You don’t have to have an event planning degree or be a Certified Meeting Planner to be a successful meeting and event planner. But it helps.
If you’re still in school there are lots of event planning degrees out there. Check them out. But if you’re already in the industry, already have an event planning career underway, there’s no better time than the present to start working toward your certified Meeting Professional Certification.
First go to the Convention Industry Council (CIC) page to learn about the designation and the steps you’ll need to follow.
From the CIC page:
The CMP exam was developed and is maintained by meeting professionals from all over the world who volunteer their time to ensure that the program reflects the best practices in the meeting management field. More than 10,000 meeting professionals in 55 countries around the globe hold the CMP designation. This unique community represents every sector of the industry—from corporations and associations to government and institutional organizations.
Everything you need to know is there at the CIC site. But here are some things to keep in mind as you make your plans to become a CMP.
To become certified you’ll have to meet certain eligibility requirements and pass an exam. You can use the information on the CIC site to determine where you are in that process. And don’t be afraid to seek out a CMP study group.
Basically you need three years of experience and recent employment in the meetings industry, or you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a related field plus two years of experience. After that you’ll need a 200-hour internship or completion of 25 hours of continuing education within the past five years.
It’s best to figure out just exactly what you need before embarking on the application process.
Successfully passing the exam will take a lot of study. The handbooks and texts you need are listed at the CIC site. The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Meeting Planners International offer online and book study options. And be sure to take advantage of the practice exam offered by the CIC.
Once you’re certified you must re-certify every five years as well as maintain employment in the industry.
Best of luck.
Already have your CMP? Share some tips and encouragement in the comments.