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  • How the Recession Commoditized the A/E Firm + What To Do About It

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    During the recession, a large owner of gas stations and convenience stores issued an RFP for assistance renovating a good portion of its locations as part of a major rebrand -- an RFP that normally would have received 15-20 responses yielded over 11k. While economic conditions have improved drastically over the last few years, the signs of commoditization are still all around us. Yet, we're not talking about them. This program will do just that. We will share key indicators that commoditization is still a very real problem for many architecture and engineering firms, perspectives on the topic from marketers around the country, and suggestions for how marketers can help their firms “de-commoditize."

    During the recession, a large owner of gas stations and convenience stores issued an RFP for assistance renovating a good portion of its locations as part of a major rebrand -- an RFP that normally would have received 15-20 responses yielded over 11k. While economic conditions have improved drastically over the last few years, the signs of commoditization are still all around us. Yet, we're not talking about them. This program will do just that. We will share key indicators that commoditization is still a very real problem for many architecture and engineering firms, perspectives on the topic from marketers around the country, and suggestions for how marketers can help their firms “de-commoditize." (1.25 SMPS CEUs/1.25 AIA LUs)

    Learning Objectives:

    • Identify the key forces driving the commoditization of the practice to raise awareness of the issue with firm leaders.
    • Access real world indicators that commoditization is still a very real problem.
    • Identify paths to “de-commoditize" the firm and build a highly differentiated firm.

  • Many Roles, Many Hats. Perspectives from "Do it All" Marketers and Business Developers

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Do you wear many hats in your firm as a marketer? In many firms, marketers are tasked with proposal and collateral development, but might also engage in: business development, graphic design, public relations, trade shows, advertising, and coaching. It is important to remain organized and sane while investing in your professional development. How do you successfully do it all? How are you evaluated for such a diverse role? Being the one and only marketing and business development person in your firm may come in different forms or have different titles. If you are the only source for business development and marketing in your firm, you must have a unique combination of skills: vision, creativity, design capabilities, strong writing and proposal development skills as well as sales and relationship building skills – all of which work together to help sell your firm's services. This session addresses a number of strategies and perspectives used by marketers who are the single source for marketing and business development in their firms.

    Do you wear many hats in your firm as a marketer? In many firms, marketers are tasked with proposal and collateral development, but might also engage in: business development, graphic design, public relations, trade shows, advertising, and coaching. It is important to remain organized and sane while investing in your professional development. How do you successfully do it all? How are you evaluated for such a diverse role? Being the one and only marketing and business development person in your firm may come in different forms or have different titles. If you are the only source for business development and marketing in your firm, you must have a unique combination of skills: vision, creativity, design capabilities, strong writing and proposal development skills as well as sales and relationship building skills – all of which work together to help sell your firm's services. This session addresses a number of strategies and perspectives used by marketers who are the single source for marketing and business development in their firms. (1.25 CEUs)

    Learning Objectives:

    • Gain perspective from professionals who perform both marketing and business development functions for their firms.
    • Learn tips on how to better organize their time in managing the activities needed for both responsibilities.
    • Gain perspective on how to sell this unique dual skill with their firm's upper management as well as negotiate and help determine performance goals for their position where possible.
  • Marketing Your Firm on a Limited Budget

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 02/16/2016

    As a marketer within an A/E/C firm, you understand how budgets are constantly scrutinized. Being sure to keep overhead low helps improve your firm's bottom line, but makes proactive marketing quite a challenge. High-dollar marketing investments are frowned upon and often aren't even realistic. Our February webinar will focus on how to put together a sustainable, highly effective marketing presence without breaking the bank. When is advertising worthwhile? How can you increase web traffic without paying for each click? What can you do to show sustainable growth in firm awareness? We'll tackle these subjects and more in this upcoming, interactive session.

    As a marketer within an A/E/C firm, you understand how budgets are constantly scrutinized. Being sure to keep overhead low helps improve your firm's bottom line, but makes proactive marketing quite a challenge. High-dollar marketing investments are frowned upon and often aren't even realistic.

