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BPC: Tips to Get the Most Out of the Conference

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Baskar Sundaram

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BPC: Tips to Get the Most Out of the Conference

What to Do and Expect at APMP’s Bid and Proposal Con?

With BPC Dallas on the way, are you wondering how you can make the most out of this conference?

APMP’s Bid and Proposal Con is a three-day conference dedicated to proposal professionals in the business, federal, municipal, and academic areas who work in any part of the proposal, bid, tender, business development, and capture process. Industry players from around the world attend seeking tested information, proven strategies, and best practices to help capture, write, produce, and manage proposals, and ultimately increase win rates.

Attendees gain:

  • Hands-on education & certification
  • Inspiring content from the industry’s leading professionals, companies, and important speakers
  • Networking opportunities
  • Inspiring keynotes 

There are presentations, posters, and hundreds of people all coming together to discuss, enjoy, and connect about bids & proposals.

Yet, amid so much activity, here are my tips on how you can make the most of your experience:

Tip 1: Look At The Schedule

First thing – Certification Day, APMP Bid Con is an ideal place to attain expert guidance on your certifications. Believe me, if you had the time, do utilise the certification days. Not very often you will have the opportunity to be trained by Tony Birch, Cathy Day, Jon Williams, Beth Wingate, Brenda Crist and APMP Fellows.

If you are attending the conference to immerse in all the tools, tips, techniques then make sure that you look at all the presentations and abstracts beforehand and decide which ones you want to attend. It might seem overwhelming to make these decisions on the spot. Look through the agenda , read about the presentations and do your research. Print out your overall plan and keep it ready at hand. 

I will be emotional having missed all the friends for 2 years.. then grab dinner with your new and old friends.

I am so happy to see so many young emerging leaders presenting at BPC and this is a great time to show support and encouragement to the future leaders and experts in the industry. Please do join in and support. 

  1. Design Proposals That Look Like MagazinesKati Stutsman, CF APMP
  2. Saddle Up – Preparing for the Interview Robin Power, BA, CF APMP
  3. Using Power Automate to Simplify Your Proposal Department Steve Skeldon, CP APMP
  4. Identifying Win Themes & How to Successfully Stand Out Amongst the Competition Megan Large, CF APMP
  5. Master the Hunt: Tips for Improving Every Step of your Job SearchYasaman Sadeghipour
  6. Proposal Tetris: Tips & Tricks for Meeting Page Counts Stacey Lee, CP APMP
  7. Be the Change: Create a Winning CultureErin Andersen, CF APMP
  8. Changing Your Habits for a Faster WorkflowRachel Thompson, CF APMP
  9. Read Before Red: Tips for Prioritizing Compliance Michelle Spencer, CF APMP
  10. To Win Pace Text for Readers Sarah Reynolds Westin
  11. What’s New with Hybrid and Digital – Key Innovations from a Billion Dollars of Deals Daniel Walker, CP APMP
  12. Gain Executive Buy-In for Go/No-Go Criteria Gina Kutsch, CP APMP
  13. Influencing Upwards – Learning from Military Interrogators, Olympics Marketers and More Mike Reader
  14. Creating a Proposal Process “Cheat Sheet” – Dawne Berlinski Gibbs, CF APMP
  15. Who Says You Can’t Design in Word?Anne Winckel, CF APMP
  16. Supercharge your proposal management with MS ExcelKatherine Aucott 
  17. Evaluation Models: Uses and AbusesRyanne Spigelman
  18. Flexing Your Life Balance Muscles: Healthy Habits for the Mind, Body and Soul Alissa Hanson, CF APMP
  19. Mentoring like Super Hero Irene Trujillo, CP APMP and Kailey Wulfert, CF APMP
  20. New Industry,  Who Dis Heather Kirkpatrick, CP APMP CAP APMP, Mary Katherine Vanderpool, CF APMP and  my bestie Tara Kowalke, CF APMP

There is also a slew of expert speakers like  Samantha Enslen, Mike Parkinson, Bruce Morton, Randy Richter, Steve Koger, Ajay Patel, Robin Davis, Brad Douglas, Angie Wolfe, Neal Levene, Ceri MescallGareth Earle, David Gray, and legendary Word Man Dick Eassom presenting as well. Don’t miss these including many sponsor sessions. 


Tip 2: Clear Your Calendar

Look at the dates of the conference and clear out your schedule accordingly. You must allocate all your free time to solely focus on the conference. Hence, clearing out your “social calendar” before the event will greatly benefit you.

Tip 3: Research The Location

Like most conferences, even this one is situated in a wonderful location. Research the area and find out the places that you would like to visit. There might be great tourist spots and include such spots in your plan so that you can visit them during your free time.

Read more about the hotel, the amenities and the restaurants. Gaylord Texas  is huge,  do take time to explore the facilities, stroll around with friends, utilise pool, gym, bar and more. 

Tip 4: Be Fully Prepared

Make sure that you write down a list of all the things you would want to take to the event. Laptops, chargers, business cards, and demo products or presentations you have prepared should be kept at hand. Remember that such events are a great place to meet potential clients and business partners.

Tip 5: Be An Active Participant

The purpose of Bid and Proposal Con is to share best practices and to learn. So make sure you are taking full advantage of this opportunity. If you want to know more about a certain topic or need clarification on something presented, speak up! Make the most out of the sessions.

Tip 6: Take Notes

Take notes throughout the day, during talks, and directly after conversations with people. You will be bombarded with an overload of information and you need to make a note of all the titbits you gather.

Tip 7: Manage Your Existing Connections

Conferences can be useful venues to solidify your current professional relationships. Meet up with all the clients and associates you know who are present at the conference.

Tip 8: Network

In addition to maintaining your existing connections, be sure to reach outside your existing network, meet new people, and build new relationships. Introduce yourself to people. If you are attending a session, sit next to someone you do not know, and simply introduce yourself. Or if you are standing in line for breaks and find yourself beside someone you have not yet met, begin a short conversation. 

Ask other people about their work and get to know them more. Make sure that you exchange contact information with people. Make sure you are building and maintaining the network to constantly improve yourself. 


Tip 9: Attend Evening Events

To make the most of the week, also attend the evening events. These provide the opportunity to build relationships in a more relaxed environment. These events are also a great way to catch up with the people you did not get a chance to connect with during the day.


Tip 10: Make Time For Yourself

Your entire day could be jam-packed from morning till evening. So ensure that you include some little time for yourself. Take that time to relax, rest, and recuperate. This will keep your immune system from wearing down so that you can remain energized and focused throughout the week.

Tip 11: Set Up The Golden Hour

Refer back to your notes, list any actionable take-aways, and plan the process of implementing those when you arrive back to work. Make a list of things you want to focus on when you return. Use this list to monitor yourself.

Tip 12: Follow Up 

Maintaining relationships and new connections takes time. Connect with your new contacts on LinkedIn. Set up meetings and get to know them.

Keep the following tips in mind when you attend the conference.

Wishing all my proposal industry family members attending Bid Con a great conference of learning, networking, and enjoyment

Wishing all APMP Board Members, APMP Chapter leaders, and every volunteer involved in organising the event a great success.

Looking forward in catching up with friends and attending the wonderful sessions.

Want to read about other APMP conferences you might have missed? Or want a recap? We got you!

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