Earning the CEM designation is a game changer! IAEE interviewed graduate Annaji Sailer, CRFP, CEM, Exhibit & Sponsorship Sales Manager for Restaurant Facility Management Association.
Read her journey on earning the CEM designation and why she became CEM game changer!
Hometown: Burbank, CA
University of Education: CSUN
How has the CEM designation helped in your career?
The CEM designation has helped fill in some gaps in my knowledge where I didn’t have experience yet. Also, the people I have met along the way have provided an incredible group to learn from and share best practices.
Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?
It is important to maintain the CEM designation to stay on top of current industry trends and continue to meet individuals in our industry.
What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?
I was new to the Exhibit & Sponsorship Sales role and I had to learn quickly. I knew that I had some gaps in my overall knowledge and a colleague recommended the CEM program.
What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?
Plan out the courses you are going to take and dates they are being offered. I built it into my calendar the prior year and took classes when it wasn’t our busy pre-conference time. I took a combination of online and in person classes to make it work with my schedule.
How did you start your career in this industry?
I was a member of RFMA for many years. I ran committees and was on the Board of Directors. RFMA added a new staff position and I was ready to make a career change. I started as their Membership Development Manager.
How have you made a difference with your show or with working with a client by applying the knowledge you gained by obtaining your CEM designation?
I’ve made a difference with our show by bringing exhibit and sponsorship sales in house. It was an outsourced position since our association began. I was able to implement new software and I’ve changed how we handle booth selection. I’ve learned so much from my fellow CEM candidates and it gave me the confidence that I was on the right path.
What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?
Added CEM to my designations! I’m proud that I kept plugging along and completed the program.
What did you like most about the CEM Learning Program?
This is an easy question. By far, the people that I met in the program. I learned so much in the discussions we had surrounding the course content. I love that the courses facilitate those conversations!