The Digital Event Strategist Certification initiative is specifically designed to help organizations in all sectors of the economy develop a means to effectively plan, produce and measure the results of their digital engagement practices and to develop a management pool strategically equipped to engage audiences using digital technology.
With the speed at which virtual events are exploding into the event industry, it’s critical that practitioners receive sound instruction on integrated approaches to digital engagement related to specific business objectives, audiences, tactics and engagement.
This effort involves one program designed for individuals in associations, corporations, government and academia. Group rate packages are available.
Curriculum and Individual Certification
The certification program includes an application process and an exam administered by the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI).
Application. Applicants must meet certain prerequisites in order to be considered for certification. These include:
- 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 three 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.
- Application fee is $175.
Study Guide. Applicants may purchase a Digital Event Strategist Study Guide produced by VEI covering the 16 key areas of focus. The curriculum is based on the contributions of 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.
Study Courses. Applicants may also benefit by attending VEI study courses, which are offered online and onsite at the VEI annual meeting, and at VEI workshops throughout the year, as well as at events produced by other industry organizations in the event, meeting, convention, exhibition and learning industries. Sixteen such courses will be available in total, covering the 16 key areas of focus to be found on the exam, with each course equaling one hour of education. Online study course is 16 hours of training and the introductory cost is $595( less than $40 per hour).
Exam. Applicants are required to pass a test covering the 16 key areas of focus within 12 months of application. Exams will be administered online or at the VEI annual meeting. Cost of the exam is $325.
Re-certification. 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 two years. Re-certification will require 20 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.
Event producers who receive and maintain Digital Event Strategist certifications will be listed on the VEI website, and allowed to use the “DES” acronym as an honorific following their names.
Timeline. The online study courses are recorded and are in post production and will be available in May 2012. Virtual Edge Summit 2012 courses will count toward the education requirements and are available for review here. Prior Virtual Edge Summit courses qualify toward the education requirement as well. The application process is now open and administration of the first exams will begin in July of 2012.
Ongoing Support. Certified DES individuals will be entitled to ongoing telephone support to during weekly 1 hour calls.