NBTA's First SMM Certification Course Sells Out

The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) offered for the first time last week the first course in its new Strategic Meetings Management Certification (SMMC) program, which attracted a sold-out class of more than 20 meetings and travel professionals.

"When the new course was announced in the fall, meetings professionals from around the world began to contact NBTA for additional information about and to register for the SMCC program," NBTA President and CEO Craig Banikowski, CCTE, CMP, CMM, said in a statement last week. "The SMMP concept has garnered such a positive response over the years, it is no surprise that the program's first Core Week sold out and has already received rave reviews."

Consisting of two "core weeks" and three elective classes, the SMMC program features a curriculum that, according to NBTA, is 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."

Held Nov. 2-6 at Emory University in Atlanta, NBTA's first "SMMC Core Week 1" focused on the theory and practice of strategic meetings management. In order to enroll in it, applicants had to have either seven years of professional meetings industry experience or a college degree and at least four years of experience. They also were required to submit a letter of recommendation from a past or present supervisor, a professional job history and answers to two essay questions.

Upon successful completion of all coursework, program graduates will receive the new SMCC professional designation.

"The meetings professionals here this week have taken a huge step in advancing their careers as well as the global meetings and events industry," Banikowski continued. "This unparalleled education program will continue to provide them with the resources and tools necessary to help create efficiencies, minimize risk and standardize processes in corporate meetings management."