The Buzz

K-12 and Higher Education Client Roundtable

K-12 and Higher Education Client Roundtable | Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The annual SMPS Utah Roundtable has been a “standing room only” event since it was launched in 2005. This year’s virtual networking event is sure to be no exception.

This year’s special event is focused on Planning for the Future. Event organizer Aimee McKinlay describes, “Representatives from local School Districts, Universities and Colleges will join us to share building trends, upcoming projects, and how procurement has changed in 2020, and the long-term impact of the pandemic on bonding K-12 through secondary schools and students.” The effect of the pandemic will be a key topic for discussion, says Aimee. “We’ll discuss how the pandemic impacted new projects from an engineering or design perspective; how endowments and donations have been impacted; and how our educational institutions are balancing budget shortfalls and student safety. It will be a great event!”

Make the Most of It

“A roundtable event works really well virtually or in person,” Keri Hammond explains. As an experienced program director, former SMPS Chapter President, and recognized AEC marketing expert, Keri shares her favorite tips to help your firm make the most of this month’s event:

  • Register early.
  • Take advantage of mutual client relationship activities. Invite current clients or networking contacts that might be interested and pay for them to attend. “I know you are hoping to do more work with [insert sector here]. There’s a great event coming up and we’d like to pay for you to attend. Would you like to join me?”
  • Select your speaker preferences based on your market sector.
  • Register multiple members of your team so you can cover all the speakers you’d like to hear.
  • Don’t sit at the virtual table with someone from your own firm.
  • Do your homework on client attendees in advance including reviewing upcoming projects so you can ask informed questions.
  • Bring questions. Prepare three questions in advance that you’d like answered. This is a great opportunity to learn.
  • Don’t skip sensitive questions like “What do you look for in a proposal?” just because your competition is there.
  • Follow up with the connections you make at the roundtable event.


What You Can Expect

  • There are five breakout options. Roundtable speakers include: Robin Burr from the University of Utah; Frank Young from Utah Valley University; Jordy Guth from Utah State University; Craig Hammer from Washington County School District; and Steve West from Tooele County School District.
  • Participants may attend three of the five speaker sessions. Upon registration, you’ll be asked to rank your speaker preferences. Priority given in the order your registration is received.
  • Once registered, you will receive a calendar invitation with Zoom login access via email.
  • All participants will receive a list of all registered attendees prior to the event.
  • Each break-out session is 15 minutes with a five-minute Q&A period.
  • Virtual facilitators will be present to keep the conversation moving.


We look forward to visiting with you virtually this year! Registration is limited to 100 people, so register early: $15 for SMPS members, $20 non-SMPS members. Special thanks to our roundtable sponsor, Hogan Construction.

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