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 scholarships to be had, 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 hundreds of scholarships and grants in 2017 totaling more than $294,000. 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 new Preferred MPI membership (up to a $479 value).
- 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 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.
- The Academic Scholarship is specific to students attending the Rosen College at the University of Central Florida and universities in Toronto.
- The CAD$1,500 M&IT Canadian Nationwide Scholarship Program covers the cost for planner members in Canada to attend IncentiveWorks 2020 or any MPI Academy program.
Professional Convention Management Association
The PCMA Education Foundation funds 75 scholarships each year to help students, faculty and experienced professionals in the industry. Following are some examples of scholarship opportunities from the PCMA Education Foundation (all listed below have an application deadline of April 1, 2019).
- The Roy B. Evans Student Scholarship provides $7,500 in tuition assistance to up to two PCMA Student Members.
- The Foundation Scholars Program offers a tuition award of $3,500, registration, airfare and accommodations to attend the PCMA Convening Leaders event and more for up to five undergraduate students.
- Continuing Education Scholarships are awarded to up to three graduate students in the business events industry. Each $3,500 scholarship also includes registration, airfare and accommodations to attend the PCMA Convening Leaders event.
- Legacy Society Student Scholarships provide to PCMA student members $3,500 for tuition plus registration, airfare and accommodations to attend the PCMA Convening Leaders event.
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The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality
The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH) has given more than $5.3 million in scholarships to more than 2,240 students 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. Applications for these scholarships are typically due by late summer—so get your ducks in order to apply in 2019.
- The new NEWH Leadership $10,000 Scholarship is awarded to one hospitality management student and also includes pair airfare/lodging to the NEWH Leadership Conference.
- 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.
- Scholarships named for Ken Schindler and Clifford R. Tuttle each provide $5,000 to one student in hospitality interior design and includes a paid trip to attend HD’s Platinum Circle Awards event.
- 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.
The International Association of Exhibitions and Events
The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) grants several scholarships and financial awards each year while remembering important leaders who left a mark on the industry.
- Helen Brett Scholarships are given to students pursuing careers in exhibition management. In 2017, the scholarship was given to two recipients with each receiving $5,000 in tuition assistance plus consideration to intern at Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition. .
- Available for a variety of purposes such as attending professional events worldwide and pursuing the CEM designation, the Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund has no specific financial limit. There are two annual deadlines for the grants, April 1 and September 1. Complete details about IAEE’s Bob Dallmeyer Education Fund are available.
Other industry scholarships
In August, Associated Luxury Hotels International (AHLI) announced recipients of its inaugural scholarship fund, which gives five industry professionals each $1,000 to use toward CMP certification. It’s a very new award so details are scarce but expect complete information about applying for this scholarship in 2019 at.
The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) David Riddell Memorial Scholarship funds the costs to attend the organization’s Global Conference (up to $3,000) for numerous future leaders each year.
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). Depending on the nature of the scholarships, they are granted quarterly and semi-annually.
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 for up to four industry professionals from the U.S. Midwest. Applications are accepted year-round.
- 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)