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Our CTSM community overflows with stories... moments of triumph, exercises in resilience, and nods of understanding. We're a collection of specialists across the industry who are incredibly proud of what we do, what we create, and the CTSM tribe we've become part of.




Andrea Lynch, CMP, CTSM GoldEncourages CTSMers to Look at Their Portfolios as the "Show-off Piece to Brag about Their Programs"
Andrea Lynch, CMP, CTSM Gold
Senior Tradeshow and Events Manager, BNY Mellon | Pershing
Lake Mary, FL


I started my career as an event planner in Canada once I graduated University in 1998. By 2007, I decided to leave the cold weather and move to Orlando, FL. What I thought was going to be an easy transition, turned out to be a little more challenging. I needed US experience and I needed credentials...fast!

After holding some temporary full time jobs not in my field, by the Fall of 2009 I landed an Event Specialist job. Within the first month, an EXHIBITOR magazine was dropped on my desk and I was instantly hooked - I wanted in!

I am likely one of the few candidates that completed all my classes, sat the exam and wrote my portfolio all in a year and a half. I was determined, focused and my schedule was flexible at the time. Even though I started the program when I worked for one company and then switched my employer part way through, my new employer was equally eager for me to obtain this certification and saw the benefits.

I believe the value of having industry education is for its structured foundation, ability to incorporate into your existing program and scalability for showcasing best practices during the execution phase. In the CTSM program, the detailed specific learning objectives provide the framework for each class, and I would say that I came away with at least one nugget of information from each one. All the instructors I had brought their own strengths to the class, and I loved how they gave out their contact information in case you needed to follow up. My advice to new candidates is not to fear the portfolio. The portfolio is your own show-off piece to brag about your program, illustrate how the classes you have attended have influenced your program and how it became a success. This is your time to shine!

I am currently working towards my Diamond certification and plan to attend EXHIBITORLIVE and EXHIBITORFastTraks as my schedule permits.



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