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How Certifications Help Event Planners Evolve

Over the last couple of years, event professionals around the world have had to stay up-to-date with many moving parts to keep up with the changing priorities we’ve experienced across the industry. Certifications ranging from COVID-safe event planning to training on how to expertly manage virtual events are providing professionals with opportunities to increase their expertise and adapt across a variety of event formats and settings in a continuously shifting environment.

Although there are countless certifications available to professionals looking to improve their skills, sometimes determining which one is right for you can feel difficult when there are so many options. Here, we’ve pulled together some insights from our own people on the certifications they’ve earned and how it’s benefitted them in their work to give you a place to start.

Female event planner studying for a certification while sitting on a couch | Global Agency. BCD Meetings & Events

Why is earning an event certification valuable today?

The meeting and event industry is expansive, and planners are responsible for organizing and executing both virtual and live experiences across a variety of event types and formats. These experiences can range from high end incentive trips, to global trade shows, and high volume SMM programs. Although a high-level understanding of the industry is critical to planning events in all these areas, having specialized knowledge in particular event types or formats can be a huge differentiator in the preparation, quality, and execution of these events.

What types of certifications are available to event professionals?

As mentioned above, there are a variety of event types and formats that meeting professionals plan in their roles. Each event type is unique and may require a different approach, preparation, or knowledge to be best equipped to execute flawlessly.

Below are some of the most common and popular certifications available to meeting and event professionals interested in upskilling today.

  • CMP – Certified Meeting Professional The CMP certification enhances the knowledge and performance of meetings and events professionals. This certification is recognized globally as a certificate of excellence within the industry.
  • The Pandemic Meeting & Event Certification This certification is offered through Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and is designed to help industry professionals navigate event strategy in a post-pandemic world. The program teaches participants strategies for adapting to a disrupted global environment, developing safer checklists for event design, and establishing event tactics to reduce COVID-based risks.
  • SG SafeEvent CertificationThis certification is a mark of preparedness and reassurance that meetings and events are planned with the safety and compliance standards of a post-Covid world. The certification helps event professionals, venues, and suppliers to implement safe practices that protect the safety and wellbeing of guests.
  • GTP – Global Travel ProfessionalThis certificate is offered by the Global Business Travel Association and enhances the performance and skills of business travel managers.
  • CMM – Certification in Meeting ManagementThe CMM certification was developed by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and can be taken online, or in-person for a more authentic experience. It has a three-pronged approach, educating meeting professionals on principles in Business Management, Leadership, and Meeting Management to accelerate their careers in the industry.
  • Cvent Virtual Event CertificationCvent’s specialized virtual event certification is for industry professionals looking to prove and expand their expertise and skills designing, executing, and promoting virtual events.

Related article: What Event Planners Need to Know As They Plan In-Person Events

How have certifications have helped planners evolve?

Interested in understanding how these certifications can be applied in real meeting and event planning scenarios? Hear from some of our people on how upskilling has improved their professional development and supported clients.

Izzy Buck head shot | Global agency, BCD Meetings & EventsIzzy Buck, Delegate Manager
England, United Kingdom

Certification: The Pandemic Meeting & Event Certification

“The training has definitely made me think differently about the life cycle of events. We of course now have to take a different approach when planning an event as there are far more ‘layers’ to an event ie. taking into consideration new health and safety regulations we must adhere to both on a local/international level, planning for crisis (COVID outbreaks), keeping risk level to a minimum (planning best destinations with COVID as a factor ie. current rates of infection), post event feedback (did delegates feel safe).”

Eunice_Photo Singapore

Eunice Lee, Operations Lead
Singapore, Asia Pacific

Certification: SG SafeEvent Certification, Cvent Event Certification

“Continuous learning and improving ourselves is always important. The lockdown period in Singapore last year was a golden opportunity to pick up new knowledge, especially on Cvent. Although I don’t use this system regularly in my work, it is widely used in our organization and industry, so earning the certification helps me stay knowledgeable in our industry. I chose to earn the SafeEvent Certification to stay ahead of competition and ensure the safety of our clients, delegates, and team mates as the new norm of event management includes additional risk mitigation. It’s necessary to always be ready to adapt and stay relevant in an ever changing and fast paced environment! And the additional education is always appreciated by clients.”


Marianni Monestel head shot | Global agency, BCD Meetings & Events

Marianni Monestel, Project Manager
Costa Rica, Latin America

Certification: Cvent Virtual Event Certification, Cvent Hybrid Event Certification

“Last year I completed a couple of Cvent certifications focused on managing virtual and hybrid events. Even at the peak of the pandemic our web developers remained busy building sites for these new types of events that we weren’t used to at first. With these certifications I learned more about how to manage and promote virtual and hybrid events through the creation of seamless websites and communications. We created a new website template and put together new processes to keep up with the changes and stay ahead in this digital-first era.”


Sammi Jo Phillips head shot | Global agency, BCD Meetings & Events

Sammi Jo Phillips, Project Manager
England, United Kingdom

Certification: The Pandemic Meeting & Event Certification

“This certification has made me think of alternative outcomes and outliers to the average elements onsite and how we all need to review our safety. It has made me think personally of how much more detail needs to be added to onsite documents and running orders moving forward.”


Renee Banach head shot | Global agency, BCD Meetings & EventsRenee Banach, Attendee Engagement Lead
United States, North America

Certification: Cvent Event Management Advanced, Cvent Event Management, Cvent Event Marketing Strategy, Cvent Event Diagramming, Cvent Diagramming & Seating, Cvent Venue Sourcing, Cvent Mobile Event App, Cvent Supplier Network, Cvent Virtual Events, Cvent Hybrid Events

“Being new to the industry of Meetings & Events I wanted to learn as much as possible about managing an event from start to finish. So I decided to take the opportunity and get my certifications in all of the areas that Cvent was offering during the pandemic. At first, my intent was to be an extra hand to help other departments where ever I could utilizing Cvent, but it eventually lead to an opportunity working on the Event Solutions “The Collective” team.  Obtaining these Cvent certifications made my transition into a brand new career opportunity so much easier and it enabled me to hit the ground running.”


Group of Event Planners at BCD M&E | Global agency, BCD Meetings & Events


Originally published Jan 10, 2022 9:00:00 AM
Last updated on Dec 28, 2022 10:53:47 AM

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Written by BCD Meetings & Events


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