There are a number of designations in the meeting and events industry that a professional can work towards, but admittedly, they can seem daunting. Where do I start? How long should I expect this to take? What should I know ahead of time? How do I prepare?! Luckily enough, our team is chock full of knowledge in these areas, so every once in a while, we’ll feature a know-how for certain designations, with information coming straight from our talented team. This week we tackle the Certified Meeting Professional program, or the CMP.

The CMP program was launched by the Events Industry Council (formerly the Conference Industry Council) to enhance the knowledge and performance of meeting professionals, promote the status and credibility of the meeting profession, and advance uniform standards of practice.

In order to earn your CMP, you must complete the CMP application and then successfully pass the CMP exam. The most standard application option is to take the track that requires 36 total months of industry experience and 25 hours of continuing education. These 36 months do not need to be consecutive; but they do need to be full-time employment in an events, meeting, and/or hospitality related field. The 25 hours of continuing education includes industry-related internships, as well as pre-approved webinars and conferences, and studying from the CMP book.

This application process is very much on your own schedule. You set the hours and the pace. The average amount of time our CMP-designated employees spent preparing was between 9 and 12 months; so you can expect it to be a long, somewhat arduous process. Once you’ve completed your continuing education and have met your industry experience minimum, you submit your application. It’s important that you’re studying throughout this entire process, though, because if your application is approved, you then take the CMP exam. The exam is 165 multiple choice questions all taken on a computer. And you walk out of the exam room knowing if you passed or failed. While that might sound a little nerve-wracking, it lets you breathe a sigh of relief upon completion!

So, is it worth it? Absolutely! While we are fortunate enough to have a solid grasp on the events industry, there’s always more to learn, and the CMP program is proof of that. You’ll learn the exact numbers of little nuances—like how much coffee to budget for per attendee as well as the peak times throughout a conference to serve it—and be placed in situations that you may not have experienced before. Overall, the CMP program is a major benefit to those who choose to pursue it.

Have specific questions on the CMP program? Reach out to us, we’ll help you out!