Let's have transformative conversations.

It has been a year (and then some) since we’ve gathered for in-person events. Now that there’s a desire to get back together, it’s time to get real and talk about what’s important. And we’ll do that at A/E/Connections.

Business has changed and that means our conversations need to change also. We need to talk about the economy. Finding and retaining talent. Workplace culture. And not just leadership—the right kind of leadership.

With A/E/Connections, we’ll meet in person where we’ll have courageous and transformative conversations about what’s next in A/E/C marketing and business development, among other topics. From lively roundtable discussions on managing up and leadership to building and nurturing relationships and work balance, these networking-in-the-round conversations will expand your thinking around developing and implementing new strategies, which can be brought back to your team and firm. Sessions will be facilitated by industry trailblazers.

A/E/Connections is heading to Newport Beach, California on October 26 in partnership with the SMPS Inland Empire, SMPS Los Angeles, SMPS Orange County, and SMPS San Diego chapters.

Attendance for the one-day program is limited. We encourage attendees to sign up now and reserve your hotel room.

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Hotel Reservation Portal

1107 Jamboree Road
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Hotel Room Block Dates: October 25-26, 2021

Event Date: October 26, 2021

  • Single Rate: $199.00
  • Balcony View: $209.00
  • Pool View: $214.00
Book Your Reservation
Time Session
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Registration & Breakfast
9:00 AM – 9:45 AM Welcome Remarks & Opening Keynote
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM Break
10:00 AM – 12:15 PM Networking in the Round | Facilitated Roundtable Discussions
12:15 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch/Technology Break
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Panel Discussion
2:00 PM - 2:15 PMBreak
2:15 PM – 3:30 PM Closing Keynote & Discussion
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Key Takeaways & Wrap- Up
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Happy Hour - Networking and Social
All sessions are in Pacific Time.

A/E/Connections Featured Speakers

Nikkolas Smith: Opening Keynote Speaker

Session Title:

Leveraging Your Creative Voice To Be Heard

Speaker Bio:

Nikkolas Smith, a native of Houston, Texas, is an Artivist, children’s book author, and Hollywood film illustrator. He is the author/illustrator of The Golden Girls of Rio, nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and My Hair Is Poofy And That’s Okay. As an illustrator of color, Nikkolas is focused on creating captivating art that can spark important conversations in today’s world and inspire meaningful change. Many of his viral and globally published sketches are included in his book Sunday Sketch: The Art of Nikkolas. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Session Description:

With a simple drawing ritual that started as a therapeutic moment for him and shaped his career and style, illustrator and author Nikkolas Smith will invite you to create a speed painting with him, as a tool to reshape important conversations and topics in today’s world and how you can use your artistic voice and your important perspective in different career fields.

Stacy Stout, FSMPS, CPSM: Closing Keynote Speaker


Session Title:

Is it time to reinvent your swing? Building your brand is a continuous focus on elevating your game!

Speaker Bio:

As the energetic founding principal of BRANDiac Strategies, Stacy Stout knows a thing or two about enthusiastically building business, relationships, and brands. Prior to BRANDiac, Stacy held marketing director positions for two prominent architectural firms and a leading general contractor, in addition to marketing strategist roles for advertising firms. No matter where clients roam, Stacy is an expert at wrangling the focus to marketing strategy and outcomes.
With over 23 years of experience, Stacy’s proven expertise in marketing and branding has earned her the respect of the A/E/C community, both on a local and national level, making her an in-demand speaker and facilitator at industry events across the country. She is a Fellow in the Society for Marketing Professional Services (FSMPS), a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM), has served on the SMPS board as a director-at-large and in 2016 received the Leonardo Award, the highest recognition given by SMPS Colorado. Stacy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from the University of Colorado.

Session Description:

A continuous focus on elevating your brand is how you join the mighty. But what does it take the be the G.O.A.T.? The answer lies in a company’s willingness to innovate. Whether that’s in the form of technology or process, accepting change and driving for better outcomes separates the good from the great – or more importantly, those brands that thrive and not just survive.

Registration TypeSMPS MemberSMPS FellowSMPS Nonmember
Registration Rate$150$100$195

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be submitted in writing and sent to SMPS, Attn: Antonio Payne, 625 North Washington Street, Suite 302, Alexandria, VA 22314, or antonio@smps.org. The registration fee will be fully refunded if the written cancellation is received two weeks prior to the event. No refunds will be refunded with less than two weeks’ notice. A substitute may attend for no extra charge provided SMPS is notified of the substitution or transfer prior to the start of the event. Please see our complete registration and cancellation policy.