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 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”

  • “Fascinating reading”

  • "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).