5 Ways to Become a Certified Event Planner
While it is not required to obtain an event planner certification, having one will help you to achieve three things:
- Demonstrate you’ve obtained industry-standard training
- Give you a competitive edge in the job market
- Help you to book more clients if you’re operating your own event planning business
How do you obtain Certification?
Depending on your area of expertise and interest, there are five (5) industry-recognized certification programs available to event planners and they are as follows:
1. Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
The CMP designation from The Events Industry Council has been around since 1985 and some would argue it is the most recognized in the industry. It covers 9 domain areas that include; Stakeholder Management, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Project Management, Risk Management, Financial management, Event Design, Site Management, Marketing, and Professionalism. There are over 11,000 CMPs in over 55 countries and growing! With this certification, you will learn industry best practices and understand the commonly used language amongst planners. It is a must-have for anyone interested in the meeting and event planning profession! You must have 3 years’ experience and it is a 165 multiple choice exam.
You can also find lots of CMP Meeting Exam Prep Courses in-person or online.
2. Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP)
This designation recognizes industry professionals that have experience in live special events. It covers similar areas to the CMP but with more of a focus from the supplier side. It allows planners to demonstrate that they have the experience and knowledge in large special events, that include things like volunteer management, risk management, audio-visual and of course, event design!
3. Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM)
Organized by Meetings Professionals International (MPI) this designation is for seasoned vets. It is an executive-level program that takes place over four days and followed up with 8 weeks of asynchronous training. You need 7 years of professional experience and at least 3 of management experience to enroll in the program.
4. Certification in Exhibition Management (CEM)
According to The Event Certificate, the CEM is organized by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and is for anyone that specializes in Exhibition management. Created in 1975 this designation is globally recognized for those in the exhibition world.
5. Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP)
Governed by the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP), the CGMP is recognized in the hospitality industry; many government contracts now require planners working under contract to have their government certification. In order to take the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) class and exam, you must be a current member of SGMP for at least 6 months.
Becoming a Certified Event Planner can open up many opportunities, take the time to explore your options and make a choice that best suits your interest.