Meetings and events serve one purpose and that is bringing people together. As the name itself suggests, the Certified Meeting Professionals or Meeting planners as they are more commonly called, make sure that this happens seamlessly. From the high and mighty to the smallest detail, the event planners take care of it all. Although essentially, the nature of work for any Meeting Planner is to ensure the smooth sailing of the event, the finer aspects of what that entails usually varies based on the type of organizations that they work for and the kind of an event is being planned. Some of the key skills that are expected of a good meeting planner include:
- Great communication and interpersonal skills
- Organizational skills
- Multi tasking
- Work in strict deadline scenarios
Nature of work
Multi tasking and orchestrating several activities simultaneously best sum up the work that a CMP does. The work is energizing and demanding at the same time.
The working hours and schedule of a planner vary quite a bit. From sitting in the office working out the details to visiting different meeting sites and locations to oversee that everything goes on according to the book, the hours can be normal and long both. At the same time, it is an exciting job that leads you to meet new people, travel to great locations and meet speakers that enthrall audiences. If there is one word that you would never find in a planner’s dictionary, then that would have to be ‘boring’.
Qualifications and Education
Although people from all kinds of fields and backgrounds become event planners but the Certified Meeting Professional certification from the Convention Industry Council is one that holds a lot of ground.
The CMP Program is the essence for the Event planners. Although planning meetings has a lot of stuff that you would gain from experience only, there are a number of reasons why CMP should be high on your list if you plan to become a meeting planner:
- Industry wide recognition
- Exposure to industry involvement
- Increases your value to prospective employers
Essentially, the Certified Meeting Professional course is a certificate that highlights your sincerity and dedication towards the profession. It established the fact that you are serious and have the professional skill set that is critical to the job profile.
The CMP program though requires you to possess three years of experience as a meeting professional and hence you would need that before you can apply for the certification.
Most of the requirements for a meeting planner job simply require a bachelor’s degree and some of the areas that are preferably more attractive to the employers include marketing, hotel management, public relations and communications. This is because the study of these areas helps you deal with things that are the part and parcel of a planner’s profile.
What are the prospects?
The employment opportunities are a sunny sight with the expectations for growth of options expected to be faster than average. As businesses continue to grow throughout the world, meetings would assume increasing importance and hence hold a lot of promise. Statistically speaking, the employment market is expected to grow annually at a rate of 20% from 2006 to 2016.
With new platforms like Eventzilla (a platform that helps you sell tickets of your meetings online and to a wider audience) coming up that plan to tap the ever increasing market of meetings and meeting planners, the scope for growth seems to be increasing even faster than the expectations.
What do they earn?
The salary aspect too puts the meeting planners in a state of comfort. The Average annual salaries of the meeting planners that have less than a year of experience fall between $29,000 and $42,000. On the other hand, those who have an experience of around 1 – 4 years earn in the range of $35,000 and $47,750.
With the world going global and getting smaller, the meetings would hold an important place in bringing the people together. Also, with the wide array of roles that professionals need to play these days, training programs would only increase with time. Add to this the statistical fact that the growth prospects are expected to grow at a rate faster than the average for all occupations and a Meeting Planner certainly seems a promising career.
Some more food for thought: