CEMA Newsletter December 2019

Kim Gishler

Kim Gishler


Cherish Every Day
Well my friends, we are nearing the end of a decade. WOW. 2010 felt like it was two seconds ago and now, we’re settling into and celebrating the 2019 holiday season, with have high hopes and aspirations for a healthy, peaceful, prosperous 2020.

For our CEMA family, this year has been a roller coaster of grieving and blessings. We lost two treasured CEMA members this year, Scott Stubbs and Blake Shumway. Scott and Blake were tremendous contributors to CEMA and made our members better by always helping each and every one of us feel valued and important. They were beautiful human beings and blessed all who knew them with the joy in which they lived their lives, and their kind hearts. We will miss them.

Our CEMA team has also experienced a series of blessings this year. Our members have secured fantastic new job opportunities (high five Andy Herman, Julie Clarke, Mark Cherry, and been recognized for amazing achievements. We also are humbled and honored by the increase in membership we’ve experienced and an UNBELIEVABLE year in which our annual CEMA Summit was SOLD OUT, and we worked with our members in hosting experiential events across the country.

My CEMA friends and family, it has been a decade beyond our wildest expectations, and I bow to each of you in thanks and appreciation for a dream come true. We wish you and your family’s the BEST of the holiday season. Love & Laughter. Peace & Joy. Grace & Beauty.

Make this YOUR year.

Member of the Month

Member of the Month Name

Jill Leithner

Manager, Executive Keynote Group, Global Events Marketing
Intel Corporation

For the majority of my professional life, I wore 3 major hats, all focused on building strong relationships and driving high customer satisfaction: Product sales and marketing champion for chemical, personal care and high tech companies; Program management for hardware, software, and executive intiatives; and adjunct college Professor in marketing strategy.

Currently based in Portland, Oregon. Transplanted here over 23 years ago after working in every state east of the Mississippi. Beautiful, tranquil, but home is still New Jersey.

Over the last 15 years, my passions centered on executive keynote production. I now lead a mighty team of savvy producers, artists, and tech specialists, bringing Intel’s executive vision to life by designing 400+ visual stories and curating over 100+ keynote experiences annually.

Penn State is home of my Chemistry, Business and MBA degrees, plus a post degree seat on the Business School Advisory Board for 14 years. The Success with Honor principle is at the core of my leadership style. Needless to say, I am a huge college sports fan, enjoying some of the best live game day experiences at Penn State.

Am a Siberian husky parent for 20+ years, currently with 2 white Woolies. I am a big supporter of animal rescue causes… and long term goals include having the ability to help as many pets as possible live their best life.

Coming from NJ, my cliché happy triggers include – the beach, Bruce, and Pizza! Pizza is a staple, hot or cold, it is the perfect all day – all night food. Happy to debate, of course over a pizza. Love to experiment with toppings or texture, but please no pineapple!

Enjoy working on high performing teams, creating experiences for live audiences, but love learning by being in the audience for high octane stage performances, from Bruce to Broadway, and anything that pops up along the way.


The Clock is Ticking. Renew Your Membership!

A truly meaningful gift you or your organization could give this year is to renew your CEMA membership. Please hurry before time runs out – renew by 12/31/2019.

You can also take advantage of our new bonus in 2020! For CEMA Event Marketer Membership, encourage your manager to approve your membership now and you can immediately add CEMA Summit 2020 registration. Find out about all Membership options here.


Save the Date & Contribute YOUR Special Expertise at CEMA Summit 2020

CEMA members could learn a lot, could be truly inspired, could be ready to tackle the new decade with help from YOU. We’ve opened our 2020 CEMA Summit Call for Speakers, and we’re ready for you (or someone special at your organization) to deliver your important thoughts. Submit your information today here.


2020 CEMA Summit Sponsorship Opportunities

One of the highest value opportunities for CEMA member organizations is to participate as a sponsor at our annual CEMA Summit, where you have the chance to demonstrate your value proposition to our elite group of members. Click here to view the Summit Sponsorship Prospectus. Contact Meg Fasy for opportunities to be a CEMA Summit 2020 sponsor.


Let’s Get Social with CEMA

As you make your 2020 resolutions, we hope you’ll include a resolution to become more active with CEMA social. We also want to use our platforms to promote YOU and our other amazing members. If you haven’t already, please follow us below and tag us when you’re sharing industry content.

To further encourage you to become more social (ha!), we’re kicking off a contest beginning January 1st. Posts that receive the greatest participation via likes, tags and shares by members will be awarded…it’s a SURPRISE. We’ll share the contest information and prize information via Social channels, so be on the watch for additional information. The contest will conclude February 28th.

Engage with us via all our Social channels:

Key hashtags are #CEMAOnline #EventExecs #MeetingProfs and tag us with @CEMAonline


What a Way to Begin 2020!

Join us at CEMA @ CES: January 8, 2020, in Las Vegas

Go behind the scenes at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where over 175,000 people gathered in 2019 on 2.9 million net square feet of exhibit space! Our host, CTA, will take us on a very special tour to showcase how they produce this incredible industry event.

CEMA is proud to offer you this Best Practice case study in a peer-to-peer environment. Join us in Las Vegas and walk away with insightful information that will make your team and your programs more successful. As a bonus, we will conclude our Study Tour with a Backstage Tour of KA and an Inside Scoop/Talkback with the show team! Space is very limited – please sign up now!

ASK CEMA: A Member Benefit

CEMA members have the exclusive opportunity to ask advice from our premier community of event marketing leaders. ASK CEMA and get feedback from fellow CEMA members.

To access this benefit, log in as a member and ask your question. CEMA members will answer your question.

Following is this month’s Ask, Answered ASK CEMA.

ASK CEMA Question:

“We currently use a registration platform that allows us to easily create email invites without needing a designer to build them. This year, we played around with a combination of “standard” event emails and a few that were more eye-catching graphically with different photos, backgrounds, fonts etc. We didn’t see a quantitative difference between versions on how many people registered. Has any one had larger success with event registration using more designed emailed? Have you tried sending paper invites as well as emails and has there been any variance on registrants from each?”

Answer #1:
Eventcore builds custom registration solutions for companies with complex workflows and part of our services is to assist our clients with the distribution of event marketing emails. Our experience has shown a highly branded or “eye-catching” email does not drive more attendees.

What does drive more attendees are the following:

  • A save the date email
  • Followed by a splash page or other marketing material that “hypes up” the event (these should be branded)
  • Paper invites (only cost effective for smaller events)

Answer #2:

We have tried various images/etc. and agree there doesn’t seem to show any significant differences. We have seen the “testing” of subject lines to be successful and I would encourage testing different tones on your subject line. In some cases we saw a double digit increase in CTs. As for mail versus email, we have seen through varying programs that mail is successful as a dual pronged approach and in some cases mail has provided us more CTs. We have tested mail options by segmenting a specific attendee type for mail and to avoid extensive expenses “beta tested” response and then based on results rolled out a broader phased approach. This allows you to test but also control costs.

Answer #3:

Yes, customization does work – not the look and feel of the email though. What is important is the content customized to each audience type. This is critical to the success of an audience acquisition campaign. No attendees are alike, we need to customize our marketing messages to them. With that said, the look of each customer communications can be different. We have seen better results when the messaging is customized to each attendee type.

We have also utilized printed pieces with success. The key is it has to be from the person that HOLDS the relationship with the end customer. Whether that person is in sales, an executive, a call center, inside sales, an account executive, etc. Receiving a printed piece from someone they know helps drive attendance. For one of our clients, the printed piece is the number one driver of registrations.

There are many data points to remember when designing your audience acquisition strategy and plan. Content is of course #1, actually from two audience acquisition projects we just completed, content related items were the first FOUR reasons why someone attends an event. Not #1, the top four overall. These two projects were focused on researching how each companies clients determine why to attend a conference. It was great work and both projects have quite a few similarities. What was different is that we did both surveys (quantitative research) and 1:1 calls (qualitative research) to customers who attended the event AND customers who do not attend (people always miss those targets when doing this type of research!!).

Always willing to have a discussion with a fellow CEMA member on any trends on this topic. A big one – 65% of attendees will not register for a show UNTIL they see the content, down to the speaker names, titles and session description. Gone are the days when having the tracks was enough to get someone to attend. They need to know this information 6 months before the event. That is a big change from when I started doing events! One quote, was your event is in 4 months, I am budgeting and approving which conferences my team can attend in 2020. You have no information on the website to allow me to approve your event to attend. There are other events with more information that I can approve. That was a great quote!


Save the Date for CEMA Summit 2020

How will event marketing evolve beginning in 2020? What are the critical components to ensuring your event is engaging, impactful and stays within your budget? And where will the best event marketers be in late July? Be sure to Save the Date for CEMA Summit 2020.

July 26th – 28th, 2020
Hosted at the JW Marriott
Nashville, Tenessee

Summit 2020 Registration will open in March, 2020

Your Calendar for 2020 – It’s Already Almost Full!

2020 looks to be a fantastic year for our CEMA community. We’ve already booked out a series of events, and we’re certain you will find one (or many!) that will speak specifically to you and your company’s strategic plans for 2020. Here’s the current calendar for 2020, with more to come in the next few months. For additional detail on each event, check out the CEMA 2020 calendar link here.

You Really Can Do It All in Dallas and San Francisco

We’ve introduced a new segment on our website, highlighting expert advice from our members about their favorite cities. Learn from those who know best about key Points of Interest, Best Restaurants, What Not to Miss – all to assist you in planning your one-of-a-kind event or conference in that particular city. We currently have spotlights on San Francisco and recently featured information on Dallas. You’ll find everything you need to know here. If you have a city you’d like to feature and supply information, please contact Stacey@CEMAonline.com..

Searching for Something New in 2020?

New career opportunities arise and are presented to you every month on our Job Board. If you have a job you’d like shared with members, please send details to stacey@cemaonline.com. Include a detailed description of the position, all contact information, as well as the location of the position. CEMA will post the job opportunity until the position is filled.

Visit CEMA’s Job Board today to see the current job postings including:

CEMA is Keeping you Informed: Do Not miss this Deal!

Southwest Will Now Match Your Elite Status On Another Airline Until December 31


A Hearty WELCOME to New CEMA Members

Please join us in welcoming new CEMA members Jennifer Tom of JDA; Gold Members Kari Vrba, Mike McWilliams, Rhonda Sucharda and Amy Sharratt of Motivaction; Syra Butterfield of Dell; Mina Brightman of CIH Events; Alissa Glans of Park MGM; Michael Clarke of The America-Marriott; John Fuhr and Lynne Roy of Steelcase Event Experiences; Rodney Gutierrez of Orange County Convention Center; Melinda Creswick, Tina Wright, Kailene Hortliz, Rachel Cullari, Bailey Behr, Janell Kraus, Jill Worthen of HP, Inc.; Alexander Preovolos of DPEM; Aedamar Drummond of Cogs and Marvel