Reflecting on APMP's Winning Business Virtual Experience 2020



We’re just five days post the much anticipated APMP Winning Business Virtual Experience (WBVE)! The event proved to be the largest bid and proposal conference held anywhere in the world to date. Heading into the event, there were more than 2,000 registered attendees across the globe. Over two days, participants chose from a variety of educational presentations, including more than 120 educational presentations and 75 hours of content. Because there was no way for participants to take full advantage of the event in just those two days, APMP is graciously leaving up the presentations for another month or so, and I couldn’t be more excited. In this week’s article, I’ll reflect on some of my favorite events from the virtual conference, highlight some of the presentations that are on my list to check out over the next few weeks, and reiterate a few of my tips for making sure you get the most from this amazing event.

Highlights from Day 1

With so many fantastic presentations to choose from, it was tough to prioritize the events that I wanted to put on my calendar. However, with some careful upfront planning, I was able to make it to some great presentations, as well as to monitor the live chat for my own pre-recorded session. I’d highly recommend taking a look at the following presentations if you haven’t had a chance to do so yet:

  • Creative Proposal Reviews, Kevin Switaj, PhD CP.APMP
  • Determine the Strategic Pricing of your Competitors, Richard Caldwell
  • What's Eating Your Lunch in Your Capture Neighborhood, Jay Herther
  • Become a Transformative Leader, Margaret McGuire

Although Robin Davis forgot to record her presentation, her presentation slides are available on her presentation page, and they are definitely worth downloading and taking a look at. And I may be a little biased, but I think my presentation, How to Implement Effective Storyboarding, is worth checking out as well.

Beyond these educational sessions, I was also able to attend the following super fun events: Strong and Stable Foundation - Time Under Tension, presented by Baskar Sundaram and the Virtual Beer Tasting, hosted by the APMP Rhythm and Harmony Chapter.

Highlights from Day 2

I got so much out of Day 1 that I had big plans for sessions I wanted to attend on Day 2. However, as I am sure also happened to many others, work got in the way. I spent most of the day playing catchup on work, but I was able to help host the Scribble Talk Festival - Mix & Mingle, which is definitely a fun session to learn some fun facts about your fellow proposal professionals (the recording is available on the WBVE site if you missed it). I was also able to make time to check out Tips on Passing APMP’s New Capture Practitioner Certification, which was an awesome bite-sized session hosted by John Darby. And I’m glad I was also able to make the WBVE Closing Session, led by Rick Harris and Mike Walsh, which was a nice way to close-out the official planned portions of the conference.

Tips to Get the Most from WBVE Moving Forward

Although the live portions of the event are officially over, APMP is enabling us to check out some of the sessions we may not have had time to check out on the 22nd and/or 23rd. This is such an amazing opportunity that I know I am going to take advantage of, and I encourage all of you to do the same. With roughly 25 more days left, you could learn so much by just checking out one recorded session a day. Some of the additional sessions that I’m personally looking forward to include:

  • Capture/BD Strategy and Competitive Intelligence, Leonard Miller
  • The Four Winning Capture Competencies, Eric Gregory
  • Pricing, Pricing, Pricing and Why It Matters, Randy Richter
  • How to Create Compelling Presentations, Richard Goring and Kristin Macomber
  • Hidden Keys to Proposal Success, Jeremy Glover
  • Recruiting the Next Generation of Proposal Professionals, Evelin Gutierrez and Sara Pool
  • Inclusion and Belonging in Proposal Teams, Ceri Mescall.

But even if you don’t have time in your schedule to check out some of the recorded sessions—I do encourage you to take the following steps to make sure you get the most out of the conference moving forward.

Keep Track of the Sessions and Log Them in Your CEU Journal. Don’t forget that you can earn 1 CEU for every hour you spend listening to content from this amazing content. Be sure to document the sessions, the content, and the time you’ve spent participating in the event. Update your CEU journal in your APMP online profile immediately after the virtual conference. Logging your CEUs when they are fresh in your mind will help you remember what you learned so that you can document it appropriately—plus you are way less likely to forget to log the hours if you just make a habit of logging them right away!

Connect with Attendees and Presenters. One of the most beneficial takeaways from the APMP conferences lies in the networking. Make an effort to reach out to other attendees and presenters. Chat with them, build relationships, and connect with them on LinkedIn. I am super excited about the new connections I’ve made after this year’s conference so far!

But don’t stop there; be sure to maintain those relationships! Follow up with your new connections in a few weeks to see how they are doing. If they are local to your area, schedule some time to meet up in person (using COVID friendly protocols, of course!). Or schedule a video chat if an in-person meeting isn’t feasible. Remember, you can’t continue to learn from one another if you don’t maintain communication lines!

Reflect on What You Learned and Take ideas Back to Your Company. It’s also critical to reflect on what you have learned once the conference has ended. Pick some things that you want to embrace in how you approach the profession. Write them down. Throughout the rest of the year, monitor whether you are following through. Additionally, identify some best practices that you would like for your company to embrace and write down the benefits of each. Share these ideas with your team and document any resulting implementation goals. To increase the chances of successful adoption, set up a plan for achieving these goals, and track your progress regularly.

Final Thoughts

I loved every single minute of APMP’s WBVE! And I’m so looking forward to continuing my WBVE learning and networking over the next 25 days or so. I’m also excited to continue to build on the new connections I’ve made with other amazing industry professionals and to continue sharing ideas in new and exciting ways. This event was such an amazing opportunity to earn CEUs, and I’m definitely going to be sure to take advantage of that by updating my CEU journal online! Once I have a chance to check out the remaining presentations on my list, I’m looking forward to reflecting on my experience so I can embrace and apply what I have learned. And I can’t wait to share some of these ideas with my friends and colleagues at AOC Key Solutions to help support our initiatives of delivery excellence and continuous improvement. There is just so much to take away from this fantastic event, and so many ways we can run with these ideas and excel!

 

Written by Ashley Kayes, CP APMP

Senior Proposal Consultant, AOC Key Solutions, Inc. (KSI)

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