    Our February webinar will focus on how to put together a sustainable, highly effective marketing presence without breaking the bank.

    When is advertising worthwhile? How can you increase web traffic without paying for each click? What can you do to show sustainable growth in firm awareness? We'll tackle these subjects and more in this upcoming, interactive session.

    Learning Objectives

    During this webinar, attendees will learn how to:

    1. Identify the best marketing efforts to utilize without committing to huge expenditures
    2. Prioritize marketing efforts and budget allocation based on your goals
    3. Implement tracking measures to monitor marketing success
    4. Understand which social media tools are most worth your time

    CEU Credits

    SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 continuing education units for the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) program and 1.5 learning units from the American Institute of Architects. Recordings of SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 CPSM CEUs.

    Per-Site Registration Fee*

    SMPS Member Site Registration: $179
    Nonmember Site Registration: $239

    *Remember: Webinars are open to your whole staff. Your team can participate from one location in your office for one fee. Register today and benefit from affordable, convenient, actionable learning and earn valuable CPSM CEUs and AIA LUs!

    Chris Denby

    CEO, Markitecture

    Chris Denby heads up Markitecture, where he helps large and small companies to define clear, effective marketing strategies and deliver powerful executions. Prior to founding Markitecture, he worked with well-known clients such as General Electric, TRC Solutions, Washington Gas, NAHB, and many others to create successful B2B, B2G and B2C communications. Denby holds a bachelor's degree in architecture and an MBA from Virginia Tech and is an SMPS member.

  • Module 3: Easy Ways to Use Graphics in Proposals and Presentations

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    Visuals resonate with people, and using graphics as well-thought-out ways to convey or enhance your message is key to keeping your audience engaged. You don't have to be a graphic designer to use graphics effectively in proposals—all you need is a little creativity.

    (January 27, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET)

    Instructor: Karen Kurta, CPSM, Senior Marketing Project Lead, Balfour Beatty Construction

    Let's face it, nobody looks at a proposal and says, “Yay, it's all words!” Yet most of the time we use pages and pages of text or wordy bullets and wonder why our message gets lost. Visuals resonate with people, and using graphics as well-thought-out ways to convey or enhance your message is key to keeping your audience engaged. You don't have to be a graphic designer to use graphics effectively in proposals—all you need is a little creativity. From tag lines and photos, to charts and infographics, this session will examine the graphic tools available to create better materials. Using real-world examples, we'll explore creative alternatives to traditional text and bullet points and cover tips and tricks for those with no graphic-design help.

    During the session, participants will:

    • Understand why visual communication is so effective
    • Learn about the most effective types of graphics and how to use them to support your message
    • Compare different methods of conveying information in proposals and presentations
    • Learn how to easily build simple graphics and see examples of them used in actual proposals and presentations
    • Learn about resources and tips/tricks for inexpensive stock fonts and graphics

    Karen Kurta, CPSM

    Senior Marketing Associate Cushman & Wakefield

    A three-time marketing excellence award winner, Karen excels in graphic design, photography, and proposal writing, specializing in assembling complex pieces into concise and cohesive marketing materials. She is known for efficiency, creativity, and the drive to continuously improve her skills.

    Her career spans various industries including construction and commercial real estate. For eight years, she managed complex proposals and developed presentations, graphics, collateral, advertising, and project photography for two global construction firms. She is currently a Senior Graphic Designer for Cushman & Wakefield—a global commercial real estate firm—where she provides graphic design, photography, and marketing support for over 40 brokers in two markets.

    Karen is a CPSM and a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). She is also the owner of a Central Florida-based photography business specializing in real estate, portraits, and fine art.  

  • Module 2: The Simplest Ways to Make the Best of Proposal Writing

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    Many people find proposal writing difficult, tiresome, frustrating, or even annoying. But is doesn't have to be. Instead of focusing on the little details (like capitalization and comma placement), this session will zero in on the big wins. You'll learn tricks, formulas, and tactics that will make creating a winning proposal far easier and less time consuming

    (January 20, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET)

    Instructor: Matthew Handal, Manager - Business Development, Trauner Consulting Services, Inc.

