Professional Certificate in Event Management

photo - night time event with fireworks

Meetings, music and film festivals, fundraisers, trade shows, conferences... whether it’s a spectacular celebration or a buttoned-up business meeting, coordinating the multiple moving parts of any event requires thorough research, planning, promotion and seamless coordination.

The GW School of Business (GWSB) Professional Certificate in Event Management prepares you to design, plan, and execute successful events.

The Professional Certificate in Event Management program is a non-degree, non-credit program that provides continuing education units (CEUs). This program may be completed in the classroom, online, or in a blended format that combines both online and on-campus courses.

What can you expect to gain from the program?

After successfully completing the Core Course Series, which gives you the foundational skills of event management, you can choose a focus track: corporate event management or live event management.

  • Learn best practices and current trends in the design, planning, and execution of successful events and meetings.
  • Gain insight into the event and meeting industry by studying scenarios and completing activities involving seminars, conventions, conferences, expositions, trade shows and special events.
  • Learn how to conduct effective event and meeting management research, including needs assessments, site analyses, situation analyses and feasibility studies.

Is the program right for you?

The Event Management program is an ideal fit if you are:

  • Preparing for a new career in meetings, events, travel, sports management, tourism or hospitality
  • Looking to enhance your existing skills and advance your event management career
  • Charged with handling event and travel duties for your company or organization
  • Interested in starting a new career in events management

Not only is event management endlessly dynamic, but for the foreseeable future it’s headed on a growth trajectory. U.S. News & World Report ranks event planners #21 in Best Business Jobs, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that event management employment will increase significantly over the next several years, growing 11 percent through 2026.

Certificate Requirements and Policies

Event Management Certificate Requirements

The Professional Certificate in Event Management program is designed to be flexible and to meet the needs of individuals interested in professional development and career advancement. Take individual courses in specific areas of interest, or complete the full program to earn a Professional Certificate in Event Management:

1. Complete and pass the following four core courses worth 1.2 CEUs each (4.8 total CEUs overall). These courses are offered as a five-day Core Course Bundle on campus multiple times a year. In addition, individual core courses may be taken online throughout the year.

This course addresses major trends and successful business practices in Event Management to provide the knowledge and tools to improve your effectiveness and organizational competencies as an event manager.

Learn to:

  • Structure and manage an event planning schedule to improve profitability
  • Conduct comprehensive needs assessments and feasibility studies
  • Identify and prioritize event goals and objectives
  • Identify potential challenges to a successful event
  • Choose appropriate solutions by using efficient planning scenarios
  • Conduct mid- and post-event evaluations
  • Create and present proposals and agreements that are advantageous to all parties of an event
  • Appreciate the rewards of being in the Event Management profession

This course covers the nuts and bolts of successfully coordinating a professional event.

Learn how to:

  • Develop creative elements including decor and entertainment and properly sequence them at events
  • Develop and implement a site plan and conduct a thorough site inspection
  • Understand the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), permit requirements and labor union issues and their impact on event coordination
  • Analyze and implement professional registration, admission procedures, security and protocol.

Participants will also learn how to:

  • Organize guide tourism industry stakeholders toward good governance
  • Enhance a destination's competitiveness
  • Assess the sustainability of a destination and create a framework for public-private partnerships at the local, regional and national levels
  • Develop a destination management strategy

This course examines how to use events to promote products, services and causes, and how to promote events themselves.

Learn how to:

  • Identify and develop a promotional strategy, including the event proposal, invitations, advertising, publicity, contests, promotional merchandise, sales promotions, packaging, and even personalappearances
  • Distinguish the relative strengths of print, electronic, & other advertising mediums
  • Analyze, establish and implement a public relations strategy using video and audio news releases, as well as many other new tools
  • Incorporate electronic media
  • Formulate an effective event sponsorship program
  • Conduct market research prior to the event
  • Create a comprehensive marketing/sales measurement  

This course thoroughly and systematically analyzes potential threats to your events. As the final core course, this practical approach to risk management ensures that you understand and use every possible safeguard to produce safe and successful events.

