Social media was a major focus as the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) kicked off its fall conference in Cambridge, Md., this week.

Monday, AAMA president Rich Walker opened the conference with an update on the state of the organization. He said 12 companies and 22 individuals have joined AAMA since June.

Walker also said that a total of 32 first-time attendees were on hand at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort. One of those newcomers is Bruce Woodruff of Sunrise Windows, who said he’s learning a lot.

“The content has been good so far,” Woodruff said. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the information to take away from this and figure out how to better engage with the organization.”

The AAMA app is a “big part” of AAMA’s digital strategy, according to Cristy Jones.

After Walker’s introductory presentation, Angela Dickson, AAMA’s marketing manager, talked about education, outreach and new media.

Dickson discussed AAMA’s social-media efforts, and noted that the organization now manages three LinkedIn groups – a public group that has more than 1,500 members, a legislative and regulatory forum, and a new Southeast Region forum. Dickson said the Southeast Region group was set up to get code updates out to members in that area as quickly as possible.

Dickson also introduced industry professionals who have completed AAMA’s FenestrationMaster and FenestrationAssociate programs. The FenestrationMaster certification covers every aspect of the industry, while the FenestrationAssociate program is a general overview of doors and windows.

Additionally, Dickson discussed AAMA’s work at the recent GlassBuild show in Atlanta. She said the organization promoted FenestrationMaster in two ways – a presentation on field testing and forensic evaluation, and the “Are You Smarter Than a Fenestration Master?” game, a quiz competition which gave winners discounts toward the coursework.

Next, Rich Rinka, AAMA’s technical and industry affairs manager, said the organization has published six documents since the June conference in Seattle – two new and four updated.

Finally, Cristy Jones of the Association Applications Group talked about AAMA’s mobile app, which Walker called a big part of AAMA’s digital strategy.

After the opening session, the conference broke off into individual sessions spanning everything from code changes to marketing strategies.

The AAMA Marketing Steering Committee updated members on the organization’s website redesign. Dickson said AAMA is expecting to soft-launch the new site to members in February 2016, with a public launch in March 2016.

Additionally, the Marketing Steering Committee also discussed differentiating AAMA from similar associations in the industry. It also touched on ways to promote AAMA to both fenestration professionals and consumers.

Another major topic was getting more marketing representatives to attend AAMA conferences, in addition to technical personnel.

Social media was also big at the Aluminum Materials Council’s marketing committee session.

The group reviewed social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, and also discussed how hashtags can greatly extend the reach of a message. The council is also working on a Wikipedia entry that describes the scope of its work.

Additionally, the committee worked on condensing a draft of an energy white paper down to a more manageable size.

The meetings continue through Wednesday. Stay tuned to™ for more news from the conference.