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 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.
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 and much more (see the MPI Academy for an updated listing of education 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.
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 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.
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 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 of fall—so get your ducks in order and apply now!
- The NEWH Icon of Industry $7,500 Scholarship is awarded to one design student at the Boutique Design Gold Key Awards Gala.
- The NEWH Women Leaders $5,000 Scholarship, sponsored by Boutique Design Group, 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, sponsored by Florida Seating, Tarkett and Valley Forge Fabrics, 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 2018, the scholarship was given to three recipients with each receiving $5,000 in tuition assistance.
- 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 Timothy S. Y. Lam Foundation was established in 2012 as a way 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). 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). Applications open this fall, so stay tuned!
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.
RELATED STORY: Degree vs. certification: What’s best?