By: Danielle Jessup
Do you have a vested interest in enhancing your skills and advancing in the association industry? Just as other industries require a license, the association industry has a handful of certifications to allow you to demonstrate a firm understanding of industry standards and possess the ability to put them into practice. These two certifications are specific to our industry and could be beneficial to your career:
Certified Meeting Planner (CMP)
As stated by the Convention Industry Council, this certification is important in our industry because it is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the meeting, convention, exhibition, and event industry. The CMP certification is comprised of 10 domains, which include Strategic Planning, Project Management, Risk Management, Financial Management, Human Resources, Stakeholder Management, Meeting or Event Design, Site Management, Marketing, and Professionalism.
The CMP certification is one that I am currently working towards achieving myself. In all honesty, the longer you have exposure to meeting planning, the easier this certification will be to obtain. I thought it was something I could take my first year in the industry, but as I started studying, I realized that my brain could not retain all of the important information. Now that I have been in the industry for 6 years and have been planning meetings most of that time, I not only understand what I am reading, but already have the knowledge to put it into practice.
For more information on the CMP exam, visit http://www.conventionindustry.org/CMP/AboutCMP.aspx.
Certified Association Executive (CAE)
As stated by the American Society of Association Executives, the CAE program promotes higher professional standards, encourages personal growth and distinguishes individuals among their association executive peers. The CAE certification is comprised of 9 domains, which include Strategic Management, Governance and Structure, Membership Development, Program Products and Services, Leadership, Administration, Knowledge Management and Research, Public Policy, Government Relations and Coalition Building, and Marketing, Public Relations and Communication.
As my role has changed from Meeting Planner to Account Executive, my goal is to also obtain the CAE credentials. I have been an Account Executive for 2 years which has provided me with knowledge in each of the CAE certification domains listed above. The more experience I receive, the more confidence I will have to achieve this goal.
For more information on the CAE exam, visit http://www.asaecenter.org/YourCareer/contentcae.cfm?ItemNumber=16097&navItemNumber=14985.
There are many other certifications you can obtain that may help you in your association management career; these are just two examples that are well-known throughout the industry.
If you are committed to your career, looking for a way to make connections, and boost your professional resume, I suggest you consider adding a certification to your to-do list.