An industry first, the Global Business Travel Association and Meeting Professionals International have come together to launch a brand-new designation program in 2014.

This is the first time two associations in the industry have co-created a program of this kind, which will include three-and-a-half days of on-site education taught by professors from leading business schools.

The new CMM—an evolution of the program created by MPI in the mid-1990s—has been at least a year in development. The two associations have formed a limited liability company and created an executive steering committee of 10 people who have been meeting throughout 2013 to develop the program.

Unlike the previous CMM, the new program is not for planners only. “The designation going forward will be rooted in fundamental and critical business practices that are applicable to many disciplines and industries,” explains Melissa Nahama, SMMC, director, SMM solutions and business analytics at Carlson Wagonlit Travel Meetings & Events and one of the committee members. “People will have the opportunity to take the foundational business curriculum and co-mingle it with their specific industry interest or focus through their electives, project work, and convention education.”

Coursework will cover topics such as risk mitigation, business analytics, compliance, and negotiation, and will require three phases:

  • Phase 1 will include three-and-a-half days of  on-site business education sessions administered by university professors (locations to be announced), along with participation in two self-led webinars.
  • Phase 2 will be a one-day boot camp offered annually during both the GBTA and MPI conventions, with classes taught by subject-matter experts from the travel, meetings, leisure, and events industry.  
  • Phase 3 will be an independent work-based project.

All current CMM designations will continue to be supported by MPI—and now by GBTA as well. GBTA and MPI will also host optional CMM conclaves starting in 2014 for CMM holders to refresh their skills.
“Our combined vision was to evolve the CMM to mean more than a certificate for meeting professionals, so it is no longer defined as an acronym,” adds MPI President and CEO Paul Van Deventer. “It is now a designation for distinguished meeting and travel professionals with business excellence.” Like Van Deventer, Nahara believes that the program will succeed, in great measure, because it is a collaborative effort between the two industry association powerhouses. “Having the endorsement and industry influence of both organizations allows us to produce the highest quality educational content. …I believe it will drive development of the next generation of industry leaders in meeting, event, and travel management.”

More details will be available in January 2014.