What You Need to Know About The Top Certificates for Event Planners

September 13, 2023

Navigating the world of event planning certifications can be overwhelming due to the myriad options available. To assist in your decision-making process, we've compiled an informative guide to the top certifications for meeting and event planners. Discover the benefits each certification offers and gain insights into what planners need to know before embarking on their certification journey.

Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)

Awarded by the Events Industry Council (EIC), the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation signifies a high level of expertise in the event industry. It requires a minimum of three years of event industry experience and the successful completion of a certification exam.

Why get the CMP?

  • International Recognition: The CMP designation is globally recognized, enhancing your credibility and career opportunities.
  • Continuing Education: CMP holders can engage in both in-person and online continuing education options, allowing for ongoing skill development.
  • Diverse Education Domains: While continuing education should be relevant to the event industry, it can cover a wide range of topics within the nine specified education domains.
  • Numerous Education Providers: There are numerous approved providers offering a variety of continuing education opportunities.

To learn more about the CMP certification and its requirements, visit the Events Industry Council's official website.


Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM)

Conferred by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) is a comprehensive program designed to elevate event planning professionals' skills and knowledge in Meeting Management, Business Management and Leadership.


Why get the CMM?

  • Earning Potential: According to an MPI survey, professionals with a CMM earn an average of $30,000 more annually compared to those without it.
  • Lifelong Designation: Unlike other certifications, CMM does not require recertification, providing a lasting credential in your career portfolio.

To learn more about the CMM, MPI provides information on how to apply and how to make the most of the CMM in your career.


Certification in Exhibition Management (CEM)

Administered by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the Certification in Exhibition Management (CEM) showcases expertise in exhibition management and event planning.

Why get the CEM?

  • In-Depth Understanding: CEM holders possess a comprehensive understanding of various aspects of exhibition management, enhancing their ability to excel in the field.
  • Customized Education: The program offers flexibility to tailor education based on your professional goals, ensuring relevance at all career stages.
  • Global Recognition: CEM is recognized internationally, providing access to learning opportunities across different countries.
  • Varied Learning Options: The program offers both in-person and online courses to cater to diverse learning preferences.

You can learn more about CEM and how to get the certificate here.

Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP)

Conducted by the International Live Events Association (ILEA),the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation validates proficiency in all facets of live event production.

Why get the CSEP?

  • Extensive Knowledge Base: CSEP holders boast a comprehensive understanding of the live event production industry, gained through a minimum of three years of relevant experience.
  • Qualification Process: No mandatory continuing education is required to take the CSEP exam; eligibility only entails payment of the exam fee.

Learn more about the advantages of the CSEP designation in your career growth through ILEA's resources.

Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS)

Organized by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), the Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) focuses on the fundamentals of motivational programs.

Why get the CIS?

  • Fundamental Expertise: CIS holders demonstrate a proven understanding of motivational program essentials and their value in the industry.
  • Industry Enhancement: The designation contributes to raising the overall quality of professionals in the incentive industry.
  • Learning Options: The CIS workshop is available both in-person and online.

SITE offers an informative overview of the CIS program, including insights into the workshop and certification benefits.

Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC)

Offered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) program addresses regulatory issues pertinent to healthcare event planning.

Why get the HMCC?

  • Specific Guidelines: The program equips planners with knowledge of specific guidelines and regulatory rules that are subject to change.
  • Regulatory Insight: HMCC provides a comprehensive overview of the evolving regulatory landscape impacting healthcare meeting planning.

Learn more about the HMCC program, including curriculum and application details, on the Meeting Professionals International website.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The globally recognized Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate from the Project Management Institute (PMI) validates professionals' project management proficiency. Despite not being tailored exclusively to event planners, the PMP certification has gained traction in the event planning community due to its strong alignment with project management principles essential for orchestrating successful events.

Why get the PMP?

  • Comprehensive Project Management Skills: These skills align seamlessly with the multifaceted nature of event planning, which involves meticulous planning, seamless execution, and precise coordination of various elements.
  • Structured Approach: Event planning often involves juggling numerous tasks, stakeholders, and resources simultaneously. The PMP certification introduces a structured approach to managing projects, emphasizing processes, methodologies, and best practices that can significantly enhance an event planner's ability to keep projects on track and deliver successful outcomes.
  • Effective Communication: Communication lies at the heart of both project management and event planning. PMP certification underscores the importance of clear and efficient communication with stakeholders, team members, and clients.


Choosing the right certification is a pivotal step in enhancing your career as a meeting and event planner. Each certification offers unique benefits tailored to different career goals and needs. By considering the insights provided for each certification, planners can make informed decisions that align with their professional aspirations. Ultimately, investing in certifications is a strategic move that bolsters expertise, marketability, and opportunities within the dynamic event planning industry.

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