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CMP Preferred
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April 10, 2013

In This Issue

Featured Article
Chair's Corner
CMP Events
Global Perspective
CMP Program News
APEX - Standards and Best Practices
Industry News
Research and Trends
CMP on the Road
On The Move
Making the right hiring decision in any organization is crucial, as companies look to allocate their staffing dollars wisely and effectively. In the meetings industry, the Certified Meeting Professional designation sets the standard. The program recognizes people with a defined skill set and experience who have successfully completed a rigorous exam, ensuring employers a high level of knowledge, expertise, dedication and professionalism.

The Convention Industry Council, architect of CMP certification, says 14,000 professionals have achieved CMP status since the program’s inception 27 years ago, and several hundred are in the process. They work for large and small corporations, associations, suppliers, venues, academic institutions and independent planning firms, and are based in 51 countries.

"The CMP exam tests a candidate’s knowledge on all aspects of meetings management and demonstrates to the employer that the employee has attained that knowledge," said Convention Industry Council CEO Karen Kotowski. "Testing one’s knowledge is a truth teller and great equalizer. It demonstrates that the employee has a desire to learn, to improve and to take an active role in his or her own professional development."

Hilton Worldwide Inc. has maintained CMP designation as a core performance goal for all of its larger properties in the Americas for the past five years and continues to see success in the retention of top performers who are CMPs, according to Joyce Inderbitzin, Hilton’s Vice President Sales – Meetings and Convention Services – Americas. "As a longtime advocate, Hilton sees tremendous value in the hiring and promoting of event management team members that have achieved or are in the process of seeking to obtain the CMP designation," she said.

Inderbitzin also noted that Cary Bradley, Hilton’s Senior Director of Corporate Event Management for the Americas, serves as an active member of the CMP Board and "has worked vigorously to ensure the criteria, testing and recertification process meets the high standards expected of Hilton’s meeting and event planners."

New York based OppenheimerFunds Inc. has also made certification a priority within the organization. "We are supported at the executive level to work toward achieving certification in an area which defines excellence. In the meetings area, it is clearly the CMP," explained Meredith Wolff, Vice President and Head of Corporate Events. Wolff’s department has six full-time meeting planners, all of whom either have their CMP or are in the process of attaining it.

"Plain and simple – I wouldn’t have my current job without the CMP designation," said Kimberly Kreml, Manager of Conference Services and Facility Marketing at University Center of Lake County, Grayslake, IL. She said companies are more frequently taking the stance that "certified is always perceived as better – certified used cars, certified public accountant, certified advertising specialist, etc. Certification means we went a bit further – we tried a bit harder. I am referred to around the company more often as ‘the Certified Meeting Planner’ rather than my actual title."

A random scan of meetings industry job boards confirms the claim that employers are asking for CMPs during the hiring process. Consider this sampling of recent posts:

American Law Institute (Meeting/Event Planner), CMP strongly preferred
Fernley & Fernley Inc. (Meeting Manager), CMP strongly preferred 
International Trademark Association (Senior Planner, Meetings, Conventions & Events  Strategy), CMP preferred

"CMP Preferred." Much like a bachelor’s degree was once considered an admission ticket to professional prosperity, until it was slowly replaced by more advanced degrees, companies hiring meeting professionals today seem to view those three letters as the line of demarcation between being a professional and attaining a certain level of professional achievement. 

"I believe we are going the way where certification will be a professional requirement in a few years," said Inga Stephenson, Conference Service Manager at Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, CA, and head of a committee at Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) Northern California Chapter devoted specifically to certification training. 

But, will a company have to pay a bit more to hire a CMP as opposed to a meeting planner without the designation? Possibly. According to a CMP Census Report conducted by the Convention Industry Council in November 2012, the average annual salary among CMPs, based on more than 2,800 responses, is $75,812, with 48 percent earning between $50,000 and $79,999.  Reliable salary estimates for the profession at large vary radically.  A 2012 salary survey by Meetings & Conventions magazine (with 339 respondents) finds the average planner salary at $77,227 and the average CMP salary (based on 97 responses) at $86,485.

Martin Sirk, CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association in Amsterdam  said his long-term support for CMP "is based on the perception that our global industry needs a universally recognized body of professional knowledge, and CMP is the only viable candidate program. It has become much more internationally relevant since its early days, so we encouraging participation by more of our members around the world."  

