Orange County Convention Center


IAEE’s Women’s Leadership Initiative provides a holistic approach to developing leadership skills for women in the exhibitions and events industry regardless of age, individual situation or current position.

Message from 2020 Chair, Julie Cerza, CEM

Julie Cerza, CEM | Director of Member Recruiting and Member Services | Nations Best Sports

My thoughts, as well as IAEE’s, continue to be with you and your families in these unprecedented and challenging times. For some of us, we will soon start working in our offices again, and some still remotely, but one thing is for sure…our industry is strong and we are continuing to fight together to get business back to normal, or as normal as it can be by moving our exhibitions and events along and advocating for our industry.

Our industry has been dramatically impacted by this pandemic, and our hearts and thoughts go out to those individually and personally affected by business closures, layoffs and furloughs. The positive side of this pandemic is that there have been many new initiatives and task forces being put into place over the past few months which will allow our industry and our organizations to move forward, establishing a safer way of conducting business and allowing our companies the opportunity for continued growth.

The best news though is that the IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum is still taking place. Postponed to 8-9 September, the event will take place at Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, VA, and the committee and I cannot wait to see you all there! With our same scheduled lineup of amazing keynotes, it will be a phenomenal time for us to come together, to share with one another and to continue our solidarity of being the great industry that we are while moving forward.

I hope to see you soon, and until then, let’s all stay safe and healthy.


Pay Equity in the Exhibitions and Events Industry

Despite the fact that the exhibitions and events industry employs more female professionals than male, women earned 60% of what men earned in 2018, according to a new survey on Compensation Trends by Trade Show Executive (TSE) and the International Asso­ciation of Exhibitions & Events® (IAEE). In fact, female exhibition/event professionals earn an average base salary of $92,400 annually, compared with their male counterparts who earned $154,703.

The pay gap in the exhibitions industry is wider than other industries. On average, a woman earns 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to data from the US Census Bureau. In 2018, about 57% of women are part of the workforce, compared to 69% of men, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. IAEE reports 58% of members are female.

It’s worth noting that a 2018 compensation study conducted by Mercer for the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) reveals gender pay gaps on the for-profit side, but not as large. For Show/Event Managers, women average a base salary of $75,166, compared with their male counterparts who earn $84,468 — a dif­ference of 12%. The gap increases as the level gets higher. For Show Directors, women average a base salary of $98,997, compared with males who earn $121,382 — a gap of 23%.


Base Salary by Gender

Did You Know…

Individuals with the CEM designation make up to 30% more? 

The Certified in Exhibition Management® (CEM) is a globally recognized designation that demonstrates the highest professional standard throughout the exhibition and event management arena. It was first created in 1975 to raise professional standards in the event industry and it continues to be the premier mark of professional achievement.

The CEM designation accommodates short and long-term career goals with education that can be tailored to meet specific needs and interests. The designation is obtained by completion of nine courses offered in classroom and on-line formats. The CEM Learning Program is offered in a variety of countries, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, India, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and Thailand.  For more information, contact Jennifer Potter at to get started.

Active CEMS Around the World

59% of Our Female Members are Under 40?

The IAEE Young Professionals group was created to fill an important niche in the exhibitions and events community. If you are 35 or under and are looking for a network with core life objectives including career advancement, becoming financially secure and being involved in a special interest group while maintaining a social life, then IAEE Young Professionals is right for you. Contact Jannat Choudhury for more information.