CEM Faculty Spotlight on KV Nagendra Prasad, CEM

KV Nagendra Prasad, CEM, has 20 years of professional experience in sales, marketing, business development and commercial operations in telecom, real-estate and trade fairs/exhibitions industries in India. He has been associated with the exhibition industry since 2002 and has been involved in hosting and organizing trade fairs and exhibitions on various subjects, working actively with various national and international associations and trade bodies.

KV actively works for the development of the exhibitions industry in India. He was unanimously elected as President of Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) (2015-17 term), the apex body of the exhibition industry in India with leading global firms in the field as its members. He served as IEIA’s Vice President from year 2013-15. KV is credited for enabling the reciprocity arrangements with global associations and enabling the internationally recognized “Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) program” of IAEE in India. He speaks at various MICE forums advocating the significance of exhibitions to the industry, economy and society.

Earning his CEM designation in 2016, IAEE spoke with KV to discuss his new role as CEM Faculty and what he has learned so far. KV is the Chair of the IAEE India Chapter.

How long have you been in the industry?

I have been in the exhibition industry for 15 years.

I started my career in the real estate unit of India’s largest engineering and construction company – Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T). In 2002, L&T was selected by State Government (then Andhra Pradesh State) to build HITEX Exhibition Centre. I was inadvertently posted on to this project. From then on, my association with the exhibition industry began and today it means everything to me.

What are your responsibilities in your current role?

I run the HITEX Exhibition Centre, a modern MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition) venue located in Hyderabad, India. The HITEX Exhibition Centre was established by the State Government under public-private partnership mode. I am responsible for business development and sustenance, venue operations, show management and infrastructure development.

I also play an active role in the Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA). I am the elected President of the association for the current term.

What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?

In my experience, I find IAEE to be a very active association. There are immense opportunities for learning, collaboration and resources. The CEM program particularly is a very well laid out program covering all aspects of exhibition management. I was involved in leading the efforts to create the India Chapter of IAEE and in rolling out the CEM program in India. I received my CEM certification at Expo! Expo! in 2016.

When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?

I became a faculty member in December 2016. So far, I have taught Floor Plan Development, Exhibition and Event Sales and Event Marketing in India. As part of CEM faculty training, I had the opportunity and honor to intern under Mr. Randy Bauler, CEM, who coached me on many aspects of teaching CEM courses and I thank him for all the support. I also received great advice and tips from Mr. Al Lomas, CMP, CMM, CFE, CEM who has been my guru and is now a good friend.

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?

The first time I was teaching, I made a promise to myself that I would ensure that students in the class should feel happy to have enrolled in the CEM program. I prepared really hard for the class, made notes and listed examples, etc. I had to face a set of people, most of whom knew me from the industry and even a couple of them were my office colleagues. I was very happy with the way the sessions progressed. It was interactive and I provided examples that the class was able to relate to throughout the session. I received very positive feedback from the participants.

Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?

1) One should be thorough with the subject(s) he/she is teaching.

2) They should plan and time the session well, prepare a set of examples/exercises/case studies relevant to the participants’ country/region/markets.

3) One should try and make their class interactive and engaging.

What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?

There are quite a few benefits of teaching CEM courses. You get an opportunity to become thorough in the subject that you are teaching. You are recognized as a thought leader in the industry and you have the opportunity to connect with participants from different regions/markets/functions. Also, you get to travel and see new places.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?

I am more organized now and plan my days better. There is recognition of being a trained and certified professional. I am able to do my job with more conviction.

 

CEM Faculty Spotlight on Eric Hoffend, CEM

Eric Hoffend, CEM, is Vice President, Business Development for Freeman, which supports the power of face-to-face marketing by providing full-service resources for expositions, corporate events, conventions and exhibit programs across North America. Based in Las Vegas since 1998, he has direct responsibility for developing new business opportunities nationally and manages the sales team in Nevada. Eric received his CEM designation in 2009 and continues to be actively involved with IAEE, PCMA and, locally, with LVHA in Las Vegas.

IAEE sat down with Eric Hoffend, CEM to discuss how the exhibitions and events industry impacted his life and how he is involved in IAEE’s CEM Learning Program.

How long have your been in the industry?

I have been in the industry for 25 years.

How did you become involved in the industry?

I was born into the industry, wrapped in banjo cloth as a child. My grandfather was in the stage and rigging business, and my father on the official contractor side.

What are your responsibilities in your current role?

