By Mallory Robinson, Account Associate
The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program is offered by the Events Industry Council (EIC) and is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry. Qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education, and a rigorous exam.
Kara Stachowiak currently has the CMP certification and has been at IMI since March 2017. In her role at IMI, Kara is the meeting planner for INACSL and ILCA. She is also a member of Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). She was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding certification.
IMI: When did you earn the CMP?
KS: I received my certification in 2014. Early in 2019, I completed my first recertification which is required every five years.
IMI: What tips do you have for anyone who is interested in earning this designation?
Be organized in tracking your continuing education credits. Save everything in one place so it is easy to access. Anyone can create a free account on the EIC website to track credits. If you already have an account, any pre-approved CE opportunities for which you have registered, will be loaded to your account after the event and you can record your hours. Make sure you save any certificates or confirmations. These are required for any CEs that have not been pre-approved.
Make sure you have the most recent manuals (yes, there are several). I found the PCMA study course to be extremely helpful. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. The study course was set up to do a pretest, read the associated chapters from each manual, and do a post-test. The course was organized by Domain, so it did not involve sitting down and reading the pages in order from cover to cover. Make sure you have plenty of time to get through this process.
Answer based on what is in the manuals, even if you feel the information may be outdated (I took the last exam before new manuals were released, and felt that some of my answers were outdated.)
I definitely recommend logging in to record education as you earn it and not all at the end. Recertification can be done with 25 hours of CE credits or a combination of 15 CE credits and a choice three industry support activities. Industry support activity options can be found on the CMP website.
If you’re wondering how to run a fun, effective event that also turns a profit, contact IMI Association Executives! We specialize in conference, meeting, and tradeshow management and assist in every area from developing a budget to coordinating contracts to managing onsite. Schedule a meeting now to see what we can do for your association!