Small Firm Exchange

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The mission of the AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx) is to advance the mutual interests of architects practicing in small firms. The objectives of the AIA SFx are three-fold:

1. Advocate for small firms within the AIA and in outside organizations and agencies.
2. Promote leadership in Small Firm professional development and practice; and
3. Facilitate and support the local component round tables and small firm networks.

How the Small Firm Exchange enhances your conference experience

By Garett R. Warner AIA posted 12-10-2019 17:10


Most architecture firms have fewer than 10 employees and small firm architects attend Conference at a higher rate than their large firm counterparts. Small firm practitioners can gain a great deal of knowledge and inspiration at each yearly convention and the Small Firm Exchange is focused on ensuring that there are numerous events and educational sessions particularly relevant for small firms.

SFx at A'19

Those that did not attend last year’s convention, especially because they did not believe it would be worth their time and effort missed some great events. SFx planned several events for A’19 that not only provided outstanding social gatherings but also allowed great networking opportunities. The week started with the informal happy hour which was scheduled on Wednesday evening at the conclusion of the preconstruction workshops. It was well attended and included several of the workshop presenters. It was a great prelude to the AIA Opening Night Party later that evening. On Thursday evening, SFx teamed with the SPD, CRAN, and Housing and Community Development groups to sponsor the Community Connections Social that included a cocktail party as well as rides on the High Roller which is a classic Las Vegas attraction. On Friday afternoon SFx hosted a cocktail reception for small firm practitioners in the AIA Business Lounge.

SFx Conference working group

SFx was also actively engaged in the planning, presentation, and evaluation of educational sessions and workshops that were presented at A’19.  Members developed and presented several educational sessions and two workshops throughout the week and a number of members acted as peer reviewers to evaluate the content of sessions as they were submitted.  Following the evaluation process, SFx provided a list of sessions and workshops that were of particular interest to small firms. The list was published as The small firm guide to A'19 and was distributed to local AIA components.

Plans for A'20

The overall opinion of small firm attendees was that the planning efforts for A’19 were successful.  SFx is now fully involved in planning for A’20.  Several educational sessions and workshops have again been submitted and the peer review process is well underway.  Initial planning for social activities and events has begun and a number of excellent possibilities are being explored.  With the experience that has been gained from planning for previous Conferences, A’20 is almost certain to be the best yet.  Members of small firms who are waiting to decide whether or not to go to Los Angeles should remember that the Small Firm Exchange is here for you.  As events and educational sessions become finalized, we will distribute this information through a variety of platforms, including the SFx Scan and web site. Stay tuned!

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