Professional men and women

This is a program of excellence. It has given me the confidence I need to embark on a new career, and has provided me with multiple networking opportunities which allowed me to secure a job in my new profession.

Karen K., Spring 2016

Event Development

The Event Development Certificate is designed for both seasoned professionals in the event and meeting planning industry as well as for individuals with little or no event experience. 

It is offered as an alternating weekend program with an overall goal of teaching students how to plan a successful event from start to finish. This program includes 115 total hours of instruction and is taught by qualified event professionals, most of whom hold an industry certification.

Why choose the Duke Event Development Certificate program?

This program delivers one of the most comprehensive classroom-based event management curriculums in North Carolina, with over 100 hours of course hours. It incorporates emerging industry trends such as sustainability, event related apps and social media platforms. Furthermore, students are exposed to different event venues through site visits to reinforce classroom instruction. Last, it challenges students to apply the course concepts by designing an event from start to finish in a final project.

*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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Curriculum & Course Details

This program includes 115 total hours of instruction.

Program Content

  • Strategic Planning
  • Financial Management
  • Project Management
  • Site Management
  • Event Design
  • Sustainability
  • Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Risk Management
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Event Production
  • Event Logistics

Students will learn to:

  • Develop a strategic plan for an event
  • Assess and manage the entire financial process
  • Select an appropriate site and design scheme
  • 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

Please note: There will be several times when this class meets in a special location during the course.  These dates will be noted on the class syllabus.



Course Schedule Location Tuition Status
Event Development Core CurriculumThe Event Development Certificate is offered as a sequential eight-course program that meets on Fridays and Saturdays every other weekend with an overall goal of teaching students how to plan a successful event from start to finish...
Mar 8, 2019 to Jun 22, 2019
F 12:30PM - 5:00PM
Sa 8:30AM - 5:30PM
F 1:30PM - 6:00PM
Sa 8:30AM - 5:00PM
F 8:30AM - 5:00PM
Sa 8:30AM - 6:00PM
F 8:30AM - 6:00PM
Sa 8:30AM - 5:00PM
F 8:30AM - 6:00PM
Sa 08:30AM - 5:00PM
F 08:30AM - 6:00PM
Sa 08:30AM - 5:00PM
F 8:30AM - 6:00PM
Sa 8:30AM - 5:00PM
F 1:30PM - 6:00PM
Sa 08:30AM - 5:00PM
Raleigh, Durham - Duke University, Research Triangle Park $2,995.00 Enrollment Closed
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  • An associate’s degree (2 yr) is highly recommended. If student does not have an Associate's degree, 2 years of experience (in any industry) is suggested in lieu of the education recommendation. 
  • Payment in full prior to start of program 
  • Fluency in English, including reading and writing, required
  • Computer literacy (Microsoft Office products will be used regularly.)
  • Access to a computer during the program
  • Valid email account (must be a Gmail email address)
    • Please note that if you do not have one of these email accounts you will be required to create one prior to the first day of the course.
  • Vehicle for transportation to multiple venues and signed transportation waiver

Admission is discretionary. Duke Continuing Studies Professional Certificate Programs requires students be a least 18 years of age and meet minimum suitability standards. Students are not matriculated Duke University students and university student privileges do not apply to Continuing Studies students.  Duke Continuing Studies reserves the exclusive right, at its sole and absolute discretion, to withhold registration or require withdrawal from the program of, any student or applicant.

Certificate requirements

  • 80% full attendance of total sessions (3 misses allowed)
  • Assignments completed per guidelines and deadlines established by instructors
  • 70% cumulative average on class assignments/assessments
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Schedule & Registration


This program is offered as an alternate weekend program, beginning 3/8/2019 and ending 6/22/2019. Classes are held every other Friday and Saturday, with the exception of some holiday weekends. *Duke Continuing Studies reserves the right to change class locations or times at any time.

Weekend 1
Friday 3/8/2019 (12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)*Class will be held off-site and lunch provided
Saturday 3/9/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.)*Breakfast provided

Weekend 2
Friday 3/22/2019 (1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) 
Saturday 3/23/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Weekend 3
Friday 4/5/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) 
Saturday 4/6/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

Weekend 4
Friday 4/12/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) 
Saturday 4/13/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Weekend 5
Friday 5/3/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) 
Saturday 5/4/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)*Class will be held off-site

Weekend 6
Friday 5/17/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)*Class will be held off-site
Saturday 5/18/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Weekend 7
Friday 5/31/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) 
Saturday 6/1/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Weekend 8
Friday 6/21/2019 (1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) 
Saturday 6/22/2019 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)*Breakfast and lunch provided

Inclement Weather Policy:

Cancellation announcements can be heard by calling 919-684-3255. Depending on the timing of the cancellation decision and the availability of program staff to online access, students may also be notified via email.