I manage a team of 90 business professionals at Freeman in the Nevada & Northwest region of the U.S.

What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?

Being an IAEE (formerly NAEM and IAEM) member for 25 years has been the foundation of my successful career. This is the best way to give back to an incredible industry; by sharing life experiences with face-to-face engagement.

Are you ready to get started on your CEM? Click here for more info!
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When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?

I joined the CEM Faculty in 2012.

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?

My most memorable experience from teaching is traveling to Seoul, South Korea, and managing the cultural differences while presenting to a group that probably only understood 70% of what I was saying.

What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?

Teaching CEM courses allows you to network, build your personal brand and improve your presentation skills.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?

The CEM designation has given me exposure outside my comfort zone at IAEE meetings. The CEM designation and the learning program help me understand and look at my customers’ challenges from a different perspective, making me a better resource for them.

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Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?

I recommend reading the syllabus three times: 90 days, 60 days and 1 week out before teaching.  Practice presenting the material at least twice. Finally, have fun and make it original.

CEM Faculty Spotlight on Troy Love, CTA, CMP, CEM

Troy Love, CTA, CMP, CEM has 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including nine years at the helm of a casino organization. He holds a B.S. in Social Science and an M.S. in Tourism Management. He currently works as the Senior Sales Manager for Visit San Antonio.

IAEE recently spoke with Troy about how he entered into the exhibitions and events industry, as well as his involvement with the CEM Learning Program.

How did you become involved in the industry?

I have been in the hospitality industry since high school, but it wasn’t until I took a Tourism elective during my senior year in college that I got hooked on pursuing this industry professionally. Loving to travel and meeting new people greatly motivated me.

What are your responsibilities in your current role?

My responsibilities primarily include promoting San Antonio as a convention, meeting and incentive destination while securing definite commitments from associations and corporations to utilize hotel rooms and meeting facilities.

What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?

I’ve been involved with IAEE since my first Expo! Expo! in 2007. I’ve always had the desire to give back and help others in their professional careers.

Are you ready to get started on your CEM? Click here for more info!
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When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?

I joined the CEM Faculty in October 2013.

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?

My most memorable experience is always seeing students that were in my class walk across the stage at IAEE Expo! Expo!.

What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?

  1. Being a part of something larger than yourself.
  2. Building new relationships.
  3. Learning from your students.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?

My CEM designation has kept me abreast of the changes in our industry, as well as provided me the new connections I needed to continue to learn and grow.

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Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?

Do it! Teaching is a great feeling and it provides a wonderful connection to all the new CEMs.

CEM Faculty Spotlight on Steven Hacker, CAE, FASAE, CEM

Following a notable 40-year career as CEO of several non-profit associations, Steven Hacker, CAE, FASAE, CEM is now the Principal of Bravo Management Group, an organization that provides strategic leadership, governance, marketing and event planning expertise to associations and trade show organizers around the world.

IAEE sat down with Steven to discuss why he joined the exhibitions and events industry and how the CEM program has helped shape his future. Steven began his association management career in 1970 and became involved in the exhibitions industry when he was hired as IAEE’s CEO in 1991. Steven’s continued involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program stems from his personal involvement at IAEE and overseeing the development of the CEM program as it operates today.

I stepped down as IAEE’s CEO in 2012 and began teaching CEM courses that same year.

The 2017 CEM Learning Program course schedule is now available!

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?

There is no one memorable experience. Instead, I find that every time I present a CEM module, either face-to-face or online, I enjoy creating new relationships with students. The diversity of students, their very different reasons for studying the CEM program, and their unique personalities are enriching and energizing. I have met some really remarkable people thanks to the CEM program.

Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?

Overcome the common fear of failure. Students are hungry for teachers who are committed to the program and who are willing to help them through the program. Perfection is not an expectation of students of their teachers, only a sincere commitment to helping them master their CEM studies.

What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM courses?

Teaching CEM courses means that you need to constantly review the source materials, bring in outside resources, and keep your presentation techniques fresh and unique. I find that I have to prepare for each class by devoting three or four hours of preparation for each hour of presentation. I don’t mind doing this because it keeps my own knowledge fresh and contemporary. Things are always changing and teaching CEM courses is a great way to stay on top of things.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?

Teaching the CEM program has given me a very intimate understanding of the challenges that students face. We need to remember that everyone in a class is employed in a demanding full-time career and many are also primary care givers, parents, and have additional obligations. Helping students understand how to keep up with their CEM work load is as important as providing the necessary motivation and information that teaching requires.

