Peer Review for the AIA National Convention Education Program

In summer of 2015, I submitted an application to serve as a peer reviewer for the AIA National Convention Education Program. After few weeks, I was very happy to receive the confirmation from AIA Convention Education stating that I had been selected as a Convention program reviewer for the 2016 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia. 

At the beginning of the process, as a general rule, peer reviewers are required to sign the peer reviewer agreement and complete peer reviewer tutorial, so I completed both tasks. 

The review process had several phases: Phase one was considered a blind review, we were advised to just focus on the big ideas and innovative solutions, and therefore the speaker information was not important at this stage. We were also advised to leave feedback in the comment box for each proposal. Overall, I reviewed and scored 37 proposals. In Phase two I reviewed 18 proposals that were assigned to me. Phase 3 included the review of draft presentations, we were asked to review them to ensure that they are in good standing to be presented at the Convention. I reviewed 14 sessions (speaker presentations) including both Seminar/Workshops and Expo education. The task was to review the draft PowerPoint presentations and rate them using the score sheet. Speakers had one month to make any changes before the final draft was due. 

The last stage was to participate and evaluate the sessions at the Convention. I had a chance to have a very warm discussion with some of the presenters, they all emphasized the importance of the Reviewer’s role, and most of them were keen on getting our opinion on how they performed. It was very good feeling to see their interaction and the readiness to except the comments from a Reviewer’s stand point. Their responses have definitely increased my level of awareness on the importance of the reviewer’s task. 

As an architect and AIA Europe board member, I am very glad to have had the chance to be a Peer Reviewer for one of the biggest professional Conventions in the world, I consider that a privilege. My overall experience with the AIA Convention was one of a kind, in my opinion it was worth the effort and I for sure would do it again.


Bardhyl Rama Int’l Assoc AIA, AIA Europe Eastern Section Director

More information: 

Why be a Peer Reviewer? The AIA Convention is one of the largest architecture and design events of the year with visionary keynotes, inspiring seminars, insider tours, and a dynamic expo floor-it all coming together for an amazing experience. 

What is the Peer Reviewer role? Evaluate and select the very best content for AIA Convention. As a peer reviewer, you will have a first-hand opportunity to shape the education program’s full cycle from content selection, presentation material review, peer coaching leading up to the Convention and finally onsite session audits.

Please contact convention education teamHYPERLINK "" for any further information.