The economy may be down, but such is not the case with the number of newly certified meeting professionals.

According to numbers just released by the Convention Industry Council, 427 passed the January test for the Certified Meeting Professional designation. The CIC said a record number of meeting managers have applied for CMP candidacy (1,182) and registered to take the test (1,204) over the last two administrations.

The addition of the new CMPs brings the total number of meeting professionals thus certified to 7,460. The January exam was administered in 26 cities in North America; the next exam is scheduled for July 20.

The CMP examination tests competency in meeting management; in addition to the formal exam, CMP candidates also must demonstrate experience in the field, as well as responsibility and accountability for successful meetings.

The CIC's 30 member organizations represent more than 81,000 individuals and 13000 firms and properties involved in the meeting, convention and exposition industries. For a list of the newly designated CMPs and more information about the exam, visit the CIC's Web site at www . conventionindustry . org.