Meeting Locations:

Unless otherwise noted, classes will be held in Duke’s Smith Warehouse, located at 114 S. Buchanan Blvd, Bay 6, Durham, NC 27708.

March 8th class: 
To be held at The Special Event Company, 6112 St. Giles Street, Raleigh, NC 27612.
A second location for the latter part of this class will be announced on the syllabus prior to the start of the program.  

May 4th class:
To be held at Embassy Suites, 201 Harrison Oaks Blvd, Cary, NC, 27513

May 17th class:
To be held at Creative Visions, 7516 Precision Drive, #100, Raleigh, NC 27617.


  • Please review the requirements listed on this site to determine eligibility.

Registration Methods

  1. Register Online for the course using a credit card with our secure, real-time registration system.  Add the course to your shopping cart and follow the instructions for checking out.
  2. Register by Phone at 919-684-6259 to register during our business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm EST). Please note that loan applicants must call to register.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this program affiliated with any other office at Duke University?

This program is not affiliated with any other Duke office. It is offered exclusively through Duke Continuing Studies.

Does Duke faculty serve as instructors/mentors/subject matter experts in the program?

For programs such as this one, Duke Continuing Studies has chosen to use instructors who practice, and in many cases are certified, in the subject matter area being taught to enrich the professional working adult learning experience. There are currently no Duke faculty serving as instructors for this program.

Will I be certified as a meeting planner after I complete this program?

Duke Continuing Studies (DCS) does not certify individuals.  DCS provides a certificate of completion that states students have met all requirements for the program. 

Certification as a meeting planner requires passing a national examination and meeting other criteria. For more information on the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification exam, please visit the Events Industry Council's website.

Is tuition assistance available for this program?

Tuition is due in full prior to enrolling in the program.  Several loan options are available. Please see the Tuition & Payment Options section for more information.

Will this course prepare me for the CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) exam?

The topics covered in this program will provide important, foundational concepts and best practices as outlined by our experienced instructors. Although many of these topics will overlap with the established domains as outlined by the CMP International Standards, this program is not intended to be a CMP exam preparation program.

Will all of the classes be held at Duke University?

Duke University at Smith Warehouse will be the venue used most often during the program; however, the location will vary according to curriculum requirements.  Please see the schedule for exact meeting locations.

What are the requirements to complete this program?

Students must attend 80% of total sessions, complete all required assignments by the deadline provided, maintain a cumulative average of 70% or better, and pay tuition in full in order to receive the completion certificate.

Can international students pursue the CMP designation?

International students can pursue this designation, and all students must have 36 months or more of full time experience working in the event industry.  If a student has less than 36 months of experience, he/she must also have a Bachelor’s degree (or its international equivalent) in a related field (meeting, event, exhibition and/or hospitality/tourism management).

Visit the Events Industry Council online for more details about application requirements for the CMP exam.

Will Duke assist me with registering for the CMP exam or any other related exam?

Students are responsible for applying for and paying any fees associated with the CMP or other related exams.

Are books required for this program?

No books are required for this program.

Is parking included in tuition?

Yes, parking at all venues that are required during program is included in program fee.

Can I register for just a single course in the program?  Example: Marketing.

This program is only sold as a package, and as such, students must complete all courses to earn the certificate of completion.

Does this program offer any job placement for graduates?

Duke Continuing Studies does not guarantee or assist with any job placements of students enrolled in this program. Students are responsible for seeking and securing their own employment upon completion of the program.

When will I receive more information about the program?

Registered students will receive orientation information via email from the Program Manager prior to the start of the program.

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Mary-Margaret Armstrong, CAE, CMP

Photo of Mary-Margaret ArmstrongMary-Margaret (“MM”) Armstrong is a native North Carolinian with over 20 years’ combined experience in the meeting planning and association industries.  She is President & Managing Director of Meeting Advantage LLC, which specializes in conferences, workshop, and trade shows for corporations, academia and associations.  Over the course of her career, she has sourced and executed hundreds of meetings for clients in the pharmaceutical industry, was the Director of Sales for a national meeting planners network group, and served as Vice President of Education and Membership for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.  MM earned her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2001 and her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2011 and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. MM has been an instructor for Duke University’s Continuing Studies Event Development Professional Certificate Program since and also serves as a study group leader with Association Executive of North Carolina to help association executives earn their CAE.

