Whether you’re trying to break into event management or you’re an established event manager that needs a boost, grabbing an event management certification is a great way to build some skills and improve your resume.
But, which certificate should you choose? There are plenty of event management certificates and courses on the market, and each one carries a different price and level of respect from industry pros. Here are 10 event certificates that may be worth your time and money to help get your foot in the door.
1. The Event Industry Council
The Event Industry Council offers The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification. Originally launched in 1985, the CMP has become a go-to certification in the events industry. And, the courses leading up to the final exam will cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Meeting or event design
- Project management
- Site management
- Stakeholder management
- Risk management
- Financial and contract management
- Strategic planning
2. Global Business Travel Association
Events require global networking. And, they also require an incredible amount of business travel. The Global Business Travel Association’s Global Travel Professional (GTP) certification gives you the insights and experience you need help manage business travel. With a curated body of knowledge from the industries top travel professionals, the GTP is recognized around the globe as a reputable certificate.
3. International Association Of Exhibitions and Events
When it comes to the basics, IAEE has you covered. The International Association of Exhibitions and Events offers The Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM), which covers the basics of event management. There are a couple of great things about this certificate.
First, IAEE is serious business, and they are an incredibly well-respected face in the event industry. So, achieving this certificate opens serious networking opportunities. Second, they give you 3 years to complete the program. Granted, there are 9 exams. But, 3 years is a good bit of time if you have a busy lifestyle.
Another great certificate is Exhibitor’s Certified Trade Show Marketers (CTSM) designation. There are 23 sessions you can take in a classroom, and not only do you have to pass a test — but you have to show real-world experience. This is a great certificate for those who are already semi-invested in the events industry but need an extra boost.
Note: Once you finish, there are “levels” you can add to your certificate. You can do this if you wish, but it doesn’t give you too much of an advantage.
5. Management Strategy Institute
If you’re wondering “where can I get a certificate that will help me build my beginner’s skills?” the Management Strategy Institute’s Certified Quality Event Planner (CQEP) has you covered. Not only does the course help you build the fundamentals, but you don’t have to complete a project to complete the course. This means that you can do it before you start, well, event planning.
6. International Institute of Event Management
There are two “levels” of certification that the International Institute of Event Management offers. They have the Certificate Program in Event Management and the Master’s Certificate in Event Management. Like the CQEP, these certifications help you with the basics — though the Master’s offers some additional advanced skills.
Not only does Cvent offer fantastic event planning software, but they have a tiered certification program. The Cvent Event Management Certification is a highly recognized certification... with a catch. It uses the Cvent software. And, they suggest that you have “proficient experience in Cvent’s Event Management software.”
For those who are new to event management, this probably isn’t the certification for you. But, this is great for experienced event managers who want to flex their skills.
8. UMass Online
This is the second most expensive certification on this list. UMass offers an Online Certificate in Meeting & Event Management. And, it teaches you everything from management to scheduling events — at a cost. At $525 per credit, the certification will end up costing you $2,625. It’s a great option, but definitely not the cheapest route.
9. GW School Of Business
Ok. We've reached the most expensive certification on this list. The GW School of Business (GWSB) Professional Certificate in Event Management is the most comprehensive event planning certification on this list. But, it also costs a whopping $3,495.
Here are the courses you’ll take:
- 505 Meetings and Conferences
- 506 Corporate Event Management
- 508 Starting, Growing, and Managing an Event Business
- 512 Catering Design and Coordination
- 514 Wedding Planning, Coordination, and Consulting -OR- 546 Event Entertainment and Production
You will also have to put together an event planning portfolio — though you are given the resources and time to complete it. The kicker here is the price. And, since it’s not technically for college credits, you can’t offset the cost with student loans. It has to come straight from your wallet.
10. Expert Rating Certified Professional
Unlike UMass and GW School of Business, Expert Rating’s Online Event Management Certification doesn’t break the bank. At $69.99, this course will teach you the bare minimum when it comes to event management. But, if you’re mostly looking for a certificate and a good-looking resume addition, this course may be your best bet.