Planner's Pocket Dictionary: What Are Your Credentials?

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    FROM THE Spring 2018 ISSUE

For something so pervasive and prestigious, planner’s designations can be pretty mysterious. We dig into what each acronym means and where they come from so you know the next time you see them, and might be inspired to add them to your title as well.

CAE: Certified Association Executives, accredited by the American Society of Association Executives, have taken classes in Essential Practices in Association Management, Effectively Managing Volunteer Committees and Task Forces, Membership Development, Communication and Public Relations and Developing Your Leadership Potential. The courses are offered at ASAE in Washington, D.C., twice a year.  

CCEP: To become a Certified Conferences and Events Professional, planners must work at a qualified college or university and have a membership with the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors-International. After applying, planners work through a virtual curriculum and receive an engraved plaque upon completion. 

CDME: Certified Destination Management Executives must complete a newly redesigned program sponsored by Destinations International (formerly DMAI). This designation is considered the highest honor in destination management planning. 

CEM: In order to display the Certified in Exhibition Management credentials, planners must have at least three years experience and complete a rigorous educational program designed by the International Association of Exhibits and Events. 

CFE: If you know a lot of facilities executives, you may frequently see the Certified Facilities Executive designation. This acronym indicates expertise in venue management as determined by the International Association of Venue Managers. 

CGMP: Planners and suppliers who work with and for the government have the opportunity to go through a course designed to increase knowledge and awareness of these types of events. The Society of Government Professionals offers this seven-part course to planners with at least one year of relevant experience. 

CME/H: The Healthcare Convention and Exhibitors Association created the Certified for Manager of Exhibits and Healthcare designation for those who are interested in earning the “The Seal of Professional Excellence of the Healthcare Exhibit & Event Industry.”

CMM: This acronym, designating Certified Meeting Managers, comes from Meeting Planners International (MPI) and Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), after completing courses taught by business professors. 

CMP: Those with a CMP designation are Certified Meeting Planners as determined by the Convention Industry Council. To earn the designation, planners apply through the CIC and must then pass a written exam.

CPCE: If a colleague has this acronym trailing their name, it means they are a Certified Professional in Catering and Events, as accredited by the National Association for Catering and Events. 

CSEP: This designation dates back to 1993 and indicates a Certified Special Events Professional as accredited by The International Special Events Society.

DMCP: Destination Management Certified Professionals have applied for certification through the Association of Destination Management Executives International.

This month I attended AccorHotels’ 7th annual Global Meeting Exchange, held this year in the beautiful city of Montreal. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth served as the host hotel for the four-day event, and attendees who hadn’t been to Montreal in a while were blown away by both the city, the hotel and its meeting spaces—myself included.


Most Valuable New Restaurant


Members of The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA) placed their bets for a good cause this summer at the 11th annual Pony Up for the Kids fundraiser event, held at Arlington International Racecourse. Proceeds went directly into a fund for the IHLA Educational Foundation Scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to local students pursuing degrees in hospitality. (See the latest winners on page 45.) To date, the program has awarded $400,000 to deserving students. Guests were able to enjoy the racecourse’s private Beverly D.