Just flying back home from the 2014 Convention and there are some exciting new benefits to your membership I wanted to share with you. First, if you have not been to an AIA Convention it is a must at least once in your lifetime! Visit the schedule on AIA’s website and pick a city that you have always wanted to visit and make your reservations. The 2015 Convention will be in Atlanta. There are so many fabulous tours and behind the scenes tours of the cities, buildings, parks and places that are sure to teach you something that you did not know before. Personally, I use the convention as an opportunity to take my family so that they too can enjoy another beautiful city in this country. My kids were able to see the city this year from the crown of the Chicago Tribune tower and it was just fabulous!
The benefits of membership is something that is always questioned by members so I felt it was important to share with you some exciting things AIA is doing to help provide its members with the tools and information that will make us all successful. First, in order to keep the membership up to date on what it has been doing thus far in 2014, AIA has published the AIA Foresight Report, the first of its kind, which you can download from the AIA website for free. This document is an example of the transparency of the Institute and its move toward full inclusion of the membership on its operations. Second, is a new strategic partnership with Reed Construction Data that is sure to be the best thing AIA has done since it has embarked upon Repositioning. I was fortunate to have taken part in a market test group at the Convention to get a sneak peak and give valuable feedback. The product called accessArchitecture, is a web portal that will allow AIA members for free as part of your membership the ability to access Reed’s database of over 500,000 projects for things like products and specifications specified, project data, construction cost data, and owner and project team information. But probably by far the best feature is project leads! Members will be able to search for job leads anywhere in the country, by project type, project value, and even by owner. As an architect who does retail franchise work in many states, this enables me the ability to seek out other opportunities in markets that I am already working in. There is also very important market trend data available that allows you to see analyticals on various aspects of the market, whether geographical or by project type. The dashboard is totally customizable to each user and is memorized for the next time you use it again. The best part about this is that it is free with your membership! Now that is value and if you are able to use this tool to your advantage it will pay for your membership.