Petition to Meeting Professionals International opposes changes to elite credential program

Survey shows 88 percent with Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) oppose changes
DALLAS - March 7, 2014 - PRLog -- With 20,000 members, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the leading organization in the meetings industry and has offered the global Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) program since 1998. The CMM has been a senior, elite credential held by only 938 in the world.

In 2012, MPI formed a limited liability company (LLC) with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). On Dec. 18, 2013, a press release announced their intent to offer a revised, joint program still called “CMM” but which reduces the experiential requirement from ten to five years and eliminates the acronym, making CMM a “standalone trademark.”

Response to this announcement was quick and powerful within an online networking group on LinkedIn for those who hold the CMM credential. Their immediate consensus was that the changes devalued the prestigious credential. The LinkedIn CMM Group was founded in 2008 by Ann Rebentisch, CMP, CMM of Handshake Events in Los Angeles and has half the CMM’s in the world as members. After numerous online discussions, Rebentisch organized a series of conference calls averaging 50 CMM participants each from South Africa, Switzerland, Monaco, Canada and the US. MPI responded by hosting their own conference calls open to existing CMM’s and those interested in achieving the new designation.

On Jan. 27, 2014, GBTA Foundation executive director Daphne Bryant sent emails to those who held the SMMC credential from their “sunsetted” Strategic Meetings Management Certificate program. Bryant informed them that honorary CMM designations were being awarded to them. According to Rebentisch, “Our group was livid and devised a plan to quantify and convey our sentiment to MPI.” In mid-February, an online survey for the CMM's who earned the credential by completing the program was launched and 20 percent of the world's CMM's responded. According to Rebentisch, “Only 5 percent agreed with the choice to grant CMM credentials to holders of the SMMC. 88 percent opposed the program changes overall.” Rebentisch added, “The survey had strong, objective data and was shared with MPI at the request of its chief executive officer, Paul Van Deventer.”

An online petition based on the survey drew 411 signatures in one week and was submitted by Rebentisch to MPI just after midnight on March 5, 2014. The recipients were Michael Dominguez, CMP, Chairman; Van Deventer and chief operating officer Cynthia D’Aoust. Petition signatures and comments may be viewed here:

Van Deventer responded by saying, “We will be meeting to aggregate and review all the data and input we received over the past 6 weeks; based on that review we will develop recommendations regarding any changes, or updates to the CMM program.” A time frame for the decision was not specified.

About the LinkedIn CMM Group
With 456 members who earned the Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) credential from MPI, the Linkedin CMM Group includes nearly half the 938 CMM’s in the world.  86 percent of this group is chief corporate officers, vice presidents, owners, directors, and senior level managers -- the key decision makers in their organizations. From 1998–2013, the CMM program had arduous requirements: 10 years experience in the meeting or events industry, an online pre-residency, one-week residency, written exam and the completion of a business plan.

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Ann Rebentisch, CMP, CMM
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Tags:Cmm, Certificate Meeting Management, Meeting Professionals Intl, Mpi, Ann Rebentisch
Industry:Hotels, Travel
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Page Updated Last on: Mar 07, 2014

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