Small Firm Exchange (SFx)

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Who We Are

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 the value of small firms, the national SFx, and local SFx groups, both within the AIA and to the public.

2. Curate and disseminate the most pertinent resources and information, from the AIA & elsewhere, that benefit small firms.

3. Inform the AIA of current issues facing small firms and areas in which current resources/information are lacking.

Approximately 75% of all firms within the AIA are small firms (less than 10 employees), which equates to 14,459 small firms within the organization.

~26.8% = sole practitioners = 5,173

~33.5% = 1-5 employees = 6,459

~14.7% = 5-10 employees = 2,827

For context, small firms share of staff is 16.0% and share of billings is 12.0%

We need to find ways to leverage that size for collaboration and influence, just like the individual large firms do.



The small firm guide to AIA24

By Scott Busby AIA posted 03-05-2024 09:14 PM


5 Reasons to attend AIA24 for Small Firm Architects:

This year we all meet up in Washington DC for the AIA Conference on Architecture & Design. And just like last year we have come up with the 5 best reasons for you, a small firm architect, to join a few thousand other colleagues on the convention floor. 

5. Museums out the Wazoo - #centerofdemocracy #monuments #whitehouse #history #82museums

4. Up Your Game - #knowledge #weallneedthis #progress #stepoutsideyourcomfortzone 

3. Small Firms Rule - #wearethemajority #theAIAneedsus #yourvoicematters

2. Have a Seat at the Table - #roomwhereithappens #homeoftheAIA

And finally the number one reason to attend AIA24 in Washington DC for Small Firm Architects….

1. New experiences, social interaction, and networking - #interestingconversations #sophisticatedcocktails  #travel #meetnewfriends #goforawalk #implement1thing

Event List:

Wednesday, June 5

First-Timers Orientation: AIA Conference on Architecture & Design 2024 | 8:30am | EV102

H(i): Human Intelligence Sketching Tour | 9:00am | ET107

Architects in Work Boots | 9:30am | WE104

Taking Care of Business: Entrepreneurship or Intrapreneurship? | 9:30am | WE101

Essentials of Empathy for Architects | 9:30am | WE108

Technology in Architectural Practice Symposium: Practice in the Age of AI—An Approach to Technology | 9:30am | TAP100

Strategies to Mitigate CA Liability for Small Firms | 11:00am | WE201

How a Design Firm Grows Up: Evolution and Structure | 11:00am | WE205

Love & Liability | 11:00am | WE209 

AIA Annual Business Meeting | 1:00pm | EV104

Preparing for Successful Leadership Transition and Expansion | 1:30pm | WE310

Elevating Design: Small Firms and the Framework for Design Excellence | 1:30pm | WE307

AI Generative Imagery for Architects | 1:30pm | WE304

Copyright for Architects: Protect What's Yours! | 1:30pm | WE314

Learning a better way to apply AI to building codes | 3:30pm | WE407

Leading with Vulnerability: Bringing your whole self to work | 3:30pm | WE403

How to Drive Business Growth Through Effective Lead Generation Strategies | 4:30pm | WE412

Opening Night Celebration | EV108 | $75 | National Portrait Gallery

Thursday, June 6

Get Connected: Small Firm Meetup | 10:00am | EV201

How You're Doing: Free Firm Performance Audit | 11:00am | EV212

CRAN Forum: Collaboration Next —Best Practices for Residential Architects | 11:00am | EV202

How To Start Your Own Firm: Seizing the Opportunity | 2:00pm | TH117

Architecture and the Law | 4:00pm | TH214

AI sketching with rapid image generation | 4:00pm | TH220

AIA|DC SFX reception | 5:30pm | external event

CRAN Reception (custom residential architects) | 6:00pm | EV224 

Friday, June 7

Shared Experiences: Small Project Design Forum | 10:00am | EV305

Fresh Perspectives: Young Architects Forum Meetup | 10:00am | EV302

How You're Doing: Free Firm Performance Audit | 11:00am | EV313

AIA Awards Gala After-Party | 9:00pm | EV317

Saturday, June 8

Stay Small… Successfully! Increase Your Architecture Firm Profits, Not Headcount | 10:00am | SA209

Meme, Myself, and I: Utilizing Social Media in Your Firm | 10:00am | SA210

An Architect’s Framework for Leadership Success | 10:00am | SA205

Blueprint for a More Profitable Firm | 10:00am

Crafting Your AI Implementation Plan: A Roadmap to AI Integration | 10:00am | SA102

Big Impact With the Small Firm Exchange Forum | 1:00pm | EV401

Ready? Search the full agenda and register.