John Crosby joins the Peopleverse to discuss how the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is working to break down the barriers between supply-side manufacturers and the AIA’s 94,000 members of architectural professionals and to talk about the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture which is happening June 22-25 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
John leads AIA engagement with the building products industry and the technology/service sector of construction. His goal is to close the knowledge gap between architects and suppliers to yield a better built environment for all. To support this goal, John and his team have grown AIA’s insights, consulting, and market activation practice to build strategic relationships with industry leaders.
Throughout his career, John has developed a passion for fostering commercial engagement between non-profit communities and their suppliers. He has more than 10 years of experience in design and construction, including work as a marketing leader with Hanley Wood Media.
John earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Quantic School of Business and Technology in 2021. He holds dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Government and History from The College of William and Mary. He and his wife, Sue, live in Ashburn, Virginia and have three children.
In this episode we discuss:
- the struggle John noticed that professionals were having during his tenure working in associations and non profit communities for the bulk of his career
- how he helped building product manufacturer sales and marketing teams better understand architects and design professionals
- his observation of the challenges and pain points that exist between supply and demand
- his observation of the knowledge gap that exists in the design and specification process between the design team and the products they specify
- how The Architect’s Journey to Specification research project began at AIA, and what the main outcomes of the report are
- what’s keeping design professionals from innovating in the specification process in regards to choosing building products and materials
- what the AIA means to architecture and also the construction industry in regards to bridging the gap between architects and building products manufacturers
- explanation of the architect type profiles identified in the report that help the supply side better understand their potential audience
- identification of the main thing architects want to have with multiple building product manufacturer reps
- how the supply side has responded to the research findings presented by the AIA
- what’s missing from the supply side in order to make meaningful change happen at scale to help bridge the gap
- what supply side manufacturers are good at and need to improve in their approach to reaching architects
- identification of successful tactics that supply side manufacturers can use when it comes to bridging the gap
- at what point during a project architects are ready to be considered a ‘sales lead’ to a product sales rep
- what architects are thinking about when considering a product for inclusion in a design
- why architects copy & paste building product specifications rather than looking for new and/or innovative products
- how sales reps can have a positive impact in the early stages of the design process
- how trade shows—and more specifically the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Chicago—fits into the strategy of bridging the gap
- how the AIA Conference has changed for ’22 to better connect architects and manufacturers in meaningful ways
- the challenges of connecting at trade shows
- what staff manufacturers should populate their booths with to fully understand the needs of architects and specifiers
- how the pandemic led to an existential moment in reconsidering the purpose of a trade show
- how the AIA went about evolving the upcoming conference in Chicago so attendees and exhibitors leave feeling more satisfied
- why attendees to the Conference on Architecture this year should be excited to visit the expo hall
- how the conference has the potential for architects to find the next big things to help them in their practice
- how the “new AIA” is throwing open the doors to find new opportunities for manufacturers to be more successful in connecting with architects
- how the AIA and Tect are working together on ways to enable exhibitors to get beyond their spaces on the show floor