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Educate and Network. This year’s WAVE / Pacific Regional Conference did just that!

By Heidi Maki, Marketing Manager, Swenson Say Faget

The WAVE was kicked off by keynote speaker Garrison Wynn’s The Real Truth About Success.  In a comedic fashion, this discussion was centered on what influential people have in common. People trust influential people because…. they have compassion, they are competent, they communicate clearly, they listen well, they value what others say, they are sincere, they build people up.  Essentially, they R E S P E C T people (come on –sing it with Aretha now!), and in turn people respect them. Garrison’s keynote was a great kick-start to the conference.

Of course various sessions were offered during the 2.5 day conference for all experience levels, from new marketing coordinators through seasoned business developers. The next session I chose was Liz Lynch’s Stealth Networking: uncover Hidden Opportunities, Capture More Business, and Never Work the Room Again. She covered …Why do we network? How to use social media strategically. How to Craft a Game Plan. The #1 takeaway for me? Bite off just a bit at a time. Try it. Massage it. Find what works and move on to your next piece.

Other sessions included how to deal with challenging clients, strategic pursuit planning, finding inspiration in unexpected ways, killer 1st impressions, and turning proposal strategy into winning reality. My favorite, which also happened to be my last session, was David Lecours and Josh Miles’ The New Wave of Websites. Keeping with the conference theme, David and Josh creatively covered the Why, What and How of websites all while bouncing around the front of the room in their surfer shorts and flip flops. What is the purpose of your website? When is it time to refresh? When is it time for a whole new site? What’s hot? What’s not? See the New Wave of Websites presentation slides for a glimpse of what they covered. And if you are considering a full-on brand refresh, use Miles Design’s Do It Yourself Brand Audit template to gauge your needs.

No matter how well your marketing and business development departments are structured, there is ALWAYS something to be learned or re-learned at a conference. Along with all the great sessions, there was plenty of networking: meals; after-parties; even a bon fire on the beach for the Alaska contingent …ample opportunities for networking among your peers. For me, attending the WAVE resulted in a clear affirmation that my company is doing a whole lot of things right. But I also came away with some great “big picture” things to refresh or implement over the next several months.

A huge “kudos” to the entire WAVE committee that organized this year’s WAVE – including WAVE co-chair Melissa Philpot of Buckland and Taylor, and SMPS Seattle’s Past President, Carly Schaefer of Golder Associates. And the best news of all?  SMPS Seattle will be hosting the 2015 WAVE / Pacific Regional Conference next February! Don’t miss it!

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  1. Sandy Chapin

    Mar. 7, 2014

    Ditto, Heidi! The WAVE was terrific this year. The venue was beautiful, too. Hyatt Resort at Huntington Beach. And we couldn't have asked for better weather. :-) I went to some great sessions. Jan Flesher's and Holly Bolton's, "Riding the Creative Wave: Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Ways" was fun and thought-provoking. Taking a cue from the SuperBowl commercials this year and applying those concepts to marketing efforts in AEC was delightfully unexpected. I also loved Josh and David's session. Great information and ideas! Can't wait for Seattle next year!


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