Learn how to:

  • Identify different methods for managing risk
  • Understand how to prepare a crisis management plan
  • Understand the key components of event contracts
  • Comply with health, safety, and security regulations
  • Conduct a thorough risk assessment for every event
  • Understand the duty of care owed to attendees and identify liability issues arising from injury or loss of property
  • Understand and comply with copyright, trademark, and service mark protection requirements

2. Complete three elective courses in your focus track — Corporate Event Management or Live Event Management — totaling 3.6 CEUs. Electives are offered as a four-day Elective Course Bundle on campus or individually online. (See more about the Elective Course Bundle below.)

3. Prepare and submit an event portfolio.

Upon successful completion of the seven event management courses (totaling 8.4 CEUs) and a portfolio, you will receive a Professional Certificate in Event Management from the George Washington University School of Business.

Core Course Bundle

The Core Course Bundle is offered as a five-day on-campus session. This intensive, interactive series consolidates all four core courses (501, 502, 503, and 504), allowing you to earn 4.8 CEUs in just one week.

Elective Course Bundle

The Elective Course Bundle is offered as a three-day on-campus session. Take three elective courses in one intensive and interactive session, and earn 3.6 CEUs in less than a week.

Corporate Event Management Track (3 elective courses)

Virtually every organization, from trade associations to government agencies, regularly holds large and small meetings. This course provides the basic tools to successfully plan and manage local, national and international meetings and conferences. Course information covers the basic competencies tested in the ILEA Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) and Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) examinations.

Learn how to:

  • Conduct thorough pre-event planning
  • Identify an appropriate site and perform comprehensive site inspections
  • Develop, analyze and project a budget
  • Comply with legal requirements, including those specified by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other key laws
  • Recruit and train volunteers and staff for maximum performance
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of an event

Review the most successful techniques for managing trade shows, sales promotion events, staff meetings and other corporate events. Learn how to stay within a budget, yet produce events with creative flair.

Learn how to:

  • Integrate corporate events within the overall communication strategy of the company
  • Assess, inspect, and/or design sites for corporate events
  • Orchestrate large national and international events as well as small corporate meetings
  • Use events to bolster corporate morale
  • Design and effectively manage major corporate hallmark events, such as anniversaries and ground -breaking ceremonies
  • Negotiate to get the best return on investment (ROI) for your organization
  • Reduce event costs and document the savings for your annual review
  • Demonstrate the added value of your corporate events as a means of receiving an increased budget and other support in the future

This course covers the practical skills needed to launch, operate, and grow a successful special events business. Learn how to develop a business plan, manage finances, market, and approach special events as a profit-making business. Case studies will cover everything from start -up capital to managing employees.

Learn to:

  • Discover the five forces that drive profitability
  • Apply the best practices of successful companies in event management
  • Develop an effective marketing strategy for new clients and to serve existing accounts
  • Identify sources of financing
  • Perform market research
  • Avoid cash -flow problems that are the downfall of many profitable businesses

Live Event Management Track (3 elective courses)

This course covers the practical skills needed to launch, operate, and grow a successful special events business. Learn how to develop a business plan, manage finances, market, and approach special events as a profit-making business. Case studies will cover everything from start -up capital to managing employees.

Learn to:

  • Discover the five forces that drive profitability
  • Apply the best practices of successful companies in event management
  • Develop an effective marketing strategy for new clients and to serve existing accounts
  • Identify sources of financing
  • Perform market research
  • Avoid cash -flow problems that are the downfall of many profitable businesses

Step behind the scenes and meet the people who make a successful catering operation work. Understand the catering industry and learn to work with catering professionals to improve quality, while reducing costs.