Jon Campos, CMP

Photograph of Jon CamposJon Campos is the Senior Meeting Planner at the American Board of Anesthesiology in Raleigh, NC. Previously he was Lead Manager of Conference Operations with the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) in Durham, NC. Jon has also been Assistant Director with the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) and Meetings Director at the North Carolina Bankers Association. He has a Master of Science degree from North Carolina State University and over 18 years of conference planning experience.  Over the course of his career Jon has managed all types and sizes of events throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. He has helped his organizations adopt a strategic approach to event management and introduced new event technologies such as event apps, live polling, interactive Q&A, and paperless events.

Allin Foulkrod, CSEP

Allin Foulkrod is the President and Founder of Creative Visions, an event production company based in Raleigh, NC since 1989.  Creative Visions has produced events in over 24 countries and throughout North America.  Honors and accolades have included numerous community and industry awards for Allin and Creative Visions, such as:  Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2007, Business Leaders Magazine’s Top Entrepreneur 2013, International Live Events Association (ILEA) Esprit Awards in 2009, 2012, 2017 and a 2013 finalist.  Allin is a sought-after presenter and consultant and has spoken at multiple international industry events.  As one of the first 200 people globally to obtain the Certified Special Event Planner (CSEP) designation, his concentration for himself and his company is to provide a continuous learning environment.  Creative Visions’ core focus and passion is, “people helping people succeed”.

Megan Gillikin

Photograph of Megan GillikinMegan Gillikin graduated from East Carolina University with her undergraduate degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management and her MBA. Upon graduation, this North Carolinian relocated to DC with Marriott International completing their Management Development Program.  Starting at the front desk and moving into the events side, Megan truly understands the logistics, flow, and behind the scenes effort it takes to make a successful event. Transitioning back to NC in 2006, she moved into event positions including Event Operations Manager, Event Manager, and Sales and Catering Manager on a new property opening team. In 2010, Megan left the hotel world and took over ownership of an existing wedding planning company in need of re-branding to remain relevant within the industry.  Over the last 6 years, Megan has grown A Southern Soiree into a multi-planner firm and established it as one of the most sought after, highly regarded event planning companies in NC.

Amanda Law

Photograph of Amanda LawAmanda Law currently works at SAS in Cary, North Carolina as a Campaigns and Events Specialist. She earned a B.S. in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication at Appalachian State University and has more than 10 years of experience in corporate, association and fundraising events. Prior to working at SAS, Amanda was Director of Events and Campaign Projects at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC Chapel Hill. Other places Amanda is proud to have worked include Biltmore Estate, The American Diabetes Association and The Umstead Hotel & Spa. Amanda began her events career as Convention Services Manager at The Koury Convention Center and Sheraton Four Seasons in Greensboro, NC.

Elizabeth Peeler, CMM, CMP

Photograph Elizabeth PeelerElizabeth Davis Peeler gained experience during her 15 years planning for corporations such as Progress Energy and First Citizens Bank before going out on her own in 2003 as an independent meeting planner and event consultant.  She started D-P Planning Meetings & Events and began managing meetings and conferences for companies around the Triangle and beyond.  Elizabeth is originally from Atlanta, GA but has called the Triangle home since 1994.  She is a graduate of Furman University in Greenville, SC, where she earned a BA in English.

Matthew Royse

Photograph Matthew Royse

Matthew Royse is the regional marketing director for Freudenberg IT, a global IT solutions provider. He has more than 15 years of experience in marketing and communications, working in many different industries, including financial services, technology, media, and entertainment. 

Matthew implements the global marketing strategy in North America, partnering with global marketing resources to create strategic marketing campaigns and initiatives that support the organization’s growth. He focuses heavily on digital marketing with a priority for demand and lead generation programs. These multi-touch programs are designed to drive sales, engagement, retention, leads, and positive behavior with clients, partners, and employees.

Prior to Freudenberg IT, he was the director of marketing communications at Forsythe Technology, a Sirius company, and served as a publicist at the National Geographic Channel in Washington, D.C.
He speaks about social media and content marketing at many industry and national events, including Ragan Communications conferences, the Internet Summit, the Frost and Sullivan Digital Marketing Summit, The Research Triangle Park (RTP) 180° speaking series, and the Publicity Club of Chicago. He has also counseled the communications team at the Vatican (Rome, Italy) on social media during their monthly team meeting. He is also a contributor to PR Daily,, Content Marketing Institute, Business2Community, and Spin Sucks.

