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Event Coordinator Certification

Becoming certified in event, meeting or convention planning can increase your marketability in the field. See which professional organizations offer certification, and find out what the requirements are.

Must I Be Certified to be an Event Coordinator?

Certification is not a general requirement for being hired, though some companies may call for it. While the requirements for various certifications may vary, becoming certified, and recertified as needed, shows employers that you are willing to take the extra steps needed to meet certain standards for the job. The continuing education available to you as a certified professional can enhance your skills while keeping you up to date with techniques being used in the industry.

Certification Requirements Voluntary, but recommended in order to increase job prospects
Required Educational Background Completing a degree or certificate program is not required for receiving certification
Available Certifications Certification in Meeting Management (CMM), Certified Special Event Planner (CSEP), and Certified Meeting Planner (CMP)
Median Salary (2018) $49,370 (for all meeting, convention, and event planners)  
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 11% growth (for all meeting, convention, and event planners

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Do I Need a Certificate or Degree in Event Planning to Become Certified?

Professional event coordinators enter the field from a range of educational backgrounds. This means that, while degree and certificate programs in event planning are available, they are not required for certification as long as prerequisites have been met. Some of these programs may allow you to earn credits toward industry certification.

What Certifications are Available to Me?

Professional organizations offer various certifications for event coordinators, including the three detailed below.

Certified Meeting Planner (CMP)

The CMP is offered through the Convention Industry Council (www.conventionindustry.org). Once you have met the requirements for work experience, you must pass an examination, which is offered two times a year. Recertification is required every five years and involves continuing education classes and continual participation in the meetings industry.

Certified Special Event Planner (CSEP)

Offered by the International Special Events Society (www.ises.com), the CSEP designation has a certification structure similar to that for the CMP. In order to apply, you must have a minimum of three years' experience in the field before taking the necessary exam. Recertification is required every five years, but does not involve testing.

Certification in Meeting Management (CMM)

The CMM credential, offered by Meeting Professionals International (www.mpiweb.org), is applicable to more seasoned professionals. You must have at least ten years in the industry before applying and be able to show capability in areas such as budget, logistics and people management. Acceptance leads to your participation in a 5-day program, which culminates in an exam and a presentation of your own business plan.