Message from CAEM President Jill Kivett

Hello Fabulous CAEM Members!

I have been President for close to two months, so I thought it was time to introduce myself!

October 2023 will mark 20 years in the event industry, specifically with Marketplace Events (formerly dmg world media). I started out as an Exhibit Sales Representative for the two Vancouver home shows. In 2014 I moved into the role of Regional Vice President and joined the Marketplace Events management team.

I was incredibly honoured to become President of CAEM. I have very big shoes to fill, and I cannot thank Past President, Bianca Kennedy and Executive Director, Jennifer Allaby enough for their leadership during the pandemic.  They helped us pivot towards advocacy for the industry while working with our Treasurer Anita Schachter to keep the association financially sound. It was incredible to be a part of restarting our industry. A wild and uncomfortable rollercoaster ride that I am glad has finally slowed.

Most of us have now had a chance to work on events again. How good did that feel? I have thought a lot about that moment on the show floor when the booths are set up, the aisle carpet is freshly vacuumed, the lights are set to the right level, but the exhibitors and attendees have not arrived yet…the calm before the storm. We get a chance to stand back and admire what we have built before sharing it with the world. It is truly magical. Events are back and it feels good!

I am a glass half full person so I wish we could celebrate the exposition industry being “back to normal”. Sadly, we all know that is not the case. Staff shortages, supply chain issues, skyrocketing costs, increasing interest rates, and a looming recession all put a damper on the celebration. The challenges we are facing now are not on the scale of a global pandemic, but they are very real and very scary.

CAEM is the association for producers, venues, and suppliers of trade and consumer shows. We are the only association of its kind in Canada. Under CAEM’s leadership, the industry united like never before over the last two years and together we have made significant progress on several different fronts, but our work is not done and for CAEM to continue to advocate for the industry, provide education and networking opportunities such as the annual conference, we need membership to increase to pre-pandemic levels and for our strategic partnerships and sponsorships to grow.  I am beyond grateful for the support of our current membership, but I challenge you to spread the word about CAEM. Reach out to event producers and suppliers across Canada and encourage them to join this association. Participation in our events (attending and sponsoring) is also imperative to CAEM’s success. This association is for you. Our continued growth and success, and honestly, our existence as an association lies firmly within all of you.

The Board of Directors is embarking on a strategic planning process where we will be reviewing CAEM’s current mission and discussing our strengths and weaknesses while focusing on our future goals. A key element of our strategic planning process includes a member survey which we will be sending out in September.  Please watch your emails and be sure to participate in the survey because we need to hear from each and every one of you in order to effectively plan for CAEM's future.

After we complete the strategic planning process, we will be reaching out to our membership to form committees. We do not exist without our volunteers – our Board of Directors and Committee Members. I encourage each of you to consider joining a committee this year and joining our Board in the future.

I am thrilled to be embarking on this journey and I look forward to connecting with each of you, at a future CAEM event or on the phone. Thank you for your support and kindness!

Jill Kivett
President, CAEM