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CSEP Steps

The Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation is the only certification that signifies broad knowledge across all facets of the special events industry. It conveys credibility and a competitive edge when marketing or soliciting business. Preparation for and maintenance of the CSEP designation contributes to the industry's overall knowledge base, removes performance uncertainty for clients and opens market opportunities.

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  • Vested interest in maintaining a set of core competencies across the industry

  • Broad breadth of knowledge and understanding of the event elements required to produce a successful live event

  • Able to assemble and manage an event team

  • Able to lead strategic conversations internally and externally with a general project and event management skill set and understanding of risk management best practices

  • Uphold ILEA’s Standards of Professional Conduct and Ethics

  • Sound understanding of the skills required to have strategic conversations at the management level and apply critical thinking to the full event process


    Qualified Candidates for the CSEP Exam will have:

  • Minimum five (5) years of proven full-time practical experience in the events industry.

    • Applicants with five or more years of industry experience are required to submit a resume/CV or letter from employer(s) documenting their industry experience.

  • ​If a candidate has less than 5 years of industry experience, they are required to submit a resume/CV or letter from employer(s) documenting their industry experience AND one additional supplemental document. This document can include:​

    • ​​Official or unofficial transcript, copy of relevant Degree/Certificate, or signed letter from faculty certifying the completion of the program on official letterhead.

    • ​​​A letter of recommendation from a current and active CSEP clearly stating the candidate’s suitability for the CSEP program.




Step 1

Create an account at

Step 2

Complete & purchase the CSEP application

  • ​CSEP application and examination fee total $700 ($350 application fee; $350 exam fee) *Total fee is due upon application submission (starting March 2024)

  • Documentation required for application submission is based on years of industry experience:

  • Please see previous column for required documents based on your experience.

Step 3

Schedule your Exam

  • ​The Candidate will receive email instructions for signing into and scheduling the CSEP exam in Meazure, our online testing platform. Candidates have 90 days from application approval to schedule their exam. Login credentials for MEazure are the same as your credentials.

The CSEP Exam is now offered online only via Meazure for 365-days per year. Some blackout dates may apply. It consists of 115 multiple-choice questions. The time limit is 150 minutes. The exam passing score is 74.77%.

Applications take 5-10 business days to be reviewed, so we strongly encourage submitting well ahead of your desired test date.  ILEA cannot control or guarantee the availability of desired attempt dates/times.




​Special events don't come with textbooks. The Exam Blueprint is a great way to assess your current skill level.  Many current CSEPs have recommended reviewing this list with a highlighter in hand.  Highlight those line items that you are comfortable with.  Whatever is left, take time to review by using the resources below. 


The Industry Glossary is a list of terms and definitions published by the Events Industry Council.​


A curated recommended reading list, hand-picked from references from the CSEP Exam.

ILEA is held to an education standard that is based off the ILEA Core Curriculum.  By attending these events, you are exposed to different education opportunities. Connect with ILEA at Industry Events.


Because this is an experience based exam, the best way to prepare is to gain more industry experience.  If you are looking to expand your knowledge base, try talking to your fellow industry members about their jobs, work for free, shadow them on an event. Those thinking about taking the CSEP exam are welcome to reach out to their local ILEA Chapter to ask questions of any current CSEPs.

Join the Interested Candidates Facebook group!


Prepare for the exam experience with one practice exam that allows you to simulate your upcoming CSEP testing experience and understand your domain-level strengths and areas of improvement.


Each exam attempt is $350. There is a mandatory 30-day waiting period between attempts.  If you do not pass the exam, contact for steps on how to retake the exam. 


Exams must be booked and taken within 180 days of exam retake release.

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