He earned his MBA in marketing strategy and planning, and integrated marketing communications from DePaul University in Chicago. Matthew obtained his bachelor of arts in speech communications from Penn State University.

Caroline Sewell

Photograph of Caroline SewellCaroline Sewell grew up enjoying the excitement of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the pomp and circumstance of Washington, D.C., and always knew she wanted to be involved in this exciting industry.  Caroline enjoyed 17 years as President/Owner of her own event planning company, designing events for social and corporate clients.  She held many positions at the local and international level of the International Live Events Society (ILEA, formerly International Special Events Society). Caroline holds a B.S. in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech and enjoys every opportunity to encourage those interested in seeking a career in the event industry.  Caroline currently serves as Event Designer at The Special Event Company (TSEC), bringing her passion for design and creativity to produce events with style and flair, never losing sight of the clients’ goals.

Katie Lebrato

Photograph of Katie Shepherd LebratoA North Carolina native, Katie Lebrato is a graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design. After graduating, Katie spent a decade at an established downtown Raleigh advertising agency as their Creative Director and real estate Account Executive. She joined the nonprofit NC GreenPower in 2008 and is currently their Marketing and Communications Director, serving as a liaison between the statewide organization and the public. NC GreenPower attends up to 80 events annually and works with local businesses and organizations to help them green up their carbon footprint. NC GreenPower also now offers a grant to NC K-12 schools for educational solar installations. Katie has a combined 20 years of experience in the marketing, communications and advertising fields. She has a passion for sustainability and is well-networked in the environmental community.

Sally Webb, CSEP

Photograph of Sally WebbSally Webb is CEO of The Special Event Company (TSEC), with offices in North Carolina, USA and London, England.  Sally founded TSEC in 1986 from a background in sports PR and marketing as one of the first dedicated event management companies in the UK.  Her personal accolades include International Event Producer of the Yearby Event Solutions Magazine in 2004, Lifetime Achievement Awardfrom the International Special Events Society (ISES) in 2008, Business Leader Magazines Top 50 Women Extraordinaire Award in 2010 and Special Event Magazines Top 25 Greatest Industry Influencers of the past 25 years in 2011.  Sally is a founding member and former President of the United Kingdom Chapter of the International Special Events Society, and past Regional Vice President for the Euro-Africa Region. She currently sits on the Certification Committee for ISES and was the first European to obtain the Certified Special Event Planner (CSEP) designation.

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Tuition & Funding Sources


$2,995 ($200 discount off all registrations for Spring 2019 term)

Parking for all program venues is included in the price listed above.

Duke Employee Discount

• $200 off the fee of $2995
Duke employee pays fee of $2795
• Student must register and pay tuition prior to the program start date via either full payment or have their loan “certified” by Duke Continuing Studies in order to confirm a seat in the program for that term.
• Questions:  Contact Program Manager at 919-684-3379

Discount must be requested and applied during the registration process and cannot be applied in addition to any other discount that may be offered. You may be asked to verify your status as a Duke employee.

Group Discount

Do you have a group (Duke or non-Duke entity) interested in training?

Contact the Program Manager for details.


Funding Sources

No loans (Wells Fargo Graduate loan, Sallie Mae Smart Option Undergraduate loan, etc.) can be construed to imply any degree-seeking status for students of Duke Continuing studies. Duke Continuing Studies courses are non-credit.

Duke Continuing Studies (DCS) will not certify (approve) loan amounts greater than the amount of the tuition regardless of the amount approved by the lending agency. DCS reserves the right to reject any loan which exceeds the tuition amount. DCS will not be responsible for refunding monies in excess of the tuition. Students needing to secure loan funding for books or other items in relation to the program are responsible for making separate loan arrangements with the funding agency. No loan funds will be refunded to the student.

Should a student choose to borrow less than the tuition amount, the balance must be paid prior to the close of the registration period.

Funding Source

Our Professional Certificate programs are non-credit (not degree applicable); therefore, they are NOT eligible for federal education loans. DO NOT SUBMIT FAFSA FORMS for these programs. Some of our programs may offer payment plans. Please see individual program web pages for those details.

Please note you must register by phone at 919-684-6259 for the program before you can seek any loan funding.

