The SMPS-NY NJ Affiliate gave 2020 the boot and celebrated the New Year with some virtual games and crafting at our 2021 Virtual House Party!

The event was broken down into two sessions: the first set of activities challenged the brain, while the second set was more game show-inspired.

First up was Vision Boarding with Kristy Cerullo of First Environment, our in-house art teacher! SMPS-NY NJ Affiliate students were asked to create a digital vision board, manifesting what they wanted to achieve in 2021, either in their personal or professional lives (see collage).

The second activity room, taking place simultaneously, was the Marketing Obstacle Course, hosted by Kim Graham of RSC Architects. In this Zoom room, participants brainstormed solutions to common challenges we run into as marketers in the AEC industry. Kim spun a virtual wheel, which would land on four categories of challenges, either proposal, marketing, or BD-related. The four challenges faced that evening were dealing with an unresponsive subconsultant, planning a work anniversary (during a pandemic), developing new graphics with no budget, and figuring out how to tap into a new market. Our all-star marketers pulled from their various experiences, even from past careers (including journalism) to solve these everyday roadblocks!

After both activities from Session One finished up, the group came back in the main room for a quick recap, then it was off to Session Two!

The first activity room for Session Two was a Virtual Scavenger hunt, hosted by Taylor Arias of Dewberry. Participants got a little bit of cardio in this Zoom room – running around trying to find different items in their office/houses to win the most amount of points! Items found in the hunt included sea shells, ornaments, vinyl records, and plushies!  The winning team was the dynamic duo of Ali Panditrao, Marketing Coordinator at Ware Malcomb and Amy King, Director of Marketing & Business Development at Stages Consultants.

The last and final activity room of the night was 2020 Trivia, hosted by yours truly, Melissa Whitman, of DRG Architects. Contestants on this Jeopardy-style game show answered questions regarding SMPS-NY events from this past year, including Spooky Spirits, where the upcoming MERGE will be taking place, and who the December 2020 member of the month was (it was Cassandra Yzaguirre). Other non-related SMPS questions included Grammy winners, the first international film to win best picture (Parasite, Bong Joon-ho), and Murder Hornets! The big winner of the night’s trivia was Carrie Villani, Director of Marketing at LERA Consulting Structural Engineers! And for anyone interested, the answer to what actor played Colonel Sanders in a Lifetime Movie was Mario Lopez (Google it, it’s real).

As the last activity room wrapped up, partygoers made their way back to the main room to share their winnings! Though no one passed out on the virtual coat pile, the SMPS-NY NJ Affiliate Virtual House Party was a success, and served as much-needed comic relief for the very real turmoil taking place beyond our screens.




Marketing Obstacle Course

Virtual Scavenger Hunt







Did you miss your chance to donate to our 2021 Spirits Charity Drive? Don’t worry, there’s still time! This year we highlighted Bridges Outreach in Summit, NJ, an organization that provides brown bag meals, toiletry kits, clothing, socks, and underwear to those in need living in Newark, Irvington, and New York City. Since COVID-19 has made in-person giving a bit difficult, we recommend making an online donation or buying something off of their Amazon wishlist. Click Here for more details!