Alternative industry credentials and certifications to set you apart

A certain arrangement of letters behind your name can establish you as an industry expert and shows your network and partners that you are invested in becoming the best possible version of your professional self. Read on for some industry credentials you may not have heard of and discover which just might be the right one for you.


person holding small earth in hands

The SEPC (Sustainable Event Professional Certificate) is offered through EIC for event professionals aiming to accelerate sustainability and social impact throughout their organizations and events. Through 16 online modules, participants learn everything from how to improve the environmental performance of their meetings and events to the business value of sustainability.

Participants can also earn 12 CAE credits or 12 hours of CEs to apply towards their CMP certification or recertification. The program costs $495.

Read More: Event Experts Talk Connection at CMP Advance


grey backpack on yellow background

The International Board of Credentialing and Education Standards (IBCCES) offers a remote CATP (Certified Autism Travel Professional) program which measures the knowledge and capability necessary to provide support and travel-related services to people on the autism spectrum. With a registration fee of $150 and renewal requirements of four additional CEUs and $99 renewal fee every two years, the program certifies individuals have undertaken the proper training to serve the nearly one in six adults with a sensory need and improve their event and travel experiences.


person tapping on digital tablet

The Digital Event Strategist (DES) certificate, offered by PCMA, demonstrates that an event professional is well-suited to develop and lead digital event strategy as the lines between virtual, hybrid and in-person events increasingly blur. It even covers the emergence of the metaverse and its role in events. The self-paced, 8-module online course covers about 10 hours of content and costs $695.

Participants will also earn 10 CMP credit hours. Certified professionals must recertify every two years by logging 10 hours of CEUs and paying a $150 recertification fee.


two businesspeople on a stage

The Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) is offered by ILEA to designate event professionals who have demonstrated the skills, knowledge and ability needed to successfully execute all elements of a special event. Those who have passed the remote exam possess a comprehensive understanding of all facets of a live event and the ability to apply their existing experience and strong critical thinking skills to it. The application and exam fee together cost $700, and holders must recertify every three years through continued professional development and education, and applied experience and service to the events industry.


businessperson writing words on walls

The Global Travel Professional (GTP), offered through Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), shows that a professional possesses an industry standard of knowledge in business travel and is committed to leadership within it. Holders of the GTP have proven competence in the areas of strategic business planning, buyer/supplier relations, travel program administration, and data, analytics and finance.

Candidates can take the exam at a local Prometric testing center or opt for remote proctoring. The testing fee is $350 for GBTA members and $450 for non-members. Holders must recertify every three years by earning 50 recertification credits before the expiration date.

This article appears in the March/April 2024 issue as “Smart Head-Start.” You can subscribe to the magazine here.