Learn how to:

  • Conduct a food and beverage needs assessment
  • Identifyprofessionalcateringresources
  • Specify the menu, level of service (including number of staff), and other important elements
  • Coordinate Kosher, Muslim, and special-request meal functions
  • Incorporate unusual linens, napkin folds, and other creative elements
  • Understand the basic health department requirements for food and beverage service
  • Recognize and implement liquor liability safeguards

514 Wedding Planning, Coordination, and Consulting

A wedding planner is a professional who assists with the design, planning and management of a client's wedding. Weddings are significant events in people's lives and as such, couples are often willing to spend considerable amount of money to ensure that their weddings are well organized. Wedding planners are often used by couples who work long hours and have little spare time available for sourcing and managing wedding venues and wedding suppliers.

Learn how to:

  • Start and manage a successful wedding planning business
  • Incorporate the latest trends in wedding design and coordination to build your business
  • Market for continuous growth
  • Create a wedding planning timeline
  • Learn how to make wedding planning financially successful

546 Event Entertainment and Production

Students will examine professional meeting and event management and will study industry best practices as the foundation for the five phases of research, design, planning, coordination, and evaluation.

Learn how to:

  • Recognize that entertainment represents a large economy
  • Identify job opportunities in the event entertainment and production fields
  • Develop and know how to carry out a plan through strategic preparation for event production and entertainment
  • Observe the effects of the plan, by viewing actual Contract and Rider requirements
  • Familiarize themselves with various tools for measurement of Return On Event Entertainment
  • Know the differences between agents, managers and entertainment companies and how they interact with headline entertainment
  • Create a crises mitigation plan
  • Familiarize themselves with the legalities of music licensing

Online Courses

You can start online courses any time, making them a convenient way to enhance your career or complete your professional certificate program. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with complete instructions for attending an online class. Each online course is worth 1.2 CEUs and costs $450.

Portfolio Requirements

Your portfolio project is the capstone of the Professional Certificate in Event Management. A successful portfolio will demonstrate your new skills and your understanding of the five steps to event management, as well as administration, marketing, legal and ethical, and risk management issues.

You will be provided with all of the necessary elements — such as budget and timeline — in order to put together the event. The portfolio will include a table of contents, executive summary, the five steps of event management, a gap analysis, and a personal essay.

The portfolio project should be submitted electronically in a PDF format. The portfolio project will be graded as pass/fail.

Program Fees & Financial Aid

Core Course Bundle (four courses, 4.8 CEUs) – $1,995

Elective Course Bundle (three courses, 3.6 CEUs) – $1,500

Individual online courses (1.2 CEUs) – $450 each

Because the Professional Certificate in Event Management program is a non-degree program, federally funded student loan programs are not available and the program is not eligible for deferment of such loans.

Registration

You must hold the equivalent of a high school diploma in order to enroll in the Professional Certificate in Event Management program. International students not fluent in English must have a TOEFL PBT score of 600 or a TOEFL CBT score of 100.

Grades

The grading system for this program is pass or fail. Individual course completions will be emailed to students to indicate the completion of each course.

A paper certificate signed by the university will be mailed to students upon completion of the full certificate program. Paper certificates will not be mailed for individual courses. All financial obligations to the George Washington University must be met in order to receive a certificate.

Important Policies

Refund Policy

If you cannot attend an on-campus Event Management Certificate Program course as planned, you may transfer into a future course or receive a course credit as long as you let us know five business days prior to the first day of class. If you contact us with less than five business days’ notice, you are entitled to a course credit valued at 50% of the course fee. If you contact us on or after the first day of class, you are not entitled to a course credit or transfer of any kind.

Course credits may be applied toward the cost of any future course within a year of the date of issue.

Refunds are given only if we cancel a course, although we encourage you to transfer into a future course so you can complete your required course work. We will not issue refunds for courses which have been postponed due to inclement weather or other circumstances beyond our control. Refunds are processed within thirty days of the approval of the refund request.

Please note, online courses are non-refundable.

If you have any questions about the Professional Certificate in Event Management, please email us.