CMP: A Dedication to the Meeting Profession

By Kristyn McCauley, CMP

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There are many acronyms in the association world, especially when you work for an association management company, and one of those acronyms you may see pop-up is CMP. Most often spotted after someone’s name, the acronym “CMP” stands for Certified Meeting Professional.

Certified Meeting Professional is a credential administered through the Events Industry Council. According to the EIC (another acronym there), “The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program was launched 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, the CMP credential is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education and a rigorous exam.”

So why might someone who plans meetings in the association space work towards earning their CMP, and how would they do so?

The EIC website states, “According to [a] recent industry [study] conducted by PCMA, meeting planners who hold the CMP earn (on average) more than $10,000 annually than their non-certified counterparts.

CMP certification is mark of excellence in comprehensive events management. Certification opens the door to better and more opportunities. Client expectations for meetings are higher than ever and recruiters and prospective employers recognize CMP certification in the growing industry.”

As someone who earned their CMP recently, one of my biggest motivations was showing my employer and colleagues in the industry that I am dedicated to the profession and I am always eager to learn more about meeting planning so that I can constantly get better at my job. To me, having the “CMP” after my name means I am dedicated to learning and implementing best practices, as well as staying up to date on news and changes in the industry in order to best serve my clients.

If you are a meeting professional wanting to take the next step in your career by earning your CMP, the best place to start your journey is the FAQ page of the Events Industry Council’s website. There you will learn about the requirements to sit for the exam, the application process, etc.

While you are preparing for the exam, before the application process, you must complete 25 hours of continuing education. There are tons of resources out there for earning your CMP hours, and a few of my favorite are through your state’s Society of Association Executives (FSAE here in Florida), and online education such as the webinars available on the Meetings Today and Connect websites. Webinars are an ideal option for the busy professional, even though all meeting planners should be aware of the benefits of meeting in-person and being able to discuss these topics among peers.

Study groups are also a great resource for many applicants as they prepare to take the exam, check with your local Society of Association Executives or MPI (Meeting Professionals International) chapter to find a study group near you.

As a final note, if you are even considering sitting for your CMP exam I applaud you for your dedication to the industry and your commitment to personal and professional growth. The desire to earn this credential should show your employer and/or clients that you are willing to put in the work to provide them with the best product (meeting/events) possible. I wish you the best of luck on your exam, and if you have any questions along the application or study process please feel free to reach out to me at For more information about the Certified Meeting Professional certification, click HERE

Kristyn McCauley, CMP serves as a Program Manager/Meeting Planner at Partners in Association Management. Kristyn has over 5 years of experience in association management and earned her CMP designation in November 2018.

3 Tips to be More Effective at Work


by John Ricco, CAE

So we’re two months into the year and your resolutions are probably long forgotten. If your intent was to be more effective or efficient at work, here are a few easy tips to help you get back on track.

PROBLEM # 1: Technology is evil . . . sometimes. Be extremely cautious about how you use technology at work. Grabbing your cell phone to text a short reminder to your boss can easily result in taking a “quick second” to check that Facebook messenger notification and before you know it, you’ve wasted 15 minutes on the new YouTube channel dedicated to zit popping (who knew?). We all know to shut off alerts to avoid distractions and unfortunately texting has been added as an integral part of business communication.

The Solution: So how do you use your mobile phone for work without tempting the social media sirens that await as soon as you unlock your phone? Try using desktop apps for iPhone or Android that allow you to send and receive texts from your desktop.  This will allow you to leave your phone and its time sucking temptresses stashed away.

PROBLEM #2: We allow our technology to remain “on the dark side”.  Now that I’ve dissed technology, it’s not always an evil time-suck, if you use it wisely.  For example, most of us use e-mail programs like Outlook to send and delete e-mails, manage our calendars, etc., but never explore much beyond that.

THE SOLUTION: Invest time in learning how your technology works. The results can be huge.

  • Do you have an e-mail sitting in your inbox that you can’t bear to delete so you don’t forget to act on it, or so you have it as a reminder that someone owes you a reply?
    • At a minimum “flag” the items and set a reminder so you can deal with them in a timely manner and delete them; or
    • Create a “Follow Up” folder to store those items. Then create a recurring calendar appointment once a week to spend 30 minutes to circle back on things in that folder; or
    • For e-mails that can only be resolved with a substantial amount of time, click on the email and drag-and-drop it on the calendar and set a time to complete it. Then entire content of the e-mail will be there waiting when you have time to tackle it.
  • Do you find yourself routinely using e-mail to provide different people the same information? Signatures are much more than a repository for your contact information. Type stuff once and never again. I have created over 20 e-mail signatures that I use constantly for repetitive responses. Examples include:
    • “Here are 3 steps on how you join the association . . . “
    • “Attached are the monthly financials for your review, please . . .”
    • “Below are directions to get to our office (it’s tucked back in the corner of a complex and not the easiest to find).”

