Certifications and Education

One of the most common questions I get asked is "How did I become an event and meeting planner?" Well, my answer is long, but some great advice is to reach out and or join the many professional societies for event professionals. Here is a rundown:
(Source: Successful Meeting Magazine, July 09, 2008, Corrie Dosh)

CMP – Certified Meeting Professional The Convention Industry Council awards this designation based on professional experience and a written examination. Considered the foremost certification program of today's meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry, the CMP program recognizes individuals who have achieved the industry's highest standard of professionalism. CMPs must be recertified every five years.To apply:

CMM – Certification in Meeting Management This designation offered by Meeting Professionals International began in Europe. As the first university co-developed professional designation (with the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University), the program blends a traditional educational framework with a hands-on, interactive setting. CMM candidates take part in an intensive four-step process that includes pre-residency, residency, examination, and post-residency components. Pre-residency involves active participation in an MPI learning group using online technology and a variety of reading assignments; residency includes a four-and-a-half-day full-immersion course and examination; and finally, there is a post-residency business project.To apply:

CAE – Certified Association Executive The American Society of Association Executives awards this certification to designate association professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of association management. The program, founded in 1960, comprises a written test and 75 hours of broad-based qualifying professional development within the past five years.To apply:

CEM – Certified Exposition Manager The International Association of Exhibitions & Events offers the designation to those who complete a nine-part program within three years. The program is composed of seven mandatory courses and two courses chosen from five available electives. Advanced-level courses are also available for CEMs to continue their professional education and obtain recertification.To apply:

CITE – Certified Incentive Travel Executive The Society of Incentive & Travel Executives awards this designation to those who demonstrate their extensive knowledge of the industry and achieve its highest standard of excellence. To be approved, applicants must complete six steps within a year, including a three-hour exam, an original research paper, and earning 100 qualifying experience points.To apply:

CSEP – Certified Special Events Professional The International Special Events Society awards this based on education, performance, experience, and service to the industry. It reflects a commitment to professional conduct and ethics. To earn the designation, applicants must pass a written examination and earn 35 professional industry points.To apply:

Check out these other certifications available for those in the meetings industry:
American Hotel and Lodging Association ( Certified Hospitality Sales Professional (CHSP), Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS), Certified Lodging Manager (CLM), Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE), Master Hotel Supplier (MHS),
Association of Destination Management Executives ( Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP); Accredited Destination Management Company (ADMC)
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International ( Certified in Hospitality Sales Competencies (CHSC); Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive (CHME)
National Association of Catering Executives ( Certified Professional Catering Executive (CPCE)
National Speakers Association ( Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)
PMPN Meetings With Impact ( Certified Medical Meeting Manager (CMMM)
Trade Show Exhibitors Association ( Certified Manager of Exhibits (CME)

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