Connections - Fall 2016 - 13

a good way-to help each other grow and become better." A few of the groups have a more specialized focus. There's a next generation best practices group for younger leaders, and a women's best practices group. One group has decided to identify itself as faith-based. Approximately 65 AWI members are involved in best practices groups. There's a waiting list as well, since it takes time to find the right mix of non-competing companies of similar size. Providing Educational and Marketing Opportunities AWI's educational offerings, taught by experienced AWI volunteers, are another important element in its member engagements efforts. To keep the classes relevant, AWI is currently refreshing and updating these programs. In the past, most of these training opportunities were available only at AWI's annual spring conference. But four years ago the association launched an education outreach that enables its 21 chapters to bring these high-quality programs to local venues. The national association pays for the speakers and any program materials, while the local chapter hosts the event. Prior to the event, AWI staff calls all manufacturers in the area, inviting them to attend. "That allows the local chapter to engage new and perspective members on a more regional or local level, and also provides the opportunity for our national members to receive this education at a different venue and at a time that's convenient for them," said Goodin. "That has helped to spur engagement in our chapters." AWI offers another alternative for members who can't make it to classes: free webinars on a broad range of subjects. "We average about one a month," said Gibson. "We've offered green talk webinars about how LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) affects the woodworkers. AWI also has a certification arm, so we offer some webinars on certification. We even have webinars that consist of questions and answers about the standards, since they can be hard to navigate sometimes." Recently, AWI's technology taskforce has been working on a series of four webinars that will deal with the topic of information technology specifically geared toward the woodworking industry. These classes are designed for smaller companies who may know a great deal about woodworking but are probably less familiar with today's business software. "That's new and updated, and should be really interesting to our members," Gibson added. Another way to engage members is to offer them tools that will help their businesses grow. Through AWI's free speakers' bureau, AWI members can offer presentations on specifying woodwork to potential architect customers in their area. The presentations are approved for continuing education credit by the American Institute of Architects. AWI is the longest continuing provider for AIA-number 003. "This is a really good opportunity for our members to get themselves in front of architects. They can buy copies of the standards books for the course-we offer member pricing-and put a stamp with their company information inside. The next time the architect specifies woodwork, they are going to think of that member company," said Gibson. AWI's Design Solutions magazine, sent out to 18,000 architects, also provides a way for its members to get free publicity. Each quarterly issue features four members' projects that showcase excellent examples of architectural woodwork. Inclusion is free; members simply submit a brief description of the project and high-quality professional photos of their work. Nurturing New Members Like all associations, AWI is constantly looking for creative ways to inform non-members about the benefits of membership. Prior to the recent International Woodworkers Fair in Atlanta, AWI sent out a new type of mailer to attendees. It featured the company's own website on the cover and provided the invitee with a special code to view a video about AWI. Those who visited the AWI booth and left their business card got a follow up mailing featuring their business card on the cover; it provided additional information about the steps required to join. Using attendees' websites and business cards on these mailing helped boost the open rate. When a company joins, AWI staff reach out to them several times. "We call every company when they join AWI and follow up with an email a month later," said connections > 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Fall 2016

Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
New Members
AWI Improves its Industry through Member Engagement
Engaging with Generation Y Members
Member Engagement is a Journey, Not a Transaction
What Matters Most to Members?
Don’t Settle for ‘Good’
Professional Development vs. Career Management
GSAE Fall Events
Congratulations to the GSAE Leadership Academy Class of 2016
Meetings Thought Leadership
Destination: Nashville’s Neighborhoods
Choices: Travel through Time
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2016 - bellyband1
Connections - Fall 2016 - bellyband2
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover1
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover2
Connections - Fall 2016 - 3
Connections - Fall 2016 - 4
Connections - Fall 2016 - 5
Connections - Fall 2016 - 6
Connections - Fall 2016 - Message from the Chair
Connections - Fall 2016 - GSAE News & Events
Connections - Fall 2016 - 9
Connections - Fall 2016 - 10
Connections - Fall 2016 - New Members
Connections - Fall 2016 - AWI Improves its Industry through Member Engagement
Connections - Fall 2016 - 13
Connections - Fall 2016 - 14
Connections - Fall 2016 - Engaging with Generation Y Members
Connections - Fall 2016 - 16
Connections - Fall 2016 - Member Engagement is a Journey, Not a Transaction
Connections - Fall 2016 - What Matters Most to Members?
Connections - Fall 2016 - 19
Connections - Fall 2016 - Don’t Settle for ‘Good’
Connections - Fall 2016 - Professional Development vs. Career Management
Connections - Fall 2016 - 22
Connections - Fall 2016 - GSAE Fall Events
Connections - Fall 2016 - Congratulations to the GSAE Leadership Academy Class of 2016
Connections - Fall 2016 - 25
Connections - Fall 2016 - Meetings Thought Leadership
Connections - Fall 2016 - 27
Connections - Fall 2016 - Destination: Nashville’s Neighborhoods
Connections - Fall 2016 - Choices: Travel through Time
Connections - Fall 2016 - Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover3
Connections - Fall 2016 - cover4
Connections - Fall 2016 - outsert1
Connections - Fall 2016 - outsert2
Connections - Fall 2016 - 37
Connections - Fall 2016 - 38