2014 Convention: Frequently Asked Questions
The Texas Society of Architects 75th Annual Convention and Design Expo will take place on November 6–8 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. This page provides some answers to frequently asked questions about convention registration, creating your schedule, continuing education credit, and more.
REGISTRATION / SCHEDULE
REGISTRATION RATES / REFUNDS
CONTINUING EDUCATION INFORMATION
REGISTRATION / SCHEDULE
How do I register for the Annual Convention?
First, go to the Schedule page and view the complete schedule for each day of the convention. To the right of all session, event, and tour titles, you’ll see a small empty checkbox icon. Selecting this icon will prompt you to login or create an account. You can then "favorite" that event or activity, and add it to your preliminary schedule. Please Note: Favoriting an item does not guarantee that you have a reservation for it. Events can sell out as you browse, and some events are intended for specific attendees (like students). You should not consider your registration and schedule final until you have registered, checked out, and paid.
Once you have gone through the schedule and selected what you'd like to attend, go to the Registration page, select your registration type, fill out your registration form, and review the schedule that you have selected. It is here that you will be notified if any of the events you selected are restricted for specific attendees, or if any events you selected sold out while you were browsing. You can also edit the number of tickets you'd like to purchase for each event or tour (tours allow for up to two tickets). You will then be asked if you would like to add guest or Gala tickets, and you can then check out. You should receive an email confirmation shortly. For further guidance, please call 512-478-7386 or email email@example.com.
I'm a Texas AIA member. Why don’t I see member registration options when I register?
It’s likely you created a General User account rather than logging in with your AIA credentials. If you’re an AIA member, you automatically have an account with us that uses the information in your AIA profile. You do not need to create an account in order to register — creating an account signals to the registration site that you do not have AIA credentials, and thus are a non-member, so you should not have member options when registering.
If you are a member but have created a General User account, you would need to log out, then start registration over with your AIA credentials. If you forgot your AIA password, see the "I forgot my password" FAQ. If you forgot the email address that’s used in your AIA profile, contact the Texas Society of Architects at 512-478-7386, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who has to create an account?
If you are a Texas AIA member — a Texas Architect, Associate, Emeritus, or component staff member — you do not have to create an account. Your account already exists, and you need only log in with your AIA credentials to begin. The following groups need to create an account:
- AIA members of states other than Texas: Select "Create an account" option and enter your AIA number in the "AIA Number/Texas Architects Member Number" field.
- Partner Members and Allied Members: Select "Create an account" option and enter your Partner Member number (begins with a "PM") or your Allied Member Number (begins with an "AM") in the "AIA Number/Texas Architects Member Number" field.
- Non-Members and Students: Select "Create an account" option; you do not need to enter in any member numbers of any kind.
Exhibitor registration will be separate, and will go live in early September.
I forgot my password. What do I do?
If you’re a Texas AIA member (Architect, Associate, Emeritus), you would want to reset your password at the AIA National site.
If you are not an AIA member, but are a member only of the Texas Society of Architects, you would want to reset the password on our website.
If you are not a member, you would want to create an account. When entering your information, you do not need to enter anything in the "AIA Number/Texas Architects Member Number" field.
I forgot my email address. What do I do?
If you have forgotten the email address associated with your AIA or TxA account, contact the Texas Society of Architects at 512-478-7386, or email email@example.com.
What do all the colors along the side of the schedule mean?
The colors indicate whether that item is a tour, event, or session:
- Sessions are green
- Events are purple
- Tours are yellow
Why does the site allow me to book multiple things in the same timeslot?
Many Texas Architects Annual Convention attendees bring guests with them — spouses, friends, and family. And many attendees would like for these guests to get into tours and events while the attendees themselves are going to CE sessions. If we actively blocked registrants from double booking events in the same timeslot, it would mean that registrants would be unable to book tours and events for their guests — registrants would have to pay for themselves, then start a whole new registration for their guests.
Instead of doing that, we set up the system so you can select the sessions, tours, and events you’d like to attend, and then you can register and view what you selected — and it would be at this point that you could see if you had any potentially problematic time conflicts.
I want to register for a specific tour, but it is full. What do I do?
You will not be charged, but you will be put on a waitlist for that tour. If someone on that tour cancels, you will be contacted and asked if you would like to attend — if so, we will take your payment for the tour fee then. If you do not respond within 48 hours, we will ask the next person on the waitlist.
The website is not letting me register for a Fireside Chat. Why?
Fireside Chats are intended so that emerging professionals can have small, intimate (no more than 25 people per Chat) conversations on their futures and careers with established architects. It's likely you cannot register because you are not categorized as an emerging professional, or because the Chat is full.
Are all my selections final? What if I change my mind later?
You are not obligated to attend all that you select. Continuing education selections are asked for solely so we can know what size room to arrange for that class — so please do check off what you’d like to attend. But if at the Convention you find you would prefer to attend a completely different CE session, you’re free to do so — you will not be denied credit.
For sessions, tours, and events that offer LUHs that also cost a fee, you must pay that additional fee to receive credit. In addition, if you do not attend that event you paid for, you will not receive a refund after the event. If you would like to remove yourself from a tour or event, please call 512-478-7386 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I change my registration later?
You can change your registration by simply logging back in with your AIA login, or the account login you created when you registered. Continuing education sessions can be added or removed through October 30. To add a tour or event, you will have to go back to the Schedule page, select the new tour or event, and choose the "Update Schedule" button. This will take you back through the registration process and payment for this new event or tour.
If you would like to remove yourself from a tour or event, please contact the Texas Society of Architects at 512-478-7386 or email@example.com.
