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What Is a Certified Meeting Planner?
A certified meeting planner (CMP) is a person who has applied to, qualified for and taken the Certified Meeting Planner examination successfully. Certified meeting planners are sometimes referred to as event planners or event managers. While a certified meeting planner may be in the same career field as an event planner, the certification gives an edge.
So what does it take to become a certified meeting planner? This is one career choice whose attributes come into play well before a person even visualizes what they want to be when they ‘grow up’. CMPs have to be outstanding coordinators and organizers; they have to stay cool under pressure, see the big picture, be able to work with tight deadlines, handle crisis with ease and have extra-ordinary people skills.
These character traits can be noted earlier on in one’s life and those who exhibit them tend to be drawn to this particular field of work. However, it does not mean that if you exhibit these traits, you will become an event or certified meeting planner; you can make a good politician, manager or stoke broker.
A certified meeting planner works with organizations, professionals, and institutions, to organize meetings, conventions and events. The duties of a meeting planner vary depending on the scope of the job to be handled and at what level he or she is engaged. For large events that involve hundreds or thousands of people, a certified meeting planner will be hired as a overall events manager and he/she will work with several assistants to aid in coordinating the whole event.
Summed up, the responsibility of a certified meeting planner comes down to seeing that an event goes down smoothly without hitches. This is not as easy as it sounds because it calls for perfect planning and application of detailed logistics.
How A Certified Meeting Planner Works
The first thing that a certified meeting professional has to do with an employer is to sit down and discuss the nature of the event; how many people will be expected to attend, and for how long? What is the location- or possible location of the event and most importantly what kind of budget does the employer want to work with?
Once the certified meeting planner has the general scope of the project, he/she has to handle the nitty-gritty of making arrangements. This involves making a budget breakdown for the employer, meeting with vendors and negotiating prices for goods and services, planning menus, and other food services, and hiring/monitoring of the necessary equipments.
At times, the meeting planner may be called upon to arrange lodging and transport arrangements to and from the venue for firms that have taken out of town locations. A certified meeting planner may even be required to arrange for gift bags for attendees in some cases. All this has to be done within a specific time frame and calls for the meeting professional to be highly organized and keen with details.
A certified meeting planner never ever leaves any aspect of arrangements to chance. Instead he or she goes over details twice just to ensure that everything will run smoothly. With so many variables involved, there are chances one hitch can cause a crisis, and that is why a certified meeting planner should know how to work under pressure and keep a clear head in emergency situations.