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CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints
Part 4 – Those 4 little letters belong to you.   Now what?
Recertification is only a short 5 years away
  • Organize for the Future
    • Create a master folder for certification and sub folders with all the categories
      • CSEP Sustainability Contributions
      • Professional Experience
      • Continuing Education and Professional Development
      • Formal Education
      • Live Events Industry Membership
      • Live Events Industry Leadership & Volunteer Contributions
      • Industry Accolades and Other Professional Designations
      • Professional Industry Contributions
  • Every time you achieve a point save that documentation into the corresponding category folder
  • Keep a running tally counting your points with each activity you complete
  • Get Involved
    • Set some realistic goals each of the 5 years for example:
  • This year I will attend 3 ILEA Chapter meetings
  • This is the year I will enter the Esprit awards
  • This year I will be a CSEP ambassador
  • Continue Learning
    • Sign up to get various newsletters with educational opportunities (For me signing up for a weekly notice is better and less distracting than daily emails clogging my inbox) Here is one I get daily – it consistently has something I want to read
  • It doesn’t have to be an expense – many are free and if you are willing to wait for the playback you can take advantage of watching on demand to meet your busy schedule
  • Don’t forget learning opportunities like a first aid course or courses based on new safety protocols for returning to Live events 
  • Be Transparent, Be Good, Make Smart Decisions
Many of you who are regular followers of the blog will know that I struggle with the idea of ethics because it really comes down to self-regulation of the decisions you make.
  • Promote your CSEP
    • Shout it from the rooftop
    • Add to your signature line
    • Add the CSEP logo to your company website and explain what it is
    • Add to your social media (don’t forget to tag ILEA)
    • Add to your bio or cv (and make sure you add to wherever you have a bio posted)
    • Distribute it to key media, such as industry magazines, trade organizations and even your local newspapers
    • Send a notification to your alumni office
    • Connect with other CSEPs - reach out and say hello to other CSEPs in your community, your chapter, your region
    • Inspire others down the pipeline of certification

at 04:57PM
CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints
Part 3 –practice, practice, practice and then practice some more.

The Blueprint

Download and keep it handy and I would suggest a print off for some on the sofa at home review.
While recently studying for the CMP exam – I tackled learning the skill set with 3 simple categories:

I know this competency inside out and just need a quick review

I do not feel confident with this competency and need to review

 This competency scares me, and I want to learn more and dive in deep
Reading List
I know – that is a long list.  In my opinion start with Glossary.  It is free and I love words!

Events Industry Council: Industry Glossary

The new exam has less of a focus on terms and more on practical experience, but I find that reviewing the glossary gives a quick reference on where your strengths lie and what you need to still learn.
Practice Exams
I was always on the fence about practice exams.  When I wrote my CSEP exam, I was still in an academic state of mind having graduated University five years earlier.  Writing the CMP exam at 55 was completely different and the practice exams became like an addictive game.
Here is how they helped me:
  • Helped me know where I was with understand the competencies
  • Help pinpoint gaps in my knowledge (then I used by markings above to help plan my study material for the next week)
  • Gave me sense of the format and types of questions you’ll be asked
  • Fostered confidence for the actual exam (well at least made me less anxious)
The only thing I don’t like about the practice exams ILEA offers is that you can only take them once, and I found that with the CMP practice quizzes, it was very beneficial to focus in on the answers I got WRONG.  Taking a practice exam will help you detect any weak points that you can address later.  I like to know my weaknesses.

at 04:42PM
CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints
Part 2 – CSEP tips to get started
Congratulations!  You have decided to obtain your CSEP – NOW WHAT?
Make A Plan
Layout a simple timeline of your next steps and aim towards a goal date for writing the exam.
  • Review your competencies and determine how much ground you need to cover
  • Be realistic with the other commitments in your life and set achievable milestones
  • Save up your pennies. With the application fee, exam ($350 for application, $350 for exam) plus reading material and practice exams and attending education functions you could be looking at a minimum $1,500-$2,500 US
  • Have a weekly study plan (for example every Tuesday night for 2 hours and 1 hour on Thursday morning). You can gradually increase this as you get closer to the exam day
  • No Distraction – studying with your emails flashing up on your device screen won’t get you anywhere
  • Join an online community – share struggles and triumphs…and build a few business relationships along the way.  Try the ILEA FACEBOOK – for CSEP Candidates
  • Apply to write the exam (the sooner you apply, the more options you will have for testing dates and times)
With the mentoring program I lead with my own team, everyone sets individual goals, checks in regularly and attending weekly study group is a must for anyone in the pipeline for certification.

Check out Part 3 of our series for helpful hints coming next week.

at 04:34PM
CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints
CSEP – Four little letters in a four-part series of helpful hints

I am going to let you in on a little blunder that got missed in this crazy year of disruption.  2020 was the year for so many challenges and way down on my list of things to do was recertifying for my CSEP.  I had many points over the required number, but I lacked the points in one key area: CSEP Sustainability Contributions. (Having obtained by CSEP back in 1993 – there have been many modifications and this category threw me for a loop and this is my amends)
Part 1 – CSEP    What Why and How
Do you want to pursue a professional certification?  Do you need to?
  • A certification demonstrates your dedication, motivation and skill knowledge. 
I have never thought that it makes or breaks an event professional but for me having my CSEP and CMP show that I not only possess comprehensive knowledge of my craft but I also care enough about my own career to spend the time and money to get certified. Plus, I feel it demonstrates a greater dedication to my profession and the entire industry. 
  • Most importantly it shows your commitment to continued learning.
  • And finally, for the business owners out there a professional certification benefits your entire company adding credibility, commitment and longevity.
Do you qualify?
  • Check out the extensive list on the ILEA website:
The CSEP program is unique to other industry designations as it offers several qualification pathways providing more flexibility (and let’s face it we are “special”, and this is perfect for our diverse industry)
Be in it for the long haul
  • Be patient experience can’t be rushed.  Even if the whole process takes 4 years – IT’S WORTH IT!

at 04:16PM