Certified Meeting Professionals, while mostly satisfied with the value they get from achieving this professional designation, are looking for improvements to the program, according to a new survey of current and past CMPs commissioned by the Convention Industry Council, a meeting industry umbrella organization that administers the CMP.

When asked what they felt was missing from the CMP experience, 52 percent of survey respondents said online training, 37 percent said an advanced-level CMP designation, and 34 percent expressed a desire for more local events. In addition, 46 percent of respondents indicated they would like CIC to offer advanced-level CMP classes.

The survey, conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Survey and Research Center for the CIC, gauged 917 individuals—77 percent meeting planners and 23 percent suppliers—on their overall satisfaction with the CMP program and their recommendations for its future. It is CIC’s first such research.

CIC relies primarily on its member organizations, like Meeting Professionals International and the Professional Convention Management Association, to provide training and continuing education for the CMP program, says Manju Mathai, marketing associate for CIC. “We have passed these findings to our member organizations and they are considering these recommendations.”

As for the request from respondents for an advanced-level CMP designation, Mathai says CIC is listening: “That is currently under consideration by both the CIC and the CMP boards. With such an overwhelming interest from respondents for [an advanced CMP designation], and with so many CMPs with 11 years’ experience or more [88 percent of the survey respondents], we think it is definitely something to take into consideration.”

Another noteworthy highlight from the study: Fully 84 percent of CMPs intend to recertify every five years for the duration of their careers. This finding represents a significant jump from CIC’s actual renewal rate, currently at 65 percent. Of those respondents who indicated they would not renew the designation, cost and continuing education requirements were listed as the main barriers to recertification.

Other key findings include:

  • The majority of respondents (82 percent) reported they are either “extremely satisfied” or “satisfied” with the value received from their CMP.
  • The top reasons respondents initially decide to become a CMP are for personal satisfaction (85 percent), to increase their value to an employer (72 percent), and to gain general knowledge (60 percent).
  • Industry recognition (85 percent) and sense of personal achievement (82 percent) ranked as the top two factors in respondents’ decisions to recertify.
  • Approximately nine out of 10 respondents “strongly agree” or “agree” that having the CMP designation improves the holder’s credibility as a meeting professional.

Of the meeting planners who participated in the survey, 28 percent work in associations, 23 percent work in corporate environments, and 21 percent work as independents or consultants, with planners from third parties, government, medical, and other fields making up the balance. A copy of the study can be obtained by clicking here.