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Meeting and convention planners organize and coordinate all aspects of meetings. They often work for large and small organizations, the government and convention centers. After studying the needs of the meeting and the desired goals of the sponsor, the planner will coordinate location, venue, speakers, content, entertainment, food and many other meeting details. The Convention Industry Council offers a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential to verify the skills and experience of meeting and convention planners. If you are detail oriented, proficient at multi-tasking and willing to work long hours leading up to an event, this career may be for you.
Attain required experience. Before applying for your CMP you will need to be able to document a minimum of three years of full-time experience in meeting management.
Read the CMP Candidate Handbook, which can be downloaded from the Convention Industry Council website (see Resources). You will also be asked to comply with the policies and procedures in the handbook.
Complete and submit the CMP application. The CMP application is an extensive form you will need to complete, and is available for download from the Convention Industry Council website. You need to document your experience in five areas (experience in meeting management, management responsibility, education and continuing dducation, memberships, and professional contributions in meeting management). Each task accomplished within the five areas is awarded points. You will need to document 90 out of a possible 150 points for your application to be accepted. The full points system breakdown is located on the application form. Once you complete your application, submit it with the application fee and all required supporting documentation. Your application will be reviewed by the CMP board, and if accepted you will receive an email with registration instructions about four weeks before the next exam will be given.
Register and pay your exam registration fee. You have two years to register for your exam from the time your application is accepted. To register, choose an examination date (offered in the Winter and Summer each year) and pay the exam registration fee.
Study for and take the CMP examination. Study materials and recommended reading are available at the Convention Industry Council website (see Resources). You will first need to download the CMP Examination Blueprint, which will give you details on the exam. Additional study resources are also available on the website, and include recommended reading materials, references for study groups, online exam preparation and a practice exam. Once you take the exam, you will either receive a pass or fail test results through the mail (no numerical score is provided).
You will need to recertify each five years to maintain your certification.
- You will need to recertify each five years to maintain your certification.
Marie W received her Bachelor of Science in management and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Maryland, and a master's certificate in project management from Stevens Institute of Technology. The majority of her career has been spent as an IT project manager. She has enjoyed sharing her experiences helping others through freelance writing and her websites for the past 10 years.