The impact of the global health crisis on the events industry has accelerated the need to enhance skills. Our team used this time to earn event industry certifications to better respond to rapidly changing conditions and safely prepare for the return of in-person events. This year, M&IW employees added more than 50 new event-related certifications plus 25 advanced certifications. While many of the designations are recognizable such as CMP, CMP-HC, HMCC, CITP, CIS, and CRP, there were new ones introduced just this year.
Earning Event Industry Certifications
Some earned their Virtual Events & Meeting Management certification (VEMM) by MPI to build on their existing event management skillset and experience by learning the fundamentals needed to plan and manage virtual events. While others took advantage of the training and certifications offered through Cvent to quickly pivot to digital experiences. Cvent certifications included virtual events, hybrid events, venue sourcing, mobile event app, and event marketing strategy to name a few.
Ensuring Health and Safety
In addition to virtual and digital experiences, there was a large focus on health and safety. While risk has always been a part of our events and the safety of attendees foremost, COVID has tested all assumptions we have made on risk planning as an industry.
And, this led to the introduction of the Pandemic Meeting & Event Design Certificate offered by the Event Leadership Institute in partnership with MPI. This timely course helps learners assess the current environment and map new ways to prepare event strategy, design, execution, and evaluations from risk management to venue protocols; contract clauses to user experience; food and beverage to marketing. Moreover, John Hopkins University offered a COVID-19 Contact Tracing program.
One of our team members became a Pandemic Compliance Advisor (PCA) for Meeting and Event Professionals. As the PCA engaged in your program from sourcing, site selection through onsite execution, their duty is to ensure that safe practices are implemented, communicated, and effectively carried out throughout the entire meeting cycle. It is recommended a Pandemic Compliance Advisor work alongside the meeting planning team throughout the entire process to focus on creating and maintaining a safe environment and being prepared with a plan and a chain of command when crisis intervention is needed.
Designing Sustainable Events
As we reimagine experiences of the future, it is imperative we design sustainable events. Several team members pursued the Sustainable Meeting Professional Certificate offered by MPI and the Sustainable Event Professional Certificate (SEPC) through the Event Industry Council. These courses are designed for those who make sustainability a priority and wish to improve sustainability efforts in planning their meetings and events. Sustainability efforts include reducing water and energy usage; improving accessibility, from transportation to venues; and ensuring suppliers from food and beverage to accommodations follow sustainability strategies. Planners can also learn how to develop “green” community service projects that meet clients’ CSR objectives.
Increasing Organizational Capacity
In today’s business environment, coaching plays a vital role due to a greater appreciation of the value of an organization’s knowledge and human capital. To achieve critical results and remain competitive, organizations see coaching not solely to shape individual performance, but also, increasingly to build broader organizational capacity. One of our team members became a Certified Life Coach (CLC) through the Certified Life Coach Institute, accredited through the International Coach Federation.
Our clients and industry peers find it increasingly beneficial to have industry experts who show a commitment to excellence. The value of a degree in meetings and hospitality, and subsequently, advanced certifications is looking like a “coming of age” in the industry and may present a shift in the status quo as the role of the event planner and meeting manager changes.
Please join us in congratulating the M&IW Class of 2020! We are beyond proud of their dedication and achievements.