It is #Construct Show time again, so I am heading to St. Louis to learn the latest from the best in the construction industry. I look forward to this conference each year as our firm tries to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. The Construct Show is a gathering of CSI professionals from around the country. It is the only national trade show and educational conference for the commercial building teams that spec and source building products.
This year I am participating in the panel discussion on blogging, serving as a mentor for a young professional, and giving a presentation on execution. The exhibit hall will feature hundreds of the latest innovations in the commercial building industry. There are mini seminars on the show floor, experts in every construction industry sector, and plenty of networking opportunities. I will attend sessions on sustainability in historic renovation, Robotics used in construction, specification development, moisture management, energy efficiency, and business leadership. It will be an amazing week!
An open letter to Mark Dorsey, New Executive Director and CEO of CSI
Welcome to the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). I am excited to see where you lead us in the future.
You are going to be contacted by CSI members, many CSI members, with lots of thoughts and opinions. Some members will be young and some will be more experienced – again, all will share with you lots of thoughts and opinions (it is what we do). CSI members have a wide spectrum of expertise – architects, builders, product experts, specifiers, and engineers – all with lots of thoughts and opinions (again, it is what we do). These are the leaders of the construction industry. They all have a common character trait, members of this organization love CSI. I am no different – I too love this organization and want to see it grow to be even better than it is today. So like any good CSI member – here are my thoughts and opinions for you:
First, our members love this organization like you have not experienced before. Once you become a CSI member and get involved, you are part of a family. This goes beyond paying annual dues and attending a meeting. The members of this organization want other members of this organization to be successful and for this organization to be successful. We care about each other and will help a complete stranger in the industry – if they have CSI on their business card. We rely on each other for information, advice, and support – and we get it without question. Welcome, you are now part of our family! Just as a heads up, like any family, we have a few members that are a little, lets say different. So careful who you associate with early on in your tenure! You might not become a Kraken immediately if you don’t build the right alliances.
Second, this organization is not just a place to hang your hat as a member. This organization wants members to be involved, plugged in, expressing opinion, and providing expertise. If you understand technical documents, you will be writing for CSI. If you are passionate about education, you will be on a CSI committee. If you blog, you will be presenting at the Construct Show. If you are on social media, you will help others in the organization to get on social media. If you let your guard down, you will be on stage yodeling at Construct. If you know how to shake things up and build community, you will be a Kraken. As our new CEO, we want you to find members with talents and put them to work.
Third and this is important, if you are on twitter, find yourfamily, we are here and active. If you are not on twitter, you will be ridiculed until you get on twitter. This is where #CSIKraken gather, talk, and have fun – join us! Now!
Fourth, we are looking forward to your leadership, vision, and inspiration. Challenge our standards. Push us to into the future. We are here and ready to support you. We might be a little busy having fun, but we are ready to work.
Finally, the CSI staff is amazing. They go above and beyond to support members and we love working hard to support them. Take care of them – they are critical to the success of this organization!
The Construct Show has come and gone. It was a great event with excellent learning opportunities, networking, conversations, and sight seeing. If you can make it next year, I would encourage you to be in St. Louis! Here are some highlights from my experience this year.
The CSI Show
Sub at the National Aquarium
Registration is open
First session – learning from the expert
Fellows reception looking down at National Aquarium
W/ Sherly Dodd-Hansen
The General Session kicked off with a Star-Spangled Spectacular
Pablos Holman at Construct
Democracy in Action
The tall ships were there
CSI Night Out
Lots of parades this year
even the fire department was celebrating Construct
As an architect in Harrisonburg, sometimes it is difficult to get the needed education to stay in front of the industry. I work hard to find the best information and the best way I have found is attending the right seminars. While not many product reps visit our small town, there is always CSI.
I attend the Construct Show every year to learn from the best of the best in the construction industry. I have attended many other conferences around the country and this one remains the best value. This conference provides the information I need to better serve my clients, grow my career, and allows me to make connections with industry leaders. Topics range from business management, specifications, green design and construction, moisture mitigation, all the way to social media for construction professionals. CSI staff are there looking for you to introduce you to leaders from around the country that want to help you grow in your career. Leaders in the construction industry are there ready to share their knowledge and experience. This is the construction industry show that is a not to miss event!
This year the big event is in our back yard – Baltimore. Even if you cannot take the entire week off, visit for a day or just walk the Expo floor. Meet the CSI staff that will be in their booth, check out the latest innovations in the industry, and meet the experts in the industry September 9-12. If you have time, join me for a Friday morning seminar on building science. It should be a great time.
Construct has come and gone again. Each year as I build my network through CSI the show becomes even more valuable to me. I have the opportunity to reconnect with industry leaders, meet emerging experts, and get a glimpse into the most innovative products available in the building industry. For those new to Construct, it is the one convention in the industry that brings together people from all disciplines (owners, building managers, architects, engineers, product representatives, landscape architects, lawyers, facility managers….) within the construction industry to one place to share ideas, best practices, and knowledge.
The evolution of CSI over recent years has gone from an organization searching for its role in the industry to an organization leading the industry in building technology information. This has translated into a very important conference for any industry leader involved with high performance building solutions to attend. The power of CSI membership and conference attendance is unmistakable to me as I have posted in the past (here, here, here, here, and here).
I did not give a formal presentation at this year’s show as in the past, but was asked to participate in an informal panel discussion on blogging. This session is a good example of how CSI staff works hard to support the members and help them find individual success. The focus of the panel discussion was to share how we do it, how you can do it, and how to be better at doing it (blogging). I cannot say enough about how much the staff means to me in this organization. On a national level I personally know more than half of the employed staff members, consider them friends, and know they are working hard for me. This compared to other organizations where I rarely have a name of a person to call, much less a personal connection, the value of CSI membership is clear.
CSI helps build members success and in return, members help members, and members work tirelessly to support CSI.
Education sessions, product expo, meeting discussions, networking, conversations, and of course lots of FUN take place each year at Construct. This year was no exception of course. The social media crowd has grown to be very vibrant reaching over 2 million impressions on Twitter alone. The show next year will be in Baltimore in early September. If you missed this year, I highly encourage you to attend next year. If you are not ready to jump in the big pond of CSI, think about joining the regional leaders at their conference, or at least get involved in the chapter level and attend monthly meetings. The power and energy you will see from other members that want you to be successful will be awe-inspiring if you take the time to engage, volunteer, and ask for help.