Event Management & Data

Top 6 Event Planning Certifications To Boost Your Career

Mike Khorev
May 19, 2023

Event planning is a lucrative and evergreen career choice. The global event management market is estimated to be worth $6.36 billion and is projected to grow at a rate of 12.5% between 2021 and 2028, according to Grand View Research.

With the rapid growth in the event industry, now is the time to get certified and propel your career. There are many great programs out there that can help you learn the ropes and advance your career in this exciting industry.

In this blog post, we will take a look at seven of the best event planning certification programs available today. We’ll discuss what each program offers, and also provide you with some helpful tips on how to choose the right one for you. So without further ado, let’s get started!

What Is Event Planning Certification and Why Do You Need It 

Event Planning Certification is a certification that proves an event planner’s ability to complete event planning-related tasks. Event planners ensure that all the details of a particular event are taken care of.

They work with clients to determine their budgets, choose a venue, and select vendors. Event planners also handle logistics like transportation and accommodations. To become certified, event planners must demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the field.

The certification process usually includes an exam and a portfolio review. Once certified, event planners can use the credential to show they can handle all aspects of an event. Certification can also help event planners get jobs and earn more money.

Benefits of Getting Certified in Event Planning 

Before engaging in any certification program, it’s important to understand the benefits. Weighing the cost against the potential returns is essential in making a wise decision. The following are the benefits of getting certified in event planning:

✅ Increased Knowledge

In the process of getting certified in event planning, you’ll have access to a wealth of information that will help you plan events better. You’ll learn about budgeting, venue selection, and logistics management. You’ll also gain valuable experience that will help you in your career. 

Professional Credibility

By obtaining a certification in event planning, you can show potential partners, clients, and employers that you have the skills and knowledge needed to plan events successfully. This can increase your chances of getting hired and help you build a strong reputation. 

✅ Increased Earning Potential

Getting certified as an event planner can open up more job opportunities and help you command higher pay. It also allows you to specialize in certain areas and earn more money by planning larger or more complex events.  

✅ Improved Networking Opportunities

By getting certified in event planning, you’ll have access to a network of professionals who can help you learn more about the industry and find new contacts. This can open up even more opportunities for success. 

Overview of the Top Certification Programs for Event Planners

→ Certified Meeting Professional

A certified meeting professional (CMP) is a credentialed designation granted by the Convention Industry Council after passing an exam and was founded in 1985 to recognize the specialized knowledge and experience required of meeting professionals.

CMP certification is now recognized as a global standard of excellence. To get the CMP title, a person must show that they are good at negotiating contracts, planning events, managing risks, and marketing.

The CMP credential is important for moving up in your career and can lead to new jobs. Also, the CMP designation is the gold standard in the event planning industry. It shows that you have the knowledge and experience to plan and run successful events.

Once certified, you can use the CMP logo on your website and marketing materials, giving you an advantage over non-certified competitors. If you want to work in event planning, becoming a CMP is a good first step.

Eligibility Requirements

  • To be eligible for the CMP certification program, you must have at least three years of professional experience in the events industry.
  • Additionally, you must have 25 hours of continuing education credits related to meeting management or event planning.
  • You will also need to pass the CMP exam, which consists of 100 questions covering topics such as structure and design of meetings, risk management, ethics, and professionalism. The exam is offered several times a year in various locations worldwide.

For more detail about the requirements, please download the CMP handbook here. If you want to keep your CMP certification after you’ve earned it, you must meet continuing education requirements every three years.

Fee Structure

  • CMP Application submission fee $250
  • Exam fee $475

Benefits of CMP Certification

  • The CMP credential can open doors to new job opportunities and higher pay. It is also an invaluable tool for career advancement in the event planning industry.
  • The CMP designation marks excellence, demonstrating that you have the knowledge and experience required to plan and execute successful events.
  • Additionally, certified meeting professionals can use the CMP logo on their website and other marketing materials, making them stand out from non-certified competitors.
  • The certification also gives you access to an exclusive network of meeting professionals who can help you advance your career or find new job opportunities.
  • Maintaining a CMP credential requires ongoing educational activities, which helps ensure you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in event planning.
  • Lastly, according to a recent Professional Convention Management Association PCMA industry report, meeting planners with the CMP earn (on average) $10,756 more per year than their non-certified counterparts.

→ Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP)

CSEP: Certified Special Events Professional, is a globally recognized credential that sets the standard for excellence in special event management. Established in 1993 by the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the CSEP certification is designed to recognize professionals who demonstrate knowledge and experience in planning, budgeting, executing, and evaluating special events.

