Often, we feel we are too busy to join another group or attend another meeting; however, just like with anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. Don’t join just to have your name on a membership roster or to have another line on your resume. Don’t get certified just to have some letters after your name. Join (and get involved!) or certify because it will make a difference for you — personally and professionally.
Should You Get Your CMP?
CMP stands for Certified Meeting Planner, a highly regarded designation in the events industry. It is similar to a Ph.D. in the events' world due to the level of work and dedication it takes to achieve.
The CMP is administered by the Convention Industry Council (CIC) and has provided a standard certification for meeting professionals for the past 25 years. To qualify to take the test, you must be employed (currently or recently) in the events industry for a minimum of two years and meet a required number of continuing education credits through classes or an internship. Over the past five to 10 years, as more corporations are hiring event professionals, more people in the industry are getting their CMP.
Is a CMP right for you?
The time and financial costs are not small, but the payoff can be huge. To determine if a CMP is right for you, ask yourself these questions:
How many of my events colleagues have a CMP?
What opportunities am I missing out on by not having a CMP?
What opportunities or advantages will having a CMP create?
Do I have the resources to devote to this?
Please note that a CMP is not the only event professional certification out there. Emory and UGA both offer a certification program in event planning. (For options that are not locally based, visit George Washington University.) One can also look into the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) or a plethora of other programs and degrees in event planning now being offered.
No matter which road you choose, remember to always do your research. Anyone can claim to be a meeting planner and host a certification or training course. Programs backed by accredited universities or with the support of nationally known groups such as MPI and ISES will be your best bet for a successful education to your events future.