Event Development


The meeting planning and event development field is experiencing tremendous growth from both event professionals and those who are new to the field.  In order to meet the challenges faced by event professionals in today’s economy, it is becoming increasingly important to develop the necessary skills and knowledge that help clients achieve their event goals and objectives.

Employment of meeting, convention, and event planners is expected to grow 44 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In a study funded by the Convention Industry Council (CIC), it was reported that the U.S. meetings business supported 1.7 million jobs and generated $263 billion in spending in 2009, putting the industry ahead of the automotive, air transportation or even motion picture industry in terms of spending!

Duke University’s Event Development Certificate program has been designed for both seasoned professionals in the event and meeting planning industry as well as for individuals with little or no event experience.  If you have ever pictured yourself behind the scenes ensuring the seamless flow of a meeting or event, this is the program for you.

The Event Development Certificate is offered as a sequential eight-course program that meets on Fridays and Saturdays every other weekend.  The program provides an overview of the areas necessary to be a successful planner and covers each domain as outlined by the 2012 CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) International Standards.*

Photograph of Event Development Fall 2014 Class

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Develop a strategic plan for an event
  • Assess and manage the entire financial process
  • Select an appropriate site and design scheme
  • Recognize and market the event to the target audience
  • Engage volunteers and staff in the success of the event
  • Identify, analyze and manage risks and security issues
  • Incorporate sustainability practices into event planning process
  • Design an event from start to finish

Why choose the Duke Event Development Certificate program?

  • Delivers the most comprehensive event management curriculum in North Carolina with over 100 course hours
  • Incorporates emerging industry trends such as sustainability, event management software and social media
  • Challenges students to apply material learned in the classroom to the design of an event
  • Encompasses four specialty elective courses that supplement more in-depth learning opportunities
  • Integrates site visits to different event venues to reinforce classroom instruction
  • Connects students to current trends through two complementary subscriptions to industry publications: Meeting Professionals International's One+ Magazine and Smart Meetings Magazine

*While this program is intended to cover the international standards of meeting/event planning at the topical level, supporting details focused upon in the classroom may be relevant to the event resources available in the United States.


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