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April 7, 2022

ACEC Holds Successful Inaugural Business Development & Marketing Forum

ACEC Holds Successful Inaugural Business Development & Marketing Forum

Website bots, shoring up resources for infrastructure bill spending, and changing demographics were the hot topics last week at the first Business Development & Marketing Forum in Downtown Atlanta, GA.  Fifty-five registered attendees from 24 different states gathered for a day and a half of educational topics, trends, an expert panel, and open forums. 

The forum addressed these top market trends:

Changing Demographics – By 2030 the workforce will be dominated by millennials and Generation X. Approximately 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day and are retiring at a rapid pace.  Ensure your firm has a transition plan in place now.  Baby boomers may have preferred a nice dinner and a golf outing, but millennials and Generation Z still want to reach you online.

Technology – Website bots are the latest online customer service tool that you don’t want to be the last firm to implement, and website pop-ups still hold the highest conversion rates when placed thoughtfully.  Artificial Intelligence is a reality and is being utilized by companies across the globe.  Also, keep an eye on prefabrication and modular construction and how they will affect the construction industry.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) – It is more than just an acronym. It must be woven into the fabric of your firm culture, or potential future employees won’t want to work for you and clients may not entertain your proposal.

Preparing for the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) – Build up your support staff now and enact a precise go/no-go procedure to request for proposals (RFPs).  Ensure that your firm aligns its strengths with the services requested along with client and project types.

On day two attendees broke up into small open and informal forums to discuss the topics that mattered to them the most, including inbound marketing, virtual client management with an emphasis on virtual proposals, seller-doers, and recruitment.  Attendees included senior executives, and business development and marketing professionals.  For the final large open forum, the group voiced these topics as their most pressing concerns within their firms:  

  • Culture building,
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring marketing and business development effectiveness, 
  • Formalizing their Business Development (BD) process,
  • Internal communications strategies,
  • Pathways to leadership, and 
  • Wining proposal tips.  

Speakers included:  Richard Friedman, Founder & President at Friedman Partners; Ida Cheinman, Principal and Creative Director at Substance151; Donna J. Corlew CEO of C+Connect; Frank Lippert, Founder and Partner of Go Strategies, LLC; Vishal Menon, Associate of Strategic Consulting at Environmental Financial Consulting Group (EFCG); and Scott D. Butcher, Director of Strategic Growth Advisory at Stambaugh Ness.

The event was a success and future planning will be occurring in the coming months.  The plan is to host this forum annually.  If you would like to join the online community to hear program details first, please email

Here is what a couple of our members had to say about the event:

“Very insightful. The wheels were a-turning during the forum, and I can’t wait to take some of these concepts/ideas back to my firm.”

-Cecilia Arango, Marketing Manager, Thomas & Hutton

“I am excited to share what I learned with the rest of our leadership team! Great conference!”

– Julie Roop, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Peter Basso Associates

All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.


April 7, 2022



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