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CEM-AP (Advanced Professional)

The Certified in Exhibition Management Advanced Professional certification program (CEM-AP) is for CEMs with at least 10 years of industry experience who have acquired 30 education/leadership credits (through a combination of leadership activities and industry-related continuing education). Applicants must complete one mandatory two-day course which will be taught by Dr. Sam Potolicchio. Dr. Potolicchio is the Founding Executive Director of American Councils For International Education’s Center for Global Leadership and President of the Preparing Global Leaders Forum.

Each mandatory two-day course is $1,400 USD for IAEE Members and $1,800 USD for Non-Members. In addition to the two-day course, applicants must complete a CEM Commission approved case study.

Successful completion of all requirements will award attendees with the CEM-AP certification providing professional credentials. Applicants have one year from the date of the class to complete their case study.

The application and application fee ($200 USD IAEE Members/$250 USD Non-Members) are required before starting. The application process will include submission and verification of 30 educational/leadership credits.

Once approved as a CEM-AP candidate, applicants will begin mandatory course work and case study. The case study should be built around one of the 14 CEM workbooks and should involve an issue and solution that has a significant impact on the exhibitions and events industry.

Case study mentors are available – please contact to be matched with a mentor.

Completed case studies will be sent to the CEM Commission for final approval. Once approved and the candidate has completed course work, the CEM-AP certificate is earned.

The CEM-AP designation recertification process will take place every five years requiring 15 total education/leadership credits. The CEM designation will be automatically renewed and bundled with the CEM-AP designation.

Submit Your CEM-AP Application Here

Upcoming CEM-AP Course


Contact Jennifer Potter, CEM for questions.

Application Process/Criteria

Applicants must have an active CEM certification with 10 years industry experience and demonstrate they have earned a minimum of 30 education/leadership credits (since the date of their last CEM recertification OR in the last three years) made up of a combination of leadership activities and professional continuing education attended in the past three years or have earned a master’s degree or advanced degree within the past three years.

Leadership Activities

Ten of the required 30 credits must be earned by participating in exhibitions and events industry leadership activities during the past three years.

Activities include:

  • Participation in industry chapter events (luncheons, CSR activities, networking events/meet ups, education) – one (1) contact hour = one (1) credit
  • Active participation OR leadership role on an industry or IAEE board, committee, task force or chapter – one (1) credit per term
  • Speaker at an exhibitions or events industry event – one contact hour = one (1) credit
  • Leading or designing a company sponsored continuing education or training program – one (1) contact hour = one (1) credit
  • Guest lecture at a college or university – one (1) contact hour = one (1) credit
  • Serve as a mentor (through IAEE or company) – one (1) credit per mentorship
  • Participate in community service (ex: PTA board, church volunteer, Girl/Boy Scout Troop activities) = one (1) contact hour = one (1) credit
  • Published author = one (1) credit per article
  • Proctor a CEM exam = one (1) credit per exam
  • Manage a show that is IAEE Certified = one (1) credit hour
  • Teach a CEM Learning Program course (online or on-location) – five (5) credits per course

Professional Continuing Education

Twenty of the required 30 credits must be earned by attending professional continuing education. Education credit hours are based on contact hours, which are defined as the number of clock hours spent in direct participation in a structured educational format.  One contact hour is equivalent to one credit hour (non-educational time spent networking, on breaks, registration, does not qualify). Education must be industry or leadership-related. All education must occur during the past three years.

Examples include:

  • IAEE education programs including:
    • Expo! Expo! sessions – one (1) contact hour = one (1) credit
    • Webinars = one (1) credit per webinar
    • Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) = five and one half (5.5) credits
    • WLF Regional Events = three (3) credits per event
    • CEIR Predict – six (6) credits
  • Company sponsored continuing education or training: one (1) contact hour = one (1) credit
  • Allied association/industry education programs (including, but not limited to CAEM, MPI, ASAE, PCMA, SISO): one (1) contact hour = one (1) credit

Formal Education

If you have earned a master’s degree or advanced degree within the past three years, all required 30 hours may come from this category.


Application fee is $200 USD for Members/$250 USD for Non-Members. Fees are subject to change without notice and are nonrefundable.

In Case of Audit

All hours/credits are subject to verification by the CEM Commission or IAEE staff through the audit process.

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