Events Council Blog

The Value of CMP: A Roundtable Discussion

Jan 26, 2018

What is the true value of holding your CMP — and perhaps more importantly, how do you best communicate that to colleagues and executives? This is a challenge that some members cited during a survey conducted by the Events Industry Council following the recent Conclave 2017.

Looking for some advice, we asked three members, each of whom has held their CMP for different lengths of time, the various ways in which they communicate the value—and how to best position yourself for future success.

First, let’s meet our panelists:

  • David Peckinpaugh, CMP, has been a CMP since 1999 and recent inductee into the Hall of Leaders. He was motivated to get his CMP when he joined what was then Conferon (now Experient) and where we had well over 100 CMPs on staff (and still do). As he says, “Peer pressure is a wonderful thing at times.”
  • Kathryn Gleesing, MBA, CMP, is president/owner of Destination Management Connection LLC. She obtained her CMP in 1994 initially to provide value to clients, which at the time was as Director of Convention and Visitor Services at Visit Milwaukee. Now in her current role, it has proved extremely valuable because she is once again working with meeting professionals. “It certainly provides a leg up among my competitors, no other destination company has their CMP in Wisconsin,” says Gleesing.
  • Heather McCroskey, CMP, the director of event sales & catering with the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, earned her CMP designation in July 2006. Knowing that she wanted to succeed in the meetings industry and to do what she could to stand out, she read up on the CMP designation and thought of it as a ‘Meetings MBA’. “When applying for jobs, I found my potential employers were not necessarily interested in candidates having their masters, but more so having a CMP,” she says.

Events Industry Council: Please provide an example of a way in which having the CMP has positively impacted your career.

Peckinpaugh: “One of the biggest benefits is from outside our industry when people see the designation. They always ask what it is … and that opens the door for education about our industry, the planning profession overall and the skills needed to be a superior performer. Within the industry, it demonstrates a commitment to learning and to excellence.”

Gleesing: “It has impacted my career positively in every area. Working with vendors, especially hotels, they value that I have the experience with the CMP and appreciate the additional knowledge I bring to the negotiation table.

Regarding my own business, clients are looking for someone who understands their meeting timeline and I believe they receive additional value not only hiring a DMC who is an expert in the destination but also someone who has a thorough understanding of the meeting side of the business. This certainly helps when the planner runs into an issue on-site; I’ve been in their shoes and with my meeting experience can offer suggestions that have worked in the past. It’s a win-win for both of us. It puts my clients at ease knowing that I have my CMP.” 

McCroskey: “Throughout my career, I have focused on my CMP certification. In doing so, I have continued to gain personal and professional development through education directed to CMPs. I know that if I did not have a CMP, I would have not even been considered for jobs that have helped me get to where I am today. Everyone has a different vision of success; something that makes me feel successful is that I held a director title prior to turning 40. That would not have been possible without holding the CMP designation.”

Events Industry Council: In your opinion, how can professionals truly get the greatest value out of having their CMP?

Peckinpaugh “Don’t let the learning stop at the time of certification. Continuous education is required for recertification but that should be the minimum required. Keep looking for ways to engage in the CMP community, keep pursuing continued education and then get involved in giving back through mentorship, speaking and volunteerism.”

McCroskey: The old saying, “You get out of it what you put into it,” certainly applies to the CMP designation as well. Professionals must put forth the effort in attending educational opportunities as well as networking opportunities to get the greatest value of holding the designation. Innovation is ever present in our field, using the resources provided to those with a CMP designation is one sure way to stay on top of the trends.”

Events Industry Council: In what ways can the industry help better communicate the value of CMP –allowing those with their CMP to better position themselves with colleagues/executives who may not understand the value?

Peckinpaugh “There is nothing more powerful than hearing personal stories about the impact that achieving a CMP has had on individuals and careers across our industry. Brining those stories to life via case studies, video testimonials and personal presentations will do more than any other activity. The Events Industry Council has a great opportunity to amplify the voice of the CMPs, but we also need to get all industry organizations involved with Events Industry Council engaged in this effort (MPI, PCMA, etc.).

Gleesing: “By educating colleagues and executives through case studies to include the ROI from a meeting/event would show value.”  

McCroskey: “For the current CMPs, resources available for the employee to show their executives is important … having ammunition to prove what the CMP means and what one who carries the designation is responsible for can help validate the expense. Fortunately, I have always been a part of organizations who value the designation, as well as value the employee and have invested in the program and personal development."