    Do you wake up in the morning with a smile because today is the day you get to write a proposal? If you answered no, that's because you are normal. Many people find proposal writing difficult, tiresome, frustrating, or even annoying. But is doesn't have to be. Instead of focusing on the little details (like capitalization and comma placement), this session will zero in on the big wins. You'll learn tricks, formulas, and tactics that will make creating a winning proposal far easier and less time consuming. By the end, you'll know how to easily craft compelling copy that your clients' eyes will be glued to.

    During the session, participants will learn how to:

    • Use the KLT Sales Hook to write a compelling firm profile
    • Get the right message across in your cover letter
    • Write a technical approach that actually contains an approach
    • Craft narratives for your project experience and résumés

    Matthew Handal

    Manager/Business Development, Trauner Consulting Services, Inc

    Matt Handal was a marketer submitting boilerplate proposals and materials that were indistinguishable from his competitors. He had no idea how to convince new clients to buy his firm's services. And worst of all, nobody would listen to him. One day, he stumbled upon some academic research on how people really make decisions. Since then, he has helped his firm win new assignments, convinced government clients to give his firm sole source contracts, written one of the most popular books about proposal writing, and flown across the country to teach clients how to apply Mind Marketing to their business.

  • How to Win a Pitch

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 01/19/2016

    The biggest challenge in a sales presentation isn't convincing the client you're qualified. It's separating yourself from your highly qualified competitors by creating a better connection with the audience. Join SMPS for a highly engaging webinar that focuses on the fundamentals you must execute better than your competition if you want to consistently improve your chances of winning.

    You left no stone unturned in your quest to ensure the client would select you.

    You took the time to presell and build a solid relationship with a prospective client. Your proposal was well-received, you were deemed highly qualified, and you were invited to interview. As the date drew near, you prepared a dazzling slide deck, covering the history of your firm, bios of your key team members, a plethora of relevant previous experience, and a detailed technical approach for successfully completing the project on time and within budget.

    Yet in the end, they chose another firm. Sound familiar?

    The biggest challenge in a sales presentation isn't convincing the client you're qualified. It's separating yourself from your highly qualified competitors by creating a better connection with the audience. Join SMPS for a highly engaging webinar that focuses on the fundamentals you must execute better than your competition if you want to consistently improve your chances of winning.

    Learning Objectives

    During this webinar, attendees will learn:

    1. Identify and craft simple, listener-centered messages
    2. Develop a personal delivery style that allows you to better connect with your audience
    3. Prepare for and answer questions in a way that inspires confidence

    CEU Credits

    SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 continuing education units for the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) program and 1.5 learning units from the American Institute of Architects. Recordings of SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 CPSM CEUs.

    Per-Site Registration Fee*

    SMPS Member Site Registration: $179
    Nonmember Site Registration: $239

    *Remember: Webinars are open to your whole staff. Your team can participate from one location in your office for one fee. Register today and benefit from affordable, convenient, actionable learning and earn valuable CPSM CEUs and AIA LUs!

    Matthew J. Frankel, CPSM

    Chief Relationship Builder, Speechworks

    As a seasoned communications coach and trainer, Frankel's passion lies in helping professionals who deal with complex, technical subject matters to communicate their messages in a simple, persuasive way that inspires confidence from their listeners. His training experience includes serving as an advanced pilot ground instructor, graduate teaching assistant, corporate sales trainer, executive coach, and faculty member at Georgia Tech. Prior to Speechworks, Frankel spent nearly a decade leading the marketing and sales training efforts for a top-100 A/E firm. He currently serves on the education committee for SMPS Atlanta, and is a past co-chair for the SMPS Southeast Regional Conference.

  • Module 1: How to Develop a Capture Plan

    Contains 3 Component(s)

    Like the coach who's determined to win Sunday's game, your proposal efforts need a game plan and a strategy for winning. This practical program will give you a guided five-step process that will make your proposal laser-focused on your client's needs and priorities.

    (January 13, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET)

    Instructor: David Stone, President, blüStone Marketing

    Like the coach who's determined to win Sunday's game, your proposal efforts need a game plan and a strategy for winning. This practical program will give you a guided five-step process that will make your proposal laser-focused on your client's needs and priorities. It will highlight the traits of the firm they're looking to hire and let you stand out from the huge pile of competitors' 'me-too' proposals. Do you want to drive up your hit rate and win more projects? This program is where to begin.

    During the session, participants will learn how to:

    • Understand the three-prong approach to an aggressive win strategy
    • Discover the four methods your firm can use to differentiate itself from competitors when competing for a project
    • Use the five brainstorming questions to build a capture plan
    • Weave the results of the brainstorming process into the elements of your proposal

    David Stone

    President, blüStone Marketing

    David Stone has advised hundreds of design and construction firms around the globe ranging in size from one person to $2 billion in annual revenue. He's a sought-after speaker at conferences around the world and the author of 15 books including, Wired, which is used in the CPSM program. With a career that began in architecture in the mid-70s, Stone has held every position from draftsman to principal. He has witnessed and experienced the massive changes this industry has faced and continues to explore new ways to promote and sell design and construction services. He splits his time between Savannah, GA, and Vancouver, BC.

  • 25 Best Practices, Tips, and Tweaks to Supercharge Your Firm’s Email Efforts

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 12/15/2015

    This webinar is designed to help marketers understand how email marketing has evolved, why it should play a central role in their marketing communications strategy, and what's needed to transform email marketing to become more engaging and effective. Attendees will walk away with practical tips, ideas, and best practices they can apply to their firm's email marketing right away!

    Email marketing remains a powerful, cost-effective, yet highly underutilized marketing channel for engaging prospects and clients. But the key to success lies in the proper approach and execution. And while most A/E/C firms are using email marketing, many aren't seeing the results they'd like and could use a boost.

    Does your firm suffer from low open and click-through rates for your email blasts?

    Do you receive a high number of unsubscribes with every email you send out, even emails sent specifically to clients?

    Or does your firm not even rely on email as a primary channel of communication?

    This webinar is designed to help marketers understand how email marketing has evolved, why it should play a central role in their marketing communications strategy, and what's needed to transform email marketing to become more engaging and effective. Attendees will walk away with practical tips, ideas, and best practices they can apply to their firm's email marketing right away!

    Learning Objectives

    During this webinar, attendees will learn:

    • The latest research and stats on email marketing
    • Common email marketing pitfalls to avoid
    • How to optimize email marketing for mobile devices
    • Best practices covering everything from email design, copywriting, content, and deliverability
    • Ways to boost critical email marketing KPIs
    • How to grow subscribers who actually want to hear from your firm


    CEU Credits

    SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 continuing education units for the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) program and 1.5 learning units from the American Institute of Architects. Recordings of SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 CPSM CEUs.

    Per-Site Registration Fee*

    SMPS Member Site Registration: $199
    Nonmember Site Registration: $259

    *Remember: Webinars are open to your whole staff. Your team can participate from one location in your office for one fee. Register today and benefit from affordable, convenient, actionable learning and earn valuable CPSM CEUs and AIA LUs!

    Tim Asimos, CPSM

    Vice President and Director of Digital Innovation, circle S studio

    Tim Asimos provides keen insights on modern marketing principles and an uncommon perspective gleaned from more than 15 years of experience inside and outside the A/E/C industries. As VP and director of digital innovation at circle S studio, Tim leads the agency's development of innovative strategies in website development, content marketing, account-based marketing and marketing technology. A national speaker and syndicated blogger, Tim’s expertise has been featured in numerous publications, webinars, programs, and conferences around the country.

  • Get Presentation Tips From a Pro!

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 11/17/2015

    On Tuesday, November 17, join us for a live webinar with presentation and training guru Susan Murphy. In her webinar, "Do This. It Works: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Authentic and Effective Presentation Skills," Murphy will take you through a step-by-step practice of the intellectual and physical skills necessary to make a great presentation. Whether you're explaining a plan to your coworker, showing a strategic plan to the partners, or presenting a proposal to a client, what you say and how you say it are vital. This program shows you exactly how to get the results you need.

