NBTA Opens Enrollment for Industry's First SMM Certification Program

Enrollment is now open for the meetings industry's first certification program in strategic meetings management, the program's developer, the National Business Travel Association (NBTA), announced last week.

The new NBTA program—the Strategic Meetings Management Certification (SMMC) education program—spent a year in development and was successfully beta tested last month at NBTA's annual meeting in San Diego.

"The business community has enthusiastically adopted the concept of strategic meetings management, first developed by the NBTA Groups & Meetings Committee more than five years ago," NBTA President and CEO Craig Banikowski, CCTE, CMP, CMM, said in a statement. "When NBTA members and meeting professionals came to us seeking a professional development program to help advance this maturing concept, we listened and got right on it."

Consisting of two "core weeks" and three elective classes, the SMMC program, according to NBTA, will feature a curriculum that's designed to "drive further development of accepted best practices, lead to creative new 'next-practices,' and enhance communication and leadership skills in developing and implementing meeting policies, workflows and technologies." Upon successful completion of all coursework, program graduates will receive the new SMCC professional designation.

"This new industry designation will set meeting planners apart from others," Banikowski said. "Carry SMMC behind one's name will highlight the individual's expertise, proving the meeting professional's value to his or her company, clients and supply chain partners."

NBTA is hosting its first "SMMC Core Week 1" Nov. 2-6 at Emory University in Atlanta. In order to enroll, applicants must have either seven years of professional meetings industry experience or a college degree and at least four years of experience. They also must submit a letter of recommendation from a past or present supervisor, a professional job history and answers to two essay questions.

For more information, or to submit an enrollment application, visit www.nbta.org.