Chapter Leaders Council Spotlight… An Interview with Mary Ellen Chapdelaine, CEM, Vice President of Sales, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services

Mary Ellen Chapdelaine, CEM, is Vice President of Sales at Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services and a member of IAEE’s Chapter Leaders Council. Mary Ellen has been an IAEE member for 20 years. She recently shared with IAEE her perspective on the importance of connecting with her peers and the benefits she gains from her chapter leadership activities.

How did you get involved in leadership within your chapter?

I was recruited by Anna Roa in 1997 to serve on a committee for the Northern California Chapter. She was the Chapter Chair and encouraged me to get involved. Anna was my mentor, inspiration and became a dear friend. She passed away in December after a 31-year career with the Santa Clara CVB. I have been on a committee and/or the Board of Directors since that first volunteer committee position.

Connect with your IAEE Chapter

What chapter committees do you serve on currently and/or have served on in the past?

I have served on Program and Membership Committees and am currently Chair of the Northern California Chapter.

What have you gotten out of volunteering for your chapter?

I have made many great friends, enjoyed networking opportunities and valuable education. I am passionate about making connections. Connecting people together who will benefit from meeting  – that’s what I love to do.

How are you fostering future volunteer leaders?

We have recently made new connections with professors from San Jose University and University of San Francisco. We are working on connecting their students with show organizers to create volunteer opportunities as well as a chance to see a trade show and/or event in progress. We anticipate this will increase their interest levels towards pursuing careers in our industry and foster a new group of future leaders.

What do you find most satisfying about having stepped into a leadership role within your chapter?

Bringing people together – working with our Board of Directors and outreach to our membership. We are committed to providing relevant education and networking opportunities.

What is your favorite chapter activity?

Hosting CEM Learning Program courses. Our chapter has hosted a CEM course in San Francisco since 2011. We felt that bringing a CEM course to San Francisco would provide an opportunity for local members who may not be attending Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition to experience the value of this program and continue towards their certification.

Chapter Leaders Council Spotlight… An Interview with Brad Hobson, CEM, Business Development Manager, Freeman

By Mary Tucker, IAEE Sr. PR/Communications Manager

Brad Hobson, CEM is Business Development Manager for Freeman and a member of IAEE’s Chapter Leaders Council. Brad has been an IAEE member for 7 years and, in 2015, received the IAEE Merit Award for his contributions to the DFW chapter. He recently shared with IAEE how he became involved in a leadership role within the his chapter, and why he finds it fulfilling.

How did you get involved in leadership within your chapter?

My counterpart, Heather Chapman, and colleague Bob Berry are previous chapter chairs and they encouraged me to get involved in an organization. At the time I was working on my CEM and CMP, and IAEE seemed like a great fit. Through the years my passion and desire to help grow the Chapter have gotten deeper, and many encouraging leaders assisting me to make leadership a possibility and success. I have made lifelong friends and colleagues through my involvement with IAEE.

CEM Course

Check out the list of upcoming CEM Courses here

What chapter committees do you serve on currently and/or have served on in the past?

I serve on the Young Professionals and Member Engagement committees.

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What have you gotten out of volunteering for your chapter?

Career-wise, I have learned leadership and management skills as well as working to lead and create a team passionate about something they are donating their time to! I have learned the importance of a career-oriented group of friends. It is important to network with those who share similar goals and are able to help you reach yours.

How are you fostering future volunteer leaders?

Our Chapter has a hard focus on continually recruiting people to help our committees and boards. We also encourage a free flow of ideas and let everyone have ownership in the Board. We have a very encouraging group!

What do you find most satisfying about having stepped into a leadership role within your chapter?

The most satisfying is the moment the event/lunch/education session ends and you know that the attendees have left with a new friend, and learned something new. I know at that point we have done our job.

What is your favorite chapter activity?

My favorite chapter event is our annual volleyball tournament.

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For a list of upcoming DFW Chapter events, click here. 

 

IAEE Awards Spotlight on Al Lomas, CMP, CMM, CFE, CEM: 2016 Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award Winner

By Mary Tucker, IAEE Sr. PR/Communications Manager

Al Lomas, CMP, CMM, CFE, CEM with Certified Consulting Service has a longstanding relationship with IAEE’s CEM Learning Program, which has benefitted greatly from his contributions over the years. He serves as an outstanding international ambassador to the CEM Learning Program, with a very strong presence abroad. Al’s dedication to enhancing IAEE’s international presence is well-known among industry members and CEM students alike, with many CEM graduates praising him for his commitment to the program.

