If you’ve been in the meeting and events industry for a while now then you’ve most likely seen the “CMM” or “CMP” designation beside a colleague’s name. CMM or Certification in Meeting Management is a certification offered by Meeting Professionals International (“MPI”). The purpose of this certification is to provide continuing education to management level event professionals. CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) is a certification program by the. The CMP is considered the premier certificate in the industry and recognizes individuals who have achieved the highest standard of professionalism.
Do You Need an Event Planning Certification?
Basically anyone can start promoting themselves as a meeting planner. You do not need any certification to work in the industry. I know many industry colleagues, that are more than qualified, that do not have event planning certification. However, like most professions, the goal within the industry is to separate the serious players from the casual ones. Not always an easy task. Today, you can easily put a web site together and begin promoting your services. And to the outside world it could look like you’ve been doing event planning forever. A decade ago, if someone asked me if they needed event planning certification, I would say no. Before the internet became the resource that it is today, you could easily tell whether someone knew their stuff or not. Today, that’s not so easy to determine. If someone has gone to the trouble of obtaining event planning certification, that tells me that person has taken a personal interest in their career development. Event planning certification also provides the much needed industry standards. That’s why I support event planning certification today.
Which Event Planning Certification is Right for You
There are many types of event planning certification programs available. Depending on your region, many colleges and local industry associations’ chapters offer event planning certification. For this article we’re exploring the differences between the CMM and CMP programs. The CMP certification is usually the first that you would seek. The CMP distinguishes the person as someone that has demonstrated a high level of experience and knowledge. The CMM certification requires a minimum of 10 years industry experience and targets management level meeting professionals. The length of time before you can obtain a CMM may alone help you decide which event planning certification is right for you. MPI has put together a great FAQ page on the certification programs and processes.
Whether you are new to the meeting and events industry or have been in the industry for some time now, event planning certification is definitely something you should consider. Especially if you’re serious about growing your company. While there is no guarantee that you will see an increase in business, potential customers know that they are in good hands and that you take pride in your profession. Talk to colleagues that already have designations to get their thoughts on which one is best for you. Then learn the steps necessary for you to advance. Investing in yourself is never a bad decision.