Visiting the AIA Conference on Architecture 2018? You’re not alone -- 23,000+ are expected to take over New York City’s Javits Center from June 21-23. As such, it’s easy to get lost (sometimes literally) when trying to make the most of this huge architectural show.
Use our five tips to make the most out of your experience in the Big Apple.
5 Ways to Maximize Your Trip to the Big Architectural Show
The AIA show is in a different city each year, which gives you a chance to view different architecture and meet an ever-changing group of people during your downtime. Because it’s in New York City this year (and specifically Manhattan), there’s an even better chance than ever to see some great sights and brush shoulders with the sharpest minds in architecture.
These should be your five priorities for the week:
1. See What’s Trending
A’18 promises to turn the Javits Center into a 200,000-sq.-ft. materials playground. More than 800 building product manufacturers will be on hand.
While the entire show is three days, the Architecture Expo portion is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 21-22. This is when you can roam the exhibition hall and maybe even find the next big thing.
Not only can you check out new products on the shelf, you can also get sneak peeks at what’s coming up before anybody else does. Making the most of A’18 means scoping out the future of technology, materials, and other products! Just a few years ago we attended and found a booth promoting solar shingles … and now they are on the verge of widespread use. It’s the kind of stuff you may never know about unless you attend the show!
2. Learn, Learn, Learn
While discovering new products is goal #1 for some people attending AIA’s annual event, for others it’s taking advantage of the education offered there. You can earn continuing education credits for the year -- or simply sit and enjoy the great insights and takeaways -- via 100s and 100s of sessions led by top architects, product makers, and firms.
Credits can be earned in:
- HSW (Health Safety and Welfare)
- ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
- GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc.)
- RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)
While the expo portion of AIA will only be open two days, continuing ed classes will happen all day, all three days. But you don’t have to lock yourself in to a marathon of lectures -- feel free to take a 2-hour class Thursday and Friday and walk the expo afterward.
There are still openings in most sessions! Click here to browse the A’18 schedule, including pre-conference events June 19-20.
3. Mingle With the Best
Networking chances are all around you in NYC, and especially at A’18:
- 23,000 visitors like you
- 800 leading brands
- 100s of learning sessions
- 70 events
The most spontaneous connections can lead to new inspiration and exciting business opportunities. So get out there and leverage this rare chance to mingle with so many industry minds at once.
There are also numerous networking opportunities at the show’s dozens of receptions, happy hours, and alumni get-togethers. Not to mention The Party!, the AIA show’s signature event. (More on that in a bit.) Don’t waste this opportunity to reach higher architectural ground.
4. See the Sights of NYC
You’re coming to New York City to get inspiration. NYC is one of the greatest architectural cities in the world. Why wouldn’t you make time for at least one architectural tour of the city?
There are literally 100s of expertly curated, one-of-a-kind tours led by architects and critics in New York City, and many of them center around beautiful Manhattan. Here’s a list of some of our favorite NYC architectural tours.
The AIA itself is running dozens of tours this year. There are still tickets available for many of them, but very few in some cases. Use the links below to check for availability.
Note that many of these tours take place Wednesday, June 20. So if you want to check them out, you’ll have to get to NYC early.
5. Let Loose
All that learning and inspirational sightseeing is great, but you’ve worked hard over the past year. Don’t you deserve a little fun?
A’18 does not disappoint on that front. Two nights with two amazing parties are slated.
On Thursday at the Emerging Professionals Party, you can dance until midnight to music by City of Six at Stage48 on the Hudson River. The AIA calls it the perfect networking venue for recently graduated and newly licensed designers.
On Friday, make sure to be at the Hammerstein and Grand Ballrooms for The Party! DJ Questlove (you know him from The Roots and from Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show”) will spin a 90-minute set with music from his famous collection, while (DJ) LUV and The New Millennials will serve as supporting acts.
There’s even more fun waiting out there, so check the AIA conference schedule for the full story.
See You There!
With these five tips, you’ll hopefully have the week of a lifetime. As AIA Conference on Architecture veterans, we can tell you it’s an extremely valuable experience when you plan accordingly.
OK, one more bonus suggestion: Come see Dahlstrom at booth #4444. We’ve got a lot of cool things in store for you!
See you there!
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