My Journey to the CGMP

LeAnna Toups-Bennett, CGMP is proud and excited to tell you her journey to the CGMP designation.  LeAnn is a member of the SGMP Communications Committee and a member of the SGMP Louisiana chapter. 
Are you considering earning your CGMP? If you're anything like me, you may have a million and one questions and want to understand the benefit of adding the CGMP credentials to your resume. I took the class last summer leading up to NEC Norfolk and earning my CGMP was a great step in my career!

The biggest two questions spinning the wheel in my brain before initiating the process were 1) what is CGMP? and 2) how will these credentials help me in my career? I did a ton of research and polled a handful of local members in my chapter. Everything I found was very positive and promising.

I learned the Certified Government Meeting Professional designation ("CGMP") is designed for planners and suppliers whose work is governed by the rules and regulations of the federal government. While the curriculum is written from Federal rules, regulations, and laws, state and local government employees also benefit from this information. The content for the program assumes that you have worked in the meetings management industry for at least one year and have a basic knowledge of industry terminology and acronyms.

There are so many benefits in obtaining your CGMP. They are listed out on the SGMP website here. For me, the selling point was standing out against my peers with my knowledge of government meetings. And, I'm not going to lie, the initials after my name are pretty darn swanky, too.

I really didn't know what to expect when taking the actual course. I was also a little stressed and fearful. How was I going to be prepared enough to pass the required test after only three days of instructional learning? I have received my materials in advance but had spent zero time prepping. I went armed with my notebook, highlighters, CGMP study materials, colored pen, plenty of snacks, and even some adult beverage makings. I was going to make it work and pass that test!

And then my flight was delayed and I missed the entire first day! I was certain there was no way in the world I would pass the test now, but I was determined to give it my best shot. What I didn't expect was the instant overwhelming sense of comradery with everyone else in the class. People made sure I had good notes and materials from Day 1. There were study groups after hours I was invited to attend. In no sense of the word was I alone.

Garland does a great job teaching the class. Everything is broken down into very understandable and manageable sections. Plenty of time is allowed for questions and answers and for the group to share their firsthand experiences. I woke up on Day 4 feeling no stress at all and as though I was as prepared as I would ever be for the test.

So, is the time and money investment worth it? Absolutely! Individuals who have earned their CGMP have obtained the highest designation available that is specifically for government meeting professionals.

Check out the listing of upcoming courses and get yourself registered.