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The events industry is competitive. The landscape is ever-changing, new faces enter the industry every year, and there is always something new to learn, such as pivoting to virtual and the intricacies of hybrid events

Event planning certifications are one of the best ways to gain valuable education and set yourself apart. In addition, these credentials can enhance your career and open the door to new opportunities. Today, we’re covering the top seven event planning certifications you can earn to level up your career! 

ertified Meeting Professional (CMP) - Credly

CMP – Certified Meeting Professional 

The CMP, powered by the Events Industry Council, is one of the most coveted events industry certifications. Volunteer meeting professionals worldwide have continued to maintain the program and ensure it reflects the best practices in meeting management. According to the Events Industry Council, over 11,000 meeting professionals in 55 countries hold this elite designation. The CMP certification signifies excellence. Employers and clients alike recognize the prestige of the CMP.  

This certification is so popular that the Events Industry Council launched a CMP-HC subspecialty. They understand the complex needs of healthcare-focused meetings, including vast knowledge in regulations and laws that healthcare events must follow. 

To qualify, you must have 36 months of full-time employment in the meetings industry plus 25 hours of continuing education. If you have a degree in Event Management or Hospitality, you’ll only need 24 months of full-time employment. 

Cost: $725 

Certification: Every 5 years 

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ertified Special Events Professional (CSEP)

CSEP – Certified Events Professional

ILEA established this certification in 1993. The CSEP recognizes event professionals who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and ability essential to executing a special event. It is endorsed and managed by ILEA, one of the world’s leading associations for creative event professionals. To become certified, you will need to qualify through three eligibility pathways and complete the exam offered 365-days. 

Certification – Every 5 years 

Cost: $700

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ourses & Certifications | PCMA

DES – Digital Event Strategist 

The Digital Event Strategist certification has grown in popularity with the rise of virtual and hybrid events. Created by PCMA, this 6-module course consists of expert-led modules followed by a final exam. You can take this course to live, which includes an Expert Hour weekly to pick the brain of top professionals, or a self-paced option that allows you to set the speed. 

The exam enables event professionals to future-proof their careers. In addition, DES will give professionals the tools to plan and produce digital and hybrid events using the best tech and teach how to monetize them with strategic pricing and sponsorships. 

Certification – Every 2 Years. 

Cost- $895 for non-members or $745 for PCMA members 

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(Alex – can you drop the background out of this CPCE graphic?)

CPCE – Certified Professional in Catering and Events 

The CPCE is a nationally recognized program for catering and event professionals which NACE runs. It’s a mark of excellence that empowers event professionals to accelerate their careers. Holding a CPCE designation signals to clients and employers that you have experience and expertise in CPCE’s eight core competencies; accounting, beverage management, catering services, contracts & agreements, food production, event management, human resources, plus sales and marketing. 

To receive this designation, event professionals must work full-time in the industry for 3+ years, attend 30 hours of professional development in the past five years, and pass the exam. 

Certification – Every 5 years

Cost- $525

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Virtual Event & Meeting Management Certificate – ELI 

If you aren’t familiar, The Event Leadership Institute is a phenomenal resource for education in the events industry. ELI is home to 180 courses that will help you elevate your career. They recently created the Virtual Event & Meeting Management Certificate in partnership with MPI to help event professionals gain the skills needed to plan and execute virtual events. Participants will learn to create an engaging digital experience through the six-week course that pleases attendees and stakeholders alike. This course dives deep into digital platforms, data collection & analytics, and data security. It is a must for anyone planning a virtual event! 

Price: $695

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Pandemic Meeting & Event Design Certificate 

The Pandemic Meeting Event Certificate was created by MPI in partnership with ELI to help event professionals navigate their new normal. The course teaches planners to rethink event strategies and become more adaptable in the face of the ever-changing landscape. It will also teach event professionals how to establish and deploy event tactics to reduce COVID-based risks. 

Price: $695

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CEPS – Certified Event Planning Specialist 

Created by the National Career Certification Board, the CEPS prepares individuals for careers as event planning professionals. The CEPS provides the entry-level knowledge you need to get started in this events industry covering everything from the venue, menu selection, entertainment, and beyond. 

Cost: $175.00

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Go Level Up Your Career! 

Now that you know the top event planning certifications, it’s time to get one! The landscape of events is changing. Staying educated and learning new skills is more important than ever and will keep you a prime candidate for any job. No matter what event planning certifications you choose, you will be building valuable skill sets that will take your career to new heights!