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February 17, 2015
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Middle East: IAEE Puts Education in the Spotlight


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International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) is looking to expand its reach in the Middle East through its Certified in Exhibition Management program. 

“The event industry in the GCC is growing with expanding infrastructure, new venues, developed trade shows and an increasingly sizeable workforce,” said Jerad Bachar, CDME, Managing Director – Consultancy, Nasaafir Solutions, which represents IAEE in the GCC. “This growth creates a great opportunity for IAEE to expand its presence within the region through the Certified in Exhibition Management program (CEM) and related activities.”

David DuBois, CEO, IAEE (left) and Jerad Bachar, CDME, Managing Director – Consultancy, Nasaafir Solutions (right) 

The Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) designation was created in 1975 to provide a professional title for those in the exhibition and event industry. It helps build business and technical knowledge that holds practical value in the marketplace and to earn it participants must complete a nine-part programme within three years. 

“Within the GCC our aim is to enable participants to complete the program within a 12 month period,” said Bachar. “Recertification is required every three years to maintain the certification.”

To begin the CEM Learning Program, new candidates must have three years’ full-time experience in the exhibition and event industry. Candidates include exhibition organizers, venue staff or any professional that has the required work experience.

“The exhibition industry is driven by talented individuals with a strong desire to create, implement and deliver and it relies on the skills and competencies of well-trained staff,” said Bachar. “Within the GCC, the industry’s workforce continues to evolve with a mixture of seasoned individuals with global experience as well as less experienced individuals from an array of backgrounds. In addition to this current workforce, there is a desire in all GCC countries for each country’s citizens to become engaged in this evolving industry. Education, training and certification programmes assist in developing industry professionals on all of these levels. In a region like the GCC, these programmes help elevate the entire workforce, making the region more competitive.”
With convention bureaus in the region committed to the professional development of employees, the certification is sure to be highly sought after – much to the delight of tourism authorities and governments.  

“The exhibition industry has long had a profound influence on the development of the Middle East,” said Bachar. “It is well known that the industry is a strong economic driver, however, it is also impactful across all industries in encouraging investment, advancing knowledge and capabilities, sharing technology and research, creating networks and communities and building the brand of our destinations.”
With all signs pointing to a continued expansion of the exhibition industry in the GCC, education will no doubt play a key role in its ongoing evolution. 


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