KV Nagendra Prasad, CEM, has 20 years of professional experience in sales, marketing, business development and commercial operations in telecom, real-estate and trade fairs/exhibitions industries in India. He has been associated with the exhibition industry since 2002 and has been involved in hosting and organizing trade fairs and exhibitions on various subjects, working actively with various national and international associations and trade bodies.
KV actively works for the development of the exhibitions industry in India. He was unanimously elected as President of Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) (2015-17 term), the apex body of the exhibition industry in India with leading global firms in the field as its members. He served as IEIA’s Vice President from year 2013-15. KV is credited for enabling the reciprocity arrangements with global associations and enabling the internationally recognized “Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) program” of IAEE in India. He speaks at various MICE forums advocating the significance of exhibitions to the industry, economy and society.
Earning his CEM designation in 2016, IAEE spoke with KV to discuss his new role as CEM Faculty and what he has learned so far. KV is the Chair of the IAEE India Chapter.
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the exhibition industry for 15 years.
I started my career in the real estate unit of India’s largest engineering and construction company – Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T). In 2002, L&T was selected by State Government (then Andhra Pradesh State) to build HITEX Exhibition Centre. I was inadvertently posted on to this project. From then on, my association with the exhibition industry began and today it means everything to me.
What are your responsibilities in your current role?
I run the HITEX Exhibition Centre, a modern MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition) venue located in Hyderabad, India. The HITEX Exhibition Centre was established by the State Government under public-private partnership mode. I am responsible for business development and sustenance, venue operations, show management and infrastructure development.
I also play an active role in the Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA). I am the elected President of the association for the current term.
What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?
In my experience, I find IAEE to be a very active association. There are immense opportunities for learning, collaboration and resources. The CEM program particularly is a very well laid out program covering all aspects of exhibition management. I was involved in leading the efforts to create the India Chapter of IAEE and in rolling out the CEM program in India. I received my CEM certification at Expo! Expo! in 2016.
When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?
I became a faculty member in December 2016. So far, I have taught Floor Plan Development, Exhibition and Event Sales and Event Marketing in India. As part of CEM faculty training, I had the opportunity and honor to intern under Mr. Randy Bauler, CEM, who coached me on many aspects of teaching CEM courses and I thank him for all the support. I also received great advice and tips from Mr. Al Lomas, CMP, CMM, CFE, CEM who has been my guru and is now a good friend.
What was your most memorable experience from teaching?
The first time I was teaching, I made a promise to myself that I would ensure that students in the class should feel happy to have enrolled in the CEM program. I prepared really hard for the class, made notes and listed examples, etc. I had to face a set of people, most of whom knew me from the industry and even a couple of them were my office colleagues. I was very happy with the way the sessions progressed. It was interactive and I provided examples that the class was able to relate to throughout the session. I received very positive feedback from the participants.
Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?
1) One should be thorough with the subject(s) he/she is teaching.
2) They should plan and time the session well, prepare a set of examples/exercises/case studies relevant to the participants’ country/region/markets.
3) One should try and make their class interactive and engaging.
What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?
There are quite a few benefits of teaching CEM courses. You get an opportunity to become thorough in the subject that you are teaching. You are recognized as a thought leader in the industry and you have the opportunity to connect with participants from different regions/markets/functions. Also, you get to travel and see new places.
How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?
I am more organized now and plan my days better. There is recognition of being a trained and certified professional. I am able to do my job with more conviction.