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CHOOSING A CAREER / SEP. 03, 2014
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How to Become a Certified Meeting Professional

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Do you have excellent communication and relationship skills and would like to earn a living by bringing people together? Then you should consider becoming a certified meeting professional. As the name suggests, this career gives you the responsibility to plan social occasions for theme parks, hotels, cruise lines, corporations and non-profit corporations.  

What Do Certified Meeting Professionals Do?

Duties carried out by certified meeting professionals include but are not limited to:

  •         Meeting with clients to know the purpose of the event or meeting
  •         Planning the scope of the occasion including location, program, time, and cost
  •         Soliciting bids service providers
  •         Working with clients to make a choice on whom to contract with for various services and the location of the event
  •         Inspecting venues to ensure conformity to the client’s needs
  •         Coordinating event services such as transportation, rooms and food service
  •         Monitoring event undertakings to ensure the event attendees and the client are satisfied
  •         Reviewing event bills and approving payment

Salary

Salaries for certified meeting professionals vary by job.

Job Title

Annual Salary

Event Manager

$36,430 - $81,330

Event Planner

$35,255 - $71,256

Director of Events

$44,138 - $108,991

National Sales Manager

$53,150 - $102,827

Meeting Planner

$39,670 - $80,356

Source: Payscale

Skills required

Serving as a certified meeting professional, you need to have the following imperative qualities:

  •         Multi-tasking abilities
  •         Ability to work strict deadline settings
  •         Ability to give problems a creative approach
  •         Budget awareness
  •         Ability to lead others and work as part of a team
  •         Aptitude to focus on the customer
  •         Attention to detail
  •         Excellent sales, negotiation and marketing skills
  •         Motivation, enthusiasm and a positive attitude
  •         IT and administration skills
  •         Time management skills
  •         Active listening and exploration skills that transform into critical knowledge

Qualifications

A number of event planners have a high school diploma and several years of experience. However, the majority of employers prefer candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree in event planning. Certificate courses in event planning are more popular than degree courses and focus more on special event planning or corporate event planning. Individuals who have pursued related bachelor’s degrees might consider taking these professional certificate programs that provide training in the following areas:

  •         Financial management
  •         Contracts negotiation
  •         Human resource management
  •         Audio/visual equipment
  •         Food and beverage planning
  •         Brand management
  •         Publicity management

These programs also comprise of an internship or any other administered practical training. Even though candidates from various backgrounds can practice as event professionals, it is mandatory that they obtain the Convention Industry Council. This certification is awarded upon passing a qualifying exam. In order to take this exam, you must have experience in the meeting and event planning industry. However, the amount of experience is reduced for those who have secured a degree in this field. Those who gain further training through pursuing PhD and Doctoral programs are open to job opportunities in the teaching field. Additionally, they can start their own event planning agencies.

Career Prospects

Employment opportunities for certified meeting professionals are a sunny sight with anticipations for growth projected to be faster than normal. This is attributed to the high rate at which businesses are growing hence making it important to hold meeting and events. There is also a need for more experts to serve in the training of professionals in this field. You are bound to stand out in the job market if you hold a bachelor’s degree, have professional experience and the CMP credential.

If you have a strong grasp of business concepts and a resilient work ethic, this career is meant for you.

 

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