Al is also a regular contributor to the CEM Faculty Training program at Expo! Expo! and, of course, teaches various courses throughout the U.S. on a regular basis. He has also contributed his expertise for updates to the CEM course materials. Al’s dedication and commitment to furthering IAEE’s education objectives earned him the IAEE Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award in 2016. Here, he talks with IAEE about teaching domestically versus abroad and his approach to facilitating the IAEE CEM Learning Program.

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Awards presentation during the Networking Luncheon at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2016 in Anaheim, CA. From left to right: Representing the IAEE Awards Committee, Randy Bauler, CEM; Al Lomas, CMP, CMM, CFE, CEM; and IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA.

IAEE: You have facilitated IAEE’s CEM Learning Program in Azerbaijan, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Korea and the U.S. What do you enjoy most about teaching classes across various borders?

AL: It is important to recognize that when teaching in the USA or in another country, one has a responsibility to three different entities; the CEM candidate, the licensee and IAEE. IAEE has placed its confidence in me to present the course while the licensee has paid thousands of dollars for my airfare, meals and lodging. Failure to communicate the content and the concept of the body of knowledge is not an option. In preparation for my new assignments, I spend weeks in preparation. The majority of the preparation for an international assignment begins with the research for a better understanding of how expositions are produced in those countries.

To me, preparing for the class is the most enjoyable part of any course. I prepare by researching the licensee, the top five expo centers, the class roster and reading about the top 10 shows in that country. The execution of the class is also fun – and the most exhausting portion of the course – as it is being taught in the student’s second language.

Another fun challenge is learning the customs of the culture; from business card etiquette, bowing when introduced and never making a student feel uncomfortable by asking a student a direct question to which they may not know the answer.

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IAEE: These are all very different regions with very different cultures. What similarities do you come across in your students and what differences really stand out to you from region to region?

AL: The students around the world are similar to the U.S. audience in the respect that they are all are adult learners, and hungry for education and the knowledge of best practices. All students want to succeed, advance their careers and be more valuable to their sponsoring organizations. The fear or apprehension of the unknown and being tested regardless of borders is the same from country to country. In other countries, especially in Asia, the students are very focused. They read the modules in advance of the class and study during their breaks and lunch.

The challenge for me is that, in international classes, the mix of students may include a significant number of educators (professors and Ph.D.s) from colleges or universities where the majority of their exhibition industry experience is more in theory than in practical experience. The questions, understanding and thought process of educators is very different from those students working events on a daily basis. The common mix of an international class will include educators, venue suppliers, organizers and hotel managers, but mostly project managers with substantial experience.

And, though all speak English, not all are fluent as it is their second language. I must choose my words wisely, talk slowly and completely forget using metaphors. It is sometimes difficult to understand verbal responses from the table group representative when reporting their conclusions of a case study.

Another major difference is that in the U.S., we teach utilizing more experiential methods while abroad the lecture method is more acceptable with a smaller amount of experiential teaching.

IAEE: You’ve been teaching CEM courses for over a decade. How would you compare your teaching experience now to when you began?

AL: Years ago, the accepted process of teaching CEM courses was to provide lectures mirroring the PowerPoint and the content of the module. Approximately six years ago, a decision by the CEM Commission and IAEE education staff was made to make our classes more student-centered than teacher-centered, and to begin using proven alternate methods of adult instruction based on experiential teaching methods. Though this was nothing new to the teaching world, it was different to the CEM Learning Program. After some serious faculty training, we tested it and the instructors adopted the new method of training. Each instructor is given the latitude of deciding how much experiential teaching (learning from each other vs. learning from the teacher) to use.

I continue using a mix of lecture and experiential teaching with no specific formula. Each of my class presentations is tailored to the subject, the country, the audience mix, the job titles, the experience in the room and strategically decide how to proceed for that one day.

Many will say I am “old school” and responsible for killing many trees, but my many handouts and quizzes are essential to my method of instruction. I teach by reinforcement: you read the term in the module, you hear the term verbally, you see the term on the screen, the term appears on the quiz and then someone verbally answers the question. Repeat, repeat, repeat and then you put the terms into practice in a group exercise, but only after the concept has been explained and understood. Anyone can explain a term, but not everyone’s explanation can be understood.

Success is measured by the evaluations at the end of the day and I am only as good as my last student evaluation.

CEM Course

Check out the list of upcoming CEM Courses here

IAEE: What is your favorite CEM module to teach and why?

AL: Security, Risk and Crisis Management is my favorite module to teach. In teaching this module my 32 years of venue, concert, special event, meeting, sports and exhibition experience become part of the class experience. I share my experiences after the students have shared theirs.

My intention is to make sure the student knows that it is the responsibility of each employee of the organization to be involved with attendee safety, the threat of crime and loss of property. We think about crisis, threat analysis, mitigation and decision-making all day from start to finish. I realize that all the terminology associated with contracts and insurance in the module can be very boring, so I spice it up with role playing, quizzes, crossword puzzles and multiple real-life crisis incidents. Time really flies by when you’re having fun!

IAEE: You are known among your students as a very colorful, high energy instructor. What approach do you take in keeping teaching fresh and interesting for you as the facilitator of the course?

AL: I never teach two classes the same, even when it is the same topic and the same module I taught last month. I enjoy teaching and preparing for each course by rereading the materials, tweaking the PPT, and developing new and fresh scenarios for the table groups to work on during the day.

Learning should be fun and should relate to real practical experiences of the people in the room. I play music before class, the tables are laced with canisters of Play Doh and pipe cleaners for the purpose of creating the “Art of the Show” for the day. The atmosphere is relaxed, yet structured, for optimum learning by allowing the candidates to feel my passion for the CEM Learning Program.

The most important piece of information of my class is not the module or PPT, but the class roster. I study the roster, compare job categories (organizer vs. supplier), years of experience and the number of candidates from the same companies. The candidates are strategically placed at different table groups specifically for the purpose of interaction. The dynamics of the class is hampered if I have five people from the same organization and they all sit at the same table. I observe eye contact, body language and attempt to engage those who may be distracted by phone calls, business emergencies or family concerns. Most of all, I solicit early morning feedback (formative evaluations) to make sure the audience agrees with my agenda.

The adult learners in the room usually walk in with three objectives: 1) they want to pass the exam at the end of the day; 2) understand the concept of the topic; and 3) have takeaways they can put into practice the first day they get back to work. It is my responsibility to meet those objectives and to make it a pleasant experience for the CEM candidate. At the start if each class, I make a mental note of how I felt when I was sitting in my first CEM class and proceed with that thought throughout the day, and try to keep things loose.

As I see it and mentioned before, I am only as good as my last evaluation. The CEM candidate or their employer paid several hundred dollars for the course, travel and lodging, and deserve the best IAEE can offer so I attempt to provide a solid performance while making it a pleasant experience for the student.

IAEE: What advice would you give someone considering earning their CEM designation?

AL: The most important decision regarding earning your CEM is the decision to seek the designation. Some people enjoy the online course study, while others will only do face-to-face CEM classes. In face-to-face classes you have interaction with the other candidates; networking opportunities; and, at the end of the day, your course is finished. Plan your CEM Day or CEM Week so that you can devote your time to the task at hand and not having to leave the room every 15 minutes to answer calls from work.

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Register for CEM Week LA on 17-21 April here!

You will benefit from earning this premier designation by increasing your confidence, becoming more valuable at work and wind up possessing one more desirable trait than your competition, should you decide to seek new employment in the future.

IAEE: When you won this award, you mentioned how moved you were to receive an award bearing Bob Dallmeyer’s name. How did Bob impact your experience in the industry and what makes this award so special to you?

AL: Bob Dallmeyer was the consummate professional, mentor to many, an icon in the exhibitions industry and generous with his time to others.  He was respected for his understanding of the exhibitions industry worldwide. He was known as a man of high integrity, leadership, honesty and character. As an educator, he was known as a great presenter and teacher of the CEM Learning Program. All any of us in this industry can do is to follow his example. When Bob walked into a room most knew who he was and, if not, soon wanted to meet him. In his presence when talking with you, he made you feel you were the most important person in the room. I miss him; and as an individual, he was just one great guy!

IAEE is accepting nominations for the 2017 Bob Dallmeyer Educator of the Year Award! Click here to learn more about the IAEE Individual Awards and submit your nominations today!

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 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.