The AIA Convention continues to get high marks from attendees and draws upwards of twenty thousand attendees annually. The Convention is a major source of revenue for AIA, particularly the Expo floor. Many attendees value the Convention as an opportunity to catch us with colleagues from around the nation and world, hear exceptional keynote speakers, keep up with recent developments in design and practice, and fulfill continuing education requirements in a very short period and at the highest content level.
Because the Convention is so value, it is important for AIA to anticipate potential challenges and threats and continue to make every effort to improve its relevance, quality and value. To that end AIA has engaged the profession convention planner to explore opportunities. Their advice has been to reimagine the convention.
AIA has begun a five year initiative to do just that. Some format changes were adopted in Philadelphia. More will be implemented in Orlando in 2017 and New York in 2018. Generally, the guiding concept is to make the convention more about the celebration of architecture and less a meeting of the AIA. AIA business will continued to be conducted at Convention, but scheduled to reduce conflicts with events and educational sessions. More public-facing events and programs will be conducted. The overarching goals are to make Convention irresistible and indispensable.