- What is the Digital Event Strategist (DES) Certification Program?
- Why become DES certified?
- How does the certification process work?
- What are the prerequisites for certification?
- If I am certified in event planning and management, will this satisfy the application prerequisites?
- Once I receive my DES designation, do I need to be re-certified?
- Will I be able to take the courses online?
- When can I get started?
- How can I partner with VEI to offer the preparatory coursework for my association/corporation or next event?
- Who are the instructors for the Online Learning Program?
- How much does it cost?
- When and where are the final exams?
- How long does it take to complete the DES program?
- What if I just want the online education program and not certification?
Since 2008, there has been tremendous growth within digital meetings and events, yet there is no step-by-step approach to help organizations, marketers, and meetings & events practitioners understand how to successfully plan, design, build, and execute digital engagements and environments to achieve their business objectives.
As the only organization dedicated to digital solutions for meetings, events, learning and community, the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI) announced the DES certification program scholarship in August 2012 to address this need. The DES program will provide individuals with real-world knowledge and skills to incorporate digital engagements and environments within their marketing, events, learning, and community strategies. Through the training and certification program, VEI seeks to:
- Establish standards of practice within the industry;
- Increase meetings & events professionals’ virtual expertise; and
- Enhance the status of digital engagement within the industry.
By completing the DES program, VEI-certified individuals will have gained the highest-level of proficiency and achievement within the digital events industry. DES certification imparts several advantages:
- Industry Recognition: DES designation demonstrates your professional expertise, knowledge and experience.
- Career Advancement: The certification validates your capabilities to plan, build, design and execute successful digital engagements and environments, opening new career opportunities within your organization and the larger meetings, events, conventions ,exhibitions and learning industries.
- Peer Recognition: DES certification demonstrates your commitment to the industry and will be instantly recognized by your peers.
- Professional Growth: The DES program keeps you current on all digital technologies and techniques available to augment physical programs and launch online programs
The DES certification program is a three-part process including professional experience, preparatory coursework and an exam
- Professional Experience: Each DES candidate will complete an application affirming a specific level of professional experience required to sit for the certification exam. Candidates may submit prior and ongoing learning course and continuing education units (CEUs) toward their qualification for the certification. Twenty-five hours of qualifying education must be completed to be eligible to take the exam.
- Preparatory Coursework: VEI offers 16 individual study courses covering the 16 key “areas of focus” on the exam. These courses are available online and at various workshops around the country, including at specific industry organization events. The curriculum covers topics such as: Creating a Digital Engagement Strategy; Mapping Digital Solutions to Existing and New Programs; Developing a Digital Engagement Playbook; Audience Acquisition Strategies; Virtual Vendor Evaluation and Selection; Monetization Strategies; and Content Development.
- DES Exam: Once a DES candidate has met the prerequisites, he/she is qualified to take the written exam. The examination is composed of 135 multiple choice questions based on the coursework and study guide. Each examination offered is made up of a different selection from a bank of questions. All DES examination questions are written and reviewed on a regular basis by the current DES Advisory Committee. The DES Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from various industry organizations, association and corporate meeting and event producers, learning professionals and virtual platform providers, vendors and agencies, as well as subject matter experts.
- Preparatory Study Guide: VEI also offers a study guide covering the same 16 areas of focus written by subject matter experts and practitioners and edited by VEI Executive Director, Michael Doyle, and others who are experienced authors in key areas of digital engagement.
To qualify for the DES preparatory coursework, a candidate must demonstrate the following:
- Applicant must be currently or recently (within 12 months) working in events, meetings, conventions, exhibitions or learning industries.
- Applicant must be a member of a professional event management association such as PCMA, MPI, IAEE, ASAE, CEMA, VEI or have five years’ experience in event, meeting, convention, exhibition or learning management.
- Applicant must have experience in various virtual and digital environments. Experience may include attending, producing or exhibiting in online events or meetings. (If applicant has no such experience, VEI can assist in arranging for such experience.)
- Applicant must have completed (or will complete) 25 credits worth of digital-related continuing education programs in 16 key “areas of focus” within 12 months of application. Programming may include online and/or onsite education programs through the Virtual Edge Institute or other event management organizations as approved by VEI.
I’m certified with a meeting or event planning designation. Will this satisfy the application prerequisites?
While event planning and management certification demonstrates an individual’s high standard of professional achievement within the meeting, event, convention and exhibition industries, VEI recognizes the unique attributes required of digital event strategists. As such, there are no exceptions to the DES program prerequisites.
Back to Top
Due to the rapidly changing nature of technology in general, and virtual and digital events specifically, re-certification will be required for all participants every three years. Re-certification will require 30 hours of “new” virtual/digital-related continuing education programs, with an average of 10 hours per year. Programming may include online and/or onsite education programs through the Virtual Edge Institute or other event management organizations as approved by VEI. No exam will be required if certification is not allowed to lapse.
Will I be able to take the courses online?
Yes, sixteen such courses will be available in total, covering the key areas of focus necessary for a planner or producer of events, meetings and other online engagements. The courses also will aid in preparation for the certification exam, with each course equaling one hour of education plus many additional documents and supporting learning materials.
How often will the Study Courses be offered and when can I get started?
VEI is currently working with leading associations to offer the DES preparatory coursework at key events throughout the year. The goal is to have a curriculum outlined, and have three onsite classes ready for the 2012 Summer meetings of PCMA, MPI, IAEE and ASAE.
Subscribe to the DES newsletter for more information and updates regarding upcoming locations and dates.
VEI is committed to advancing education on digital solutions for events, meetings, learning and community. To discuss how VEI can collaborate with you to offer the DES coursework for your organization or next event, contact Michael Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with VEI, esteemed members of the Virtual and Digital Events industry will participate as instructors.
VEI instructors are respected members of the Virtual and Digital Events industry. In addition to obtaining DES certification themselves, instructors must also demonstrate expertise delivering educational content and excellent public speaking skills.
To inquire about being an instructor, email VEI at email@example.com.
Definitely. Subscribe to receive updates about future preparatory coursework and exam locations and dates.