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Are you involved with any other committees or boards with IAEE or another industry association?

I am still a serial volunteer. I am currently involved with other IAEE members and staff in several committees and task forces. I believe we grow every time we contribute to the group.

Join Steven at Expo! Expo! in Anaheim for his campfire session on IAEE’s Certified Exhibition Program (12/07/16) and The Lawyers Are In: Hospitality Industry Attorneys Roundtable on Thursday (12/08/16).

 

CEM Faculty Spotlight on Michelle Monteferrante, CEM, CTA Regional Director of Business Planning & Event Execution, Freeman

Michelle Monteferrante, CEM, CTA is currently Director of Business Planning & Event Execution for Freeman, based at the Anaheim, California office. She received her B.S in Hospitality Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and began her career in the hotel field with a position at the Sheraton Corporation as a Corporate Trainee. This started a 10+ year career in various hotel locations and companies around the United States in sales management. After the hotel phase of her career, she moved back to Las Vegas to pursue a new career direction by working at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in event space sales. This position introduced her to the trade show industry when, a year later, she took a sales position at Freeman. Currently at Freeman, Michelle is part of a financial team that works on the top 250 accounts for our company. We focus on improving efficiencies and customer service.

IAEE recently spoke with Michelle about her experience in the exhibitions and events industry, as well as her involvement with the CEM Learning Program.

How long have you been in the industry and how did you become involved in it?
I have now been in the industry for more than 25 years. Both of my parents were in the hospitality industry, which led to my own involvement.

What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?
I strongly believe in our industry’s future and I want to give back to an industry that has given so much to me. This led to my desire to join the CEM Faculty a year ago. Michelle has served on the IAEE Southwest Chapter board for more than six years as director, treasurer, vice president, chairperson and now, past chairperson.

Are you ready to get started on your CEM? Click here for more info!

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?
Teaching 70 students in China who had a desire to learn was very memorable.

What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?
I truly enjoy meeting new people and hearing about other people’s different experiences. Being on the CEM Faculty also allows me to hone my public speaking skills, as well as share my experiences and what I have learned throughout the years with others.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?
I see the CEM designation as a symbol of commitment to our industry and to the craft.

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Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?
It is very rewarding to teach and give back to our industry. If you have a passion for imparting your knowledge and experience to others, and feel comfortable speaking publicly, this is a great opportunity!

CEM Faculty Spotlight on B. Murphy, CEM, National Sales Manager, Fern

B. Murphy, CEM is a member of the National Sales Group of Fern. He is based in Alexandria, Virginia and is easily accessible for associations’ planning purposes. He has been involved with conventions, exhibits, and the meetings industry for over 20 years and in his role at Fern, B. is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with potential, current and future clients. B. joined the CEM faculty in 2013 and currently serves as the Chair of the CEM Commission and Vice Chair of the DC Chapter of IAEE.  In the past, B. has also served on IAEE Education Committee and the Chapter Leaders Council.

IAEE recently sat down with B. Murphy about his involvement in the exhibition and events industry and with IAEE’s CEM Learning Program.

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How long have you been in the industry?   
I have been in the Industry for over 20 years.  My first exposure was in 1994 as the Chair of the Salt Palace Advisory Board. As a result of working with the Building, and the CVB, I developed an interest in becoming more and more involved in the industry.

What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?   
I have found that, of all the industry associations, IAEE is the one that suits my needs best.  I also am a HUGE proponent of the CEM Learning Program.  I believe that by obtaining my CEM, it shows that I am “vested” in this Industry.

Check out the 2016 CEM Learning Program Schedule

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?   
I would have to say that my most memorable experience was teaching a class to 50+ people at CEM Week in Austin, Texas.

Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?   
If you are thinking about getting on the CEM faculty – Do it! I teach (exclusively) the “in-classroom” setting.  I believe the greatest benefit in teaching a CEM course is that I never come away from a class without making new acquaintances that evolve into lasting relationships.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?  
Having the letters “CEM” behind my name is a source of pride and achievement.  It has set me apart as part of an exclusive group of achievers in this Industry.

