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NERC 2019: MERGing as a New Marketer and New SMPS Member

New to Marketing and the AEC industry, I was thrilled to have received an SMPS NERC Scholarship! I knew this opportunity would open many doors for my career as well as for my own personal growth. As a recently new SMPS member and a volunteer for the Communications Committee, I’ve been to a few networking and educational events, but I didn’t really know what to expect at NERC 2019. As I was applying for the scholarship, I was constantly looking at the program schedule and deciding which panels I was most excited to attend. “Public Speaking for Introverts” and “Mind Games: Using Social Psychology to Get What You Want out of Social Media”, to name a few, were my favorite sessions. I heard from my colleagues and other SMPS members that the Keynote Speakers are always amazing, and I was thrilled to be able to sit in on many panels. I was so excited and couldn’t wait for May.

I arrived early to the conference on Wednesday and was eager to dive in to this 3-day learning experience. The conference started off with the “SMPS Member Peer-to-Peer Roundtables.” A small group of SMPS members and prospective members from many different SMPS chapters attended. We all introduced ourselves to each other, then split up into two groups; new members and seasoned members. We chatted within our groups using questions that were provided in the center of the table, we discussed topics from what books we are reading to how we started our careers in the Marketing and A/E/C industry. After, we combined the two groups and shared advice with everyone and got to know each other a little more. It was a great way kick off the conference and I was glad to meet the new and seasoned members from different SMPS chapters.

Over the next two days, I attended all the panels that I found most interesting and beneficial to my career. I arrived early to get a good seat and to chat with the people around me. I made an effort to break out of my comfort zone and sat next to different people at each session to introduce myself and make new connections – which I’ve learned is very much what SMPS is all about. Many of the panels that I attended were immersive and engaging. They had us working together in small and large groups, and it was a great way to collaborate with others and even learn a little something about each other.

At the end of the conference, I was eager to head back to work with a new mindset of Marketing. I learned so much from all the panels and have stayed inspired by the Keynote Speakers. I felt like marketing was a way of life and not just what you do. Everyone is a marketer! One of the key take-aways from my experience is not only about the skills and knowledge that I learned at NERC 2019, but it’s about the people that I met and the relationships that I built. After three days of learning together, faces became familiar to me, and I was able to finally jump out of my comfort zone and connect with new people from other SMPS Chapters which helped make this an eye-opening and fun experience. It was so great to meet and “MERGE” with many new people and I am so glad that I got to “Shake Things Up” by applying for the scholarship and attending the conference!

SMPS Boston is proud to offer our members scholarships for professional development opportunities. Ken Sterritt was one of the recipients of this year’s SMPS NERC Scholarship, which covers the full cost of registration. Learn more about all the scholarships SMPS Boston offers.


Jamie Medeiros is a Marketing Assistant and Social Media Coordinator at HLB Lighting Design. She also a member of the Communications Committee and manages the SMPS Boston Instagram Account.

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