Susan Arts, CMP, HMCC, has been named to the Events Industry Council’s inaugural class of CMP Fellows. M&IW’s Sr. Director of People Engagement & Operations is one of only 65 meetings and events professionals to be recognized with this distinguished honor.
Excellence within the Meetings & Events Industry
The CMP Fellows Programme was launched last year and recognizes Certified Meetings Professionals (CMPs) who continue to make significant contributions to the betterment of the events industry and the community of people within it. To be named a CMP Fellow, you must have a minimum of 10 years’ tenure as a CMP and/or Emeritus in addition to other qualifications including career progression, industry contributions, and more.
“It is an honor to be able to celebrate the achievements, commitment and contributions of our 2022 class of CMP Fellows,” said Events Industry Council CMP Governance Commission Chair Steve Lorenz, CMP, HMCC. “I look forward to seeing them continue to share their expertise with others to ensure a bright future for our industry.” Read the council’s press release here.
We sat down with Susan to discuss her achievement, hear her advice, and learn her vision for the future of the meetings and events industry.
Congratulations on being named a CMP Fellow! How long have you held your CMP certification?
I’ve been a CMP since 2001.
For those unfamiliar, tell us more about the Events Industry Council and the CMP programme.
CMP stands for Certified Meeting Professional. It is one of the oldest credentials in the industry and is very well recognized. There’s a lot of studying involved, plus an exam that you need to pass. You need to be re-certified every five years, which means staying up to date on education and being active in the industry on a professional level.
What inspired you to apply for the CMP Fellows Programme? What are you most looking forward to as an inductee?
I’ve been a CMP for over 20 years and in the industry for close to 35 years (how is THAT possible?). I was happy to see that experience and longevity were being recognized by the Events Industry Council. I hope that more industry veterans are inspired to become CMP Fellows, which helps show just how long this profession has been around and the breadth and depth of our knowledge.
What advice would you give someone hoping to become a CMP Fellow?
Well, first you need to become a CMP! It’s all about staying involved, educated, and connected to the industry. As you become more seasoned and experienced, there are also opportunities to give back to the broader meeting and events community by being a mentor, leader, and teacher.
What is your future hope for the meetings and events industry?
I want to see our profession and industry be taken more seriously and valued. Meeting professionals have been working their way up the ladder to get a seat at the table and to be seen as strategic and consultative partners, not just order takers. Today, the CMP credential is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry, so we are seeing progress.
Also, one of the silver linings of the last few years of the pandemic has really shown how important it is to get together face-to-face, not just virtually. It’s what we crave and need as human beings. There’s just no better way to communicate, connect, and grow.
What do you enjoy most about your position at M&IW?
No day is the same—it’s always something different. I’ve ridden a roller-coaster over the past 35+ years in this industry and learn something new every day. It’s what I love most about what I do.
What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?
That’s a tough one because I feel like my life is an open book! I have two more states before I’ve hit all 50: Oregon and North Dakota. My husband has Hawaii and North Dakota, so we’re trying to plan some trips that we can get them all done. Ideally, we want to end in North Dakota since that’s the state we have in common.