    On Tuesday, November 17, join us for a live webinar with presentation and training guru Susan Murphy. In her webinar, "Do This. It Works: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Authentic and Effective Presentation Skills," Murphy will take you through a step-by-step practice of the intellectual and physical skills necessary to make a great presentation. Whether you're explaining a plan to your coworker, showing a strategic plan to the partners, or presenting a proposal to a client, what you say and how you say it are vital. This program shows you exactly how to get the results you need.

    Learning Objectives

    Participants will learn:

    • To think on their feet and change direction during a presentation
    • Target audience interests
    • Practice for continued improvement and coach their colleagues
    • Get support from the powers that be
    • Streamline the interview process
    • Set a communication and presentation standard for the entire firm

    Don't miss this engaging and informative webinar. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to learn from one of the A/E/C industry's best trainers and coaches.

    CEU Credits

    SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 continuing education units for the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) program and 1.5 learning units from the American Institute of Architects. Recordings of SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 CPSM CEUs.

    Per-Site Registration Fee*

    SMPS Member Site Registration: $199
    Nonmember Site Registration: $259

    *Remember: Webinars are open to your whole staff. Your team can participate from one location in your office for one fee. Register today and benefit from affordable, convenient, actionable learning and earn valuable CPSM CEUs and AIA LUs!

    Susan Murphy

    Principal, Murphy Motivation and Training

    Susan Murphy's career began in travel industry marketing, which led to her position as Club Med Travel Industry marketing director. She then joined Communispond, where she coached presentation and selling skills to Fortune 500 companies. Five years later, Murphy Motivation and Training was born. She uses irreverence and humor to transform professionals into competent presenters. The A/E/C world discovered her when she spoke at an SMPS conference in Boston many years ago. Since then, she has helped A/E/C professionals hone their communication and interview skills.

  • Marketing Automation: What Is It? Do I Need It? How Do I Start?

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 10/20/2015

    Don't get stuck in the daily grind and miss the next big thing—marketing automation. By marketing effectively, you'll save time, money, and resources. Best part: marketing automation is the ideal solution for nurturing leads over the multi-year sales cycle found in the A/E/C industry. During the webinar, we'll start at the beginning—What is marketing automation and what can it do? You'll also learn how to decide if it's right for your firm and how to implement the best program.

    Don't get stuck in the daily grind and miss the next big thing—marketing automation. By marketing effectively, you'll save time, money, and resources. Best part: marketing automation is the ideal solution for nurturing leads over the multi-year sales cycle found in the A/E/C industry.

    During the webinar, we'll start at the beginning—What is marketing automation and what can it do? You'll also learn how to decide if it's right for your firm and how to implement the best program.

    Learning Objectives

    During this webinar, attendees will:

    • Define marketing automation and its vast capabilities
    • Hear case studies of marketing automation in action
    • Identify if marketing automation is right for you and your firm's efforts
    • Learn how marketing automation helps to understand a potential client's behavior, which is necessary for nurturing leads

    CEU Credits

    SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 continuing education units for the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) program and 1.5 learning units from the American Institute of Architects. Recordings of SMPS Webinars are approved for 1.5 CPSM CEUs.

    Per-Site Registration Fee*

    SMPS Member Site Registration: $199
    Nonmember Site Registration: $259

    *Remember: Webinars are open to your whole staff. Your team can participate from one location in your office for one fee. Register today and benefit from affordable, convenient, actionable learning and earn valuable CPSM CEUs and AIA LUs!

    Perryn D. Olson, CCMP, CPSM

    Account Director, Hinge Marketing

    Perryn Olson has experience working in many industries, and in particular A/E/C. He speaks regularly at professional conferences around the country, and has written extensively for construction industry publications. In 2014, he published his first book, Construction Executive's Guide to Brand Marketing. Based in New Orleans, he is president of SMPS Southeast Louisiana, past co-chair of SMPS Southern Regional Conference, and past president of Executive Connections, a business networking organization in New Orleans. In 2013, he was named one of Engineering News-Record's 20 Under 40 in Texas and Louisiana.