In March 2015 I embarked on a quest to earn the Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM) designation.
By November 2016 I completed the program of 28 courses, a three-hour comprehensive exam, and an 80-page portfolio demonstrating application of essential learning components.
My portfolio (PDF, 4.5MB) is a case study on the American Academy of Ophthalmology Resource Center at AAO 2015 and AAO 2016. I detail measurable objectives, exhibit design and production, integrated marketing communications (IMC), results reporting, and more. The portfolio review committee commented:
"Very thorough, well done, and very professional”
"Most thorough IMC section we have seen in a portfolio”
“Your enthusiasm for always making things better shines through.”
“You should consider presenting a topic at ExhibitorLive.”
I earned the Bronze level upgrade in 2017 and the Silver and Gold level upgrades in 2018. I've also volunteered as a mentor to new enrollees in the program.
CTSM is the only university-affiliated professional certification program for trade show and event marketers (Northern Illinois University).