The Certified in Exhibition Management™ (CEM) designation is a globally recognized designation that demonstrates the highest professional standard throughout the exhibition and event management arena. Earning the CEM designation takes dedication and proves you are a game changer in the industry.

2018 CEM Commission Chairperson, Cookie Walner, CMP, CMM, CAE, CEM, HMCC interviewed recent CEM graduate, Cornelius Larkin, CAE, CMP, CEM on his journey on becoming a CEM game changer.

What made you decide to get your CEM at this time in your career path?

I will celebrate my 32nd anniversary with my current employer next month. I am a true believer in life-long learning. One of my responsibilities working for the New Jersey Association for Justice is to provide Continuing Legal Education to trial lawyers. Attaining the designation was a demonstration of showing that I practice what I preach.

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We see that you took almost all of your courses online. What did you like about this format? Why did you prefer it over the on-location courses?

I was exempted from one module as I have the CMP designation. I took one module live in Washington, D.C. and the remaining seven online. The online classes worked with my busy schedule. Additionally, the online modules allowed for a deeper dive into the content due to the four-week period and the required interaction with my cohorts.

As the Executive Director at your company, how has the CEM helped you in your career?

The president of the association recognized my achievement at the annual membership meeting as part of his State of the Association remarks. The 115 members of the Board of Governors were notified separately. The leaders and members of the association are aware of my commitment to my profession of association management. Additionally, the designation is recognized by my peers and the many vendors and suppliers that I work with to execute the meetings and exhibitions on behalf of the association.

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What would you like to accomplish with your CEM?

The knowledge gained going through the process is the accomplishment in and of itself. The resources that I now have to answer questions going forward are invaluable. Those resources include: membership in IAEE, The Art of the Show, access to IAEE members through the MemberLink Open Forum and Show Management Discussion Group, IAEE Guidelines for Display Rules and Regulations, the CEIR Index Report and more.

How do you plan to recertify your CEM?

I will complete some of the online modules that I have not taken yet. I also look forward to taking my first IAEE webinar. I will attend Expo! Expo! when it is offered where my schedule permits.

What is one thing you learned about the CEM program that you wished you learned sooner?

The breadth of content that I would be exposed to during the process of achieving the designation. If I had it to do over again, I would have earned the designation 20+ years ago.

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Posted by Shay Sibley

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