European Meeting Planners have now the chance to get certified as experts in green meetings’ organization that companies are asking for. The market is ready.
1 – SEPC is now ready, an unmistakable signal
After a somewhat cautious start a few years ago and a phase of experimentation, now a certification dedicated to the growing segment of the green meetings is proposed in Europe too. Those who had already believed in eco-sustainability and in its good practices, thinking it was all just inevitable, were right. Today the largest and most prestigious certifying body of our profession, the Events Industry Council, has confirmed the trend and is guaranteeing interesting business opportunities with SEPC, the Sustainable Event Professional Certificate.
The first-ever training course in Europe will be held in Monte-Carlo from 28 to 30 March and will be attended by professionals joining the almost 200 already certified in Thailand, the USA and Canada.
We can define the introduction of the SEPC an epochal transition because it marks the official entry into our market of professional competence that we can no longer define as a niche. In the intentions of all the industry organizations, as well as of the corporate clients, green practices are scheduled to become the universal mode of meetings and events.
2 – What is the Events Industry Council?
All of us working in the Meetings Industry know the abbreviations of the certifications that many professionals add to their name. The best known is certainly CMP, which stands for “Certified Meeting Professional”. Founded in 1985, in 33 years the CMP has been obtained from over 11 thousand professionals in 55 countries through the 450 assessment centres spread over the world. It is the oldest, most authoritative and widespread certification of our industry.
The certification body is the Events Industry Council, a non-profit federation that dates back to 1949 and today is made up of 33 major MICE industry organizations representing 103,500 people and 19,300 companies in and out of the United States.
This brief series of numbers shows the size and prestige of this institution – a true giant in terms of size and an icon for its prestige.
And it is precisely the Events Industry Council that created SEPC and that today supports and encourages its diffusion.
3 – The educational contents of SEPC
Practically speaking, the issue of this certification implies a full-time training course of three half days with seminars and practical tests. It will deepen the good practices as well as the value of sustainable events, dealing not only with technical issues but also with strategic marketing, brand reputation and economy because sustainable events also save money, contrary to what many fear. The purpose of the course is to provide participants with elements of competitiveness within the profession to make their proposals more interesting, modern and convincing both on a cultural and technical level.
In the course you learn among other things:
– the appropriate terminologies of the world of sustainability, to improve communication skills both within the team and with the management as well as with specialized suppliers.
– the most relevant sustainability issues for the events, MICE and incentive travel industries, by getting in touch with experts and touching topics such as global carbon foot-printing.
– the regulations concerning the ISO 20121 standards and the GRI EOSS reporting system, both globally recognized for the events, and essential information on the next steps to obtain the GRI EOSS certification.
– basic knowledge and convincing arguments to follow sustainable practices even in everyday events.
4 – Other organizational details
Courses are held in English. Participants receive prior to the course handouts and ppt files. There are no exams – the simple participation in the course is enough, essentially consisting in the preparation of a case history. Each certified professional is authorized to add the SEPC abbreviation to his name on the web and on his publicity. The SEPC certification is personal and doesn’t apply to companies.
The cost of the course, which includes certification and the issuance of the official certificate, is € 540 (445 in early bird, 390 for students and those working in non-profit organizations).
5 – Whom is SEPC for?
Due to the wide range of contents and the innovation it is aimed to trigger, all the operators of the Meetings Industry are prospect recipients of SEPC: the event agency owners and their collaborators, the owners of communication agencies involved in the meetings industry and their collaborators, the corporate meeting planners or those dealing with the organization of events (from HR managers to communication managers, from Mktg directors to purchasing department managers), suppliers of spaces and services (convention centres, conference hotels, unconventional venues, catering, set-uppers, technology providers etc.), not to mention all those who, for various reasons (students, graduated scholars, tour operators etc.) are interested in deepening green events because they understand their enormous potential.
6 – Why is it convenient to achieve SEPC?
An SEPC certified operator has a very strong qualification to be preferred by his/her customers as well as by potential employers. A certified convention centre manager, for example, or a certified caterer, or a certified hotelier is much more interesting in the eyes of an event agency; the same applies to an agency owner towards a corporate client. A corporate meeting planner, by the very fact of being certified and therefore sensitive to these issues, will automatically appreciate more and understand better-certified suppliers.
7 – Intangible benefits
The SEPC certification is not only a good deal in terms of investment in oneself, but it is also the way to obtain professional recognition within the community, towards potential customers and suppliers. It is a sign of interest towards the profession and its dynamics, of attention to modernity, of highly appreciated ethical values. It means entering a sort of professional aristocracy. We mustn’t quantify all this only in mercantile terms.
ItaliaConvention is committed to the topic, dedicating in the magazine an entire section to “Green Events”. See the articles >>>