Eric Hoffend, CEM, is Vice President, Business Development for Freeman, which supports the power of face-to-face marketing by providing full-service resources for expositions, corporate events, conventions and exhibit programs across North America. Based in Las Vegas since 1998, he has direct responsibility for developing new business opportunities nationally and manages the sales team in Nevada. Eric received his CEM designation in 2009 and continues to be actively involved with IAEE, PCMA and, locally, with LVHA in Las Vegas.
IAEE sat down with Eric Hoffend, CEM to discuss how the exhibitions and events industry impacted his life and how he is involved in IAEE’s CEM Learning Program.
How long have your been in the industry?
I have been in the industry for 25 years.
How did you become involved in the industry?
I was born into the industry, wrapped in banjo cloth as a child. My grandfather was in the stage and rigging business, and my father on the official contractor side.
What are your responsibilities in your current role?
I manage a team of 90 business professionals at Freeman in the Nevada & Northwest region of the U.S.
What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?
Being an IAEE (formerly NAEM and IAEM) member for 25 years has been the foundation of my successful career. This is the best way to give back to an incredible industry; by sharing life experiences with face-to-face engagement.
When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?
I joined the CEM Faculty in 2012.
What was your most memorable experience from teaching?
My most memorable experience from teaching is traveling to Seoul, South Korea, and managing the cultural differences while presenting to a group that probably only understood 70% of what I was saying.
What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?
Teaching CEM courses allows you to network, build your personal brand and improve your presentation skills.
How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?
The CEM designation has given me exposure outside my comfort zone at IAEE meetings. The CEM designation and the learning program help me understand and look at my customers’ challenges from a different perspective, making me a better resource for them.
Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?
I recommend reading the syllabus three times: 90 days, 60 days and 1 week out before teaching. Practice presenting the material at least twice. Finally, have fun and make it original.