SMPS Boston

New Year, New Strategic Plan!

This article originally appeared on SMPS Boston’s website.

by Andrew J. Beaton

Anyone else out there making – and trying to keep – New Year’s resolutions? Personally, I’m trying to stop mindlessly eating carbs all day long; we’ll see how long that lasts! (I give myself about two weeks.)

SMPS Boston has some resolutions too, but we’re thinking beyond January or even 2022: more like, through 2025! Yup, it’s time again for our chapter to refresh its strategic plan.

One practice that’s defined our chapter’s success for the past decade is our dedication to effective strategic planning, guiding our board’s decision-making and investments towards a stronger and more effective SMPS Boston. It’s led us to build a large, award-winning, creative and financially strong organization that’s been able to deliver value to our membership, even through a pandemic. Every three years we refresh our plan, and I’m pleased to say that the board has completed the latest iteration process and that we have a template in place that will carry us through 2025. We’re calling it, creatively enough, Vision 2025.

As our chapter begins its 40th year – if dusty records can be believed, we began operations back in 1982, when your favorite SMPS Boston chapter president was just a ginger toddler cruising around Bay Village – having a clear strategic vision is as important as it’s ever been to guide us forward through some turbulent and unpredictable times!

So, what’s the plan, and how can you play a role?

Our strategic plan addresses three major priorities, and breaks down into nine specific goals. It both captures our key initiatives for 2022 and looks ahead to where we want to be in three years.

Engaging Our Membership

#1. Grow our ranks. First and foremost, we want to increase our membership both by retaining our existing members and by attracting and keeping new members.

#2. Refresh our communications platforms and comms strategy. In the short term, that means a new website coming imminently; beyond that, staying ahead of technologies, apps, and trends will be a top priority.

#3. Advance a new program of membership drives. Building on past successes, we will launch a year-round program of regular membership drives to bring in new members and engage marketing leaders.

Connecting Through Events

#4. Craft a balance of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. Many of us are eager to see the return of in-person events ASAP, but we’ve learned a ton about how virtual and hybrid events can be effective and valuable – so we plan to have all three going forward.

#5. Invest in one or more marquee speakers a year. To stand out from the crowded market for panels and speaker events in Boston, and to take advantage of our strong sponsor support, we want to periodically go bigger, sometimes in conjunction with other organizations.

#6. Better align our event-based committees. Our Programs, Professional Development, and Special Events committees contend with many of the same challenges; aligning these committees into a working group will help make our events more effective.

Investing in Our Chapter

#7. Growing our scholarship program. We seek to grow our scholarship program in terms of investment, awareness, and competitiveness so more members can gain access to educational and development opportunities.

#8. Modernizing our financial operations. In addition to converting to the BillHighway system, we need to continue our focus on financial management so that we are effectively stewarding every dollar.

#9. Aligning our charitable giving with our values. We will continue our legacy of giving back with a tight focus on our priorities: (1) diversity in the AEC industry and (2) local women & families in need.

How can you help?

Here are five ways that you can get involved in 2022 and help bring our strategic plan to fruition:

  1. Refer a colleague or friend. Our chapter is only as strong as its members, and we excel in helping new marketers build a network in the Boston AEC industry and to gain development opportunities. If you know someone who should be a member, encourage them to join our team!
  2. Join a committee, especially an event-based committee. We are actively recruiting for Programs, Professional Development and Special Events, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you’ve been on the fence about getting involved. Joining a committee is the best way to build a network and gain value from the chapter.
  3. Send us your speaker recs. Who inspires you? What speakers would get you to bring your whole office to an SMPS Boston event? We’d love to see if we can make it happen. Drop me a line with your bright ideas.
    Submit for a scholarship. We’ll be promoting scholarship opportunities throughout 2022 – don’t be shy! Those scholarships are there for your benefit, so please do not hesitate to apply.
  4. Attend a volunteering event. Our Outreach committee regularly plans volunteering opportunities to give back to the causes we support. We’d love to see you at our next event (TBD, but stay tuned)!

If you have any questions, thoughts or bright ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions—and onward to 2025!

Andrew J. Beaton is an associate and manager of marketing & communications with CDM Smith and the president of SMPS Boston.