My experience at Build Business 2015 can be summed up in one word: Beyond.
Now, this isn’t just a play on the conference theme (Go Beyond: Stand Out in a Sea of Sameness). I was quite literally pushed Beyond my limitations among some of the most talented, smart, and amazing people I had ever met, all with the same like-minded goals, frustrations, hopes and dreams.
As the recipient of the 2015 Mary Findlen Professional Development Grant, I was lucky enough to be able to attend this national conference in Los Angeles, something I probably would have never had the means to attend.
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My conference experience started in the First Timer’s Orientation – where after a brief introduction from the conference planners, board members and the like, we were instructed to do brief introductions for a few minutes with people from another state/chapter – and when we were done? We had to take a selfie with each other. That’s right, a selfie. While I am not entirely into the selfie movement, this was a fun activity that got even the shyest out of their shells.
The rest of the conference was a whirlwind. Thursday was jam-packed with amazing sessions. Tim Sanders, the keynote speaker, energized the crowd with his lessons of promoting others and the idea that sharing knowledge is the foundation of powerful people – go Beyond the surface. The new format of Thursday’s afternoon sessions, and perhaps the most anticipated, were the MAX talks. MAX, short for Market.Act.eXchange, a play on TED talks, was broken into four groups featuring short presentations at 18 minutes each. The four themes were Engage, Ignite, Inspire, and Launch. Thursday night was the annual Awards Gala, where the winners of the 2015 SMPS Marketing and Communications Awards were presented with their awards. SMPS-NY was honored with Outstanding Extra-Large Chapter!
I’m so glad I was able to attend and experience the true joy of a conference where people in your same profession can get together and enjoy each other’s company, all while learning great insight, tips and inspiration to take back to their firms. It was a special time that I will always take with me. I highly encourage any mid-level marketer to consider pursuing the Mary Findlen Grant – it’s well worth the time and effort for the opportunity to attend the conference.
See you next year in Philly for Build Business 2016!