States and Canada.  For more information about SMPS, please visit

SMPS National Conference - Build Business

August 15 - 17, 2018
San Diego, CA

Build Business 2018 will be focused on BUILDING BUSINESS. Hosted by the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), this annual conference is the premiere educational event for marketing and business development professionals in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries.

The three‐day conference will blend the concepts of Build Yourself, Build Your Firm, and Build the World, which, when leveraged together, create a better person, a better company, and a better industry. Those selected to speak at Build Business will be chosen because of their ability to inspire, challenge, and support the success in the participants’ careers and lives. Each day will tackle one of those topics*.

Build Yourself (Wednesday, August 15)
Sessions focused on coaching and professional career development to help attendees build essential skills that will advance their career in all practice settings and at all levels within the profession.

Build Your Firm (Thursday, August 16)
Sessions focused on how to leverage marketing and business development to build strong, profitable businesses. Speakers will focus on forward‐thinking insights, marketing, business development, leadership strategies, measurement metrics, and more.

Build the World (Friday, August 17)
Sessions are focused on encouraging new ways of thinking with tools, insights, and inspiration to take businesses to the next level. Amid technological and economic changes, how are fresh‐thinking and entrepreneurial marketing leaders adapting their strategies to benefit their companies?

*These are suggested topics for each area and is not an all-inclusive list. If you have a topic that would fit well under any of these definitions, please submit it.

Please Note: Build Business is seeking original presentations related to the themes outlined above. Proposals submitted to other conferences (whether accepted or not) and sessions previously presented to SMPS audiences locally, regionally, or nationally, will not be considered. Content for this conference must be 100% original and created with our 2018 attendees in mind.

Session Formats
The 75-minute sessions will be delivered in a variety of formats for all learning styles as outlined below.

Continuous Learning Philosophy
believes learning is a progression, not simply the transfer of information from an expert to a learner. To uphold this philosophy, SMPS actively seeks speakers who possess the following key qualities:

  • Command of Subject Matter: Each speaker is chosen based on his or her expertise in a specific content area.

  • Willingness to Teach: While command of the subject is essential, it is not the entire picture. Speakers should enjoy teaching and be willing to put forth effort to create a memorable learning experience.

  • Effective Interpersonal Skills: The ability to read and react to audiences is a prerequisite for a good communicator. Effective speakers and moderators are most concerned with what the audience is learning.

  • Effective Listening Skills: Good listeners use reflective listening techniques before responding to a question from the audience. This ensures that the speaker or moderator understands what is being asked and validates to the learners they are being heard.

  • Use of Sound Instructional Methods: Adults learn more when they are actively involved. SMPS asks that all speakers and instructors find ways to increase involvement and interactivity of participants.

  • Willingness to Improve: Speakers will receive feedback based on evaluations from the participants, audience comments, and observation.

Tips for writing a good proposal for a great conference session:

  • Help the conference planning committee understand why your session is the right one for Build Business.

  • Keep the audience in mind: they’re technical, professional, and already smart. They will easily detect a marketing pitch.

  • Clearly identify the level of the talk and why people will want to attend: is it for beginners or for gurus? Is this a trending topic or a tutorial?

  • Be bold and creative in your exploration of a topic. Audience members enjoy stories about what went wrong, what went right, how you selected a technique, and the human dynamics of applying a certain BD or marketing approach.

  • Be authentic. Your peers need original presentation ideas that focus on real world scenarios, relevant examples, and knowledge transfer.

  • If you are proposing a panel, tell us who else would be on it.

  • Present something relevant. One of your challenges as a proposer is to demonstrate that you understand attendees might need an extra reason to pay attention to something they might otherwise think of as “settled.”

Writing Learning Outcomes
In preparing proposals, presenters are asked to provide learning outcomes for the sessions they are proposing. Learning outcomes are statements that specify what participants will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity. These encompass knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes. Learning outcomes accomplish the following:

  • Focus on behavior that needs to be changed

  • Serve as guidelines for content, instruction, and evaluation

  • Identify specifically what needs to be learned

  • Convey to the learner exactly what needs to be accomplished

Learning outcomes are truly learner‐centered, observable, measurable actions by the learner. Learning outcomes contain three elements:

  1.  who is to perform,

  2. what actions they are to take, and

  3. a result to be achieved.

A sample learning outcome would be:
Attendees will identify their firm’s differentiators to develop a unique value proposition.
(who) (action) (outcome or result)

Upcoming Regional Conference Events