event planning certifications

23 Best Event Planning Certifications

Want to become a certified event planner? Here are the best 23 event planning certifications to level up your event management career and skills.
September 3, 2021

If you choose to go into the event planning field, there are many certifications you may choose to want to have in your toolbelt. These certifications can help to boost your career, plan a successful event or even learn more about the event planning industry. With virtual and hybrid events taking over, there may be new skills to learn and master! These 23 event planning certifications will help you rise in success in the event planning industry. 

How To Become A Certified Event Planner

Becoming an event planner may seem like an exciting task, but it is a lot of hard work! Taking the qualified courses and completing exams will set candidates apart from the competition. There are courses geared towards all different types of event planners, and candidates can choose which ones they want to participate in, based on the field of work they are in. Each certifications have different requirements, such as number of courses, course hours or even volunteer work. Be sure to double check any credentials before registering for an event planner course. 

Benefits Of Becoming A Certified Events Planner

There are many benefits to becoming a certified event planner. Most importantly, it can lead to higher positions and more opportunities within the industry. This shows how much you care about your company and how well you want your events to succeed. With the right event planner skills, becoming certified in this field can also lead to a higher, more competitive salary. Events are a fun way to gather people from all over the world. It gives event planners the opportunity to meet new people, and can lead to new networking opportunities.

Top Industry-Recognized accredited event planner certifications

1. CMP: Certified Meetings Professional

What Is CMP Certification?

The main goal of the CMP certification is to establish credibility to the profession and learn how to boost your personal performance as an event planner. Event planners from all over the world take this exam, and once it is completed, event organizers will understand the best industry practices and how to use them in order to plan a successful event. 

How To Become CMP Certified

This exam covers a wide array of topics, including marketing, planning and event design. In order to become CMP certified, you must work for 36 months, full time in the event meeting industry. You must also continue 25 hours of education over a 5 year period. Once you submit the CMP application and pass the exam, you will then become CMP certified! 

2. CSEP: Certified Special Events Professional

What Is CSEP Certification?

The event management license helps to improve the performance of the industry by allowing professionals to gain insider knowledge about the event management world. This certification also helps to maintain a standard of practice for industry professionals in an ever changing world! This license is globally recognized, so anyone around the world can apply! 

How To Become CSEP Certified

The CSEP program is offered 4 times a year, and event planners must maintain a minimum of 3 years full time work experience in the event industry. Once an event planner completes the application process, and pays the $600 exam fee, they are free to take the exam! Once they have passed the exam, they are licensed! Event planners do have to recertify themselves every 5 years, in order to keep up to date with the industry standards. 

3. CPCE: Certified Professional in Catering and Events

What is CPCE Certification?

This certification is a nationally recognized program where event planners can become experts in catering and hospitality! A few competencies may include: accounting, food production, event management and catering services. You will have the knowledge to provide catering services for events, and determine how much food and beverage you will need! 

How To Become CPCE Certified

The exam to become CPCE certified includes 175 multiple choice questions, ranging between all of the competencies. At the end of the exam, event planners will have the knowledge of how to successfully plan for a catered event, and even how to budget for said event!

4. CGMP: Certified Government Meeting Professional

What is CGMP Certification?

This program is geared for government planners and suppliers. These planners have the highest rules and regulations to follow, especially when it comes to planning for government meetings. This certification is at the highest level within this certain event industry, and allows for event planners to grow and move to a higher position within their company. 

How To Become CGMP Certified

In order to take both the class and exam, you must have at least 1 year working in the hospitality industry. This class is advanced and is geared towards a specific class within the government, and all applicants must have basic knowledge of event planning. 

5. GTP: Global Travel Professional

What is GTP Certification?

This certification is meant to raise the standards for the business travel industry! This certification also allows employers to choose the employees that they want, based on who is the most knowledgeable. There is room for both personal and professional growth, eventually allowing event planners to become leaders within the industry. 

How To Become GTP Certified

The Global Travel Professional certification requires its applicants to have a total of 3 years working in the travel industry. Along with the work experience, applicants must also be experienced in 4 specific areas: business planning, data and analytics, buyer/supplier relations and travel program administration. Along with an application as well as an exam, once those are both completed, applicants will become certified as a Global Travel Professional. 

6. DES: Digital Event Strategist

What is DES Certification?

This certification shows applicants the importance of the growing use of technology in the event industry. Technology is ever changing, and the use of technology throughout events is so important! Virtual event software is another facet you can become certified in, and with this knowledge, event planners can use data and analytics to measure the success of their events. 

How To Become DES Certified

The digital event strategist certification requires an 8-module online course, including 10 hours of content! Applicants will be able to attend live Q&A sessions and access to webinars from industry experts! Along with an exam, the application process for the digital event strategist certification is fairly simple!

7. CMM: Certification In Meeting Management

What Is CMM Certification?

