Holiday Social Networking Round Up!

The holiday season is busy for all of us. There are personal and professional social events, endless to-do list, and, oh yeah, your work responsibilities. Even though you might want to pass on all those holiday invites, don’t. Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to expand your network, the holidays are a perfect time to build and reconnect face-to-face relationships. Many local industry organizations and associations host holiday networking events. This is a great opportunity to go out, have fun, meet new people, reconnect with existing connections and identify business opportunities. Warm up your holiday networking with these tips*:

1. Attend Holiday Gatherings
This is an obvious one, but shouldn’t be overlooked. Think quality over quantity meaning that you don’t have to attend every event that you are invited to. Choose those events in which you will meet and make the most valuable connections. Also, seek out your local industry organization and associations events. These are often to open to members and non-members and could offer a great way to get more familiar with that organization and/or meet some its members.

2. Send Holiday Greetings
Your company might send out paper or electronic greetings, but make sure that your contacts get a personal greeting from you. In networking, it is essential to stay connected continually and the holidays are a perfect time to reach out to your contacts in a very non-threatening, non-salesy way.

3. Personal Networking
Set up lunch or coffee dates with your contacts during the holiday season. For some, business tends to slow down (or give the appearance) of that during the holiday season. This is a perfect time to schedule some additional face-to-face time. Use this time to catch up, swap ideas, or share an interesting lead. Also, make sure that you are generous with your time and willingness to get that check.

4. Don’t Always Talk About Business
The holidays are great time of year to get to know people on a more personal level. Go beyond the regular business talk to get to them outside of business. Great holiday conversation starters include holiday traveling, traditions, worst/best holiday memory, etc.

5. Don’t Drink too Much
Attending soirees with great holiday drinks make sure that you are treating these functions like any other time of the year. Be on good behavior!

6. Be Genuine
As with all other networking, you should approach holiday networking with the mindset of how you can help others. Your motive should be how you can help your contacts, not what can you do for me.

7. Have Fun!
This is the most important tip of all. While networking is a serious activity that take a lot of work, make sure you relax and enjoy yourself during this time of the year. Since networking is more relaxed during holiday functions, you may find your interactions to be more social. As long as you are still acting professionally, give yourself permission to have fun!

Put your holiday networking skills to work at these holiday functions around town. Please feel free to add your organization and firm’s holiday event information in the comments section.


SMPS Central Florida – Holiday Social

  •  Tuesday, December 4, 2012
  • Free to attend!
  • 5-7pm Ice Skating in Winter Park ($10 each)
  • 7-9pm Drinks and Socializing at Eola Wine Company (One free drink ticket and appetizers available)
  • Magic Ticket Giveaway
  • For additional details and to RSVP

CREW  – Industry Holiday Party (Members Only)

  • Tuesday, December 11, 2012
  • 5:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Country Club of Orlando
  • More information here

American Marketing Association in our Around Town event

  • Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012
  • 6:00pm-8:00pm | Happy Hour Pricing til 8:00pm
  • Brio Tuscan Grille, Winter Park Village
  • More info here


Winter Park Blue – Evening Under the Stars at the Maitland Art Center

  •  Thursday, November 29, 2012
  • 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • 231 Packwood Avenue, Maitland, Florida 32751
  • RSVP:

*Tips adapted from Karl Smith, Networking and High-Trust Business Relationship Build Expert, (Read them here)

Author: Lindsay Diven, Marketing Manager for T.Y. Lin International (Co-Chair Education for SMPS Central Florida Chapter)

I work with principals to implement disciplined approaches to their sales and marketing efforts throughout the Southeast US. Most of my experience has been for transportation planning and engineering. Similar to selling services, I have also help clients market their projects to the communities, stakeholders, and elected officials. Using similar focused plans and strategies, I work with agencies to develop public outreach campaigns and tailored messaging for large infrastructure programs. I love my family, the Gators, Rays Baseball, the beach, and a good glass of red wine. Connect with me at, 407.563.7113, @LindsayDiven, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest.


Fundamentals of Graphic Design

The room at Hensel Phelps was packed with marketing professionals eager to hear from Sandee Bright, marketing manager at Protean Design Group. Sandee gave an informative and detailed presentation about the fundamentals of GOOD graphic design. Check out some of the main topics below:

-What is Good Graphic Design?

  • C.R.A.P. principals – Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity

-White Space

-Color relationships

-Advanced Design Principles

All who attended received a full executive summary outlining Sandee’s full presentation. SMPS members can also access this in the MEMBERS ONLY section.

Did You Know there is a Certification for the Marketing Professional?

Well now you do! Want to know how to boost your career, check out the information below:

The Competitive Advantage for Your Career
Your marketing skills are vital to the lifeline of your firm and earning the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) designation differentiates you from other marketing professionals as an expert in the design and building industry. The benefits of becoming certified are many, not the least of which is a feeling of personal and professional accomplishment in mastering the body of knowledge. Other benefits include industry recognition, enhanced credibility, opportunities for career advancement, as well as access to a national network of CPSM professionals. The journey to certification helps ensure the highest quality preparation and training for professional services marketers and business developers. When investing in a CPSM, you can be confident that you have the best-qualified professional on your team to market and sell your services – a clear competitive advantage for your firm in this marketplace.

“Earning the CPSM certification has certainly benefited me in doing my job on a daily basis, as well as having a more comprehensive understanding of the industry. I know that I am better compensated than many at my level and I believe my position holds greater value to my firm.”

– Terri Sunderland, CPSM

So how do you get started? The best part is that you don’t have to do it alone! Your SMPS Central Florida Chapter will be hosting a series of CPSM Study Group sessions to help prepare candidates for the certification exam. The seven week program will focus on six specific domains of practice, each taught by a Central Florida CPSM. Study group sessions are also a great way to build relationships with marketing peers who share a common goal. Specific dates for study group sessions will be announced soon!

To learn more about the CPSM program, domains of practice, certification qualifications and the certification process, visit or contact Micaela Riseling, CPSM, Co-Director of Education, SMPS Central Florida at for additional details.

The Power in Alternative Delivery

SMPS Central Florida’s most recent round-table program, The Power in Alternative Delivery, was a highly educational event and a great success. The program provided attendees with valuable information and insights concerning benefits of P3 project delivery, design/build, and other aspects of alternative project delivery related to infrastructure development, construction delivery and economic competitiveness from the point-of-view of representatives from higher education, city government, infrastructure development, real estate development, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and state politics.

After networking and enjoying breakfast, attendees had the opportunity to move between six tables that were stationed by the various program speakers where they participated in an intimate, fifteen minute one-on-one discussion with time for questions and answers the following experts:

  1. David Hobbs, Director of Facilities, Planning and Construction Management, Seminole State College (He was featured in our blog recently)
  2. Tim Ackert, Project Director, City of Orlando Venues Program
  3. Eric Zichella, Director, LSN Partners
  4. Steve Precourt, P.E., Republican State Representative, Florida House District 44
  5. Brooke Myers, President, Emerge Real Estate Ventures
  6. Jonathan Sands, P.E., District 1 Construction Engineer, FDOT

All who attended this event received an executive summary, which is also available to SMPS members in the MEMBERS ONLY section of our website. Thank you to all who came out and made this event such a great success!