The cost of education—from college all the way to professional development throughout one’s career—can be significant. Knowing this, groups throughout the meeting and event industry have banded together for years to help ensure knowledge and advancement is a reality. The result is that there is now an incredible supply of meeting planner scholarships to be had—whether you’re a college student preparing for a career in meetings and events or a veteran seeking continuing education—thanks to generous donations from your planner peers, industry suppliers and professional associations.
The following information isn’t all-encompassing, but will help you to plan the next steps in your professional development while tapping into existing funding mechanisms without draining your savings.
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Meeting Professionals International
The MPI Foundation disbursed 268 scholarships in 2016 totaling $306,000. The ways in which these funds can aid your professional career are as wide and varied as the organizations and individuals who sponsor the programs. Following are some examples of available scholarships from the MPI Foundation.
- The Membership Scholarship covers the cost of a Preferred MPI membership.
- The Professional Development Scholarship, only available to MPI members, covers, partially or fully, the cost of any MPI Academy courses, including the Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM), the Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC), MPI’s Experiential Event Series programs and much more (see the MPI Academy’s site for all opportunities).
- Conference Scholarships, only available to MPI members, cover costs to attend events such as the World Education Congress (WEC), IMEX America and IMEX in Frankfurt.
- Academic Scholarships are available for students of the Rosen College at the University of Central Florida and universities in Toronto.
Professional Convention Management Association
The PCMA Education Foundation funds 75 scholarships each year for a variety of specific career development goals to help students and experienced professionals in the industry. Following are some examples of available scholarships from the PCMA Education Foundation.
- The Convening Leaders Student Scholarship covers registration, accommodations and up to $1,000 in airfare to attend this PCMA conference.
- The Roy B. Evans Student Scholarship provides $7,500 in tuition assistance to up to two PCMA Student Members.
- Foundation All Access Pass Professional Scholarships cover registration and accommodations for up to five industry professionals (PCMA membership is not required) to the Convening Leaders conference, access to PCMA Premium Content and the Business Event Bootcamp.
- The Diversity Student Scholarship grants $2,500 in tuition assistance to one PCMA Student Member representing a group that “has been traditionally under-represented in the meetings and events industry.”
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The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality
The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH) has given more than $4.5 million in scholarships since its founding in 1984. These funds are reserved for students seeking a career in the hospitality industry. Following are some examples of scholarships from NEWH.
- The NEWH Women Leaders $5,000 Scholarship is given to one female hospitality management student and also includes a paid trip to attend the Boutique Design Power Players: Women Leaders in Hospitality Breakfast and Panel.
- The NEWH Clifford R. Tuttle $5,000 Scholarship is given to one student in hospitality interior design and also includes a paid trip to attend HD’s Platinum Circle Awards event.
- The NEWH Leadership $10,000 Scholarship debuts in 2018 (details are not yet available).
- The NEWH Green Voice Design Competition $7,500 scholarship is awarded to students of hospitality interior design or architecture and also includes a paid trip to attend the HD EXPO.
Other industry scholarships
The Timothy S. Y. Lam Foundation was established in 2012 as a way to honor its namesake and offer assistance to those in the hospitality industry. The foundation awards $2,000 tuition-based scholarships for students as well as exam-related scholarships to help professionals attain certifications (CMP, CPCE, CSEP).
The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) awards Helen Brett Scholarships to students pursuing careers in exhibition management. In 2017, the scholarship was given to two recipients with each receiving $5,000 in tuition assistance. Applications for these scholarships open in March 2018.
The Patti J. Shock Scholarship, offered through a partnership between The International School of Hospitality and The Foundation of NACE (National Association for Catering and Events), grants catering as well as meeting professionals the cost of tuition and fees for the Meeting and Event Catering Certificate Program ($1,800).
There are numerous scholarships specifically available to industry professionals pursuing the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation.
- The Midwest Meetings CMP Scholarship covers the CMP exam fee cost for up to four industry professionals from the U.S. Midwest.
- The MPI Foundation’s Professional Development Scholarship can be granted to reimburse MPI members for costs related to attaining the CMP.
- The Timothy S. Y. Lam Foundation offers scholarships that cover the $450 fee to take the CMP exam.
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(Preceding image CC NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY)