Meeting professionals perform a wide range of tasks to ensure events run smoothly. Locating event venues, booking vendors, and managing budgets are just a few of the tasks meeting planners have on their plates. People in this profession are performing the tasks of an event planner, but their focus is specifically on setting up meetings, typically for business professionals. While no specific degree is required to get started in this field, certifications are available and can help establish credibility with potential clients.
Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Credential
The Events Industry Council (EIC) launched the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program in 1985 to enhance the knowledge and performance of meeting professionals, promote the status and credibility of the meeting profession, and advance uniform standards of practice.
Today, more than 12,000 individuals in 34 countries have earned this designation, which is based on professional experience and a rigorous examination. A CMP designation shows that an individual is dedicated to the profession and conveys expertise in planning, managing, and executing successful meetings and events.
Those who are interested in earning their CMP often participate in study groups to prepare for the required application and formal examination.
How to Become a CMP
The CMP certification program is a two-part process: complete the CMP application followed by a written examination that covers the functions performed in meeting management. Examinations typically are scheduled two times each year (spring and winter) and also during the IMEX Show held annually in Frankfort, Germany.
To be eligible to apply to take the exam, individuals need 36 months of full-time employment in the meetings industry and 25 clock hours of continuing education, both of which must have come within the past five years. Those with degrees in event management or hospitality need only 24 months of full-time employment within the past five years. Internships can count against the 25 clock hours. As of 2018, the application fee is $250.
The CMP examination is pencil-and-paper-based and comprised of 165 multiple choice questions and 150 operational questions. The examination blueprint is categorized into nine domain areas, which include:
- Meeting or event design (34 percent)
- Site management (14 percent)
- Marketing (12 percent)
- Financial and contract management (11 percent)
- Strategic planning (10 percent)
- Project management (6 percent)
- Risk management (5 percent)
- Human resources (4 percent)
- Stakeholder management (4 percent)
According to the EIC, the certification program is valuable to "enhance the knowledge and performance of meeting professionals, promote the status and credibility of the meeting profession, and advance uniform standards of practice." The examination fee is $450. Applicants may take the test as often as necessary to pass, but they must pay the examination fee each time.
CMPs are required to renew their certification every five years. To be recertified, CMPs must earn a minimum of 60 points on the recertification application; no exam is required. All points claimed must be earned within the past five years, since the date of initial CMP certification or last renewal. Therefore it is important that you keep track of all your activities each year even after receiving the CMP.