In order to get certified, candidates have to show what they know about events, how much experience they have, and what skills they have by taking written tests and doing practice tests.

The CSEP credential is valuable because it shows a level of dedication and professionalism that clients and employers respect very much. Furthermore, CSEP holders are typically better compensated than their non-certified counterparts.

In addition, the credential can open doors to new job opportunities and help event professionals stand out from the competition. Because of these things, the CSEP credential can be a huge help to anyone who wants to work in the events industry.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You will need to have completed at least three to five years of full-time work in event production.
  • One to two years’ certificates in a reputable event industry program

For more information about the CSEP, kindly click on this link.

Fee Structure

  • CSEP Application Fee: $350
  • CSEP Exam Fee: $350/attempt

Benefits Of  CSEP Certification

  • Demonstrates commitment and professionalism
  • Provides access to an exclusive network of event professionals
  • Demonstrates knowledge, experience, and skills in exceptional event management
  • Increases earning potential
  • It opens doors to new job opportunities
  • Improves credibility within the industry
  • Experience an increase in the industry’s standards and practices.

→ CMM: Certificate in Meeting Management

CMM: Certificate in Meeting Management is a globally recognized professional credential that gives meeting and event professionals the skills and knowledge to plan and execute meetings and events effectively.

The certification of CMM is issued by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), which is one of the leading professional associations for meeting planners and event professionals worldwide. CMM helps people understand the whole meeting management process, from planning to running the meeting to evaluating it afterward.

Furthermore, the three significant aspects of educational programs are meeting management, business management, and leadership. One thing to remember is that the CMM certificate is permanent and also offers live online certificate courses.

The program covers various topics, such as choosing a venue, negotiating contracts, planning food and drinks, getting help with audiovisual equipment, and much more. After finishing the program, participants can plan meetings and events confidently, ensuring that everything goes well for everyone.

Eligibility Requirements

  • 7 years of full-time work experience in the meeting or event industry
  • 3 years of management experience.
  • 2+ years of profit and loss responsibility.

To learn more about the CMM, kindly click on this link.

Fee Structure

  • CMM program cost per person is $4,500

Benefits Of CMM Certification

  • Provides comprehensive understanding of meeting and event planning management
  • Offers a permanent professional credential
  • Demonstrates commitment to the profession
  • Enhances job opportunities and career advancement
  • Helps to develop leadership skills
  • Increases earning potential and exposition

→ Event Planning Specialist Certification (CEPS)

CEPS Event Planning Specialist Certification, issued by National Career Certification Board (NCCB), is one of the top certification programs for event planners. The CEPS Event Planning Specialist Certification is a credential that is known all over the world and is meant to raise the standards of the event planning field.

Event planners get the skills and knowledge they need to plan and run successful events through the certification program. From venue selection and budgeting to contract negotiation and risk management, participants will learn all the steps of event planning.

The CEPS certification is also great for meeting other event professionals and sharing best practices. Also, the program covers a wide range of topics, such as event management, event marketing, event operations, and event technology.

Also, the certification program gives event planners a unique chance to meet and talk with other certified professionals. The CEPS Event Planning Specialist Certification is a must-have for any professional in the event planning field who wants to stand out.

Eligibility Requirements

The candidate may be able to get into this program through one of these three ways.

  • The candidate should process five years of proven full-time practical experience in the events industry.
  • A minimum of three years of full-time experience in the events industry and a letter of recommendation from an active CSEP stating the applicant’s suitability for the CSEP program.
  • A minimum of three years of full-time experience in the events industry and a one- to two-year certificate or diploma from an accredited hospitality/events program.

For more information about the requirements, you can click on this link.

Fee Structure

  • Registration and fees currently cost $600 USD

Benefits CEPS Certification

  • It provides recognition and credibility of the event planner’s expertise.
  • Opportunity to develop contacts with other certified professionals.
  • Enhances job opportunities and career advancement potential.
  • It helps build leadership skills, increases potential wage income, and develops a network of industry peers.
  • It improves job security.

→ Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE)

The Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) is one of the top certification programs for event planners. This certification shows that you know a lot about catering and event management and are committed to growing as a professional.

The CPCE comprises eight core competencies: accounting, beverage management, catering services, contracts and agreements, food production, event management, human resources, and sales and marketing.