Can I see my schedule after registration closes?
Yes! Once you’ve registered, your schedule is kept under “My Schedule.” You can access this schedule at any time leading up to and during the Convention.
How do I register a guest?
You can add a guest when you register yourself. The guest registration fee will be added to your total. You can have up to four guests attend.
I’m a student. How can I participate in the convention mentorship or hosting program?
You’ll find a section in your registration form that allows you to check off whether you are interested in being paired with a mentor during the convention, or if you are interested in being hosted by a local architect. Once you’ve submitted your registration, and if there are mentors or hosts available, you’ll be contacted with your mentor’s information prior to the convention.
I’m an exhibitor. Where do I register for the convention?
Exhibitor registration is slated to go live in early September. At that time, you will find all the information you need to know on our Exhibitor Information Page.
How can I book a hotel room?
You can do so by following the instructions on our Hotel Reservations page. Our group reservation rate expires on October 3. Please note: that those using the reservation page for the Hilton Americas-Houston can only make reservations for the nights of Nov. 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 with the group rate. If you would like to book those nights as well as additional nights, you will need to call the Hilton Americas directly at 800-445-8667 and identify yourself as part of the Texas Society of Architects group with group code 1TS.
REGISTRATION RATES / REFUNDS
When do the registration rates increase?
There are three phases of registration:
- Early Registration rates are available from July 15 to September 2.
- Advanced Registration rates are available from September 3 to October 1.
- Full Registration rates are available from October 2 to October 30.
Events-Only and Expo-Only registration are available from October 2 to October 30. After October 30, new registrations and any schedule changes must take place onsite in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center, November 6–8.
Who gets to register as an "Intern" for free?
If you’re an AIA Associate residing in Texas who’s graduated from a school of architecture in the past seven years, you can register as an Intern and attend the convention for free if you register by October 1. On October 2, the Intern registration rate will increase to $55.
What are the refund policies?
All refunds must be processed by contacting Texas Architects staff at 512-478-7386 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Full refunds are issued if a written cancellation notice is received by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 30. Registration, class, and tour fees become non-refundable and non-transferable after October 30. Refunds will be processed after the convention and no later than November 28.
CONTINUING EDUCATION INFORMATION
What are the continuing education requirements for the AIA?
AIA members are now required to complete 12 hours of health, safety, and welfare (HSW) education; previously, eight (8) HSW hours were required. The total number of continuing education hours required remains unchanged and is 18 hours. Additionally, in the past, members were required to complete four (4) Sustainable Design hours. This credit requirement is no longer in place.
For more information, visit AIA's Education page.
What are the continuing education requirements for the State of Texas?
All registrants must complete at least 12 continuing education program hours (CEPH) per renewal period. All 12 CEPH must include the study of subjects related to your profession and be pertinent to the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
- At least one of the 12 hours must be related to sustainable or energy-efficient design.
- At least one of the 12 hours must be related to barrier-free design.
- At least eight of the 12 hours must be structured activities (classroom/classroom equivalent).
- A maximum of four hours may be self-directed.
For more information, visit the Continuing Education Requirements page of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners.
What are the continuing education requirements for LEED professional credentials?
LEED Green Associates must complete 15 CE hours, three (3) of which must be LEED-specific. LEED APs with a specialty must complete 30 CE hours, six (6) of which must be LEED-specific. LEED APs with multiple specialties must complete six (6) LEED-specific hours for each additional specialty.
For more information, see the Credentials section of the U.S. Green Building Council website, and the USGBC's Credential Maintenance Program Guide.
What courses have USGBC/GBCI-approved credit?
Seven of our continuing education sessions have been submitted and approved for USGBC/GBCI general credit; The schedule page reflects this information.
How is my continuing education recorded on-site?
You will be issued a badge with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip inside it. Outside each session room, you will find a small stand with a sign reading “Tap Badge Here.” Before your session, as you walk in, you will need to hold your badge up against the stand until the light turns green. Once it’s green, your education has been recorded. If the session requires a fee, and you have not paid that fee, the light will not turn green. You can attend the session and still get credit later by going to the Registration Desk on-site and paying for that session.
How does the continuing education credit I receive at the Annual Convention get reported?
After the convention, you will receive a link to review your Convention Continuing Education Certificate. You will have a short opportunity to review your certificate and confirm that it is correct; if it is not correct, you will have instructions on how to contact us to inform us of what needs to be changed. After this short review period, we will transmit all CE credit to AIA. If you are a member, your transcript will be updated there immediately. Please note: We will still be able to make changes to your CE credit after this review period; however, it is much easier to do it during the review period. If you are not an AIA member, your CE certificate will serve as proof of credit for your state licensure board.
How can I view the schedule according to the credit that’s offered?
You can do so by going to the schedule page and clicking on the credit type you’d like to find at the top right of the schedule page. This will sort the schedule so all courses with that credit will go to the top.
What’s the attire for the convention?
Attire that is considered business casual may be worn throughout the convention. Friday’s Gala Evening is business, cocktail, or black-tie. Please wear walking shoes while on tours. Keep in mind that the temperature may vary between meeting rooms and from one venue to another.
What are the locations of the places I need to go to?
A map of Downtown Houston highlighting the locations of the hotel, Convention Center, and various events can be viewed or downloaded from our Hotel Information page.
Now the most important question of all: Where can I get coffee during the convention?
There will be a Starbucks coffee stand on the 2nd Floor of the Convention Center as you walk through the sky bridge from the Hilton Americas-Houston. Be sure to stop here before you head up to the third floor to the TxA registration desk. There is also Starbucks in the lobby of the Hilton Americas.