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The Annual Conference in Phoenix next month will mark the 80th anniversary of the AAMA organization and an all new conference structure. AAMA national conferences provide a valuable opportunity for members to discuss the current events of the industry, to further develop the AAMA library of consensus-based technical standards and to see presentations by industry professionals and keynote speakers.

Historically, the conference has been structured into general session presentations with numerous small working group, task group, committee and council meetings held between the general sessions. These smaller meetings were used to dive into the details of a standard or specific topic. Sometimes substantive work was completed during these one hour meetings. But too often, time was lost in the formalities of the meeting and dialog of the interrelationships between the other groups meeting simultaneously.

Beginning at February’s Annual conference, AAMA is starting a new format of block scheduling for the working aspects of the conference. Rather than hosting simultaneous, one-hour small group meetings as subsets of a larger council, the schedule has been consolidated into multi-hour time blocks for each council. The substantive topics of the work/task groups will simply be agenda items of a larger council session.
To encourage member participation, agenda topics will be organized with a logical flow and presented in a "quick start format" by the group leaders. The brief presentation will include a description of the topic, a progress report of the group and an action list of next steps. The council leader and AAMA staff liaison will facilitate discussion of the topic and draw out interrelationships between other works being conducted within AAMA. Equally important, the council sessions will allow sufficient time for new industry business to be introduced by members.

The AAMA leadership is confident that this new conference structure will be more engaging and time efficient, as well as less intimidating for new participants and less redundant overall. The time saved has been allocated toward additional speaker sessions and a series of roundtable discussions and workshops about interactive educational topics, which will be repeated throughout the three-day event.

To learn more about the new conference structure, visit We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix and hearing lots of discussion within this new engaging conference structure.