PROBLEM #3: We don’t mix it up.  Have you found yourself waiting for an unresponsive colleague to get back to you on something time-sensitive, even after three e-mails?  There are many times we get into ruts at work and in daily life, such as routinely going to the same place for lunch more than twice in a week. Think about that as you attempt to become more effective at work.

THE SOLUTION: People are busy and respond to different stimuli, so try mixing up your communication channels and try calling, texting, wearing a sandwich board outside of their office, etc., to get the response you need. Just like advertisers mix the avenues they market to us via television, radio, web and print; try mixing up your communication methods to prompt the response you need from feet-dragging colleagues.

John Ricco, CAE, is Vice President and a Chief Staff Executive at Partners In Association Management, and has over 25 years-experience working in association management.

Peeling Back the Layers of Successful Sponsorships

By Kim Barclay

Why should your company consider any sponsorship?  There are more reasons than you think.  Everyone knows that sponsorships give you brand visibility.  Whether it be at an in-person event or an on-line presence, being a sponsor will get your company seen.  But it’s much deeper than that.  A sponsorship should be seen as an investment.  Yes, one expects return on that investment and to get the most bang for the buck, but most times there is not an immediate, tangible ROI.  Sponsorships need to be thought of as a foundation to build on.  Building relationships with organizations and individuals in your target market.  Being a sponsor can give you credibility, and a positive reputation and perception from your audience.

But sponsorship is a two-way street.  The benefiting organization needs to be flexible, open minded and listen to what potential sponsors want and how they want it.  The old standard of having levels with pre-selected benefits isn’t always the right fit.  Organizations need to reach out and ask potential sponsors what they are seeking and work together to make it happen.  Thinking out of the box and coming up with the most incredible and outrageous ideas, and then working down to what is reasonable and realistic is far easier and more creative than trying to work up hill.

Why should my company be a sponsor?

  1. Brand Visibility – Basic Marketing 101. Be seen in person and on social media.  The Event Marketing Institute reported that 98 percent of attendees create social content during events. When attendees share photos, quotes, videos, and blogs, you get exposure to much larger networks. User-generated content has a greater impact on customers, so make it easy for people to tag your business on social media.
  2. Creating a positive perception – Your target audience will be thankful for your “good will” for the good of the cause.
  3. Building relationships – Think long term. Foster and nurture your relationships.  You may not acquire direct business from a member or attendee, but they know who you are and will pass along your information and say how great you are.
  4. Networking and Sales Goals – Sponsorships are another tool for networking and meeting new potential clients and customers. As your prospect list grows, your ability to reach your sales goals increase.
  5. Return on Investment – The biggest mistake people and companies alike make, is expecting immediate customer and client interaction. ROI is a process and it can take months even years to see your hard work pay off.  Be patient, and continue to build on your foundation.

Sponsorships are incredibly important to both the sponsoring company and the benefiting organization.  Having realistic expectations, and verbalizing the wants and needs of the sponsorship and working together will create very successful partnerships.

Kim Barclay is a Chief Staff Executive at Partners In Association Management and is the FSAE 2019 Conference Sponsorship Chair.  Kim has over 20 years’ experience in Association Management, Event Planning and Fundraising. Reprinted with permission, FSAE Source Magazine January/February 2019 issue.

Discovering Intrinsic Values in New Places

By: Elizabeth Kelsay

I come from a pretty different background than most of our colleagues at Partners. For the last 10 years, I have been working in the arts as a singer at various opera houses around the US and Europe. Like many of my colleagues in the arts, I have often felt the need to explain why and measure how the arts have value. Continue reading “Discovering Intrinsic Values in New Places”

The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology

By: Lindsey Rowan

The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, commonly referred to as “The Foundation”, is Partner in Association Management’s only non-profit 501(c)(3) managed organization. Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, the Foundation was incorporated in December 2008 with the help of its sister organizations – the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) and the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC). It is the final leg to the tripod that now stands tall in support of education in the dental laboratory profession. Continue reading “The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology”