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Win More Work Summit Post Event Recap

Last month, SMPS CT hosted the Win More Work Summit (WMW). One Hundred and sixteen professionals attended this one-day summit where A/E/C thought leaders delivered critical content designed to help position firms to #winmorework. Realizing that busy people don’t have time to waste on bad conferences, SMPS CT empowered participants to design their own day to maximize their return on investment.

WMW was hosted on October 2, 2019 from 7:45 AM to 4:00 PM at The Hartford Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, CT. After registration and breakfast concluded, the day kicked-off with Speed Networking. Attendees selected from one of five market sectors for a targeted experience (aerospace, healthcare, higher education, real estate development, and utilities).

Jenny Drescher and Ellen Feldman Ornato, founding partners of the Bolder Company, facilitated the speed networking round. They presented attendees with thought-provoking questions to get conversations started. They also encouraged networkers to take a picture of the person they were connecting with along with their name badge to ensure remembering those they met. When asked for a favorite takeaway from this session, one attendee responded, “It was good to get an opportunity to meet people from other disciplines within our industry and allowed for practice of listening skills and how to avoid meaningless small talk.”

Keynote speaker, Susan Murphy followed, wowing the audience with her address on “How to be a Stunning Presenter, Even Though You Hate It!” With over twenty-five years of coaching, presenting, and interview skills experience, Susan had no trouble captivating the audience with proper eye contact, body language and stage presence – all topics she covered while speaking. One attendee found her advice regarding interviewing very helpful, “It’s not about the technical information, the client knows you know that, or you wouldn’t be there. It’s about personalizing your pitch to relate to the client.”

A plated lunch was served following the keynote address. Attendees enjoyed conversing over salad, Statler Chicken, Citrus Salmon, or a Veggie Neapolitan Stack. A delicious chocolate cake was provided for dessert which gave attendees a boost of energy to head into the breakout sessions.

Again, attendees were empowered to choose between the business development or proposal focused learning tracks. The business development track, “Driving Seller-Doer Accountability” was presented by Greg Brenner, Managing Principal & Director of National Clients and WB Engineers and Ashley Schmidt, VP & Director of Business Development at HKS.

During this session, participants explored motivational strategies for setting realistic expectations and overcoming obstacles. Greg and Ashley demonstrated how attendees could turn accountability into positive experiences, allowing employees of all levels and responsibilities to make a contribution to bringing in business. One participant enjoyed learning about “love languages for business – how different things motivate different people – plus the handouts were great.”

Matt Handal of HelpEverybodyEveryday was the presenter for the marketing proposal track, “The Unspoken Truth of Proposal Strategy.” This break-out session focused on mastering RFQ/RFP response preparation. He taught participants why they need to think about proposal strategy differently and detailed the six elements  that need to be considered with every submission. The presentation included the “million-dollar question” needed to give firms an unfair advantage  and the best value pricing rule. Participants enjoyed learning about his proposal process as well as the prize drawing that concluded the session.

After the breakout sessions, attendees reconvened as a group for a private client panel. The panel included, Cheryl Cundall, Sr. Director, Environment, Health & Safety for United Technologies, Tim Moore, Director of Development & New Markets for Shelbourne Global Solutions, Larry Rush, Program Operations for Avangrid, Kirsten Waltz, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP, the Director of Facilities Planning & Design for Baystate Health and Janet Wheeler the Manager of Space, Planning and Utilization for the University of Hartford Facilities Department. Christopher Cykley, MCPPO, VP of CSG served as the moderator. The panel discussion focused on engaging with clients and the dos and don’ts of follow-up, communications, and building relationships with them. Attendees were pleasantly surprised by the candor of the panel.

For most participants, the day officially concluded following the client panel. However, about forty headed to the Marriott’s “L Bar” to recap the day’s events by networking with attendees and panelists at a cash bar reception from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. For more information about the Win More Work Summit program, our distinguished speakers, or if you’d like to volunteer on the 2020 planning taskforce, email SMPS CT Chapter President, Nichole Petersen.




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