Congratulations to Randal Acker, CEM, President & COO of EXHIBITOR Media Group for earning his #CEM! Read why he believes veterans of the industry can make a difference for the next generation by pursuing continual education.

Hometown: Kasson, MN

University of Education: Winona State University, Winona, MN

How has the CEM designation helped in your career? 

Not applicable, yet!

Education First_Designation Second

Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?

I have always had a life-long learner mentality.  I firmly believe that you need to keep aspiring for increased knowledge.  You need to stay current no matter what your passions or job.

What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?

I have been in the exhibitions industry for over 20 years and about 10 years ago I started teaching as Adjunct Faculty in the only undergraduate exhibit design degree in the United States.  It is Bemidji State University and happens to be in my home state of MN.

Sharing my knowledge with a classroom of students who have picked the exhibitions industry as their career is so rewarding and I firmly believe that we as veterans of the business can make a difference for the next generation coming into our space.

By becoming a CEM, I hope to one day be able to teach within the program and share another aspect of my experience with another set of professionals aspiring to be more effective in exhibitions.


What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?

Just do it.  Life is busy and it is easy to find 10 reasons why you don’t have the time or money.  However, our industry is complex and let’s face it, higher education doesn’t spend the time teaching what you need to know.  The CEM program will give you that comprehensive view of our industry’s best practices.

How did you start your career in this industry?

Like most people in our business, I fell into it by accident. In fact, I actually tried to leave it once for about 2 ½ years, before the force pulled me back in.  My career in exhibitions began in 1994.  EXHIBITOR Media Group was recruiting a controller position through an agency that a former college classmate of mine worked for.  He talked me into applying to a company and industry I had never heard of, now 25 years later I’m still here and still learning all the nuances of this crazy business.

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?

Not applicable, yet!

What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?

Not applicable, yet!

What did you like most about the CEM Learning Program?

The ability to network with speakers and fellow classmates while reinforcing the best practices in exhibitions.  In addition, it was a great reinforcement of the many things that we were doing “right” at EXHIBITOR Media Group.

Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

My creative outlets extend beyond exhibitions and events.  My hobbies include creative outlets in woodworking and car restoration.  I design and build furniture, built my own shop, house construction and did a complete restoration on a 1968 Camaro.


game changer

Posted by Editorial Staff

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