This training program teaches their participants lifelong business management skills. Participants can become certified in this program by learning from management professionals and learn a global industry standard on how to effectively manage a team! Not only will participants learn how to manage teams, they will also learn how to analyze business data and risk analysis. 

How To Become CMM Certified

In order to prepare yourself to become CMM certified, attending a CMM workshop will help participants become familiar with terms and the online learning system. Participants must also receive a passing score on the CMM exam, as well as submit the CMM exam registration form. They must also continue their skill development in the years following the exam in order to maintain their certification. 

8. CEM: Certified In Exhibition Management

What Is CEM Certification?

This certification is the highest professional standard certification throughout the event management system. Some topics that this certification includes are event marketing, planning and operations and conference management principles. Candidates can learn all about how to plan large events and how to execute them perfectly.

How To Become CEM Certified

There are 12 courses that are offered to become CEM certified, and candidates are required to take 9 of them. After each course is completed, candidates must take and pass an exam. Each course provides vital information into the world of exhibition management, and candidates are given 3 years to complete the required 9 courses to become certified. 

9. CTSM: Certified Trade Show Marketer

What is CTSM Certification?

The CTSM program was designed to provide candidates with the knowledge of how to become an effective trade show marketer. Trade shows can come in a variety of types, and becoming certified in how to run a successful trade show will ensure that candidates will be ready for anything! 

How To Become CTSM Certified

This certification is a bit more rigorous than the others, but has large benefits at the end! Candidates must complete a 28 course curriculum, such as global exhibit management and management & leadership. Once the courses are completed, candidates must complete an exam and receive a score of 75%. Once the exam is completed, participants are to build a real life portfolio of trade show projects they have worked or managed. 

10. CEPS: Certified Event Planning Specialist

What Is CEPS Certification?

This certification is provided by the National Career Certification Board (NCCB). This organization specializes in entry-level certifications. While this certification is not as long or as rigorous as some of the other certifications, it is a great way for candidates to get their foot in the door within the event planning industry. 

How To Become CEPS Certified

This certification requires no coursework or even work experience. Candidates need to pass a 30 question exam. The cost of the exam is $130, and once the exam is completed, it can open the door for more career opportunities.

11. CQEP: Certified Quality Event Planner

What Is CQEP Certification?

Becoming certified in this organization means that you will learn the skills needed to plan a successful event. This certification is an entry-level certification, with the introduction of fundamental topics such as planning and budgeting and risk analysis. 

How To Become CQEP Certified

Candidates must complete an online training course, and then pass an exam. Once both are completed and passed, candidates will receive their certification by mail. 

12. American Marketing Association PCM: Professional Certified Marketer

What is PCM Certification?

This certification covers 3 different areas, digital marketing, content marketing and marketing management. 

Digital Marketing:

This certification spans over topics such as SEO, conversions, email marketing and more. Becoming a PCM will help candidate’s knowledge of digital event strategies. 

Content Marketing: 

Content marketing is vital to a candidate’s event and how successful it runs. Becoming certified in this topic will give candidates a grasp on topics such as content creation and using that content to generate leads. 

Marketing Management: 

Every event needs to be marketed the correct way in order to be successful. This may be the most useful certification to candidates, and spans topics such as communication and value creation. Marketing skills are always used in the event industry, and having these skills in your toolbelt will only help you in the long run. 

How To Become PCM Certified

The certification process for each of these topics is the same. Candidates must study and take an exam that will certify candidates upon passing the exam. Each exam covers the topics at hand, and never overlap. Having all 3 topic certifications will only help event marketers and planners as they continue on in their professional journey. 

13. VEMM: Virtual Event & Meeting Management

What Is VEMM Certification?

Event planning in the virtual space can present challenges. By becoming certified in VEMM, candidates can learn how to combat these challenges and work through them. This course is for current event management professionals who want to take on a new role within the digital world. 

How To Become VEMM Certified

Candidates must complete a course and pass an exam in order to receive their certificate. With several courses offered throughout the year, event planners can take the course on their own time, and learn how to effectively create and manage events within the digital world. 

14. EDA: Event Data Analysis 

What Is EDA Certification?

This certification helps to broaden their event management skills with the help of event data. By using this data, event planners can report accurately to their stakeholders and even improve any and all future events. 

How To Become EDA Certified

Candidates must register for a course online and attend virtually. This course will teach professionals how to develop outlines, identify problems and identify data services. This 3-hour course costs $505 for members and $705 for non-members. 

15. SEPC: Sustainable Event Professional Certification

What Is SEP Certification?

This certification helps industry professionals to increase the social impact and sustainability of events, both in person and online. Events of all types do so much good, and learning how to do even more good for your events will help create a positive experience for all. 

How To Become SEP Certified

This online course includes topics such as sustainability within event planning, social impacts within the community, supply chain management and even how to handle food and beverages. The cost of this program is $495 and includes access to a workbook, a digital badge and 12 CE’s. 

16. IES: Inclusive Event Strategist

What Is IES Certification?

