How to Become a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP)
Do you work in events and are looking to take a step up? Do you want to take on more responsibilities? And do you want your paycheck to reflect that?
Then you might be interested in becoming a certified meeting planner.
Being a certified meeting planner, or a CMP for short, carries a lot of weight within the industry.
But what exactly is a CMP? And how do you become one? We’ll take a closer look so you can decide if this is an avenue worth pursuing.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
What Is a Certified Meeting Planner?
A CMP is a certification for event professionals. Within the meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions, or MICE, sector, a CMP certificate is offered by two important associations. These are the Meeting Professionals International and the Events Industry Council.
The qualification was introduced in 1985. The aim was to “enhance the knowledge and performance of meeting professionals, promote the status and credibility of the meeting profession and advance uniform standards of practice.”
Anyone who holds a CMP is considered highly skilled in business event planning.
The program is run by a committee of meeting professionals who are globally recognized as the best in their field.
A meeting professional will perform a range of tasks with the aim of ensuring events run smoothly. They do everything from locating event venues to managing budgets.
A CMPs focus is specifically on setting up meetings for business professionals.
What Are the Benefits of Being a CMP?
Gaining a CMP certification can open up a whole avenue of opportunities for you.
It’s a prestigious certification that can open up better jobs with higher salaries. It can also help you get a more stable career as you will be seen as an employee with higher professional standards.
It shows that you are not only invested in your career development but invested in the industry.
If that’s not enough to convince you, according to a 2019 survey, someone with a CMP certificate will earn around $8,500 more than someone who doesn’t have one.
How Do You Become a CMP?
Earning a CMP is no easy feat. It’s difficulty is a reflection of the high standards to which every CMP is held.
Here are the 3 steps you will need to take if you are planning on gaining the qualifications.
1. Find Out if You’re Eligible
The requirements to apply for the certificate are very strict.
You either need to have a degree in a related field such as event management or tourism as well as at least 24 months of on-the-job experience.
If you don’t have a degree then you need 36 months of professional experience.
Another requirement is that in the last five years you should have at least 25 hours of continuing education in an industry-related field. You will need to provide proof of your attendance.
Once you’ve proved you’re eligible, you can submit your application and pay the application fee of $250.
Your application needs to be as detailed and thorough as possible. It’s not uncommon for the CMP committee to receive applications as long as 25 pages.
The key here is not wanting to leave out any information that may be relevant and help you gain your qualifications.
Once you have applied, you should hear back in around 3-5 weeks.
3. Sit the Exam
When your application has been approved, you can attend the CMP exam within one year from your approval.
When studying you can check the Events Industry Council for which topics to research and learn.
You are also offered two practice exams which should give you a good idea of how well prepared you are.
The exam is three and a half hours long and you’ll be presented with 165 multiple-choice questions.
If you pass, you will be informed immediately. If you fail, you can resit the exam once 90 days have passed and once you have repaid the CMP exam fee.
Gaining a CMP can be a huge boost to your career. It is a sought-after and much-respected qualification that can take your event planning career to new heights.
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