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How to Get an Event Planning Certification: A Quick Guide

Being an event planner is an enticing job opportunity. You get to be your own boss, organize fun things like weddings and parties, and avoid working in an office 40 hours a week. However, many...

Being an event planner is an enticing job opportunity. You get to be your own boss, organize fun things like weddings and parties, and avoid working in an office 40 hours a week. However, many people are unsure about how to go about getting an event planning certification. With numerous event management certifications, degrees, and courses to choose from, as well as the option of online or in-person classes, it can be overwhelming to decide the best path to take.

Stand Out in a Competitive Industry

The event planning industry is highly competitive, with new people and companies constantly entering the market. To stand out among the myriad options available to clients, obtaining a certification can give you a significant advantage. Accreditation and certification classes offer the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to the industry and enhance your skills.

The Best Event Planning Course for You

Once you've made the decision to become an event planner, it's important to research the best event planning course for your specific needs. To make a business out of event planning, there is a lot to learn. Whether you choose a bachelor's degree in marketing, PR, business, hospitality management, or communications, these fields will provide a solid foundation. Interpersonal, problem-solving, negotiation, and customer service skills are vital, as well as organizational and tech-savviness.

Become a Certified Event Planner
Image: Becoming a Certified Event Planner

To demonstrate your experience and knowledge in the field, obtaining a certification is highly recommended. Many event planners hold multiple certifications, which showcase their dedication and ability to learn new skills. Starting on a different career path, such as catering coordinators or administrators, and gaining experience and training, can lead to hosting bigger conferences and meetings. Networking and developing relationships with suppliers and clients are key aspects of the role.

Event Planning Association Certifications

Several certifications are available for event planners, including the CSEP Certification and the CMP Certification.

CSEP Certification: Certified Special Events Professional

The CSEP Certification is offered by the International Live Events Association (ILEA) and is designed for experienced event planners with 3-5 years of experience. This certification aims to build on existing knowledge, discuss industry trends, and enhance associated skills.

To become CSEP certified, you must have at least 3 years of full-time professional experience in the events industry. Applications for the CSEP Certification are accepted four times per year. The certification must be renewed every five years.

How to Become CSEP Certified
Image: How to Become CSEP Certified

CMP Certification: Certified Meetings Professional

The CMP Certification is one of the most well-known and respected event planning certifications. Offered by the Convention Industry Council, this certification standardizes event management best practices, providing industry credibility and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of event planners.

To qualify for the CMP Certification, you need to be employed full-time in the event planning industry. With 10 years or more of experience, you may apply for the Certified Meeting Manager (CMM) accreditation, which is globally recognized.

How to Become CMP Certified
Image: How to Become CMP Certified

Starting Your Career

To succeed in the event planning industry, having some form of qualification is essential. Even entry-level positions often require a certification due to the competitive market. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the industry, its processes, and the required skills is crucial. If you plan to start your own business, this knowledge becomes even more vital.

Once certified, you can add the qualification acronym after your name, showcasing your expertise and dedication.

FAQs about Event Planning Certification

Here are some frequently asked questions about event planning certification:

  1. What is event planning certification, and why is it important?
  2. How can I become a certified event planner, and what are the requirements?
  3. What are the benefits of obtaining an event planning certification?
  4. What are some reputable organizations that offer event planning certification?
  5. How much does it cost to obtain an event planning certification?
  6. What types of skills and knowledge are covered in an event planning certification program?
  7. Is event planning certification required to work as an event planner, or is it just a helpful addition to one's credentials?
  8. How long does it take to complete an event planning certification program, and can it be done online?
  9. Are there any ongoing requirements for maintaining event planning certification, such as continuing education or renewal exams?
  10. Will obtaining an event planning certification increase my job prospects and earning potential?

By obtaining a certification in event planning, you can enhance your job prospects, earning potential, and credibility in the industry. It's a valuable addition to your credentials, demonstrating your commitment to excellence in the field.

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