Each of these competencies is essential for successful event planning. The CPCE gives event planners the skills and knowledge they need to be the best at what they do. Whether you’re just starting in the event planning industry or looking to take your career to the next level, the CPCE is an excellent way to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to your profession.

Eligibility Requirements

People must pass a full exam that tests them on everything they know about catering and events. 

Fee Structure

  • The fee for a CPCE application is $525.

Benefits of CPCE Certification

  • The CPCE equips event planners with the abilities and information required to be successful in their line of work.
  • It offers an excellent opportunity to exhibit your knowledge of and dedication to your field.
  • By giving students a thorough understanding of the catering and event management industries, the CPCE also increases job security.
  • Additionally, it enhances leadership potential, raises potential earnings, and creates a peer network within the industry.
  • Additionally, it allows networking with other qualified professionals in the industry.

→ DES: Digital Event Strategist

Technology has become an integral part of event planning and management. Every step of planning an event can be made easier and better with technology, from coming up with the initial concept and idea to telling clients and sponsors about it.

One way to stay ahead of the curve is to earn a Digital Event Strategist certification from Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). This certification program covers everything from creating a successful social media strategy to using data analytics to measure event success.

The Digital Event Strategist certification program aims to give event planners the skills and knowledge they need to do well in the digital age. So, the program covers a wide range of topics, such as web design, social media, and event marketing.

With DES certification, you can show potential employers that you know how to plan and run events in the digital age. In today’s ever-changing landscape, that’s an invaluable skill to have.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Anyone can apply for the course.
  • It gives event planners the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in today’s digital world.
  • Provides credentials to demonstrate competency in digital trends, web design, social media, and other essential areas for running successful events.

You can simply click here to learn more about the course or register for DES.

Fee Structure

Course fee $695

Benefits DES Certification

  • It helps event planners stay updated on the latest technologies and trends in the industry.
  • It gives them the knowledge and skills to plan events for clients in the digital age successfully.
  • It helps them develop a successful social media strategy.
  • Provides access to cutting-edge tools, resources, fees, and potential network opportunities.

How to Choose the Right Program for You 

Now that you’ve taken a closer look at the different certifications available, it’s important to consider some things before choosing the right one for you. The following are the factors to consider:

Cost of the Program

Many event planner certification programs are available, each with its own cost. Some programs may be free, while others may charge a fee. When choosing an event planner certification program, it is essential to consider its cost and benefits.

For example, some programs may offer discounts on event planning services. Other programs may provide access to exclusive events or networking opportunities. Some programs may also offer job placement assistance or career counseling.

When considering the cost of an event planner certification program, weighing the benefits against the price is essential. Only you can decide if the program’s cost is worth its benefits.


When choosing an event planner certification program, it’s also important to consider how well-known it is. It is essential to research the programs you are considering and read reviews from past participants or instructors.

It is also a good idea to reach out to industry professionals who have taken the course and ask for their opinion about the program’s quality.


When choosing an event planner certification program, it is essential to pay attention to the requirements and coursework involved. Different programs may have additional requirements for graduation or certification.

Some programs may require you to take a certain number of classes or do a certain number of hours of work before you can get your certification. It is essential to take the time to research the requirements of each program and make sure that you can commit to them before enrolling.

Length of Program

When choosing a program to get certified as an event planner, you should consider how long it is.  Some programs may be short and focus on a specific area of event planning, while others may require more extended periods to complete the coursework. It’s essential to consider your available time and choose a program that fits your schedule.


Also, it’s essential to consider the accessibility of the program. Will it be available online? Do you have access to a physical location for in-class instruction? Is there an option for one-on-one coaching or mentoring from certified professionals within the industry?


One of the best ways to decide if a certification program is right for you is to read reviews from past participants. Reviews can offer a wealth of information about the program’s quality, what you can expect when taking it, and any challenges that may arise during the course.

By doing your research, you can make an informed decision before committing to a program and begin your journey to becoming a certified event planner.

Considering these factors, you can ensure you get the most out of your event planner certification program. You will be able to find the right program for your needs and begin planning events with confidence.

Wrapping Up

Event planning is a lucrative and exciting industry that offers many opportunities for growth. To become a successful event planner, it is essential to have the proper training and certification. 

The factors considered when choosing an event planner certification program are important, and should not be taken lightly. It is essential to find a program that fits your needs and allows you to learn in a way that works best for you. 

By doing your research, you can ensure you get the most out of your event planner certification program. You will also be able to find the right program for your needs and begin planning events with confidence.

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Mike Khorev

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