Other Funding Sources

The funding options listed below may not be applicable to all programs at this time. Please contact the organization offering the funding to see if you qualify and if the funds can be used for the program in which you are interested.

Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan

To apply for this private student loan, visit Sallie Mae’s website, select the Undergraduate Student Loan and then click Apply Now. The following application should populate with the pertinent information for Duke Continuing Studies.

  • Scroll over Student Loans on the top of screen
  • Select Smart Option Student Loan under Undergraduate Student Loans
  • Click Get Started
  • Fill out Student General Information
  • Fill out Permanent Address
  • Fill out School Information
  • DUKE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATES, DURHAM, NC, 00292099 should already have populated for the school
  • Select Certificate for Degree/Certificate of Study
  • Select your Specialty or select Other if it is not shown in the options
  • Select Half Time for Enrollment Status
  • Select Certificate/Continuing Ed for Grade Level
  • Enter your Academic Period of the Loan
  • Enter your Anticipated Graduation / Completion
  • Follow the remaining loan application prompts

Wells Fargo Graduate Loan

For information on the Wells Fargo Graduate Loan, please see this Disclosure document. To apply for this loan, visit Wells Fargo. Duke Continuing Studies will be required to certify your loan application for the Graduate Loan should you be approved by Wells Fargo.

You will need to enter the following information after clicking on Apply Now in the Before Starting Your Application section:

  • Find a loan for: Graduate School Expenses
  • I am a: Student
  • School state: North Carolina
  • School name: please type Duke University Continuing Education
  • Grade Level: Beyond 3rd Year Graduate
  • Field of Study: Undecided or select Other and type in the field of study
  • Citizenship: Select as appropriate

Duke Hospital Employees

Duke University Hospital employees may be eligible for support from the Employee Development Initiative (EDI), which helps employees pay for short-term career-related programs, workshops, and seminars. For more information, visit the Employee Development Initiative site or call Duke Hospital Human Resources at (919) 668-2170.

Workforce Investment Act

The WIA provides professional and basic skills training services to those who have been unable to find employment. Please keep in mind that this process can be lengthy, so plan to apply well in advance of the program start date.  For more information on eligibility, the application process, or to find your local Workforce Development Board, visit the NC JobLink Career Center website.


AmeriCorps Education Awards are available only for AmeriCorps volunteers and can be used for educational expenses for non-degree courses, such as Continuing Education courses offered by qualified schools. For more information on qualified schools and programs, contact the National Service Trust at 1-800-942-2677, or visit the FAQ page of the AmeriCorps website.

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Policies & Procedures

Refund Policy

Refund and Change Requests must be in writing. To receive a refund, minus a processing fee for each course cancelled, we must receive your written cancellation request at least two weeks prior to the start of the program or course. Should you cancel your registration after you have been given your books and online access, we can only refund the portion of your tuition minus the cost of the books. The books/online access will remain yours. Processing fees are:

  • $20 for course fees under $500
  • $100 for course fees $500 or more

To submit a cancellation request:
Fax: 919-681-8235
Registration - Duke Continuing Studies
Box 90700
Durham, NC 27708-0700

Include your name, address, phone number, and course title to be dropped. Refunds will be made in the manner you paid us.

Refund Policy

There are no refunds for online courses.

Bad Checks

If a check is returned for insufficient funds, we will charge a returned check fee of $35. Checks will not be resubmitted. The replacement payment must include the additional $35 and be in the form of cash, money order, or credit card.

Course is Filled / Waiting List

If a course is already filled, a waiting list is usually available instead. If you are interested in placing your name on the waiting list, follow the checkout instructions to do so. If a space becomes available, a registration staff member will call you and ask if you are still interested. If you are interested, registration staff can take your payment information over the phone and complete your registration at that time.

If We Cancel a Course

Sometimes we have to cancel a course that does not meet minimum enrollment, or due to unforeseen events. If that happens, you will receive a full refund minus the cost of the books and online Learning System. The books/learning system will remain yours. Duke Continuing Studies reserves the right to substitute instructors or change the day a course meets.

Tax Deductions

Course fees and expenses are sometimes tax deductible. Please consult an accountant concerning this matter. Non-credit programs at Duke Continuing Studies do not generate 1098-T forms, in accordance with the following IRS guideline:

Instructions for Forms 1098-E and 1098-T published by the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, states “You do not have to file Form 1098-T or furnish a statement for: Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program…”

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