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A CEMA Noob Goes to Summit 2016

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The CEMA Summit is one of the Event Marketing conferences we at Jifflenow look forward to with great excitement. In 2014, we won the Tech Shootout and met several prospects who have since become customers and strong spokespersons for our technology. Having moved to the US less than a year ago, it was my first time at CEMA, though for some strange reason my lanyard wasn’t white.

CEMA is known as a great peer-to-peer knowledge sharing opportunity for event management professionals across industries. This year’s summit was no different. Spanning over three days, the event kick started with the backdrop of the picturesque Marriott Newport Beach Resort and Spa.

To me, CEMA 2016 felt like a very intimate, closely-knit get together where everyone felt like a part of a large, boisterous family. Even first-time attendees, with their white lanyards, were welcomed warmly and soon became an integral part of the intense conversations. I really mean it when I say I felt the close sense of community at CEMA – so kudos to the members and the board for building such a wonderful forum.

Sessions: There were several educative and interesting sessions at the event. My personal favorite was the Dell session on ‘How to create, plan and evaluate a strategic roadmap for events’. Greg Schneider, the Marketing Director of Strategy and Planning for Dell’s Global Event Marketing Team and Dax Callner, Chief Strategy Officer at Sparks showcased how Dell uses data-driven decision-making to perform event evaluations and guide their investment strategy.

My Takeaways: Sales pipeline and event technology were a recurring theme of multiple sessions. Dell’s session in particular, stood out for me because of their insights on the use of hard and soft metrics to evaluate event investments. The hard metrics represent actual numbers like the sales pipeline, the number of leads, etc. whereas, soft metrics are more about social traction, booth engagement, survey results, etc. Most of Dell’s top performing events scored high on hard metrics, meaning they delivered significant impact on their pipeline. Investing in such events over and over again is, therefore, a no-brainer.

The Innovation shootout

I’d heard a lot about the ‘shootouts’ at CEMA and finally understood what it was all about. The Innovation Shootout this year had 6 participants who presented their latest innovations within a time frame of 8 minutes each. Some of the interesting presentations included Cvent’s Event in a Box a hardware device for faster event registration and self-printing badges, Hubb’s event content management platform that focuses on speaker submissions and content streamlining, Guidebook’s 7-minute mobile app development and of course our own integration.

Invision was the winner with its touch technology solution for capturing attendee interest areas and making intelligent recommendations. Aaron Karpaty of Jifflenow (who had delivered the winning demo in 2014) congratulated the winners while also saying “I wish I had better wifi”.


Needless to say, this noob loved being at the CEMA Summit 2016 and will be back in San Diego for the 2017 summit. Till then, work hard all ye fellow event professionals. I hope our paths cross again soon!

For more event industry insights and trends, visit the Jifflenow blog.


Authored by:

Parth, HCEA, Jifflenow
Parth Mukherjee
Head of Marketing, Jifflenow
Follow Parth on Twitter @parthsm



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