CEMA Newsletter November 2018

Diana Cam

Workiva, Director of Global Events
CEMA Board Member

Diana Cam

Every year around this time, I am surprised at how fast the year passed. As I ran errands this weekend, I saw holiday decor. Crazy, right?

If your team is anything like mine, you’re trying to close out the year while figuring out how to hit those 2019 stretch goals. Our planning process at Workiva includes a reflection on activities for 2018, analyzing the data to make data-driven decisions for 2019, and re-communicating to our stakeholders the value of marketing efforts.

Data. We hear a lot about data. All. The. Time. There’s a ton of it available to us, but it’s most valuable if you can use it to support your decisions. How are you using data to support your 2019 plans and gain support of your stakeholders?

As event marketers, we have the everyday challenge of not only executing flawlessly, but proving the results of our efforts were fruitful. Perception can be reality, but it’s hard to argue with data. For our team, educating our stakeholders on why and how event marketing can aid in the sales process is the base to success. We spend time each quarter revisiting why we do things and how they impact our business. We align on goals–brand awareness, lead generation, lead progression, etc. Not all marketing events are created equal.

As you look back at 2018 and jump into 2019, what is going to help you and your team be successful? Is it process improvement, educating your internal stakeholders on the value of event marketing, using data better? Whatever it is, make sure you build your plan in alignment with your goals and leverage those improvement points to be a better partner.

As a new member of the board, I am beyond excited to continue to meet and work with some of the most brilliant, talented, and compassionate event marketers and industry professionals out there. I look forward to the year ahead and I hope you do too!

Member of the Month

Jessica Larkin

Jessica Larkin

Senior Sales Executive
Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center

Growing up not far from Lake Tahoe in Reno, NV – I naturally love the outdoors and being active. On the weekends you can find me hiking, skiing, trail-running or even just enjoying a glass of wine on my back porch. Something about the simplicity of sunshine and a beautiful view are incredibly relaxing to me, which is why I love Colorado so much.

My husband and I are both in the hospitality industry, so we tend to find ourselves traveling a lot and taking advantage of the unique experiences in every destination including our own, which is probably what keeps me so attracted to this industry.

I started my career with Gaylord Hotels back in 2012. In my eyes, it was a dream job for me. I had been working in Sales at independent hotels for six years and just wanted something bigger. Gaylord was always on my radar, so when I accepted a position at Gaylord National, this west coast girl packed my things and moved across the country away from anything that was familiar to me.

I can’t put into words how fortunate I feel about the decision I made. I have been lucky enough to spend the last six years at Gaylord National, Gaylord Opryland and now have the privilege of opening Gaylord Rockies. To say that I knew what I was getting into is an understatement. I would have never expected to step foot in those doors and six years later see my fellow STARS as my family.

That is the biggest message that I try to convey to my industry friends when asked the benefit of working with our brand. I want you to know I have your back and that you have an entire hotel of STARS that are focused on YOUR meeting. We are a group focused brand, and that will always be the priority. We want you to look good to your Executives and to your attendees and will do what it takes because we are family and that is what you do for people you care about it. It is so much bigger than business… it’s a partnership and it is about creating an experience for each person that walks into our hotels.

When people ask what is next for my career, it’s hard to answer the question. This company is part of who I am and I am proud of that. My company stands behind what I “sell” and that is so much more than just guest rooms and space.

If you have not experienced what is special about our brand, I invite you out to join us – we promise to show you a great time and showcase what is so unique about what we do and why we take so much pride in all of it! Just don’t be surprised if I try to get you to go hiking or on a scenic walk… I promise I will pay you back with a nice glass of wine afterward!

CEMA Newsletter Sponsor-Platinum Member-George P. Johnson Experience Marketing Growing Like Gangbusters


GPJ is proud to have just completed its 10th Dreamforce event, providing a tremendous experience for 170,000 registered attendees. We’re looking forward to continued expansion of our live production and digital engagement practices as more and more clients enjoy the complete vertical integration and full service offering GPJ provides.

We’re very excited about our overall growth, including recent client wins with Macy’s, Informatica, Harman International, Genesis Motors, Dassault Systems, and VW.

Learn More

Renew Your Membership in Prep for an Amazing 2019

As we enter into the last few weeks of 2018 (can you believe it?!), here is a gentle reminder to consider renewing your CEMA membership now, perhaps using your 2018 budget dollars. Membership in CEMA is a priceless gift for the New Year, including all the following benefits:

  • Access to CEMA’s Annual Conference, CEMA Summit, including all the conference materials.
  • Access to all CEMA events, including professional networking sessions, educational events and study tours.
  • Education
  • Earn EIC credits
  • Monthly e-newsletters highlighting the latest issues, trends, and activities of event marketers.
  • Access to Ask CEMA, an online forum providing for an open exchange of information between members.
  • Access to and listing in the CEMA Member Directory
  • Access to content on the CEMA website, providing all that CEMA has to offer at your fingertips.
  • Access to CEMA job postings, reflecting the latest opportunities in event marketing.
  • CEMA Committee participation, an opportunity to shape the direction of CEMA and the event marketing industry.
  • Opportunities to Give Back
  • Networking in a fun and relaxed atmosphere

Renew your CEMA 2019 membership here.

