Living in FL I thought I was familiar with southern hospitality. I was wrong. The AIA GA members made an incredible impression on me with their warmth and sincerity.
The show was located in the Foundry Classic Center which was a mix of beautiful old brick and modern conveniences. The AIA GA Board of Directors has done a great job at educating their members to the importance of making the exhibitors feel welcome. Having attended many trade shows in the past two years I have never had so many conference attendees come up and thank me for spending the effort, time and money to exhibit. They spent time at each booth to really learn what each exhibitor had to offer.
I was part of the a-fabco team that exhibited at the National AIA show in Miami and I can honestly say I was disappointed. I know my boss will probably never spend the money to exhibit at the national level again. The GA Design Conference was entirely differently. It provided a more intimate setting to allow the architects to discuss their specific needs. Points made to us were interest in more Grade 1 lever designs and the need to met government specifications.
This experience has lead me to express interest in exhibiting at the AIA Florida Annual Convention being held at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach July 19-22, 2012. As an aside I used to work at The Breakers many years ago so this would be a nostalgic experience for me.
The AIA South Atlantic Regional Conference will be another possible opportunity to exhibit. It is being held September 19-22 at the Loews Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, GA. It brings together architect membership from Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
All in all this was an excellent show and I greatly appreciate the generous and kind hospitality shown by the GA AIA membership.