Become a Certified Event Planner

Do you dream of becoming an event planner? Are you wondering if you need a certification to kickstart your career? The truth is, while it's not mandatory to be a certified event planner, obtaining a...

event planner certification and how to become a certified event planner

Do you dream of becoming an event planner? Are you wondering if you need a certification to kickstart your career? The truth is, while it's not mandatory to be a certified event planner, obtaining a certification can offer numerous advantages. In this article, we will explore the benefits of becoming a certified event planner and the various certification programs available in the industry.

Advantages of Event Planning Certification

When you become a certified event planner, you achieve three essential objectives:

  1. Industry-Recognized Training: A certification verifies that you have completed an industry-approved training program. This acknowledgment provides credibility to your skillset and demonstrates your commitment to professionalism.

  2. Competitive Edge in Job Market: In a competitive job market, having a certification can give you an edge over other candidates. Potential employers appreciate individuals with a recognized certification, as it validates their expertise and knowledge.

  3. Enhanced Credibility with Clients: As an event planner, your reputation plays a crucial role in attracting clients. By obtaining a certification, you showcase your expertise and credibility to potential business clients, giving them confidence in your abilities.

Certification Programs for Event Planners

There are several reputable certification programs available for aspiring event planners. Let's explore some of the most recognized ones:

Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)

CMP Designation Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) - Source: Meeting Protocol

The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation, offered by The Events Industry Council, is one of the most recognized certifications in the industry. It covers nine essential domains, including stakeholder management, strategic planning, project management, and marketing, to name a few. With over 11,000 CMPs worldwide, this certification is a must-have for anyone interested in the meeting and event planning profession.

Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP)

The Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation, provided by the International Live Events Association (ILEA), focuses on professionals with experience in live special events. This certification validates your knowledge in areas such as volunteer management, risk management, audio-visual, and event design. Achieving the CSEP designation demonstrates your expertise in organizing large-scale special events.

Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM)

The Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM), organized by Meetings Professionals International (MPI), is an executive-level program designed for seasoned event planning professionals. This program showcases your strategic thinking abilities and leadership skills. To enroll in the CMM program, you need a minimum of seven years of professional experience, including three years in management.

Certification in Exhibition Management (CEM)

The Certification in Exhibition Management (CEM), offered by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), is tailored for professionals specializing in exhibition management. This globally recognized certification consists of nine courses that cover various aspects of exhibition management. Each course includes an exam to assess your understanding of the material. Obtaining the CEM designation demonstrates your expertise in this specific field.

Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP)

The Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) designation, governed by the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP), is designed for planners and suppliers working under the rules and regulations of the federal government. This certification is highly regarded in the hospitality industry, and many government contracts now require planners to have their CGMP certification. It is available to current SGMP members with at least six months of membership.


While becoming a certified event planner is not mandatory, it offers numerous benefits that can enhance your career prospects and credibility. Choose the certification program that aligns with your career goals and embark on a journey of professional growth and recognition. Remember, investing in your skills and expertise will pay off in the long run.

About the Author: Edward Byers, the founder of Meeting Protocol, is a highly experienced professional with over 15 years of working in corporate and special events. With his extensive background, including two Olympic Games, the Special Olympics, and not-for-profits, he offers examination preparation for students pursuing their CMP designation. Edward has raised over $2 million through sponsorships and revenue-generating programs.