CEM Salary Inforgraphic_FreemanClick here to download the PDF Inforgraphic

CEM Faculty Spotlight on Michael Dargavel, CEM

Michael Dargavel, CEM is the Vice President of Association and Events Management, a full service, multiple association management company. Michael produces several events each year including four trade shows, which have risen in the Top 50 Canadian Trade Shows for the past six years. In 2006, Michael created the 100% Fresh Trade Show and in 2009, Michael created the highly successful Profile Show, an apparel show incorporating all commodities of the industry. Michael assists in overseeing the daily operations of the Canadian Association of Exposition Management Association (CAEM) which partners with the IAEE to provide the CEM program in Canada.

How long have you been in the industry?

I have been in the exhibitions and events industry for 16 years. Prior to this, I was in the hospitality industry for over 20 years

How did you become involved in the industry?

Honestly, by accident! I was asked to come help with some event work and never left. I fell in love with the excitement of preparing for and opening an event.

What are your responsibilities in your current role?

I work at an association management company (AMC) that caters mainly to non-profits. I have several rolls for different clients – Show Manager, Director of Events, etc. Basically I head up the Exposition and Events department for our clients.

What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?

Giving back to the community. Professional development is one of the most important aspects to enhance your career.  I believe that you get so much more from volunteering than you give.

View the CEM Learning Program Calendar

When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?

In 2010, I went to my first faculty training, I have been hooked ever since.

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?

A couple of years ago, I got a message from one of my students saying how much they enjoyed my class and that they went back to work armed with new ideas to do their job more efficiently.

Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?

To borrow a phrase “Just Do It”.  It is one of the most rewarding experiences. It is not just the students who walk away with new information; the experience and knowledge flow both ways.

What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?

Meeting new industry people, learning new ideas for the class that I can use in my work-life, travel and keeping abreast of industry trends, technology, and services, just to name a few.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?

We actually were awarded an account partially due to the CEM designation and knowledge.

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Are you involved with any other committees or boards with IAEE or another industry association?

Yes, I currently sit on the CEM Commission, past chair of the CSAE Trillium Summer Summit, CAEM Education Committee.  I believe I get back so much more from volunteering than I give.

 

CEM Faculty Spotlight on LeeAnn Norton, CEM

CEM Faculty Spotlight on LeeAnn Norton, CEM, Director of Vendor Relations & Events with Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM)

LeeAnn Norton, CEM has over 20 years in show management experience. LeeAnn has served on various IAEE Committees, was appointed the Krakoff Leadership Representative on the IAEE Board of Directors, has been a speaker/panelist for IAEE, is a current CEM Faculty member, and she has served on numerous industry advisory boards. She joined PRSM in 2014 as Director of Vendor Relations & Events and is responsible for overall management of the Facility Management shows in the U.S. and Canada. Along with IAEE, other professional affiliations include ASAE, DFWAE, and MPI. She received her CEM in 2012 and graduated from the IAEE Krakoff Leadership Institute in 2013.

IAEE spoke with LeeAnn and dug a bit deeper as to why she joined the exhibitions and events industry and how the CEM program has helped shape her future.

How did you become involved in the industry?

Quite by accident.  My background was Marketing and Special Events and I was hired as Director of Marketing for an association.  The conference position became open and was not being filled, so I volunteered.  Once learning there was a major difference in conferences/trades shows vs. special events, I sought out IAEM (at the time – now IAEE) to help me grow my knowledge overall.

What are your responsibilities in your current role?

I currently handle our Supplier Membership and make sure they stay happy – which is 99% based on our exhibitions and conferences.  I am the lead over all of our conferences (U.S., Canada, Europe) handling all the contracting, exhibition, logistics and operations.

What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?

The knowledge you gain from IAEE alone is worth it; however, the interaction in the CEM Learning Program is PRICELESS.  Talking and networking with my peers has helped tremendously in day to day management. I use the relationships I have made through IAEE on a daily basis.

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When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?

I have been a faculty member for 2 years, but very involved in the association as well through committee work.

Read LeeAnn Norton’s CEM Faculty Bio Here

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?

There is not just one – Meeting amazing people, making great contacts, getting the “thumbs up” and a big smile at the end of a class when one of your peers has passed the test, and mostly when I get a phone call after the class asking for advice or assistance.

Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?

Do it if you are passionate about the industry and what you teach.  It is so easy to read any instructor that is just going through the motions and is not passionate.

What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?

I learn something new and innovative in every class from the interactive participation, making new contacts/friends, and continuing to learn myself.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?

Absolutely.  For the few that do not know what the designation is, it is an ice breaker and it is amazing the respect you get from everyone in venues, hotels, DMCs, and many other service providers.

