Everything Event Planners Need to Know About Continuing Education Credits

March 16, 2019 Megan Stoeckel

Most Event Planners feel that part of their adult life should prove their achievements, but it becomes harder to find that type of recognition depending on which niche in the industry you work in. We’re no longer in the days where landing on the honor roll list in grade school will grant you a certificate for your efforts.

Event Planners don’t get a “In recognition for showing up to work every day this quarter” award. That’s why attaining a document that does show your achievements becomes even more significant. Eventprofs don’t necessarily need accreditation to work in the field, but some may want to in order to boost their professional standing. When you do have the credentials, you are eligible to receive award and certificates that applaud your accomplishments.

The Event Planner Expo team has created the following rundown of accreditation courses for Event Planners to help you understand each category of continuing education credits.

Accreditation Courses

Event planning pros create, organize and monitor an extensive variety of distinct events and activities. While it is not required to have some sort of formal training, there are many Event Planners who attend event planning accreditation courses that are available through local community colleges. Some colleges and universities actually offer event planning classes. The ultimate goal of most event planners is to attain accreditation as certified meeting professionals. Other accreditation specialties are also available as well.

Prerequisites

Event planners must be able to organize a number of events and ensure that all is in its place. This takes a high degree of structural skills. Having computer skills will help streamline most of the everyday tasks, like setting up registration for an event. Good communications skills, both written and verbal, are also significant so that clients and event planners understand exactly what is expected of one another. Event Planners need to be able to deal with all types of personalities, especially during stressful phases of the planning process.

Coursework

Often times organizations look for Event Planners that have advanced training, so they are able to meet the company’s needs. College degrees in public relations, communications, marketing, and business management offer good background when shooting for a career as an Event Planner. If you’re planning to concentrate in event planning, you can expect to enroll in classes like event financial planning, meetings, event negotiations, event promotion and marketing, legal aspects of event planning, and food and beverage management with added course work in standard business management classes. Meetings management and Hospitality management degrees are also available but on the master’s level at some universities.

Certified Meeting Professional Accreditation

When you want to attain certified meeting professional accreditation via the Convention Industry Council, you have to have a minimum of three years’ experience employed as an Event Planner. Throughout those three years, you have to complete at least 25 hours of continuing education credits which is the equivalent of 200 hours of an internship, which you can choose to do as an alternative. The Event Planner also has to pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as meeting programs, financial management, adult learning, logistics, and facilities and services. Study courses and practice exams are available online to assist you in preparing for the certified meeting professional accreditation exam.

Certified Government Meeting Professional Accreditation

The Society of Government Meeting Professionals offers special accreditation to their members who work as event planners for government clients. The three-day course and examination for this accreditation covers topics such as planning, procurement processes and travel regulations as they pertain to all levels of government. Event planners with this accreditation often receive higher pay from their employers and are in a better position to advance their careers.

Continuing Education Credit

In the events industry if you’re hosting sessions that offer educational content, then you may be awarding Continuing Education Units (CEU) or Continuing Education Credits (CEC). Being able to boast that your attendees will walk away with the value of documented CEUs/CECs can be a huge drive for registration and a way to demonstrate your event’s value in your industry.

Again, not all Event Planners are accredited because they’ve found a way to work in the industry without the certifications. Usually it comes from having experience in planning events and that too is a valid path, and at times, many organizations prefer it. Having relationships with vendors, knowing the ins and outs of décor, catering, floral arrangements, attending event planning expos, and just being someone who works well with all types of people is what being an excellent Event Planner is comprised of. However, some prefer to go the college degree and accreditation route and that too is well respected in the events industry.

If you are an Event Planner who is interested in attending an event planning expo that has stacked workshops that will help improve your skills, be sure to get your tickets to go to the Event Planner Expo in New York! You will be able to sit in on some resourceful workshops and rub shoulders with Event Planners who specialize in every niche of the business.

 

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