The Best Virtual and Hybrid Event Planning Certificates and Certifications
Wondering how to level up as an event planner? To succeed in the era of virtual and hybrid events, you need to get certified.
To do more, you have to know more — and, in the ever-evolving world of events, knowledge is power. Years of event planning experience certainly provide a solid foundation, but the prevalence of hybrid and virtual events means shifting rules and expectations.
There are so many elements that make an event successful, and professional training can strengthen your ability to tackle changes in the industry head-on. Enter hybrid and virtual event planning certifications.
If you’re ready to move your event planning career to the next level, consider adding these six hybrid and virtual event planning certifications and certificates to your professional portfolio.
1. Digital Event Strategist (DES) Certification
A notable difference in the virtual and hybrid events era is an increased investment in new technology. The Digital Event Strategist (DES) Certification offers everything you need to know about creating event experiences for in-person and virtual audiences. The DES Certification program provides strategies and frameworks to improve the digital skills needed to succeed in the hybrid event space — from planning to event execution.
How To Get a DES Certification
This three-part certification requires you to demonstrate previous professional experience in the industry, participate in a six-module online learning program, and take an exam. You can take the self-paced course or a cohort course with other event industry professionals.
- Cost: $895; a recertification course costs $150 and can be completed every two years
- Get certified: Digital Event Strategist (DES) Certification
2. Virtual Event and Meeting Management Certificate
If you battle with the differences between planning in-person and virtual events, this is the course for you. The Event Leadership Institute’s (ELI) Virtual Event and Meeting Management Certificate features a fundamentals course for planning and managing virtual events — formats that continue to dominate the event landscape.
How To Get a Virtual Event and Meeting Management Certificate
As part of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), this program comprises a six-week course exploring strategic planning, virtual event technology, data analysis, and more. Participants are required to take a proctored exam and, if you pass, you’ll receive an ELI digital credential you can add to your portfolio.
- Cost: $556 for ELI or MPI members; $695 for non-members
- Get certified: Virtual Event and Meeting Management Certificate
3. Hybrid and Virtual Event Director Certificate
Pulling off a hybrid or virtual event requires a particular set of production skills that are much more demanding than for in-person events. This course by ELI focuses on technical production skills, directing, show flow, and content management. If you work on-site and want to control what’s going on behind the scenes, these event planning skills will serve you well.
How To Get a Hybrid & Virtual Event Director Certificate
The ELI Virtual Event Director certificate comprises a four-week course with live Q&A, class meetings, and a community forum where attendees can connect. Students are required to take quizzes and complete four assignments. If you achieve a minimum grade of 75, you’ll pass and earn a digital credential.
- Cost: $316 for ELI and MPI members; $395 for non-members
- Get certified: Hybrid & Virtual Event Director Certificate
4. Virtual Events Certification
In all the frenzy to adapt to changing times, let’s not forget the power of events — hybrid and virtual included — to drive pipeline and win new business. In this event planning certification course, you’ll learn from virtual event experts about attendee engagement, post-event strategy, and how to choose the right virtual event type to meet your goals.
How To Get a Virtual Events Certification
VEI offers a virtual six-course certification, complete with worksheets, study checkpoints, and five quizzes to prepare you for the final assessment. The course takes an estimated two hours to complete, and you get three hours to finish your 40-question final exam.
- Cost: Free with a free Drift Insider account
- Get certified: Drift Insider Virtual Events Certification
5. Virtual Events Institute (VEI) Skills Certification
This on-demand course trains industry professionals in all things virtual events — from attracting an audience to increasing engagement and developing strategic content design to measuring post-event success. More than 2,000 professionals have taken this course, which has an NPS of +85 and features 17+ leading subject matter experts from across the globe.
Bonus: Although VEI already offers an “Introduction to Hybrid Events” module, additional classes about hybrid events will be added soon.
How To Get a VEI Skills Certification
The 11-module course takes place on an e-learning platform. There are exercises and resource sheets for each module, as well as a 10-question exam. Each module takes between 60 and 90 minutes to complete.
- Cost: $975 for full course; $440 for nonprofits/freelancers
- Get certified: VEI Skills Certification
Bonus: VEI offers special rates for students and those currently out of work. Contact VEI for more information.
6. GWU Professional Certificate in Event Management
Managing an event involves coordinating many moving parts, whether online or on-site. This professional certificate from The George Washington University’s School of Business covers current best practices and trends in designing, planning, and executing successful events and meetings. With an elective course on Virtual/Online & Hybrid Event Management, GWU’s program is suitable for anyone looking to advance their event management career.
How To Get a GWU Professional Certificate in Event Management
The professional certificate comprises four required courses and three (out of a possible seven) elective courses. Courses are pass/fail, and upon completion, you will receive a Professional Certificate in Event Management from GWU.
- Cost: $3,495 for all seven courses ($1,995 for the four-course bundle and $1,995 for the three-course elective bundle); $450 per individual online course
- Get certified: GWU Professional Certificate in Event Management
The Difference Between an Event Planning Certificate and Certification
Did you know that there’s a difference between a professional certificate and professional certification? Here’s the difference:
- Certificate: Certificate programs offer a way to advance your career, stay competitive, and learn more. Professional certificates are typically awarded upon completing a series of courses or training sessions.
- Certification: Certifications show that you have advanced skills and training. Professional certifications are typically awarded upon completing and passing an exam administered by a third-party group.
Or, to put it simply, a certificate is proof of education, and certification is proof of passing an exam based on industry standards.
Take Your Career to the Next Level with Event Planning Certifications
As you prepare for what comes next in the events ecosystem, one thing is certain: The more education and training you have in as many skills and technologies as possible, the more prepared you’ll be to take the industry by storm.
For more event planning certifications — including the alphabet soup of CMP, CSEP, CPCE, and CGMP — check out another Bizzabo blog article, “Top 12 Event Planning Certifications You Need To Propel Your Career.”