I have had the incredible fortune of being involved with ILEA for 20 years. 15 of those years I have held the CSEP designation. Now, 15 years into my CSEP journey, I find myself reflecting on what it has meant over these last 15 years to be a CSEP in the industry today. The industry has grown so much over the last 20 years that it becomes increasingly difficult to set yourself apart as an event professional. Information is so diluted that it is hard to find good reviews and good information on anyone who calls themselves on event professional. For me, having the CSEP designation means more to me now than it did when I first earned it over 15 years ago. with a few quick search words, anyone can easily find out what the CSEP needs. It means that the recipient has set themselves apart in our industry by demonstrating a commitment to excellence, education, innovation and professionalism. The CSEP designation is not easy to learn, nor should it be. What I value the highest in the CSEP designation is that it is an experience-based certification. You must prove that you have the experience in the event industry that sets you apart from your competition. The process is designed to highlight and prove experience that has already been attained by the person seeking the certification.
When I speak to Young event professionals coming up in the industry today, I am compelled to encourage them to get involved in industry organizations like ILEA. To not just be a member, but participate in the process. Join a committee, serve on the Board of Directors, go to the industry functions and learn from the other professionals. That is what ILEA is all about. The more we can educate each other the greater our industry will be.