Businesses, restaurants, and venues around the world are slowly beginning to re-open following the pandemic-driven shutdowns of 2020. As an event planner, your services have never been in higher demand.
Are you ready to ride this wave and take your career to new heights? Becoming an in-demand local professional takes time, dedication, and hard work. To stand out from the crowd, it pays to invest in event planner certifications that can help you hone your craft.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered. Read on to explore the top certifications in your field, along with how to pursue them.
Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
The Events Industry Council (EIC) provides the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation for event planners looking to polish their skills and expand their opportunities.
Launched in 1985, the program is globally recognized as the highest certification that experts in this space can achieve. To earn it, you’ll need to pass a rigorous exam, created by some of the top event planners in the world. If you’re ready to start studying, be sure to brush up on the following topics:
- Site management
- Strategic event planning
- Event design
- Event marketing
To date, more than 14,000 professionals have received the CMP certification. There’s also a healthcare-specific one designed for event planners who focus on this individual niche.
Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE)
The National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) organizes the CPCE certification. This is a nationally recognized program identified as a mark of excellence for anyone in the catering, hospitality, or event planning space.
Like the CMP, you’ll need to take a test to become CPCE-certified. This test contains 175 multiple-choice questions that cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Business accounting
- Beverage management
- Catering services
- Contracts and agreements
- Sales and marketing
Achieving your CPCE certification can help you network with other leaders in your industry and land the job opportunities of your dreams.
Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP)
This certification is endorsed by the International Live Events Association (ILEA). Established in 1993, it recognizes professionals who have managed to expand their knowledge and capabilities in the special events sphere.
Moving into 2022, the ILEA is especially concerned with creating, establishing, and following industry-wide event standards. One of the major parts of this focus is establishing the CSEP certification as a baseline standard for anyone seeking employment in this area.
The CSEP exam is available four times each year. To qualify to take it, participants must have at least three years of full-time employment in the special events industry before the test date. To make sure their knowledge stays fresh and relevant, CSEP-certified professionals must renew their certification every five years.
Global Travel Professional (GTP)
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) created the GTP certification to facilitate professional growth and development in the business travel management industry.
Along with personal recognition and career advancement, those who take and pass the exam will also enjoy networking opportunities and impressive, high-ranking credentials. To qualify for the test, you’ll need to have at least three years of experience in the travel industry, as well as knowledge that covers these four areas:
- Data analytics and finance
- Buyer/supplier relationships
- Travel program administration management
- Strategic business planning
If you’re already a member of GBTA, you’ll enjoy a discount on your exam fee. In addition, the organization also offers plenty of resources to help you do your best, including study guides and resource lists.
Digital Event Strategist
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that digital events can be fun, lively, and successful. Do you plan to continue facilitating these types of events, even as in-person venues begin opening back up again?
If so, the Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification is one worth considering. Developed by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the overarching goal of this certification is to equip and empower the average event planner to excel in this new and forward-facing space.
The only caveat? This one’s a little trickier to achieve. To get it, you’ll need to complete a three-part process that includes:
- Demonstrating your previous experience in the digital events industry
- Completing the comprehensive DES Online Learning Program
- Taking and passing the DES exam
Moving forward, online events don’t look to be slowing down any time soon. If you want to succeed in this space, certification is key. Find out more about the training and career advancement opportunities available in your niche to take your career further.
Certified in Exhibition Management
Are you mostly interested in the display and exhibition side of large-scale events? This is a necessary and rewarding facet of the industry and one that can also be incredibly lucrative. For this reason, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) developed the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) designation for top-tier industry professionals.
One of the longest-standing certifications on our list, this one first came on the scene in 1975! To achieve it, you’ll need to complete nine out of the 12 courses offered through IAEE. These can be taken in person or online.
At the end of each course, there’s an exam that tests your knowledge of all of the material covered. These points can include any of the following:
- Consumer show management
- Event marketing and operations
- Conference and meeting management
- Fundamentals of event sales
Today, there are more than 3,500 active CEMs, located all around the world. Will you be the next one?
Research These Event Planner Certifications
As an event planner, you’re always on the go. Your job is fast-paced, fun-filled, and jam-packed. Yet, it’s important to find time in your schedule to research event planner classes, training opportunities, and more.
To excel in your space, it’s also helpful to look for event planner certifications. These few letters reveal to your clients, partners, and future bosses alike that you’re serious about learning as much as possible about your niche. Take a look at this list, consider which ones will work best for you, and take the next steps today!
Along the way, we’re here with the helpful lifestyle news you can trust. Check out our other articles to learn how to work, play, and live smarter today.