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SMPS Marketing Boot Camp: Training to Become a Next-Level Marketer!

SMPS Boston recently held a highly successful event to help rising marketers whip their skills into shape: the 2014 Marketing Boot Camp. Outlook talked with three participants who were able to attend the boot camp thanks in part to a full scholarship from SMPS Boston.

Read on to learn about the great lessons that Jessica Darling of Stantec, Mack Cook of Integrated Design Group, and Jael Ballard of Lavallee | Brensinger Architects) took back to their firms.

The Marketing Boot Camp was an intensive one-day workshop for Boston-area A/E/C marketers with one to five years of experience. Veteran marketers helped participants refine basic skills every successful marketer needs, such as capturing the media’s attention, navigating the proposal process, and communicating with principals. The workshop was followed by an evening social event where attendees networked with fellow boot-camp graduates and other SMPS colleagues.

Jessica Darling explained, “As a three-year veteran of the industry, the Marketing Boot Camp was a great way to validate all of the technical skills, best practices for proposals, and coordination tactics that I use in my day-to-day. My interpretation of the day’s key message, no matter the topic, was early discussion, planning, and practice. All of the presentations were beyond helpful in getting back to the basics. It was revitalizing to take the day to make yourself aware of the things you do out of habit now, and being reminded that those practices really serve a purpose. “

Jael Ballard noted, “The SMPS Marketing Bootcamp was truly a great experience, both for skill-building and network development. Each of the seminars was very relevant and the speakers were so engaging that it never felt like I was struggling to keep up or stay attentive—the material was just that good! In addition to my own crash-course of being brought up to speed, I even came away with a few strategic suggestions to bring back to my colleagues.”

Pat Tracy-Callahan of VHB gave a presentation on tradeshows and booth exhibits, including a compelling case study, that drew raves from the attendees. Mack Cook explained, “Pat brought to light the importance of thinking outside the box in order to stand out from everyone else. Her example of VHB creating their own little suburban road right in the middle of a trade show made me realize the lengths that one must take in order to draw potential clients and customers in to inform them about you and your company. Also, always have candy!”

Jessica Darling added, “Not only was the case study layout creative, but the team’s advance discussions and planning naturally brought about inner-office collaboration. Once the creative cogs got turning, different people from different areas of expertise had suggestions for the plan’s execution in do-it-yourself ways. Everyone from the office took part in test runs for certain display elements and props, and finishing touches were brought in by those that had them–saving the firm money, but also giving the exhibit a real sense of personality that the staff and tradeshow attendees could all relate to.” Ultimately, Jessica saw this case study as another example of the boot camp’s overall theme: “Early discussions and realistic planning really takes our work as A/E/C marketers to the next level.”

In addition to the presentations, the attendees all mentioned that they got a lot of value from the networking event afterwards. Jael Ballard told us, “The opportunity to come away with an expanded professional network is priceless. I met a good few people that I am very excited to maintain a relationship with in the future!” Mack Cook concluded, “I truly did take away a lot, and I will strongly suggest that our team attends the boot camp next year!”

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