Events should have inclusivity in all of their facets, and this certification ensures that event planners plan for such inclusivity. Creating an atmosphere that feels safe and comfortable for everyone involved. Guests can attend these events from all over the world, and making sure they feel comfortable within your event is top priority. 

How To Become IES Certified

This program teaches event planners the correct way to plan for inclusive events. Participants will learn the strategy of keeping inclusivity at the forefront of their event, from designing the event to sending out thank you notes. The cost of this course is $305 for members and $505 for non members. 

17. ECC: Event Crisis Communications Certification

What Is ECC Certification?

In today’s world, event planners need to plan in case an emergency occurs. Having these plans set in place and communicating them to guests attending the event will ensure everyone will be safe. 

How To Become ECC Certified

This course allows candidates to identify the results of poorly planned crisis communication plans and how to effectively avoid similar situations for your events. Candidates can also recap any and all crises that can arise, and how to respond to them. This 4-hour course concludes with a certificate and the knowledge on how to safely host events. 

18. PMED: Pandemic Meeting & Event Design

What Is a PMED Certification?

No one ever knows what may arise with COVID-19 during events, and becoming certified in how to plan for these events. Candidates can learn how to plan for risk management, safety procedures and cancellation clauses. 

How To Become PMED Certified

An online course designed to fit your schedule is the best way to become certified in PMED! Over 180 videos are included in this course and can cost up to $695. Once completed, candidates will receive a certificate and will be trained in how to safely plan for events in the wake of the COVID-19 era. 

19. CCEP: Collegiate Conference And Events Professional

What Is CCEP Certification?

This certificate program includes the professional and industry standards for managing conferences and events at the collegiate level. Candidates will learn the industry standard for hosting conferences and events at this level, and will also increase professional credibility. 

How To Become CCEP Certified

In order to become CCEP certified, candidates have two options. They must be employed within the Collegiate Conferences and Events organization with a minimum of 36 months of full time work. The second option is for candidates to be employed within the Collegiate Conferences And Events organization with 24 months of full time work, and also holds a Bachelors or Masters degree in a similar field related to collegiate events. The program also requires candidates to complete surveys, journals and volunteer work. All of these requirements can be completed over a 3 year period. 

20. CMP-HC: Certified Meeting Professional - Health Care

What Is CMP-HC Certification?

This program was designed to set event professionals apart from everyone else. Healthcare management is so important, and being kept up to date with all of the specific regulations will ensure the safety of everyone involved. 

How To Become CMP-HC Certified

This certification requires candidates to take an exam, meeting all of the requirements beforehand. The requirements include: holding a current CMP, have 3 years experience in healthcare meeting management, and 5 hours in professional development related to healthcare management. Once these requirements as well as the application are completed, then candidates may sit for the exam. 

Bonus: Event Planning Association Certificates 

21. MPI: Meeting Professionals International

What Is MPI Certification?

Meeting professionals can enhance their skills to become one of the top professionals in their industry. There are several courses candidates can take to further their skills. There are fundamental meetings, emergency preparedness courses and even contract and negotiation specialist courses. Professionals can pick and choose which ones they want to do based on their skill set. 

How To Become MPI Certified

These courses are held both online and in person, catering to everyone in the event industry. These courses will teach participants skills and other useful tools as they go on their professional journey. Each course is different, but they all entail important insight into the world of event planning and industry standards. 

22. DI: Destinations International

What Is DI Certification?

This program offers a certificate program specializing in destination marketing and management. Candidates will learn how destination organizations can benefit everyone in the industry and how to sell destinations to leisure travelers. 

How To Become DI Certified

This program contains two courses, which are sold as a package deal. Each course is about 6 hours long, including videos, quizzes and passing the final exam. Once a candidate registers, they will have 90 days to complete both courses and the final exam. Upon completion, a certificate will be sent to the candidate. 

23. AMA: American Marketing Association

What Is AMA Certification?

The American Marketing Association helps professionals develop and learn new skills within the marketing industry. Candidates will gain confidence in themselves when it comes to marketing for any type of event, and will grow their skills as well as their network. 

How To Become AMA Certified

The American Marketing Association has several professional certifications that candidates can choose from. Topics from these courses range from social media, user experience, content marketing and pricing strategies. The hours for these courses may vary depending on which course a candidate chooses, and once the course is completed, candidates take an exam. Upon passing the exam, a certificate will be sent to the candidate for them to add to their professional toolbelt. 

Can I Become An Event Planner Without Certifications?

While you don’t need any certifications or certificates to become an event planner, they will only help you in your career! As an event planner, having knowledge in areas like budgeting, crisis management and content marketing will help you plan for successful events. Any type of certifications you have on your resumé will only help you in the long run and can open up doors for you in the future! 


Event planning is a fun and exciting job that can bring opportunities you never thought were possible! Events can range from things like weddings and college reunions, to corporate events like conferences and seminars. By participating in courses that will teach you skills and industry knowledge, candidates will learn to effectively plan events relevant to the information they need to provide.

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