There has been a lot of conversation and controversy around Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) Certificate in Meetings Management (CMM) program in the past weeks. I, for one, have been paying close attention to the situation with extreme interest. You see, although I do not hold the CMM designation, I have aspired to obtain my CMM designation for several years now. However, the reason why I haven’t yet taken the plunge has been purely because of conflicting emotions.
Why you ask? Well not to long ago, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) developed a intriguing program called the Strategic Meetings Management Certificate (SMMC), which at the time was addressing many of the evolving trends in the Strategic Meetings Management. Knowing that I couldn’t do both designations, I wanted to go with a designation that had tenure, and would sustain over time. The CMM was the designation of choice, but it lacked some aspects of the evolving SMMC program, which actually would be beneficial to see.
So when both organizations joined forces to create a new program, at first I was pretty impressed. I felt like their collaboration was an essential element to the evolution of either program. Having one program that speaks to the strengths of what both programs bring to the table creates a necessary weight and brings value to the certificate. However, after reading the initial program information and criteria in comparison with what the CMM program was in the past, many things were different.
In the end, many current CMM’s and others petitioned changes to the CMM program to MPI and GBTA. There were also several of conference calls held by MPI to its community to offer a platform for discussion and gain feedback on the program. Afterwards, MPI went back to the drawing board, and on Friday a response was generated to the MPI community. Some key points that resonated with me were:
- The program will retain its Certificate in Meeting Management name
- The program will be also identifiable by its acronym of CMM
- The experience for the program will be 7-10 years of professional meeting and event or business travel experience, 3-5 years of management experience with two years of profit and loss responsibility, and a personal statement and letter of recommendation from a professional colleague or supervisor
- The designees that received their certificate prior to 2014, will be able to retain their designation. New certificates will be issued.
These are changes that I feel are very important to the program, and am happy to see them, so I’ll be very excited to complete my CMM designation soon. I think all of the conversation and controversy was worth it, so that meeting managers get a program that speaks to both their experience and the needs of the industry. I also know that now, when I do obtain it, I will be held with the same regard as my fellow CMM designees when the time comes. Details about the next registration for CMM can’t get here soon enough!
Do you think that these changes are enough? I’ll be happy to hear about it in the comments below.
If you want to read more on this story, check out the links below:
Press release on the petitioned changes
Great article outlining the controversy
Planners turn up the heat on MPI
MPI backs down on some CMM changes