CEM Learning Programme

Program Elements

The CEM Learning Program is a nine-part adult learning and certification program designed to provide industry professionals an in-depth understanding of the overall operations of the industry. To begin the program, you must have three years of full-time experience in the exhibitions and events industry.

You may choose any nine out of the twelve courses offered to complete the program. Courses are offered both online and on-location and you may take all nine courses online, on-location or a combination of both formats. Each course has a corresponding online exam that must be proctored and taken within 90 days of the course date. You have three years from the date of your first passed exam in which to complete all nine courses and exams. If you have your CMP, you automatically receive credit for the Conference and Meeting Management course.

Recertification is required every three years after the candidate earns the designation.  Recertification requires CEMs to earn 15 hours of professional continuing education and pay a renewal fee in a three-year time period.


Registration fees for on-location courses in the United States are $299 members/$440 non-members (per course). Registration fees for online courses are $350 members/$605 non-members (per course). These costs include all course materials and the exam.

IAEE Member Pricing: take all nine (9) courses on-location: $299 x 9 = $2691 (plus $100 application fee)

IAEE Member Pricing: take all nine (9) courses online: $350 x 9 = $3150 (plus $100 application fee)

CEM Learning Program Courses

Application Process and Criteria

To begin the program, you must have three (3) years of full-time experience in the exhibitions and events industry and submit an online application. An application fee is also required at the time the application is submitted ($100 for members/$125 for non-members).

Applications are submitted through the IAEE Member Dashboard at http://members.iaee.com. Your default logon is your email address and your password is your first name+last name (all lower case, no spaces). The application is under the “Certifications” section.

When you are accepted into the program, you will receive a welcome email containing log in information to Blackboard, IAEE’s learning management system that houses all course materials. You will also receive the latest edition of the Art of the Show textbook.

You can then begin registering for courses. To view the schedule and register for courses click here.

On-Location Courses

  • Activity-based learning environments where students can engage and learn from their peers as well as the instructor.
  • Students are expected to read the course module prior to the start of class.
  • Courses begin at 8:30am and end at approximately 4:30pm. This includes the optional one hour exam.
  • Students who plan to take the exam following the course must bring a laptop or Wi-Fi enabled device with a battery life of at least one hour. Those that choose not to take the exam immediately after class will have 90 days from the course date in which to take it. Information on how to request to take an exam may be found here.

Online Courses

  • Offer distance learning to students who need more flexibility in their schedules along with convenience while completing their CEM designation.
  • Each course is four weeks in length and facilitated entirely online through Blackboard, IAEE’s learning management system. Each week students have assigned readings from the course workbook, a graded quiz and graded discussion board exercises.
  • Students can expect to spend 1.0 to 2.0 hours per week on course work.
  • Blackboard is the system used to access all of the course content, receive assignments, take quizzes and participate in class discussions.
  • Students can log in to the course 24-hours, 7-days a week, as long as there is access to the Internet, but the courses are not self-paced.
  • Students have 90 days from the last day of the course to take their proctored exam. Complete exam information can be found here.

Program Completion

Upon completion of all requirements for the program, candidates will receive a letter from the CEM Commission permitting use of the CEM designation. IAEE will also mail a formal certificate of completion within two months of completion of the designation.

Quick Links/Additional Resources