Chair's Corner
CMP Recertifying Made Easy...
How many times have you recertified your CMP?  I was recently at a CMP breakfast held at DMAI’s Destinations Showcase in Washington, DC and one of the attendees had recertified four times.  Yes, four times.  That means she has had her designation for over 20 years.  I, on the other hand, have recertified twice and have three more years before recertifying.  There is something to be said about the number of times one recertifies and the value that individual holds in continuing to have his or her CMP credential.  

There are currently over 9,600 CMPs across the globe in 51 countries, including the U.S.  How powerful is that?  As CMPs, we value our knowledge & expertise, are committed to our profession and credibility and believe in continued development, which is an enhancement to our employers, staff, customers, and community. Approximately 800-1000 people recertify their CMP designation each year and it's definitely worth it. As we point out in our featured article, CMP is becoming a preferred hiring indicator among employers, so attaining and keeping that certification is important for both professional growth and development. 

If you are like me, you have a folder where you keep all of the materials that qualify for CMP recertification. But, regardless of what type of system works for best for you in terms of tracking the items needed for your recertification, continue to use it.  For those of you who have not recertified in the past few years), CMP recertification requires that your continuing education follows the CMP-IS Domain guidelines. The CMP-IS is the current body of knowledge required for CMPs and also outlines the exam content- it is comprised of  ten domains, 30 skills and 106 sub skills.  Be sure that the continuing education you are taking meets one of the domain areas, though it is not necessary for you to have credits in each of the domains.

CIC has provided resources along with guidelines to assist us with recertification.  I encourage you to use these resources as they are created to save you time and energy and allow you to focus on the value of maintaining your CMP.  You can find all of this right at your fingertips on our website. For your convenience, CIC has also created a video that takes you step-by-step on what you need to do to recertify for your CMP.  Check it out here

The CIC staff is also available to answer any questions you might have as you begin your recertifying.    

Cheers to you for continuing the CMP journey!

Karen M. Gonzales, CMP, is Chair of the CMP Board of Directors.

CMP Events
Come See the Social Side of Conclave
Are you ready for Conclave? With just over two months to go before heading to Spokane, we certainly hope so! The program has been finalized and includes a rich mix of engaging keynote speakers and timely breakout session topics perfect for CMPs ready to take their careers to the next level. In addition to the professional development, there’s also an opportunity for CMPs to participate in exam development and lend their knowledge and expertise to assist CIC in developing items for future certification exams. But while you are in Spokane, we hope that you will also take time to enjoy the scenery and revel in the beautiful, lush eastern region of Washington, so, we have planned some great social activities to help you get started.  

Part of the premise and fun of Conclave is the networking! So join your fellow CMPs and Visit Spokane representatives for a welcome reception at the famed Martin Woldson Theater on Saturday evening. Then join us again on Sunday to meet and celebrate the generous sponsors who help make Conclave possible. Take advantage of the opportunity to not only catch up with old friends and colleagues, but to meet new CMPs from around the country, and even the globe.

Spokane, Washington is a hip and vibrant urban center frequently found on any number of "best places" lists. And Framework Meetings and Destinations offers several tours to help show you why.  Take a guided tour of the city and marvel at Spokane’s rich history, breathtaking views and the classic architecture of its fame cathedral. Visit Silver Valley and see how much of the region’s wealth was made while enjoying a trolley ride through town. Spend an afternoon downtown, tasting  delicious local wines or enjoy the fresh air on a walkabout and delight in the local art featured along the Spokane Sculpture Walk. Reserve your tour today! Additional fee required. 

If you enjoy wine, then the Spokane "Wine Around" is a perfect way to relax and spend a free evening. The Spokane region is home to over 20 wineries. Join the CIC and Visit Spokane staff as we visit a few – Nectar, Arbor Crest, Cougar Crest Winery and Whitestone Winery- to sip and savor some of the Northwest’s finest hand-crafted wines. Learn more about Spokane and its award-winning wines from seasoned guides and local vintners. Separate registration and fee required.   

Are you considering a meeting in Spokane or the Eastern Washington/Idaho area? Well, come early, leave late and enjoy pre- and post-Conclave destination orientation opportunities offered by Visit Spokane and the Coeur d’Alene Resort. With tours highlighting Spokane’s finest attractions and a world-class, lakeside property a mere 20 minutes from Spokane, interested planners should not miss the opportunity to see how these locations might meet your organization’s conference needs. 

