Update on the Conference on Architecture 2021

February 26, 2021

Update on the Conference on Architecture 2021

Given the many challenges that still exist around the pandemic and its impact on individuals and businesses, we have made the official decision that the AIA Conference on Architecture 2021 will be a virtual experience. Restrictions on public gatherings (including those in Philadelphia), public health data surrounding the pandemic, the slow/unpredictable rollout of vaccines, and members’ low desire to travel all contributed to our decision to host the Conference virtually. The Board was alerted to this decision on Friday. 

The AIA Conference on Architecture 2021 will launch in June as a virtual series delivered through four online events across two months. The series will address firms’ business needs in a post-COVID world whose economy has also been simultaneously impacted by climate change and equity. Each day will address a specific audience need via pragmatic and experiential learning, commercial experience, and audience engagement. 

The conference programming will focus on addressing pre-determined user needs selected for that purpose; the sessions, networking, and commercial engagement will be designed and structured to address those needs and align with AIA’s 2021 strategic objectives. As such, the traditional approach of building the conference schedule with hundreds of discrete events will not apply for A’21.

  • There will be no official call for presentations. The AIA team will source the content directly and will reach out to members, past speakers, content partners, as appropriate as we firm up the sessions based on customer journeys. 
  • Networking events will be designed and sourced intentionally to align with the goals of the conference.
  • Customary AIA events may find a role at A’21 only to the extent that they help achieve the goals of the conference.

The first of the four online events will be held June 17, however the remaining dates throughout the summer will be determined later. Registration for A’21 opens this spring, and we look forward to sharing more details then. Stay tuned!

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Gwen Berlekamp CAE
Managing Director, Component Collaboration & Resources
The American Institute of Architects
Washington DC
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