Pros and Cons of the Top Meetings Industry Certifications
There are many meetings industry certifications; sometimes it’s hard to keep track of them all. Getting certified requires resources of time and money. So, how do you determine which certificate(s) you should be pursuing? To help you decide, we put together a list of pros and cons of the leading certifications in the industry.
CMP – Certified Meeting Professional
The Certified Meeting Professional designation is given to people with at least three years event industry employment and 25 approved hours of continuing education who successfully complete a certification exam conducted by the Events Industry Council (EIC).
- The designation is recognized internationally.
- Continuing education hours are offered in-person and online.
- Continuing education can be non-industry specific as long is the topics fall under one of the nine specified education domains.
- There are countless approved continuing education providers.
- Recertification is required every five years.
CMM – Certificate in Meeting Management
The Certificate in Meeting Management designation is given to people who successfully complete a 48-hour, 15-week program through Meeting Planners International (MPI).
- Recent MPI survey of CMM professionals indicates average earning potential is $30,000 more per year more than industry professionals without a designation.
- The designation is lifelong and doesn’t require renewal or recertification.
- The 15-week time commitment may be difficult for some.
CEM – Certification in Exhibition Management
The Certification in Exhibition Management designation is given to people who successfully complete nine approved courses and an examination through the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).
- Designation signifies an in-depth understanding of all aspects of exhibition management.
- Education can be tailored to meet short and long-term goals at varying stages in professional development.
- The designation is recognized internationally and learning opportunities are offered in several countries around the world.
- Courses are offered in-person and online.
- Each of the nine required training programs are day-long classes. Completing the training prior to apply for examination could take up to a year or more depending on the candidate’s availability and resources for training.
CSEP – Certified Special Events Professional
The Certified Special Events Professional designation is given to people with at least three years event industry employment who successfully complete a certification exam conducted by the International Live Events Association (ILEA).
- Those who receive this designation have a broad knowledge of all aspects of the live event production industry with at least three years of applicable verifiable employment experience.
- No continuing education is required to qualify to take the exam; simply pay the exam fee.
- Recertification needed every five years to maintain certification.
- Recertification requires “25 points” via ILEA activities to qualify.
CIS – Certified Incentive Specialist
The Certified Incentive Specialist designation is given to people who successfully complete a 2-day workshop conducted by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE).
- Those who receive this designation have a proven understanding of the fundamentals of motivational programs and the value chain.
- The designation raises the quality of the professionals in the incentive industry.
- Training is offered both in-person and online.
- This is an entry level program; not for incentive professionals seeking an advanced professional development opportunity.
HMCC – Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate
The Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate is awarded to people who successfully complete a 4-hour training program conducted by Meeting Professionals International (MPI).
- Those who receive this designation have a broad understanding of a full range of regulatory issues affecting healthcare meeting planning.
- Participants are made aware of the specific guidelines/regulatory rules that are constantly changing.
- This course provides only a broad overview. Increasingly complex pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device regulatory environment compliance issues cannot possibly be covered in explicit detail in only four hours of training. For planners filing reports and managing systems, additional training is necessary.
- Refresher course needed every two years to maintain certification.
As you can see from our results, finding cons in these professional development programs was not easy; we had to dig deep, and frankly the cons could easily be converted to pros. Anyone willing to invest time and money in continuing education will benefit from training while earning tools to advance their careers. For companies investing in their people, having certified professionals on staff only increases the value your firm has in the marketplace. Education is a win-win investment!