In case you have been living under a rock for the last year or so, I am going to let you in on a not all that well kept secret. The 2013 AIA National Convention is going to be held in Denver. Registration doesn’t officially open until January 2013, but now is the perfect time to block out June 20-22 on your calendar.
On December 4th, it was announced that former Secretary of State Colin Powell will join Cameron Sinclair, co-founder and chief eternal optimist of Architects For Humanity, and Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver of TOMS, as keynote speakers for the 2013 AIA National Convention. In addition to the opportunity to hear these three visionaries speak, almost countless education hours will be available through attendance at sessions focused on design, practice management, and most importantly, how the leaders of our profession see architectural practice changing as the current class of Emerging Professionals advances.
For those of you that have never attended a National Convention (myself included), this is the event that brings the best and brightest our profession has to offer together in a single city to discuss the state of our profession, share information on what is working and what isn’t, and celebrate all that we have accomplished during the past year. Over the coming weeks, sessions will be finalized and more details than you probably care to know about will be issued through the AIA Colorado and AIA Denver eNews letters. What, you don’t get the eNews? You haven’t been reading it religiously? Check in with Alaina Gonzalez at AIA Colorado. If you are an AIA member, either licensed or an Associate, make sure she has your correct email address. These communications are going to be your go to resource for conference content as well as the call to action for volunteers. In addition, the AIAS will have a strong presence at this year’s event. Students, check with your AIAS representatives to see how you can get involved this year. Discounted registration rates are available to Associate AIA members and students. Even better, you probably don’t have to spend money on a hotel!
While I would encourage everyone to attend the sessions that you feel the strongest connections with, perhaps an even greater benefit to Emerging Professionals are the volunteer opportunities that will exist. By helping work the convention sessions, leading tours or offering up your extra bedroom to a student visiting from out of town, you have the opportunity to build new friendships and professional contacts. You never know when those might come in handy.
In closing, I strongly urge you not to miss this opportunity. In one way or another, get involved. In years past, we have seen the number of Emerging Professionals attending the Colorado Conference in Keystone hold steady, but the student turnout has been historically low. Take this opportunity to invest in your future and learn from the brightest stars in our profession. Rub shoulders with your idols and enjoy the energy that this event brings to our city. Learn about our city’s architecture, the firms that are creating it, and the people that make those firms great places for design. Get outside of your studio, outside of your office, and into your city, Denver. The Architects are coming…