CMP (noun) 1. Acronym for Certified Meeting Professional, a designation awarded by the Convention Industry Council.

10,000 AND CLIMBING

The CMP credential was established in 1985, and today more than 10,000 individuals have earned the designation. After the most recent North American CMP exam, in January 2004, approximately 440 meeting professionals accomplished their goal.

DO YOU QUALIFY?

Qualifying to sit for the CMP exam is just the first step. While all applicants must have at least three years' meeting experience, prospective candidates' experience, responsibilities, and education must also be sufficient. Applicants must score a minimum of 90 out of 150 possible points in the following areas: experience in meeting management (35 points allowed), management responsibility (50 points allowed), education and continuing education (25 points allowed), membership in professional organizations (10 points allowed), professional contribution to the field (30 points allowed).

SIGN ME UP

For the next CMP exam, which will be given in January 2005 in 13 locations (Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; New York; Orlando, Fla.; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Washington; Orange County, Calif.; and Ottawa, Canada), applications must be submitted by September 15 and exam registrations by November 15. There is also a July 2005 exam.

RECOGNITION ISN'T FREE

It costs more than $600 to get your CMP, including the CMP Candidate Handbook, $45; application fee, $175; U.S. exam registration fee, $375 ($450 for the international exam); and $29.95 to take a practice exam (there are two you can take). If you pass, the pin for your lapel is a deal at $15. Recertification is required every five years at a cost of $200.

TESTING, TESTING

The CMP exam lasts three hours and asks 150 multiple-choice questions in five main areas: financial management, logistics, program planning, education, and facilities and services. The range of questions is as broad as the profession, covering topics such as adult learning principles, negotiating contracts, evaluating return on investment, integrating technology into a meeting, determining food and beverage needs, and arranging music licensing.

Source: Convention Industry Council, www.conventionindustry.org

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