The meetings industry has a handful of certification programs open to corporate planners, including the newCertification. Here's what those acronyms on your colleagues' business cards mean and how to get them yourself:
* CMP The Convention Industry Council's Certified Meeting Professional designation launched in 1985. More than 13,000 people in 35 countries and territories planners and suppliers‹have earned the credential. Candidates must have three years of experience and a full-time job in the industry; accrue a minimum number of points based on their responsibilities, education, and professional contributions; and pass an exam.
Application fee: $225; Exam fee: $450
Upcoming application deadlines are February 11, 2010, (for the May 24 exam in Frankfurt, Germany) and March 4 (for the June 24 exam in 12 North American locations). www.conventionindustry.org
* CMM For meeting professionals‹planners and suppliers‹with at least 10 years of experience, Meeting Professionals International offers a certification in Meeting Management program, focused on strategic issues and executive decision-making. Applicants must be accepted into the program and attend a five-day residency, after which they take an online exam and write a business plan. Now in its 11th year, the program has conferred 589 certifications.
Application fee: $75 for MPI members and $125 for nonmembers Exam fee: $1,800 for MPI members and $2,200 for nonmembers
The CMM program will run twice in 2010: June 27July 2 in Sophia Antipolis, France, and October 28 in Dallas. www.mpiweb.org
* SMMC In fall 2009, the National Business Travel Association launched its new Strategic Meetings Management Certification. Requirements include seven years of professional experience‹or a college degree plus at least four years of experience attendance at two core-week programs, and three elective classes. The first core-week program ran November 26 at Emory University in Atlanta.
Application fee: $45 for NBTA members, $75 for chapter members, $125 for nonmembers
Core-week registration fee: NBTA members $1,500, NBTA chapter members $1,700, and nonmembers $1,900 www.nbta.org
* CITE Site's Certified Incentive Travel Executive program is under redevelopment and is not processing applications. www.siteglobal.com
*CSEP To earn the Certified Special Events Professional designation from the International Special Events Society, candidates must have three years of experience, accumulate ISES-defined "industry points," and pass an exam. The exam is offered four times a year at testing sites throughout North America. To date, 255 people have earned the designation.
Application fee: $150; Exam fee: $400
Application deadline is January 16, 2010, for the April 1530, 2010, exam window. www.ises.com