Professional Development CoursesEvent & Meeting Management Fundamentals Certificate | Online


Event Planning Pro or Novice? Take our free online assessment test to see if you make the grade.

If you're looking to become an event or meeting planner, or you've been planning events for a while but never got proper training, this is the ultimate course for you. Here you'll get a thorough understanding of how events work, why people and companies host events, how the industry is configured, and how to strategically plan and coordinate a typical event from A to Z.

This course will cover the role of events in today's world, budgets and goals, workflow management, venue selection and negotiation, room layouts and seating formats, food and beverage, entertainment and speakers, design and decor, transportation and logistics, registration and check-in, hybrid meetings, apps and technology, basic lighting and audio visual, and more.

DYK? Meeting, Convention & Event Planners named in US News & World Report's Top 100 Best Jobs (#57 overall, #12 in business jobs) To read more, click here.

This course is available for private delivery as a 1-4 day intensive. Learn more

CMP Domains: A, B, C, D, E, G, H, I


Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand how to create an event that achieves specific objectives for the host/client.
  2. Design a planning process that incorporates budgeting, project management, communication and evaluation tools.
  3. Have an understanding of the various event elements (food and beverage, design, entertainment, site selection, etc.) and how to cost-effectively employ them.
  4. Understand the role of the planner on site at the event, and the mindset necessary to oversee successful event coordination.


  1. Industry Overview
    1. Defining A Special Event 
    2. Human Considerations & Success Factors
    3. Designing An Event
    4. Event Types
    5. Client Needs
    6. Evolution of the Experiential Industry
    7. Careers in the Industry
    8. Understanding the Players: Who Does What 
  2. The Role of A Planner
    1. Backgrounds, Experience 
    2. Typical Planning Department Structures 
    3. Pre-Event Responsibilities 
    4. On-Site Responsibilities 
    5. Post-Event Responsibilities 
  3. Event Architecture
    1. Establishing Objectives 
    2. Knowing Your Audience 
    3. Selecting the Right Event Format
  4. Establishing the Creative Vision
    1. Getting Buy-In From the Decision-Maker 
    2. Expressing Your Information 
    3. Elements of A Proposal 
    4. Key Business Considerations 
  5. Project Management
    1. Goal Setting 
    2. Resource Evaluation 
    3. Timeline Management 
    4. SWOT Analysis 
    5. Team Roles & Communication 
    6. Tracking & Evaluation 
  6. Finance & Budgeting
    1. Budgeting & Forecasting 
    2. Income & Expense Analysis 
    3. Fixed vs. Variable Costs 
    4. What Things Cost 
    5. R.O.I. - Understanding Return On Investment 
  7. Contracts & Negotiations
    1. Key Parts of A Contract 
    2. Typical Industry Clauses 
    3. Stages of Negotiation 
    4. Negotiating Strategies 
  8. Site Selection & Management
    1. Destination Selection 
    2. Venue Selection 
    3. Site Inspections 
    4. Ancillary Support: Tents, Power, Sanitation, WiFi 
  9. Risk Management
    1. The Americans with Disabilities Act 
    2. Risk Assessment 
    3. Emergency Response Planning 
  10. Spatial Design
    1. Objectives vs. Design 
    2. Meshing Elements Together 
    3. Crowd Experience 
    4. Standard Designs Review 
    5. Room Design Software 
  11. Food & Beverage
    1. Types & Terms 
    2. Buying Food & Beverage | Providers 
  12. Audio Visual
    1. Sound 
    2. Lighting 
    3. Staging 
    4. Video 
  13. Guest Services & Logistics
    1. Invitations & Registrations 
    2. On-Site Check-In 
    3. Transportation & Parking 
    4. Way Finding & Directional Signage 
    5. Security & Emergency 
    6. Translation 
    7. Concierge 
  14. Entertainment & Speakers
    1. Types 
    2. How to Employ In Design 
    3. Buying Tips 
  15. Marketing & Technology
    1. Options for Marketing 
    2. Marketing Plan Goals 
    3. Leveraging Technology 
    4. Mobile Apps & Social Media 
    5. Photo/Video Capture and Post-Event Usage 
    6. Virtual/Hybrid Event Options 
  16. Coordinating the Event, Day-Of
    1. Load In and Set Up 
    2. Who Oversees What 
    3. What Planners Should Be Doing During the Event 
  17. Service & Staffing
    1. How to Estimate Staff Needs For Various Services 
    2. Selecting the Right On-Site Staff 
  18. Sustainability
    1. Key Terms 
    2. Options for A More Environmentally Friendly Event 
    3. Cost vs. Impact

Free Course Preview

Course Details

  • Start Date:December 11
  • Duration:10 weeks
  • Location:Online
  • Tuition:$895 until November 18 | $995 after November 18 | Installment plans available.
  • CMP Clock Hours:36.00

About the Instructor

Kevin White, CSEP

Founder & Chief Strategist


Kevin White has been a storyteller his entire life. That love of capturing attention and engaging people... find out more

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I earn a credential?

Students who complete all course requirements including passing the final exam with an 80% or higher will earn a Certificate of Completion and an ELI Digital Credential in Event & Meeting Management Fundamentals. Learn more about our Digital Credentials.
Event Planning Certification

How does the course work?

Participants will log into our private Learning Management System, where each week approximately 2 hours of new lesson content will be released. Lesson content will usually be in video format, broken into digestible chapters of approximately 5-10 minutes each, and may be supplemented with PDFs or links to external articles. The lessons may be viewed at any time once they are released, and you can complete the lesson videos at your own pace. Short quizzes and assignments may be given to help reinforce learning outcomes.

What if I'm busy one week and can't get to the material?

At the end of this 10 week online course, we provide participants an additional four weeks to catch up if they were unavailable for any portion of the course (hey, we know planners are busy).

When/how can I contact the instructor during the course?

The instructor will be available to answer questions and provide feedback at set times each week during our regular sessions. Outside of those hours, the instructor will make every effort to respond to emails within two business days. (Keep in mind our instructors are subject matter experts who are actively working on events.)

Tell me about your learning guarantee?

The Event Leadership Institute stands behind all of its content. If you feel you didn't learn what you expected to in this course, just let us know within 30 days of the final lesson and we'll give you a full refund.


"I learned so much from this course, and am proud to put having taken it on my resume. I would absolutely recommend it to others." Libby Richardson | Events Manager, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

"This is an amazing course, and you are doing a FABULOUS job with the training!!! Even though I've been meeting planning for over 20 years, I am learning so much detail!  Tami Forcellina | Diageo

"Thank you for this great course! I have been a program manager for Medical education programs for over 8 years and it has been helpful to think about events other than educational meetings!" Valeta Creason Wahl | Program Associate, Univerisity of Nebraska, College of Nursing

"When evaluating new candidates for full time or freelance staff, one of the first things we take into consideration is the person's legitimate, industry-specific education.  A certificate from E.L.I. tells us they are on the right track." Rob Hulsmeyer | Partner, Empire Force Events.

"Hands down, the best educational content and the smartest instructors in our industry."  David Adler | CEO, BizBash

"A credential from the Event Leadership Institute carries a lot of weight with us. Given the quality and depth of their content, we know they train people for the rigorous demands of our industry, and come to work ready to hit the ground running."  Adam Sloyer | Managing Director, Sequence Events

© The Event Leadership Institute 2011. All rights reserved.

The Event Leadership Institute

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