Kettlewell-RichterAEM’s Jen Richter and Rebecca Kettlewell recently earned the designation of certified digital event strategist (DES) from PCMA.

The Digital Event Strategist certification is designed to help event professionals effectively plan, produce and measure the results of live stream and digital engagement events. Ultimately, earning the certification indicates an event professional is an authority on live stream and digital gatherings.

“Adding a digital component to AEM’s successful in-person events is part of the exhibitions strategic plan developed by our member-driven task force. This direction will ultimately allow AEM to expand its audience and thus the value to members,” said AEM Senior Vice President of Exhibitions and Marketing Nicole Hallada. “We’ll be able to reach people that can’t travel, extend the life of our in-person events and leverage our audience of end users for members and exhibitors year-round.

Richter first obtained a DES certification in 2018, and earned it again in recent months. In addition to participating in a multi-week online course, Richter took part in a three-day in-person session to earn the certification the first time. Doing so allowed her the uniquely valuable opportunity to collaborate with other association leaders, as well as learn and share best practices for designing digital events.

Richter joined AEM in early 2018 as AEM’s Director of Digital Media. Prior to her time with the association, Richter spent several years overseeing digital programs for a top U.S.-based publisher and managing the digital growth strategy for a leading travel management platform. She holds an undergraduate degree in marketing and international business from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and an MBA, with a focus in e-commerce, from Marquette University.

“In today’s digital-first environment, I bring the expertise and a strategic framework to AEM’s exhibition team as they plan digital events that work for our industry,” said Richter. “So, while the rest of the industry is rushing to figure out the digital event space, AEM has been researching and strategizing digital events and digital platforms for the past two years.”

In order to earn the designation of DES, Kettlewell undertook 25 clock hours of education, which included seven weeks of instructor-led classes. In addition to 14 hours spent completing a 10-module course, Kettlewell spent 11 hours participating in additional related education on her own time and completed a 100-question exam.

Kettlewell is responsible for association trade show logistics and housing. She also serves on AEM’s internal Health and Safety, Crisis Management, Attendee Experience and Digital/Hybrid Strategy teams.

An employee of AEM since December of 2006, Kettlewell graduated from Lakeland University (Wis.) with a degree in business administration. She is also a member of PCMA and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).

“This education opportunity has allowed me to expand my knowledge base to help drive AEM digital event strategies and – ultimately – build long-term value for the association’s members,” said Kettlewell.

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