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Are you involved with any other committees or boards with IAEE or another industry association?

I spent two years on the Expo! Expo! Advisory committee, am currently in my third year on the Education Committee, was the Krakoff representative on the IAEE Board Member for one year, and attended both the Krakoff Leadership and Advanced Leadership workshops.  I am also a member of ASAE currently going for my CAE certification, and have been a member of MPI and PCMA in the past.  I get the most benefit, learning experiences and relationships through IAEE.

CEM Faculty Spotlight on Al Lomas, CMP, CMM, CFE, CEM

Al Lomas has 30 years of experience in hospitality and the exhibitions and events industry and is a jack of all trades. Al is currently the Conference Operations Manager for Connected Car Expo (CCE) at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Over the course of his career, Al has managed more than 600 annual events at the Municipal Auditorium, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Lila Cockrell Theatre, HemisFair Arena and Alamodome. Al has also been a principal for Certified Consulting Services for over 10 years, consulting others in meeting planning, public events, exhibition logistics and security requirements for major events.

Al teaches CEM courses for IAEE across the U.S. and also teaches internationally in Azerbaijan, Canada, China, South Korea and Taiwan. His areas of expertise are Risk, Security & Crisis Management, Strategic Planning & Management, Conference & Meeting Management Principals, Facilities & Site Selection and Event Operations. Al has also “Trained the Trainer” to IAEE CEM Faculty in 2012-2014 and was also CEM Commission Chairperson in 2013.

IAEE spoke with Al Lomas and dug a bit deeper as to why he joined the exhibitions and events industry and how the CEM Learning Program has helped shape his future.

How did you become involved in the industry?
It began with outdoor events in parking lots and eventually moved into indoor venues.

What are your responsibilities in your current role?
I work part-time and pick and choose the work I accept. I work security management at major events, work four months on the Connected Car Expo for the LA Auto Show through execution, consult for a national security company and teach CEM.

What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?
I enjoy teaching the current and future generation of industry professionals entrusted to my care. I tailor my presentation to each specific class based on the demographics, experience and job titles represented in the room. As far as IAEE, it has helped me in my career development; and it is my turn to give back to IAEE.

When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?
I became a member of faculty immediately after earning my designation in 2006 at the urging of Amy Dutton, the CEM Manager at the time. I never considered teaching until Amy told me others could benefit from my experience.

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?
Learning from John Plescia, when I did my internship under his guidance, my first time out. John was, and continues to be, an inspiration to me. When I walked the CEM stage he handed me my certificate and later I followed in his footsteps to become CEM Commission Chairperson.

Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?
I never considered teaching until Amy told me I possessed a unique skill set and array of designations valuable to the CEM Learning Program. If you have experiences to share and enjoy working with people, it is a very rewarding experience. You will get better as time goes on.

What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?
The major benefit of teaching CEM is all intrinsic. I learn from the individuals in class and have a better understanding of what it might be like to work for a non-profit, association, or corporate entity. The best reward is when a student experiences an epiphany of understanding the subject matter or a concept during the class. Don’t do it for the money, because if you tally up the hours spent in preparation, developing handouts, travel and on-site you might be disappointed.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?
All of my designations (CMP, CMM, CFE and CEM) have helped me be better informed when I make decisions. I branded myself with certification and each certification made me a more valuable asset to the organizations I have worked for.

We all unconsciously make decisions based on our experience, education and intellect. CEM has given me the education to make better informed decisions in the planning stages of an exhibition. CEM has also been extremely helpful to me in making major decisions on-site during the execution when we, as the organizer, are responsible for the education and safety for all of the participants involved in our events.

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Are you involved with any other committees or boards with IAEE or another industry association?
My focus now is on teaching CEM. I have always been involved in the education of others. I have served on the MPI CMM Advisory Board (two years), ten years as an MPI THCC CMP Study Group Leader, four years as the MPI THCC Director of Education, three years on the IAVM ICCC Planning Committee and served four years on the CEM Commission including Chairperson in 2013.

CEM Faculty Spotlight on Naomi Wagschal, CEM, CMP

IAEE’s CEM program is taking over the world! Naomi Wagschal, CEM, CMP is one of the instructors for the worldwide program. In 2013 Naomi was inducted into the Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM) Hall of Fame for her contributions to that Association and the exposition industry in Canada. Naomi has taught Conference & Meeting Management, Strategic Planning & Management and Security, Risk & Crisis Management in Canada and Thailand. The program is just getting off the ground in Thailand. The TCEB (Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau) is making a great effort to bring this professional training to MICE (Meetings, Incentive Travels, Conventions, and Exhibitions) industry.

