Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, Speaker and Thought Leader, who is deeply committed in helping the NEXT Generation of Architects succeed in their careers. Michael has helped thousands of ARE Candidates pass their exams and creates ARE 5.0 study materials at The Young Architect Academy.
Over the past five years, I’ve attended or spoken at dozens of conferences focused on a variety of different topics (including architecture, entrepreneurship, social media, fitness, yoga, cycling and sustainability). I want you to know that becoming an avid conference goer has made a significant impact on my life, career and network.
Let me share my biggest takeaway with you:
Learning in a conference setting is one of the fastest ways for a person to grow — especially in architecture.
Let me explain why…
We travel to a new city and surround ourselves with many like-minded individuals, where we create many lifelong friendships and learn, discuss, and share our passions and ideas. Attending conferences are an adventure! When factoring in networking, education and the entire conference experience, the return on investment has always far exceeded the cost.
What’s gotten in the way with architecture conferences?
Over the years, I’ve noticed that architecture conferences aren’t always designed with your best interests at heart. If you’ve recently attended an architecture conference, you may have noticed:
- The strong emphasis on collecting continuing education units (CEUs) as the #1 (and often only) reason to attend.
- Keynote Speeches from Star Architects about themselves and their work.
- A serious focus on building-products and the products’ representatives, who are trying out new elevator pitches for their products.
- Little to no emphasis on the importance of professional development in the NEXT generation of practicing architects.
While I have a deep love for architecture, attending conferences and creating a more successful profession, I strongly feel our own architecture conferences could be more centered around creating lasting success in this profession and developing meaningful community connections.
Why I created the Young Architect Conference
While attending a recent architecture conference, I shared my vision in a casual conversation with a few of my friends:
“Imagine if we had a conference exclusively for emerging professionals in architecture. The concept for the conference would be about creating a more successful profession by focusing on developing FUTURE Architects.
“We’ll hear inspiring keynote speeches from successful young people who are already a part of our community. We’d have Professional Development workshops for the NEXT generation of Architects. At night, we’ll have parties to build stronger connections with each other.
“It’s great there are so many other architecture conferences. Wouldn’t it be cool if we created one exclusively for architecture students, emerging professionals, and young architects?”
After sharing this idea with this small group of people, many other people quickly encouraged me to create the FIRST Annual Young Architect Conference in August 2019.
While creating this unique event, I wanted to pull successful ideas from several conferences I’ve attended OUTSIDE the architecture industry.
Here’s a short list of what best conferences focus on, and what you’ll experience at the First Annual Young Architect Conference:
The Young Architect Conference has strategically chosen to have inspiring keynote lectures from young architects and emerging professionals. Each keynote will include many actionable takeaways, which you can immediately apply to your own life and career.
Many amazing young people have a lot to share, and they’re already a part of our community. Let’s learn from them, instead of bringing in outsider Star Architects.
2. Practical Learning
We believe the purpose of a conference is to grow and learn. In the afternoons, there will be workshops that will ALL be focused on the professional development of the NEXT generation of architects. Rather than having one-sided powerpoint lectures, ALL workshops will be interactive. We’ll work in groups, brainstorm, interact, discuss, laugh, and (most importantly) have fun.
The workshops will all fit into these 3 tracks:
- Architecture students
- Emerging professionals (This catch-all track includes everyone who’s not a student or licensed architect)
- Young architects (within the first 10 years of licensure)
However, anyone can sign up for any workshop. So click here to check out the entire list of the Young Architect Conference Workshops planned.
3. Networking & Meeting People
For three days, you’ll be surrounding yourself with other people who are working really hard towards excellence and success in their architecture careers. I feel like it’s easier to make new friends at a conference. Most of the other attendees have also traveled to be there, and they’re typically more open to meeting new people and having new experiences.
A conference itself is usually a filter for awesome people: They’re serious enough to make the effort to be there. By attending the Young Architect Conference, you’ll grow your network in a very serious way.
4. A Fresh Perspective
At a recent conference, I attended a workshop about Emerging Professionals working really hard on a volunteer nonprofit project in their community that is having a very big impact.
I was deeply inspired by this workshop. If I hadn’t attended this Conference, I never would’ve heard about these projects or had the opportunity to connect with the people producing them.
At the Young Architect Conference, you’ll get a fresh perspective, learn about what people are doing, put names with faces, and become open to new experiences that will have a 100% positive impact on your future success.
5. The Party
A good party should be a part of every conference. After a day of workshops, meetings, keynotes, and seriousness, everyone needs to have a drink and relax a little bit.
The Young Architect Conference will be bookended by two amazing parties designed to help you mingle and network with others in the community.
6. The Energy Exchange
I always find it difficult to quantify this point with words.
It’s great that we live in this hyper-connected digital world. But after a few days of bringing everyone together, meeting fascinating people, hearing inspiring lectures, participating in workshops, going to parties, laughing and being away from home, I get back to work. However, the inspiration and energy from the conference becomes reflected in my attitude and the work I’m doing.
After the experience is over, it’s always much clearer what I need to be doing as an architect and member of my community.
The whole purpose of a conference is to come together, connect, exchange energy and lift up our profession as a group. When that happens, it provides a priceless value to your attitude, outlook and career.
So my friends…
THIS IS WHY WE NEED A YOUNG ARCHITECT CONFERENCE!
The Young Architect Conference is modeled after the best conferences I’ve ever attended, and it’s designed to give you:
- Practical Learning
- The Opportunity to Network and Meet New People
- A Fresh Perspective
- A Party (aka Connections!)
- The Energy Exchange
Now’s your chance to say Yes to the Young Architect Conference, where you can have the experience of a lifetime and ensure lasting success in this crazy industry.
Grab your ticket now join us in August 2019. Space is limited!
Look forward to seeing you there.
Michael Riscica AIA