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Member Showcase


Member Showcase - CMP Spotlight - July 2023

By: Connie Bergeron, CMP | Jul 12, 2023



Tess Vismale CMP, DES
Chief Event Rescuer| Event Technologist



What motivated you to pursue the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation?

What drew me to the certification was a myriad of things. One was while enrolled in the University of Georgia's Event & Meeting Management Certificate Program, I learned about the Certified Meeting Professional designation from Connie Bergeron, CMP Fellow, and Gregg Lauer, CMP, and was inspired to join the next CMP Study Group. The other was coming to terms with having previously been a behind-the-scenes person who never wanted to get certified at all.  All of my industry colleagues were encouraging me to pursue the CMP; they were saying: you should do it, you need to do it, and I had been resisting, telling myself, "I'm not interested in having all these accolades around my names I just wanted to good work and make people happy from behind the scenes."

A colleague at work had taken her CMP; she didn't pass the first time, but she kept encouraging and pushing me. I finally relented when she convinced me that I would never be considered the same type of person again. 

How did participation in the CMP Study Group support your studying to take the exam? 

My passion for professional development propelled me to participate in the CMP Study Group, and the benefits were excellent. The CMP Study Group Committee's material is very well-organized, and the tips on applying for the CMP exam were also helpful. 

 I learned to delete what I knew about planning events and, with a clear mind, absorb how our industry blueprint works. I also met fellow Study Group members who are good friends to this day.

How did you feel when you saw the words "You Passed"?

 ECSTATIC and surprised! I thought I had hyperventilated while taking the exam (which I had never done before). We were the first to take the online version of the CMP exam.  As the clock counted down, when I felt overwhelmed, I went to the restroom to put cold water on my face and finish. I hit the button; it said I finished with an hour and a half left!! I was terrified that I had finished so quickly.

Passing the CMP exam and becoming a CMP meant I had achieved the goal I had set for myself, and I was happy to have earned this outstanding credential.

What benefits have you experienced as a result of having your CMP? 

My successful outcome in taking the CMP exam led to my following my strong interest in event technology. As one of the first people to receive the Digital Event STirigits (DES) certification in 2013, I have used my

background and passion for event technology to help elevate our chapter and educate our members to be better digital citizens. 

Does having your CMP designation enhance your position as a knowledgeable industry expert?  

Absolutely. After earning my CMP, I joined the Curriculum Committee as Co-Chair and was able to apply the information I studied on adult learning styles, effective meeting design, and how to ensure delivering

ROI for educational programs as the Committee selected educational topics, presenters, and creative meeting formats. 

While I was on the education and events committee for MPI, Georgia, I secured Event Mobi as MPI Georgia Chapter's first event mobile app and helped design the

technology experiences at our chapter's first Tech Summit (Tech Playground), and also won "The Shining Star Award," and spoken at many Chapter events. I am most proud of helping MPI Georgia Chapter members

to be early adopters of event tech by helping produce two hybrid events, one in 2012 and one in 2020.

Do you find information you learned while studying to take the exam helpful in your positions since earning your CMP and are you able to use some of the formulas, etc., to help your meetings go well? 

During the last 3 years, I have found the CMP curriculum to be a vital reference point in my work with client programs and my desire to support others. During Covid, MPI International asked me to

create a blog series which I titled "The Independent Planners Collective" and chose to recruit two fellow CMPs as co-writers from our Chapter, Qualena Odom-Royes, CSEP, CMP, CDMP, EventEssentials, LLC, and

Heather Herrig, CMP, Every Last Detail, for discussions on the unique challenges and perks of the IP community.

Applying CMP principles has helped me to encourage others in their journey of development as meeting industry professionals.

Reflecting on the time since you achieved the CMP designation, was it a good use of your time and resources to take that step? 

Definitely "Yes." I have renewed my CMP every 5 years because having the designation is critical to my career and gives me a competitive advantage.

What words of encouragement would you have for future CMP candidates?  

Just do it! The CMP Study Group Committee makes the process very clear, and for candidates who meet the requirements for CMP application, joining a Study Group keeps you on track and encourages you throughout the CMP process.

LAST CALL for 2023 CMP Study Group!

If you have earning your CMP designation on your 2023 "to do" list, please email Gregg Lauer, CMP at and Connie Bergeron, CMP at to let us know.  The CMP Information Session for the final CMP Study Group this year is scheduled for Tuesday, September 5, and all Study Group sessions are held on Zoom.  For any questions regarding CMP requirements, please visit the MPI Georgia Chapter link or call Connie Bergeron, CMP, at 404.819.0891.



Connie Bergeron CMP Headshot 2
Connie Bergeron, CMP

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