Naomi’s goal in each course is to get the students to a comfortable level with the subject so that they can apply the learning when they return to their jobs. Naomi enjoys teaching the Conference & Meeting Management course because she has a lot of experience to share with the students, and it is a topic that many wish to learn since they are considering adding those elements to their own shows. This specific course is important to the CEM program because teaches students how to manage events on any scale large to small through formal training sessions or seminars, or through informal exhibitor-provided demonstrations, presentations or networking. In Conference & Meeting Management students learn the value in face to face experiences and study how to perfect their own skills in managing events. Naomi also enjoys teaching Strategic Planning & Management because, by the end of the course, she has walked the class through the entire process and has made it a little less intimidating by actually developing a show strategic plan through exercises completed during the class. This is valuable to the students of the CEM program because they can take this process and apply it to future jobs.

IAEE sat down with Naomi to discuss her experience in the industry and her involvement in the CEM Learning Program.

How long have you been in the industry?
23 years!

How did you become involved in the industry?
I was hired to work on the CFPC Association Journal, Canadian Family Physician, and the college was hosting an international convention (WONCA) nine months later. The publisher was also responsible for selling the exhibit hall. I took this over from him and, in addition to my advertising and circulation responsibilities, managed to sell more booths than he expected. I then also assumed responsibility on-site for managing the exhibit hall. I had great suppliers who helped me tremendously. During that first experience I was crippled (never wear high heels for five days running around on the thinly carpeted concrete floors of a convention centre) but fell in love with the total experience. I solved my foot problems and determined that show management was the career I was destined for but never knew about until I did it.

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What are your responsibilities in your current role?
Since that first experience, our convention has grown tremendously. Attendance and exhibit sales are ten times what they were in the years when we operated an Annual Scientific Assembly. Now, in addition to my continued show management responsibilities I also do strategic planning, site selection, facility and hotel negotiations and contracting, budgeting, sales, operations, logistics, and personnel management.

What drives your involvement with IAEE and the CEM Learning Program?
In 2006, I became the President of the Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM). This coincided with the beginning of CAEM’s co-location agreement with IAEE for the CEM Learning Program. I wanted to lead by example and immediately began working on my CEM. I managed to complete the nine required courses within a year. In addition, given the dearth of training programs in show management at our local colleges, the CEM was an ideal opportunity to solidify and expand my knowledge. The courses add an additional dimension to my understanding of the exposition industry and business management best practices.

Ready to get your CEM? Apply to the CEM Learning Program!

When did you become a member of the CEM faculty?
I joined the CEM faculty in 2014, after completing my tenure on the CAEM Executive Committee.

What was your most memorable experience from teaching?
The first course I taught was on Crisis Management. Everything was going so well and I was confident that the class had managed to comfortably absorb the content. Unfortunately, when the participants tried to sign on to do the exam many were unable to connect to Blackboard. We had our own crisis that day! I’d love a chance to teach that course again without the drama at the end.

Do you have any advice for other CEMs who may want to start teaching?
Be prepared to spend many hours of advance preparation so that you are completely comfortable with the slide deck and the course content. Add your own exercises since the ones on the standard deck may not be ideal. Pay attention to adult learning principles and get the class actively participating as soon as possible in the day. I’ve developed a technique that combines dot voting and introductions that works very well. It also helps me overcome any initial nervousness at the beginning of the day.

What are a few of the benefits of teaching CEM?
I love the sense of being a mentor to the class and guiding the discussions. The experiential approach in the CEM courses allows everyone to learn from one another. I learn as much as the CEM participants. We also connect on a personal level and advance our networks in the industry.

How has the CEM designation helped you in your career?
The CEM designation confers the prestige of being a recognized expert in a specialized body of knowledge. The course content provides solid grounding in a field that is not well taught in local educational institutions that focus more on wedding planning. I obtained my CMP in 2009 to round out my meeting planning credentials.

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Are you involved with any other committees or boards with IAEE or another industry association?
After more than 14 years of active volunteer service to CAEM, including representing that association on the Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada, I have reduced my volunteer involvement to participating on a Best Practices Task Force. I would welcome the opportunity to become more involved with IAEE and the CEM commission.

Read Naomi’s full bio here.