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CMP Profile of Candace Adams

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This month, we are highlighting Candace (Candy) Adams, CMP, CTSM, CME, CEM, CMM. Candy is the President of her own trade show consulting company, The Booth Mom® and has been a CMP since 1997.

Tell us about your job and daily duties.
I work as a virtual exhibit project manager for companies who want to be successful exhibiting at trade shows but don’t have a professional exhibit manager on staff to help them reach their goals and objectives. I help them hone their strategy, messaging, budgets, promotions, exhibit design and production, staffing, shipping, and all other tactical elements of the show as their advisor, protector and "Booth Mom®". I also write a monthly column for Exhibitor magazine, "Exhibiting 101," and have been teaching at Exhibitor’s conferences three times a year for 15 years.

Are you on the supplier or planner side of the industry?
As a 3rd party independent planner, sometimes I am seen as a planner and sometimes I am seen as a supplier. Some people automatically put me on the "supplier" side because I’m not an employee of the companies and associations that I plan exhibits and events for. But, I’m a virtual exhibit project manager for a number of companies and associations, so what I do on a daily basis is act as a planner.

How has having your CMP benefitted you?
When I got my CMP, I already had the exhibiting side of event management in control, but felt helpless when asked to plan meetings, exhibitions and social events. The CMP gave me the tools and the confidence to move out of my comfort zone. It also got me hooked on industry education and I have gone on to earn four additional industry designations (CTSM, CEM, CME, CMM).

What are some of the invaluable lessons that you have learned during your time as a CMP?
There are three invaluable lessons that I have learned during my time as a CMP. I have learned to stick with doing what you’re passionate about, and don’t be afraid to tell a client that what they’re asking for isn’t your "A " work. Also, if your gut says "No," and your mouth says, "Yes," you’re asking for trouble and probably should have listened to your gut. The last thing that I have learned is that it’s OK to fire a client. In fact, sometimes it’s downright healthy if it’s a toxic one!

What is your greatest accomplishment professionally?
My greatest professional accomplishment is helping rookie exhibitors survive their first year or so of shows until they learn the ropes. I’ve been teaching and writing for industry publications for 15 years, gearing my content to all the things I wish I’d known when I started in the business – the things that really matter to make exhibit programs successful.

Candy lived in San Diego for 27 years, but is now living in Defiance, Ohio where she grew up. When Candy is not being the "Booth Mom", she enjoys napping in front of the fireplace with a cat on her lap and reading good books. Her ideal vacation would include going to Italy to wander aimlessly, without a plan, for a month. That would be really different than her usual regimented minute-by-minute planning!


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