In Spokane, there’s something for everyone- fine dining, great shopping, arts, entertainment and nightlife- all within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel! Come for the education and networking, enjoy the surroundings and leave better equipped to take your career to even greater heights. See you there! 

Plano CVB
Recertification Reminder

The deadline for recertification has passed if your CMP designation expired in 2012; however, you can still  recertify even if your status has lapsed. Recertification applications will be accepted at the LAPSED status rate for those who expired in 2012.  You don’t want the hard work and dedication that it took to obtain your certification to go down the drain. 

Go to to determine the requirements and to download your application, recertification guide and the CMP International Standards.

For those whose certification expires in 2013, your recertification year has just begun. Begin gathering your documents and complete the application early and save money by recertifying before April 30, 2013.

If you have questions on the process, our recertification video will take the guess work out of completing your application for you. It is easier than you think to recertify. 

If you have questions about recertification, don’t hesitate to contact us at to get your questions answered.
Global Perspective
Meet Jose Ferreras, CMP, the new Regional Representative for Latin America
Jose R. Ferreras, CMP is the Vice President, Business Development - LATAM for I&MI Media and, as such, is responsible for the development of business in Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America. I&MI Media is a complete suite of integrated print and web media targeted globally to MICE buyers of international destinations and venues. Through his efforts, Jose has the opportunity to interface with over 200 leading Latin American suppliers and connect them with global MICE planners. Jose is a veteran of the travel industry having worked for Melia International, Starwood Hawaii, Ritz-Carlton, and IHG in addition to spending 15 years as an Incentive Travel Planner. In 1998, Jose received his CMP designation and since then his passion to share the value and benefits of the CMP program has only grown. Jose has also been a member of Site Global for over 20 years and presently chairs the Global Alliances and Sponsorship Program Committee.

Can you give us a snapshot of the meetings industry in Latin America?

Latin America continues to enjoy an impressive growth in the regional corporate meetings and events industry and will be hosting major global events in the coming years. This is mostly due to the positive economy from key players in the region such as Brazil, Chile and Colombia who presently enjoy tremendous corporate growth requiring deployment of meetings and events to reach business objectives. This unprecedented growth is raising performance expectations for meeting professionals. The region enjoys having Argentina and Brazil in the TOP 20 destinations for the Global Association Meetings Market according to the ICCA ranking with Colombia and Peru closely behind.

Why did you want to be a regional representative for the CMP Program in Latin America?

I clearly understand the tremendous advantages to the wealth of continuing education, network opportunities and overall industry recognition of the CMP Program. I feel it is my duty to support the Latin American MICE community  that is presently creating new expectations of the meeting industry by introducing them to the CMP Program as a unique opportunity to raise their industry knowledge.

What do you hope to accomplish?

I would love to see an outstanding growth of CMP Program in the region.
Colonial Williamsburg Co. Hospitality Group
Commentary: Participant Centered Education to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Meetings
I was fortunate to attend  ASAE’s Great Ideas Conference last month. If you’ve never attended, you should try to put it on your calendar for next year. While there are only a few programs, specifically about  meetings  and education (so yes, most won’t qualify for CMP education hours, but all professional education is good), meeting professionals can garner many great ideas  (ha! Hence the name) from those sessions about injecting fresh and creative learning formats into conferences.  

Jeff Hurt with Velvet Chainsaw lead a next generation learning  session about participant-centered education. To better meet the needs of adult learners, says Hurt, we must move away from  the outdated expert-centered model, or as some at our table were calling it, the "sage from the stage," and focus on the participant and how they learn best.  Do you want your meeting attendees to hear it or do you want them to learn it? "Telling doesn’t equal learning, nor does covering content mean it has been learned," according to Hurt. "The one who does the work, does the learning." In fact, all of those people tweeting during a meeting actually retain more information, according to a study on the topic.  

Therefore, participant-centered education must be interactive, but it is also flexible, customized and impromtu. Instead of a presenter telling what he wants the audience to know, he puts the needs of the learner first, and determines how to help the adult learner master that content. Meeting professionals need to challenge their presenters and content leaders to think about the participant first. What are the three things he wants them to remember, and how can he design an interactive program to help achieve those learnings?

