By Kristyn McCauley, CMP
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.