With PhiusCon 2022 less than two weeks away, we decided to give you a glimpse behind the curtain to show what goes into putting on the top passive building conference in the country.

If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, be sure to get yours while they’re available! One-day and two-day Core Conference tickets are available, as well as a limited number of discounted parking spots! 

We were proud to put on an informative, safe, in-person event last year, and while we aren’t facing the exact same COVID-related obstacles this time around, the global pandemic has nonetheless created a number of challenges for us to overcome. The largest of which – unsurprisingly given the current cost of everyday items – is rising prices. When planning a gathering for upwards of 500 people, seemingly innocuous costs can add up quickly.

None of these obstacles are insurmountable; but they are a part of the behind-the-scenes story of PhiusCon 2022. They have kept us on our toes, and we’ve made necessary adjustments in order to provide a top-notch experience for this year’s attendees.

So without further introduction, here is a semi-chronological rundown of the planning/preparation for PhiusCon 2022.

The Phases of PhiusCon

When one conference ends, the next one begins

If you attended the PhiusCon 2021 closing plenary in Tarrytown, New York, you were the first to find out that PhiusCon 2022 would be hosted in Phius’ home city of Chicago (we also announced the 2023 location – you’ll have to attend this year if you missed it).

We made sure to capitalize on the buzz and excitement from last year’s event by sending several “save the date for next year’s conference” messages to attendees. Other than that, most of us do take a couple days to decompress after the conference. But before long, we were right back at it coming up with the tagline for this year’s event: Emissions Down, Power Up!

From there, we sent out the PhiusCon 2022 call for abstracts. Which leads us to…

The Smackdown

Yes, we actually refer to the day(s)-long meeting during which PhiusCon presentations are chosen and sorted into sessions as “The Smackdown” – and for good reason. We always receive more worthy submissions than we have time to accommodate, often resulting in animated discussions between our passionate staff members, each of whom have their own idea of what the perfect PhiusCon lineup looks like.

Ultimately, in a flurry of post-it notes, flea-market-level negotiations, and possibly some black magic, the schedule falls into place and the narrative focus of the conference begins to take shape.

That is where the real fun begins.

Making plans a reality

Once the bones (or foundation, for a more apt metaphor) are in place for the conference, they must be carefully sorted into days, tracks, sessions etc., which is not as simple a task as it may seem. We must put ourselves in the shoes of different types of attendees. For example, we would not want several sessions geared toward quality assurance professionals running simultaneously. Our goal is to create an optimal experience for everyone.

We also have to keep our 60+ presenters in mind. While their great work may make them seem like superheroes, they can only be in one place at a time. The wonderful content provided by our presenters is the heartbeat of PhiusCon, so we do everything in our power to make their lives as easy as possible.

But there’s much more to PhiusCon than just the presentations…

Tours and awards and parties, oh my!

In addition to the aforementioned Pre-Conference and Core Conference sessions, the PhiusCon festivities also include: an exhibit hall opening reception, a passive projects bus tour, the annual Alliance Member meeting, the Phius Alliance x PH Accelerator After Party, and the Phius Passive Projects Design Competition awards ceremony.

If that sounds like a lot of events to coordinate on top of the Pre-Conference and Core Conference sessions, you would be correct.

But our hard-working team is more than up to the task of handling the coordination to pull it all off. And we would be remiss not to mention our partnership with the Passive House Accelerator for the After Party, as well as the design competition awards ceremony. Their support is not only a huge help to us, but will enhance the experience for attendees as well.

Making some noise

If this rough timeline were a light-up map at your local mall, this is where the “YOU ARE HERE” sticker would go. We have a wonderful group of existing constituents who are plugged into all the happenings at Phius, but we are constantly looking to bring fresh perspectives and voices to PhiusCon.

If you’re reading this, you’ve almost certainly received some of our promotional materials as we attempt to attract some folks who may be aware of us but unsure whether they want to take the plunge and attend PhiusCon. We firmly believe in our mission to create buildings that support the health of people and planet, and the only way for us to truly make a difference is to continue our growth – and that starts at PhiusCon.

If you know someone who might – or should – be interested in PhiusCon, be sure to give them a nudge.


By the time the conference rolls around, we have the schedule set, presenters are prepped, our team members have their assignments and nothing can go wrong. But, as heavyweight champ Mike Tyson famously said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” And while there (hopefully) won’t be any Evander Holyfield haymakers heading our way, our team is always ready to handle the unexpected.

Last year, recent flooding at the hotel caused some last-minute room reshuffling, and while we don’t know exactly what types of day-of challenges will present themselves, we’re ready for just about anything.

All attendees are encouraged to say hello to Phius staff members during the conference, but we hope you understand if the conversation is cut short; as you may have read, there is plenty of work to do.