According to Hurt, there are four components of instructional interactivity. The context must be meaningful, and it must challenge the learner with a question that needs to be answered. It must have an activity directed toward that context and challenge, and it must provide an opportunity for feedback on the learner’s activity and its effectiveness.

As meeting professionals, we have the ability to affect the outcomes of meetings through effective content delivery by our presenters if we focus on the participant. As the value of meetings continue to come under increased scrutiny, we need to ensure that learning is taking place, objectives are met, and our meetings are effective vehicles for knowledge sharing through participant-centered education.

Note: Jeff Hurt’s colleague at Velvet Chainsaw, Sarah Michel, CSP will be speaking at the CMP Conclave on meeting design and how the meeting environment can enhance learning. If you haven’t already registered yet, do so today. Join us in Spokane for the education and networking event you've been waiting for! 

Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP is the Chief Executive Officer of the  Convention Industry Council. 

Tropicana Casino
CMP Program News
Eric Blanc and Phelps Hope Join the 2013 CMP Board of Directors
Can you explain what the CMP Board does and how you see yourself fitting into that picture? 

Eric Blanc: My understanding of the CMP Board is that it provides guidance and leadership on all aspects of the CMP program.  These tasks include, but are not limited to, marketing and public relations to ensure that the CMP designation remains prominent in the hospitality industry, as well as design and development of testing criteria for the application and exam.

Phelps Hope:  The CMP Board is a representation of the different segments of the conventions industry, and the members role is to guide the growth of the CMP designation throughout the many facets of our industry to ensure the industry is able to maintain a professional level of standards and help guide members’ development.

How has your member organization benefitted from being a member of CIC and why did it join? 

Eric:  CIC remains the leader in the hospitality industry for industry related associations.  CSPI is in the middle of a growth stage that can only be enhanced by the our membership in CIC.  The ability to learn from other associations that are currently members brings invaluable resources to CSPI as we continue our efforts to grow and provide services to our members. 

Phelps:  An AMC is a corporation that is in business to be an association, and managing conferences and conventions is primary to an AMC’s duties. It is important to AMCs that the highest standards are adhered to in all aspects of the association management discipline, so it benefits AMCi to be a member to help its members maintain the high standards within meetings management as they do in all other aspects of their AMC duties. 

Why did you want to be on the CMP Board of Directors and what do you hope to accomplish? 

Eric: I have always been interested in serving the hospitality industry.  I have served in leadership positions in several industry associations and this appointment is a natural progression for me.  I hope to bring a fresh set of ideas and a different view point to an already dynamic group of professionals. 

Phelps: I chose to be on the Board to help wherever I can to grow the CMP designation throughout the AMC community, and to expand globally.

What specific qualities, knowledge or past experiences do you bring to this appointment that will help you be successful? 

Eric: With 20 years of experience in various areas of the industry, I feel like I bring a much different view point than most.  With experience in managing events, producing events, selling events, as well as a tenure as a general services contractor salesperson, I feel like my background brings a plethora of practical knowledge that can play a role in the future development of the CMP process. 

Phelps:  Having worked for many years in the international hotel industry, owned a corporate meetings & events production company, owned a DMC, and currently working at the executive level for a global association management company, I have the unique experience to understand the many segments of our industry and perhaps can help lend advice from those experiences.

What major changes in the industry do you see on the horizon and how can CMPs stay ahead of the curve?

Phelps:  Technology is the biggest ongoing change, with the globalization of our industry and the generational influences being the biggest other potential for changes on our doorstep.

You have been involved in the meetings and convention industry since 1992. How have you been able to stay relevant in the marketplace and/or current in the ever-changing landscape, particularly when it comes to embracing social media?

Eric: I stay current with the industry through many avenues.  In my current position as Director of Sales, Marketing and Convention Services, I read quite a bit via electronic newsletters as well as traditional print magazines.  Additionally, I attend several industry educational events throughout the course of the year.  These include PCMA, MPI, ESPA and CSPI Annual Conferences.  All of these present a different educational agenda which helps me stay on top of what’s current.  As for social media, I currently manage the Tampa Convention Center’s website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Foursquare accounts.

How do you spend your downtime? 

Eric: My downtime is spent primarily with family and friends.  I play basketball and golf when time permits. 

