Michael Dargavel, CEM is the Vice President of Association and Events Management, a full service, multiple association management company. Michael produces several events each year including four trade shows, which have risen in the Top 50 Canadian Trade Shows for the past six years. In 2006, Michael created the 100% Fresh Trade Show and in 2009, Michael created the highly successful Profile Show, an apparel show incorporating all commodities of the industry. Michael assists in overseeing the daily operations of the Canadian Association of Exposition Management Association (CAEM) which partners with the IAEE to provide the CEM program in Canada.
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the exhibitions and events industry for 16 years. Prior to this, I was in the hospitality industry for over 20 years
How did you become involved in the industry?
Honestly, by accident! I was asked to come help with some event work and never left. I fell in love with the excitement of preparing for and opening an event.
What are your responsibilities in your current role?
I work at an association management company (AMC) that caters mainly to non-profits. I have several rolls for different clients – Show Manager, Director of Events, etc. Basically I head up the Exposition and Events department for our clients.
What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?
Giving back to the community. Professional development is one of the most important aspects to enhance your career. I believe that you get so much more from volunteering than you give.
When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?
In 2010, I went to my first faculty training, I have been hooked ever since.
What was your most memorable experience from teaching?
A couple of years ago, I got a message from one of my students saying how much they enjoyed my class and that they went back to work armed with new ideas to do their job more efficiently.
Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?
To borrow a phrase “Just Do It”. It is one of the most rewarding experiences. It is not just the students who walk away with new information; the experience and knowledge flow both ways.
What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?
Meeting new industry people, learning new ideas for the class that I can use in my work-life, travel and keeping abreast of industry trends, technology, and services, just to name a few.
How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?
We actually were awarded an account partially due to the CEM designation and knowledge.
Are you involved with any other committees or boards with IAEE or another industry association?
Yes, I currently sit on the CEM Commission, past chair of the CSAE Trillium Summer Summit, CAEM Education Committee. I believe I get back so much more from volunteering than I give.