When members of the Computer Event Marketing Association gathered at the annual Summit meeting in July, President Marilyn Kroner brought the association's “BAG” — its Big Audacious Goal — to the podium. “We want to be the definitive resource for event marketing professionals within the IT industry,” said Kroner, marketing communications manager for Benchmark Storage Innovations Inc., Boulder, Colo. To that end, she reported on several CEMA moves, including improvements to its Web site (www.cemaonline.com); a new relationship with Catapult Public Relations to help get the CEMA word out; a new scholarship fund, started with support from The George P. Johnson Co.; and CEMA's work on the issue of independent standardized audits. (See Kroner's message on page 22.)

“The growth is impressive, but doesn't compare to our potential.”
— Trinette Cunningham, executive director, CEMA

With member companies hard hit by the economic slowdown, The Summit, headquartered this year at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., drew somewhat fewer attendees than last year (240 versus 275), but the spirit of networking and education was alive and well among IT companies large and small. To name just a few examples, attendees heard from Kendra Benitez, senior program marketing manager at Lucent Technologies, about the company's 11-city Asian roadshow; Erika Brunke, director of event marketing at Garage Technology Ventures, on her process for paperless meetings; and Linda Haury, North American marketing director at Citrix, shared the stage with Parry McManamon, vice president and media director at Carat Freeman Face-to-Face, to discuss how Citrix brought in Carat to strategize an integrated marketing program.

CEMA Executive Director Trinette Cunningham reported on the organization's continued expansion. The organization had fewer than 250 members two years ago and today boasts about 630. “The growth is impressive, but doesn't compare to our potential,” she said, noting that she would like to double that membership figure over the next few years.