MPI Launches Competency Standards for Meetings, Business Events

To help meeting planners choose the professional development opportunities that will most advance their careers, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has created a series of global standards, the Meeting & Business Events Competency Standards (MBECS), that outline the key competencies meeting professionals should possess, it announced yesterday.

Available for free, public distribution, the competencies form the basis of the Convention Industry Council's (CIC) newly updated CMP International Standard, which provides the blueprint for becoming a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).

"These standards are arguably one of the most important resources we have ever had in terms of professional development and career enhancement," said MPI President and CEO Bruce MacMillan. "By using the MBECS as a field guide to success, professionals in any role and at any stage of their career can now follow a reliable path to career advancement by developing key skills and mastering competencies that will get them to the next level."

MBECS will also be used by students and academics to develop curriculums, by hiring managers to create job descriptions, and by meeting planners to choose education sessions at conferences and events.

"As I mentor students interested in the meeting and event management profession, I will use the standards to craft students' professional development plans," said Dr. Amanda Cecil, who teaches in the School of Physical Education and Tourism at Indiana University and serves as chair of the MPI Body of Knowledge Task Force. "This will allow future industry leaders to have confidence that they are focusing on the knowledge, skill and ability elements essential to be successful in this field."

Totaling 87 pages, MBECS covers "every conceivable area of expertise," according to MPI, from strategic planning and event design to stakeholder management and varying areas of communication. Each major category is broken down into individual skill sets, and then quickly indicates via graphics the number of years it takes to master, how often the skill is utilized and the sub-skills that would need to be developed to achieve mastery.

"It is one thing to call ourselves professionals and another thing altogether to be regarded and respected as professionals by organizations and employers outside the meeting industry," said Carol Krugman, who teaches hospitality courses at Metropolitan State College of Denver. "Having recognized standards will provide the necessary framework and increased credibility we have been seeking for decades."

To download MBECS, visit