Phelps: Downtime for me is travel. I love to see this world and all the wonders it holds. I figure, if someone lives there, then there must be some redeeming value and I want to see it.
APEX - Standards and Best Practices
IMEX America 2012 Achieved 63 Percent Compliance, According to Sustainability Audit
The IMEX America 2012 trade show, held at the Las Vegas Sands Expo and Convention Center, achieved 63 percent compliance with the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainability Event Standards, Level 1, according to an audit conducted by MeetGreen, the show’s sustainability partner. Key areas of achievements included: waste, food, recycling and CSR. For more information on the audited sustainability results, please be sure to check out Amy Spatrisano’s session "APEX/ASTM Sustainable Meetings," during Conclave where she will share this case study.
Industry News
CIC Manual 9th Edition Focus Groups at IMEX (Frankfurt)

The Convention Industry Council (CIC) will be hosting two focus group meetings at IMEX in Frankfurt to review the draft of the CIC Manual, 9th Edition. This will be an opportunity to review the content and to make recommendations prior to publication.

Participants will be selected based on geographic diversity, experience within each of the 10 domains and availability. Participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses. 

The meetings will be held at the following times: 
- Sunday, May 19, 13:00-17:00, Maritim Hotel 
- Monday, May 20, 08.30 – 11.30, Messe Frankfurt

To participate, please complete the application available through the link shown below. Thank you for your support of this project.

Best regards,

Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA
Executive Editor, CIC Manual 9th Edition

H.R. 933 Passes Without Controversial Amendment Limiting Federal Agency Attendance at Domestic Conferences
H.R. 933, the Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 was passed by the Senate on March 20, 2013 without Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) controversial Amendment 67, which would have limited federal agencies attendance at domestic meetings or conferences to no more than 25 employees. The amendment, added onto the bill on March 14, was opposed by ASAE, PCMA and other industry organizations, through online petitions, emails, congressional visits and direct advocacy on Capitol Hill. 
Research and Trends
U.S. Travel Association Survey Reveals Growing Displeasure with Customs & Offers Solutions to Entry Process Delays
The U.S. Travel Association (USTA), recently released the results of a multi-country online survey which links displeasure with wait times and entry procedures at U.S. customs with a growing reluctance by some to travel to the U.S. The survey, conducted by Consensus Research Group, interviewed approximately 1,200 overseas travelers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, China and Brazil who had visited or considered visiting the U.S. in the last five years. While the results of the survey are startling, Roger Dow, president and CEO  of the U.S. Travel Association said "this is a very fixable problem." Citing the need for more Customs and Border Patrol officers, Dow believes that benefits associated with hiring more officers far outweigh the initial cost and called on Congress and the Obama administration to "immediately provide the resources necessary to efficiently process our nation's guests." 

CMP on the Road
See Us At...

Destination Showcase
May 8, 2013
Chicago, IL
More information

After a successful Destination Showcase in Washington, DC, CIC will be heading to Chichago to present a CMP information session and participate in a panel discussion on industry certifications.

ASAE Springtime
May 16, 2013
Washington, DC
More Information

CIC staff will be at booth 5076 to answer your questions about the CMP program, the Hall of Leaders, APEX and more!

On The Move
CMPs On the Move

Cori Dossett, CEM, CMP is now President of Conference Designed. 

Courtney Haygood, CMP was promoted to Manager, Event Services for AACSB International in Tampa, Florida. 

Jenni Kuchenbecker, CMP moved from the Embassy Suites Des Moines and is now the Executive Meetings Manager to the Sales and Client Relations Coordinator for the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists in Alexandria, VA.

Stephanie Makar, CMP is now Assistant Director of Continuing Education at MCPHS University in Boston, MA.

Veronica Bemis Mooney, CMP is now the Director of New Markets & Educational Development at the Solar Energy Trade Shows, LLC.

Ashley L. Puvogel, CMP is now the Special Events Coordinator in the Office of University Events (within the Office of Community Engagement) at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. 

Nichole Tilma, CMP is now the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Country Club of Lansing.

Deborah M. Young, CMP, CEM is now Assistant Executive Director, Conferences & Exhibits for the National Association of Elementary School Principals in Alexandria, VA.

Make an awesome career move? Let us help you celebrate! Send the details of your latest career triumph to  And while you're at it, be sure to log into and update your official CMP record.

The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is a
program of the Convention Industry Council

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