Submit Your 2017 Presentation Proposal for Build Business 2017

Deadline: Call for presentations is now closed. Please stay tune for Fall 2017 for the 2018 call.

Build Business 2017 will be focused on just that … BUILDING BUSINESS. The three-day conference will blend the concepts of Build Yourself, Build Business, and Build the World which, when leveraged together, create a better person, a better company, and a better world. Those selected to speak at Build Business will be chosen because of their ability to inspire us, to challenge us, and to support our success in our jobs and our lives. Each day will tackle one of those topics.

Build Yourself
Sessions focused on coaching and professional career development that will help you build essential skills that will advance your career in all practice settings and at all levels within the profession. Build your credibility and your career with sessions centered on:
• supervisory and leadership
• mentoring
• communication skills
• collaboration and critical thinking
• charting a career path
• building your personal brand

Build Business
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 and leadership strategies, measurement metrics, and more. Build your company with sessions centered on:
• innovation
• story-telling
• analytics
• promoting a culture of engagement
• research
• building a sales culture
• technology trends

Build the World
Amid technological and economic changes, how are fresh-thinking and entrepreneurial marketing leaders adapting their strategies to benefit their companies? These sessions are focused on encouraging new ways of thinking with tools, insights and inspiration to take your business to the next level. Build your mark on the future of marketing in your A/E/C company with sessions centered on:
• emerging trends in marketing and business development
• disruptors
• the future of the industry
• new technologies that are reshaping marketing

Please Note: 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.

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

Practical = These sessions focus on best practices – things our industry is already doing but we need a refresher or a new way to do it. Could include cases studies.

Small Group = Roundtable/Think Tank style discussions. These are more for facilitators than for standalone speakers. When done well, both the facilitator and the attendees walk away feeling inspired, motivated, and like they’ve learned a lot from everyone in the room. A facilitator will plan, guide and manage a group session to ensure that the group’s objectives are met effectively, with clear thinking and good participation.

Hands On = Workshop style session. Highly focused, interactive learning environments where speakers move from behind the podium to directly engage with attendees. They provide attendees with the opportunity to experience a more intimate and interactive setting with other attendees, as well as an opportunity for one-on-one interaction with workshop facilitators to address business challenges.

Workshops are not designed to be main-stage presentations. They sessions based on discussion, hands-on activities, group work, and a chance for attendees to apply learned strategies and techniques in real time with their professional peers.
Lecture = Inspirational mini-lectures focusing on research, cases studies and trends on the industry’s most important topics.

Learning Lab = Technology based, hands on presentations delivered classroom style.

MAX: Market.Act.eXchange
MAX presentations are creative events, centered on short, 15-minute sessions meant to be a showcase for speakers exchanging great, well formed, marketing led ideas and inspiration, through storytelling, presentations and media.


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.”

Continuous Learning Philosophy
The association’s programs enable our members and the A/E/C community at large to engage in a life‐long learning process that includes being challenged, stimulated, and respected for their professional and personal experiences. SMPS 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.

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 learners 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)


Deadline: Proposals must be received by 11:59 pm ET on October 23, 2016.
Proposals will NOT be accepted after this date.

All proposals for the SMPS conference must be submitted electronically via the Build Business Online Abstract Submission System. The submission process is managed entirely in an online environment. When accessing the system, you will be guided through each step of the submission process. You may exit and enter the system as many times as needed to edit and complete your proposal.

Per the guidelines, you will be required to submit a three‐to five‐minute video that demonstrates your presentation style. The video will be viewed by the Conference Planning Committee as part of the vetting process. Videos are not due till Nov. 15th, so that you can submit your proposal by the deadline.

Following are the simple steps you’ll need to take to submit your video*:

1. record your video through your computer’s camera or with a mobile device
2. upload your video to a video sharing platform such as: Vimeo, YouTube, etc.
3. Provide the link to your video in your application or email to

*or you may submit a video of a previously recorded presentation

Please visit these URL’s to access the Online Abstract Submission System and submit a presentation proposal for Build Business 2017.

Full Length Session Submission Site:

MAX: Market.Act.eXchange submissions may be submitted through the link below.


Session Summary and Video
Selected speakers will be required to provide a session summary and session promotion video. The summary provides attendees with additional information to consider as they decide which sessions to attend. Conference summaries may be published in SMPS publications with prior notification of and credit to the author. Videos will be published on the SMPS YouTube channel. Each speaker is required to submit a 500‐word conference summary on his or her topic as well as a 2-minute video that conveys to attendees why they should attend your session by March 1, 2017.

Conference Recording
To make the valuable information from Build Business accessible to individuals who cannot attend the conference, Build Business educational sessions may be audio or video recorded and made available for purchase on CD‐ROM and/or via the Web after the conference. This is an excellent opportunity for presenters as it expands their exposure to a greater audience.

Submission of a session proposal in response to this RFP requires your acceptance of this requirement and conveys your permission to record your session if the conference planning committee selects it.

Speaker Benefits
Participation as a presenter in Build Business is voluntary. In recognition of a presenter’s contribution of time and effort, a complimentary full‐conference registration is awarded to presenters whose proposals are accepted. However, each presenter remains responsible for his or her own expenses (travel, lodging, etc.).

Please contact Dan Reilly at SMPS with any questions about this process. Phone: 800.292.7677, x223.

Have you heard a speaker you would recommend for Build Business? Please forward this web page url and encourage him or her to submit a session proposal.