The cost of education—from college all the way to professional development throughout one’s career—is significant. Knowing this, groups throughout the meeting and event industry have banded together for years to help ensure a sustainable pipeline of skilled professionals. As a result, 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 rundown of scholarships available to students and professionals in the meeting and event industry isn’t all-encompassing, but it will help you plan the next steps in your career growth in a way that utilized existing resources and tools without draining your savings.
Meeting Professionals International
Last year, the MPI Foundation disbursed hundreds of scholarships and grants totaling more than $250,000. 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 $489 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, Basics Bootcamp and much more.
- 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. Universal Orlando Meetings & Events also funds two scholarships each year for students attending San Diego State University’s Master’s in Hospitality and Tourism Management program.
Professional Convention Management Association
The PCMA Education Foundation funds more than 150 scholarships each year to help students, faculty and experienced professionals in the industry. Following are some examples of scholarship opportunities that have been offered from the PCMA Education Foundation (check online for application deadlines).
- The Convening Leaders Global Scholarship is awarded to 10 industry professionals who are based and plan events outside of North America. This scholarship includes complimentary registration, accommodations and airfare to attend PCMA’s Convening Leaders event.
- The Roy B. Evans Student Scholarship provides $7,500 in tuition assistance to up to two PCMA student members.
- The Deborah Sexton Education Scholarship is available to four individuals with at least three years of experience in the event industry. Recipients get continuing education and travel funds of $7,500, a free ride at the Convening Leaders conference, three years of PCMA membership, one-on-one coaching with Sexton and more.
- 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.
The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality
The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH) has given more than $6 million in scholarships to more than 2,350 students over the past 35 years. 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 or fall.
- The NEWH Leadership $10,000 scholarship is open to hospitality management students every other year. Applications for this sizable award open in spring 2020.
- The NEWH Icon of Industry $7,500 Scholarship is awarded to one design student at the Boutique Design Gold Key Awards Gala.
- The NEWH BrandED $7,500 scholarship is open to hospitality management students and awarded in winter and late summer.
- 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 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 2019, the scholarship was given to eight recipients with each receiving $5,000 in tuition assistance. Applications are due June 1—so you’ve got time to get situated for the 2020 deadline.
- 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.
Other industry scholarships
The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) David Riddell Memorial Scholarship funds the costs to attend the organization’s education programs, including the Global Conference (up to $3,000), for numerous future leaders each year. The process includes submitting an essay. Two individuals received this scholarship last year.
The Timothy S. Y. Lam Foundation was established in 2012 to honor its namesake and aid 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 foundation also provides travel (up to $2,000) and research grants (up to $10,000).
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). Applications are now open
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 U.S. Midwest-based MPI members. 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 cost of the CMP exam.
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