A Letter from Kimberly Gishler – CEMA CEO


March 12, 2020

The expression “may you live in interesting times” can be both a blessing and a curse. Given the unprecedented challenge our industry is facing today, “interesting” feels more like the latter.

Ever the optimist, I’m witnessing how amazing you all are, turning an insane situation into an opportunity to think differently, learn and push yourselves to create fascinating new ways to connect with your audiences. Bravo to all who have turned live events into virtual ones with impossible turnaround times. The challenge has been huge, but you are making it work. You’re also sharing generously – which is what CEMA is all about. CEMA leaders are also working on new ways to get valuable information out to all of you.  We’re truly in this together and nobody has to go it alone.

Our members know as well as anyone that there are things we can control and those we can’t. We’re very good at understanding the difference and acting accordingly. What we can do now is arm ourselves with facts, seek expert advice, and share those within our community so that everyone has the best available information to help them decide if and how this issue impacts their event audiences and plans.

In that spirit, we are working with our partners PCMA and the EIC (Event Industry Council), as well as other peer organizations, to ensure coherent information flow across the event marketing industry.

COVID-19 reminds us that the safety and well-being of every event participant is essential to our industry’s success. We also realize that it’s bigger than our industry and we must always act in the best interests of the general public.

I am proud of the courage our members have shown in making difficult but ultimately right decisions to cancel and postpone meetings. I’m in awe of your calm, thoughtful and thoroughly professional demeanor as you’ve managed through these “interesting times.” Your leadership inspires me and fills me with confidence that we will come through this ordeal stronger, wiser and ready to design and deliver even more exceptional event experiences.

Stay Strong

Kimberly Gishler

CEO, CEMA