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Laura Hammarstrom Breaks Down How to Stand Out from the Crowd by Getting Event Management Certifications

In competitive sectors like the events industry, it is important for event managers to show what value they bring to the table and to stand out from the crowd. Even with years of experience in the industry and networking in key event organizations, it is essential for event managers to continue to evolve and educate themselves.

Laura Hammarstrom, the founder of Laura Hammarstrom, CMP, LLC, says that there are multiple types of event planning certifications that can help boost your career to the next level and set yourself apart from other event managers. Her company, Laura Hammarstrom, CMP, LLC, provides a comprehensive suite of professional, customer-focused, on-site event management services worldwide. In this article, Hammarstrom dives deeper into the benefits of getting certified in event management and what types of certifications are available.

What are the Benefits of Receiving Event Management Certifications?

Multiple benefits come with receiving event management certifications. Event management certifications, such as the CMP or CMM (detailed below), represent a broader understanding and respect for the event management industry and are considered a mark of excellence. Certifications of this caliber convey credibility, give a competitive edge, open the door to more opportunities, and increase pay levels.

With these, there are many certifications focused on improving specific skill sets or knowledge of different facets of the industry, such as registration, virtual meetings, or wedding planning. With so many facets of the event industry, no one certificate fits all. For example, Hammarstrom holds a CMP or a Certified Meeting Professional certification. However, with all of the changes in the industry over the past year, Hammarstrom prioritized getting her certification in Pandemic On-Site Protocol and Cvent’s Diagramming and Seating earlier this year. These enable her to keep her guests (and all participating parties at events) as safe as possible during the pandemic.

Types of Event Management Certifications

1. CMP (Certified Meeting Professional)

This type of certification requires participants to go through and complete the CMP program. Its goal is to standardize best practices, gain professional credibility, and enhance an event manager’s overall performance. Once completing the CMP program, event managers will take an exam that was developed by professionals from all over the globe.  

2. DES (Digital Event Strategist)

A DES certification reflects the emerging technology in the events industry and the critical need for understanding its uses. This certificate is a response to the increasingly growing demand for virtual events, especially from the pandemic. Those who strive to receive their DES certification will learn strategies revolving around how to maximize digital engagement practices, ranging from stages of planning to comparing event results.

3. CMM (Certification in Meeting Management)

When receiving a Certification in Meeting Management, participants will go through a reputable training program that targets instruction based on business management skills. Objectives that the training program covers include risk and finance analysis, business data development and analysis, team managing skill growth, and other factors that are needed when operating a business. Event managers greatly benefit from this certification as it is crucial to understand and use data, develop skills in risk mitigation, and upgrade leadership and management skills to succeed in the professional role.

4.CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional)

CSEP is endorsed by ILEA (International Live Events Association) and holds the purpose of boosting performance rates in the events industry. This certificate provides professionals with an open door to level up their careers and expertise. With an industry that is constantly subject to change, this certification helps maintain a standard of practice with event management professionals.

About Laura Hammarstrom

Laura Hammarstrom is a professional event manager, travel director, and entrepreneur with a diverse skill set and professional background, including domestic and international initiatives for Fortune 1 executives, high-net-worth families, and the Northwest Arkansas community. She spent over 10 years in event management and communications roles at Walmart Corporate. Notably, she was Senior Event and Project Manager for the Walmart International President and CEO, Director of Special Projects in the United Kingdom, and Director of Global Associate and Executive Communications. Pursuing her passion for events, she received her Certified Meeting Professional designation and served as the Events and Experiences Manager for the Walton Enterprises Family Office. In 2017, Laura started her own event business, Laura Hammarstrom, CMP, LLC, to provide a comprehensive suite of professional, customer-focused, on-site event management services on a global scale.


Alex is a small business blogger with a focus on entrepreneurship and growth. With over 5 years of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Alex has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, approachable and entrepreneurial-minded blogger. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Alex has interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and covered major small business events such as the Small Business Expo and the Inc. 500|5000 conference. He is also a successful entrepreneur himself, having started and grown several small businesses in different industries.