Is #SAMESBC18 Right for Me?

By Matt Matteson, P.E., Guest Contributor  

Conferences. They are constantly happening across the country. And as professionals in the consulting, government, and military worlds, we are often limited to how many we may attend each year based on the time commitments and costs associated with attendance. With lots of choices and only so much time in the year, there are a few key factors to consider when deciding which to attend.

So, what does the ideal conference look like for us? According to entrepreneur.com, the five key components of rapid business growth are: identify what sets you apart from your competition; know who your ideal customer is; understand your key performance indicators; have a firm grasp of your business financials; and, invest in the right talent.

If you want to grow your business, these are the focal points to hone in on.

Step 1. Identify what sets you apart from your competition—it’s the biggest component of business growth. How would a conference help you determine what your competition has to offer? With an estimated 3,500-plus attendees and 400 exhibitors, the 2018 SAME Federal Small Business Conference is likely going to help you differentiate yourself if you’re interested in government work. Additionally, this year in New Orleans, the co-location of SBC with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Veterans Small Business Engagement will even further assist in differentiating yourself from the competition.

Step 2. Know who your ideal customer is. This is the matching puzzle piece to what sets you apart from your competition. Historically, there are a few hundred federal procurement decision-makers that attend this event. Networking Roundtables give you the face-to-face time with government agencies in your business line and your geographical sector that will provide you the insight you need to better understand your client’s needs.

Step 3 & Step 4. Understand your key performance indicators and have a firm grasp of your business financials. Obviously, no public conference is going to dive directly into your business metrics, but SBC does a fantastic job of sharing lessons learned, detailing industry standards, and highlighting cutting-edge innovations and technology that can help you improve your business. There are also ample continuing education opportunities that will help you better understand the best practices to succeed in these metric areas.

So, what does the ideal conference look like for us? According to entrepreneur.com, the five key components of rapid business growth are: identify what sets you apart from your competition; know who your ideal customer is; understand your key performance indicators; have a firm grasp of your business financials; and, invest in the right talent.

Step 5. Invest in the right talent. As members of SAME, we know that we are already rooted in the right talent pool. Those we surround ourselves with are hardworking, sharp, and motivated to do an excellent job—and we care about helping support the security of our nation. We know how to identify those with grit and those without, and we naturally find great candidates for our service lines and move on past those who don’t make the cut.

For those looking to find that match, whether it be employer or employee, the SBC is going to pair you with like-minded individuals that share the same dedication to quality as you already do every day. Please join me this year at #SAMESBC18 as we put our best foot forward and make the most out of our end-of-year conferencing capability. We look forward to seeing you there!


Matt Matteson, P.E., is a Geological Engineer with Wood PLC.