by Sarah J.F. Braley | February 01, 2014
Meeting Professionals Interna­tional and the Global Bus­i­ness Travel Association announced in December 2013 that they have partnered to redesign the Certificate in Meeting Management courses, launching the new CMM Designation Program for meeting and travel professionals.

"We've changed it in a way where it's not a standalone for MPI, it's a partnership with GBTA," said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. "It's not just about meetings management, it's about the business acumen needed to run an event."

The new process features a three-day study course in business management led by faculty from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, as well as two self-led webcasts. Participants also must attend a one-day boot camp featuring either meeting- or travel-focused sessions. The third part involves the development of an independent work-based project.

Some of the changes have rankled the community of more than 900 people who currently hold the CMM, particularly the decision no longer to have the letters stand for anything. A conference call of 51 designees was held in January, and their collective concerns were sent to MPI.

"We did have a debate around the program and changing the acronym," Cindy D'Aoust, MPI's COO, acknowledged. "We chose to keep the CMM name, but we're hearing from the community that they prefer the alternative."

Read more about the controversy in our Liz on the Biz blog (, and learn about the new program at