Earning the CEM designation is a professional game changer! IAEE interviewed recent graduate Kristie Chicki, CEM of Personify A2Z Events. Read about Kristie’s journey and why she believes the CEM designation is important to further best practices and standards for the exhibitions and events industry.
Hometown: Crown Point, IN
University of Education: Purdue University
How has the CEM designation helped in your career?
The CEM designation further supports my time, effort and experience in the industry and justifies my claim as a subject matter expert in the industry.
Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?
A CEM designation is recognized and valued in our industry and maintaining the designation shows my commitment to learn and grow within the industry.
What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?
Honestly, I have wanted to obtain my CEM designation for a really long time. Originally, it was to learn the industry and over time I was able to learn most things on the job. However, I still wanted to make sure I hadn’t missed anything along the way and ensure I had learned correctly OTJ.
What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?
Do it! Especially if you plan to stay in the industry and love the industry because it will support you along your career.
How did you start your career in this industry?
By accident! I started stuffing envelopes as a temp staff person in 2000. Before I could finish my college education the show organizer had hired me from the temp agency and asked me to manage/coordinate one of their smaller events. After one show cycle, they lost their staff person running their large, international event and asked me to step up to take on that challenge. I feel so blessed and lucky to have accidentally found this exciting and engaging industry.
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’m currently encouraging the rest of the staff I manage to earn their CEM and I use the information I learned during my classes to support the direction and advice I give them which they then pass along to the clients they work with. We are furthering best practices and standards set forth in the CEM classwork.
What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?
Mostly information sharing and reference to what was learned during the classes to further best practices and standardization in mapping the industry needs to our software.
What did you like most about the CEM Learning Program?
I loved hearing what others were doing and how others were tackling challenges in the industry, workflows, attendee/exhibitor demands, and even outside factors such as legislation, convention center changes and so much more.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I’m a major thrill seeker. Anything that’s going to get my adrenaline moving I’m game for! In my late teens, I raced go-karts professionally against adults.