This year’s AIA Convention in Atlanta was one amazing highlight reel. President Clinton. The party at the College Football Hall of Fame. The AIA COTE Awards reception. The Diversity Council events. The engagement of the crowd. And the list goes on.

Our GBES team chatted with hundreds of people who came by our booth, and we picked up on learning and trends throughout the weekend. Here are some of our highlights:

Everybody knows LEED. In this crowd, LEED rules. From our view, 100 percent of the people at the conference were familiar with LEED and its influence in the industry. About 50 percent of the people we talked with are already LEED accredited, and a high percentage are also actively pursing additional credentials.

Energy savings is hot. Ideas to support energy savings were everywhere. Throughout the conference – speakers, exhibits, conversations – there was a sharp focus on how design can contribute to sustainability. It’s clear that engagement of the architecture industry is critical to the success of energy efficiency in buildings, cities, communities, and countries.

Atlanta was a great host. Convention attendees received a great welcome from the host city, which happens to be our home, too. Atlanta?s landmarks and history were well-represented: Ebenezer Baptist Church, World of Coke, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Beltline and The National Center for Civil and Human Rights were among the attractions included in conference-related events.

We were in the right building in the right city. The convention was held at the Georgia World Conference Center, the world’s largest LEED-certified convention center. The GWCC was awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in October 2014, and was the single largest building certified in all of 2014. Sustainable Investment Group, the in-house training partner for GBES, is the official LEED consultant for the GWCC.

Expo-Chat is catching on. Did you participate in an Expo-Chat while you were at the AIA Convention? If so, you earned .25 CEU credits for each 15-minute chat. Tested at last year’s event, Expo-Chat was a presence at the Conference Expo. At the GBES booth, participants learned about LEED for Existing Buildings, and how architects and interior designers can, from design inception, position a building for future success in the LEED O+M Rating System.

See you next year in Philadelphia!