Meeting Mentor Magazine

October 2020

Setting Standards

‘Digital Events Strategist’ Certification
Aims to Meet 21st Century Needs

With digital events growing exponentially, a new professional certification is preparing to debut.

The “Digital Events Strategist” designation — modeled on the Certified Meeting Professional program — will be awarded to experienced meeting professionals who participate in accredited education and demonstrate proficiency through a written exam.

Spearheaded by the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI), the certification program is being joined to date by the Professional Convention Management Association, according to Michael Doyle, VEI’s executive director, and discussions are underway with Meeting Professionals International and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events. “The intent is to create standards, continuously update them, and publish those them as part of the curriculum and test,” said Doyle.

The first accredited 90-minute session (1.5 credit hours) will take place during the upcoming PCMA Education Conference, co-located with  AIBTM-The Americas Meetings & Events Exhibitions in Baltimore.

A steering committee of meeting professionals at associations, event producers and corporations is working out accreditation requirements. At this point, candidates for the designation will be expected to complete 25 hours of accredited continuing education specific to digital events. A perquisite may be membership in certain meetings industry associations or three or more years of event or meeting management, Doyle said.

Already, 15 content areas have been identified as critical to the DES designation. The first five online learning modules will be archived on the Virtual Edge Institute’s web site ( by the end of June. The next five will be available the end of July, and the final set of five the end of August. The first five modules are:

• Digital Events 101…It’s Not All Virtual (What are digital event elements and what do they do?)

• Digital Event & Meeting Management (Models and examples)

• Needs Assessment, Objectives & Strategy (What do you want to accomplish?)

• User Experience & Engagement Mapping (Creating the attendee experience)

• Exhibits, Sponsorships & Other Monetization Techniques (Selling and serving the sponsors)

Pricing for the full version of 15 course modules will be $1,995; a $595 “lite” version will be offered for meeting professionals who already have experience with and are actively deploying digital events.

Doyle anticipates the first certification exam will be given at the next Virtual Edge Summit in January 2012 (co-located with the PCMA Annual Meeting). It will comprise about 100 multiple-choice questions. The test fee has been set at $295. Other test dates and locations will be determined as industry partnerships are finalized. — Maxine Golding

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