CEMA popUP! at IMEX in Vegas is a Tremendous Success

What was the (one of) the best events at IMEX this year? Why, the CEMA Pop Up! held during IMEX (duh)! CEMA’s Pop Up! took place at the Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill in the Venetian on Wednesday, October 17th, just after the show closed for the day. We networked and socialized with more than 25 of you, a great mix of clients and industry partners. Sugarcane provided a lovely area where we congregated with our CEMA Pop Up! sign – we stood out in the crowd! Best of all, we enjoyed a series of fantastic appetizers and fun beverages and wrapped up a great day by reuniting with so many cherished members.

Save the Date

December 12th, 2018
CEMA Holiday Party sponsored by WorldStage and The XD Agency at Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco!

Anticipating a 2019 Jam Packed with CEMA Events

We are looking forward to a 2019 filled with innovative, inspiring CEMA events. We are currently exploring a ton of opportunities including study tours and lunch and learns in Philadelphia, Houston, Napa, Nashville, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Mountain View…and more! Stay tuned for a complete list and get ready to fill up your calendar with CEMA connections.

Our Hearts Go Out to Those Affected by the California Wild Fires

One of the many reasons I am so proud to be a part of this Association is the way our members come together in a moment of crisis. California has been hit with 3 huge wildfires that have caused devastation. The Camp Fire in Northern California which virtually obliterated the town of Paradise, home to more than 26,000 people and the Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire near Los Angeles. For information on volunteering and donating to the survivors of these wildfires, please see the following links: www.californiavolunteers.ca.gov and www.redcross.org or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Have You Heard the Latest?

Tune in to the CEMA website on a regular basis to check out the series of blogs and white papers, refreshed and new content added on a regular basis. You’ll want to be sure to read these:


How to capitalize on the content your event attendees create

Which Type of Event is Right for You?

Is Google Uptime the Next Big Thing in Event Marketing?

White Papers/Case Studies

New Study Shows Trends in Budgets, Strategies for Incentive Travel

ASK CEMA — Your Question, Our Experts Answer

Your CEMA membership allows you the opportunity to ask our community of experts for their opinion and recommendations that will help you to excel at your job. Our latest Question and Answer(s) follow:


“When building C-level executive experiences (i.e. special events, customer advisory boards, dinners, C-Suite summits), what best practices do you implement to curate a top-notch, memorable event? Best practices, suggestions or ideas are welcome, as we are trying to standardize across all of our c-level events.”


  • Personalize as much communication as possible—custom agendas, personal emails, phone calls
  • Make logistics really easy—give them access to links that make their travel easy (ground trans, check-in, proactive instructions)
  • Build transitional downtime into the agenda for casual networking
  • Give them access to executives they typically don’t get to meet via reception or another forum

In regard to making events memorable, we plan all of our events around a framework we developed with the authors of a book called the “Experience Economy.” The framework goes deeper than just “before, during, and after” – we call it the “8 Phases of the Guest Experience.” In marketing terms, it is similar to a “customer journey” but it’s more how we journey map for a live event.

In my experience, I would say the biggest thing companies overlook is how to ‘say goodbye’ to their guests. Hollywood is great at leaving you with a “happy ending” of a movie, or if you’re a Seinfeld fan you may recall an episode where George likes to crack jokes and “go out on a high note.” I see clients mainly focusing on the content/engaging at the event (and rightfully so as this is most important), but the ‘exiting’ and ‘extending’ phases are really important to leave a lasting impression/memory and stay connected to your brand. If it’s a C-Level event, a nice (or funny) toast from executives or some sort of unique “surprise” at the end will leave a lasting impression. To extend, a personalized thank you note from your executives or an appropriately themed gift to extend the experience afterward refreshes that connection. There are some examples of each phase in the first link, but I would be happy to share some other ideas I have seen if you like.

Job Opportunities Abound for CEMA Members!

CEMA provides members with information on new career opportunities, regularly updated and ready for you to contribute to or peruse. 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 Careers for current job postings.

Here’s an idea of some of the latest jobs posted:

Program Manager, Events and Experiences at Google

Trade Show Manager/Event Marketing Manager, at Amazon

Senior Event Manage, at DocuSign

Welcome New CEMA Members

A warm welcome to our new CEMA members: Marvin Paule, Deana Ward, Madison Cain, Gina Gunderson and Lena Waters of Doc U Sign; and Shawn Salyers, VP Business Development at etech Events.