Congratulations to CEM graduate John Baldwin, CEM of Connect Partnership Group on becoming a #CEM gamechanger! Read why he believes the overall program has been instrumental in moving his career forward as an Event Director.
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
How has the CEM designation helped in your career?
The CEM designation and overall program has been instrumental in moving my career forward as an Event Director. I gained a ton of knowledge from the courses themselves, and even more so from my fellow event profs taking the courses. It is fascinating to learn from my peers about their methods of delivering an event, or how they handle all those chaotic situations we are forced to deal with!
Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?
Personally, I want to be performing at my best at all times… and to do so education is needed. Maintaining my CEM will ensure this for me.
What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?
A great friend of mine in the industry Mike Klemm from GES is a huge supporter (and program teacher) of the CEM program. He was the one who encouraged me to get involved and I’m forever thankful to him for that.
What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?
Do it now and don’t wait! I first started the program in 2012, took a hiatus, and started it all over again in 2017. The knowledge you gain and the industry connections you make are enormously beneficial to your career so don’t hesitate or take a break like I did. I’m happy to speak to any prospective applicant about my experiences too.
How did you start your career in this industry?
The event industry found me and I’ve never been happier! I was doing logistics at the time and I got set up for an interview as the Operations Manager running 8 trade shows annually. Previously I only had experience delivering freight to and from the shows but never actually running one. 10 years later, and hundreds of events later, I feel truly blessed to be involved in an industry made for an outgoing extrovert like me.
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?
So many ways it’s hard to sum it all up. From new innovative ways to design a floor plan, to putting an agenda together, sales strategy, marketing direction, operational procedures, etc, the CEM program has helped me in all facets in the production of a trade show. Being able to pick my courses to focus on my direct needs was very helpful too.
What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?
What did I do right after getting my CEM? Went to the pub with my team and had a couple of pints! I found I would implement new strategies from the courses the day after learning them so by the time I was finished getting certified all there was to do was celebrate.
What did you like most about the CEM Learning Program?
Easy, learning from my peers. Cannot put enough emphasis on learning what others have tried that have succeeded, or failed, and implementing those practices into my events. (Obviously not the ones that failed though!)
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
In 1997 I survived a small plane crash in the mountains of British Columbia. Feel so lucky to have walked away that it’s made me a very happy person in life and taught me to cherish our short time here. That and I’m a HUGE Vancouver Canucks fan, which is painful so once again the plane crash has helped with that too!