What it takes to GROW with SMPS Oregon

Christina BlaserThis post was written by SMPS Oregon past president, Christina Blaser

It’s times like these (an economic recession, a global pandemic, the fight for justice, diversity and inclusion, pivotal national elections, etc.) that make your networks all the more valuable as professional marketers. We’re social creatures by nature and often rely on our established networks for new business leads, career advancement, personal and professional growth, or simply new knowledge to adapt in an ever-changing world. In times of crisis, it may be hard for professionals, both new and experienced, to know where to begin. The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Oregon offers many resources to support marketers, business developers, and firm owners in building their businesses, and advancing their careers: from business contacts, to publications, professional development programs, samples, and tools, to opportunities to get more involved in the build community and hone their leadership skills. 

I hope you can join us on September 16, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. for our annual kick-off event called GROW with SMPS Oregon. This event is our opportunity to show potential and current members the value of our organization. And it’s your opportunity to meet fellow marketers and business development professionals in the A/E/C industry and start investing in those vital connections – your future network.

SMPS Grow event in 2018

As an attendee at this event, you will meet SMPS Oregon’s 2020/21 Board of Directors – marketing and business development leaders from across the industry, hear about SMPS Oregon’s exciting lineup of events and networking opportunities throughout the year, and learn about the resources SMPS offers members and nonmembers to transform their business through marketing leadership during times of crisis and beyond.

Here are my three tips to get the most out of this event:

  • Introduce yourself! Under normal circumstances (pre-COVID), we would typically host around 50-90 attendees at this event. We’re expecting a large group since this is now a virtual event, but don’t worry! You will have a chance to meet within a smaller group during our breakout sessions starting at 5:00 p.m. Prepare a quick “elevator pitch” about yourself – include your name, title, company you work at, and throw in something fun (a favorite hobby, what you like to do on the weekends, a trip you took last year that you wish you were on now). That fun fact makes it easier for people to remember you and learn about who you are outside of a professional environment. You may even find people in the group who have similar interests.
  • Follow up! Write down the names and essential details of the presenters or the people you meet in your breakout session and find them on LinkedIn. Write a personal message to them – say thank you for sharing an interesting fact or idea that stood out to you and (if their schedule permits) suggest a one-on-one coffee meeting to get to know them better.
  • Consider Volunteering! As a past-president of SMPS Oregon, I’m a firm believer that what you put into your network, you get out of it. Volunteering with SMPS Oregon on several committees changed my career. I learned new skills, like delegation and budgeting, that I didn’t have the opportunity to learn at the office. At GROW with SMPS Oregon, our board of directors (listed here) will talk about the opportunities available on their committees. I encourage you to reach out to the directors directly if you hear of a position or opportunity that piques your interest. If you’re still unsure after the event, but you know you want to get involved in some way – connect with me or the current SMPS Oregon Chapter president, Angie Cole!

Good luck and happy networking!

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