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Leadership Corner


August 2017 - Diving In: The CMP Exam

By: MPI Georgia | Aug 1, 2017

Chris_Bonnett,_CHIA,_CMPChris Bonnett, CHIA, CMPOmnience_Logo (1)
Registration Services Agent
Member since: 2012


Diving In: The CMP Exam

It was the hardest test I ever took. 

Many of you are familiar with the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation, but do you REALLY know the path from making that initial decision to working towards this goal? 

I joined MPI Georgia in 2012. As a new member I was finishing up my senior year at Georgia State University in Hospitality Administration. I was ready to expand my professional network with this great organization.

In 2017, as I was approaching my fourth year with Omnience, I was looking for a way to bring more value to my role in the company as a Registration Services Agent. I decided to pursue earning my CMP because I wanted to learn about all facets of the meetings industry, and apply that knowledge to the exam. Our industry changes rapidly, and I knew the principles I learned in school would soon be obsolete. The core curriculum for communication and business skills will always be relevant, yet I find it important to keep up to date as the industry evolves.

I knew if I was going to carry out this goal, I had to be disciplined and dedicated. I got a head-start with the Continuing Education Units (CEU). When I tallied up the credit hours for the application, I realized I had well over the requirement simply by attending the chapter programs.

As to the DISCIPLINE part, for 2-3 hours each night I read a few chapters and took copious, color-coded notes in Evernote. I also found the PCMA Exam Prep App to be very helpful. It has practice quizzes and guided lessons which helped me stay on track. I made note cards for every single term that I didn’t know from the glossary – over 200 of them. As a visual learner, the note cards and online quiz modules were the main keys for me to retain the information in the CMP study materials. I found A/V and Risk Management to be the hardest topics, and that’s where I focused my time.

DEDICATION. Even when I was on the road for several work programs during the months prior to the exam, I did not allow my crazy travel schedule to interfere with preparation. On many flights I skipped the Delta In-Flight Entertainment and studied my note cards instead. It was a tough trade off. Every weekend I spent several hours at quiet coffee shops to study – head down in the books and phone on silent. Ugh, there were so many formulas to remember. 

The week before the exam I actually took it pretty easy. I figured that I had crammed all the information into my brain that it could handle. I spent that week eating healthy and catching up on sleep. The morning of the exam I drove downtown via back roads (thanks to the I85 Bridge Collapse), and arrived to the testing facility 30 minutes early. The facility happened to be on Georgia State campus in the same room where I took a final exam my senior year… funny coincidence. Waiting for the results was absolutely terrifying. I undoubtedly thought I had failed and that I would have to spend another two months studying. Well, after taking what seemed like a 100 question survey, the computer screen displayed the 4-letter word that I had been hoping to see. PASS.

When Chris has a day or two in a new city, he likes to check-out the local dining scene during this travels. You can follow him for some crazy food porn on Instagram - @b0nn3ttt. A little-known fact and foundational tidbit about this love of food is that Chris studied the culinary arts for eighteen months prior to shifting into the hospitality curriculum at Georgia State. We are glad to have Chris as the Communications Director this year, and are looking forward to some awesome social media posts.   #MPIGeorgia.

Submitted by:

Jude_CreamerJude Creamer
Manager, Global Accounts
Member since: 2016



MPI Georgia

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