I have written, on more than one occasion, about why CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) is my AEC industry organization of choice.
Tuesday June 2nd, by Noon, registration will open for the CSI National Convention CONSTRUCT. This year, CONSTRUCT will be held in St. Louis from September 30th to October 3rd. You can get all the technical information here: www.constructshow.com.
The event includes a huge trade show, tons of education, great keynotes and plenty of fun. In addition, this year CONSTRUCT will be hosting the first ever entire day program completely dedicated to Young Professionals (35 and younger) at an incredibly discounted rate. This discount is not for limited access to only the YP day but includes full education for the entire convention. I am proud to be leading that day of events and proud of my organization for making young professionals a priority and an equal member at the table. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/1dT36kP
Honestly though, you can go to the website and read all about what the show has to offer. You don’t need me to spell it out here. We are all big kids right? We can read.
What I am here to tell you is why it is worth it to attend another convention/conference that may be outside of your regular industry association (i.e. AIA, AGC, ASHRAE, ASPE, IFMA, etc.)
First, let’s address a few facts:
- A very common misconception is that CSI is full of a bunch of old, gray haired spec writers and the only thing they have to offer is information about writing specifications. This could not be further from the truth while I can see how the name might lead some folks there.
- CSI is the best kept secret in AEC industry organizations out there. The education CSI offers is absolutely vital for ANYONE in AEC to do their jobs. None of this absolutely necessary education is offered to AEC professionals while they are in college. It still blows my mind when I interact with a longtime professional in this industry and they don’t know some of the most basic principles about the documents they produce and use to create our built environment. The risk that I see created every day due to this lack of knowledge is astounding.
- You get a lot from your particular industry organization. From your peers. In your discipline. How much are you learning and growing by interacting and learning from other members of the project team?
- The fact is, CSI is all inclusive. No discipline or membership status carries any more weight than another. At every CSI event that I attend, I learn from Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Consultants, Product Representatives, Owners, Young Professionals, Facility Managers, Manufacturers and more. We each have an equal seat at the table. This provides a depth and breadth to the education programs that I have yet to find elsewhere. Not even close.
- I don’t work for CSI. I thought I should just get that out there. Nobody has asked or paid me to write this blog (although I wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth)! I joined CSI 3-1/2 years ago when my adventures raising children while having a full time job finally eased enough to give me more time to invest in my career.
It has been the single best thing that I have done in my entire 30 year career working in construction, architecture and now engineering. I have received so much more than I ever could have imagined in the relatively short time that I have been involved in this organization. I invest a lot of time and energy to give back and I invest it passionately and willingly.
I could spend pages listing why you should be a part of CSI and why you should attend CONSTRUCT but the bottom line, the short answer, is the people. These amazing, knowledgeable people from all walks of AEC who guide me, teach me, mentor me and challenge me every single day. I do my job better (way, way, way better) and have become a better person because of them. I have learned more in 3-1/2 years than I could have in many years otherwise.
I am all about sharing so I wish the same for you. Why don’t you join us and finally see what you have been missing! If you do, ask someone where to find the CSI Kraken and come say hello!
See you in St. Louis!