Digital Event Strategist Certification

The Digital Event Strategist certification is designed to help you effectively plan, produce and measure the results of your live stream and digital engagement events. Earning this certification shows you are the authority on live stream and digital events.
(Course overview below )


Be seen as an authority

on planning and producing effective digital events including livestream sessions.

Learn indispensable skills

that will give you the tools you need to navigate changes in the business events industry.

Help your organization

develop engaging digital events, expand your reach and stay connected with your online audience.


Start by choosing either the live, instructor-led program or the self-paced course.

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Seven Weeks of Instructor-Led Classes

  • Classes meet 11 a.m. to noon Chicago time on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Sessions available on-demand for those unable to join a live class.


Enterprise-pricing is available. Complete the contact form below and we’ll be in touch.


Administered Online

  • Apply after completing all DES lessons (14 clock hours).
  • Exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions about concepts from the DES course lessons.


Candidates are responsible for paying the $34 USD exam proctoring service fee.


On-Demand Learning

  • Study the modules and workbooks at your own pace.
  • Complete the full course within six months of your enrollment date.

Enterprise-pricing is available. Complete the contact form below and we’ll be in touch.


Administered Online

  • Apply after completing all DES lessons (14 clock hours).
  • Exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions about concepts from the DES course lessons.


Candidates are responsible for paying the $34 USD exam proctoring service fee.


Every Two Years

  • Complete 20 new clock hours of digital events content to stay certified.


What is the definition of a digital event and how will this course equip participants with the necessary skills to plan, produce and measure results this type of engagement? In this introductory module, we’ll review how the digital event landscape has evolved and how organizations are finding success by incorporating digital events into their communications mix. We’ll take a holistic look at learning objectives from all of the modules to come, review key definitions and provide tips on how effectively chart a course towards certification including a technical tutorial on the DES platform.

CIC Domain: Strategic Planning

Part 1: From Organizational to Event Strategy
What role does organizational strategy play as the starting point for event strategy? The first part of this module lays the groundwork for understanding how organizations create value, and ultimately change, over long periods of time with clearly defined event strategies as a driving force in the short term. Using a robust case study, we’ll explore how one association defined their organizational strategy and designed a first-time digital event to activate on that strategy.

Ruud Janssen, CMM, DES
Managing Director & Founder, The New Objective Collective
Switzerland based Entrepreneur Ruud Janssen, CMM, DES has been an innovator and practitioner of Marketing in the Hospitality and Meetings & Events Industry since 1994. He is co-founder of Event Model Generation aimed at creating a common language for Meetings & Events. He also the founder and Managing Director of TNOC |The New Objective Collective; a creative collective of visual thinkers, moderators and specialists at the intersection of communication, technology and strategy.

Part 2: Building Digital into your Meeting Strategy
It’s an exciting time in the space with so many available technologies and digital event configuration possibilities. How will you put together the right strategy to be successful? The second part of this module demonstrates how to clearly articulate your digital event strategy in a one page overview the leaders of your organization can buy into. We’ll review the various meeting types and how to align with digital technologies and the resources you’ll need to build your “dream team” including supplier roles.

Debi Scholar, DES
Debi Scholar is a pioneer in the virtual meetings industry using virtual technologies beginning in 1998. She was the first Meeting Director to have included Virtual Meetings under her direction back in 2002 and since, she has become a leading expert in how to effectively drive virtual meeting adoption to reduce travel costs & complement meetings.

In this module you will learn how to define your audience, understand them and know how to connect with them. We will review desired attendee outcome and focus on how people learn online, as understanding your audience’s learning needs will be key to your event’s success. We’ll focus on the desired audience experience and how to leverage engagement using the tools you have available to you. We’ll map out the entire user journey you’ll want your participants to consume while attending your event.

CIC Domain: Meeting or Event Design

Emma King
Partner, beedance

Emma is an Online Digital Media Engagement Strategist who operates as a Senior Executive/Project Manager/Business Consultant. She is a seasoned strategist, consulting with organizations to develop effective engagement practices when delivering video content. Emma possesses extensive “hands-on” digital engagement strategies which enables her to redesign, repurpose & redefine delivery of digital content. She has a proven track record of delivering cutting-edge content and innovative gamification strategies that accelerate growth, increase demand and maximize engagement. She works with Fortune 1000 clients to assist them in the selection of technologies suitable to meet digital business communication needs.

The role of content in event planning has changed dramatically in the past few years and your relationship with your audience is now more dependent on your content than anything else. With this module, we’ll share best practices for content strategy, creation and delivery that will allow you to significantly influence your audience and extend the ROI of your digital events through quality content that can be re-purposed to drive results well after the event ends. We’ll discuss how to collaborate with speakers and effectively crowdsource to curate content around audience need while translating those preferences into effective session design.

CIC Domain: Meeting or Event Design

Sourabh Kothari, DES
Co-founder and CEO, Mindcurrent
For over 15 years Sourabh Kothari has managed teams that drive B2B rich media marketing experiences combining audience targeting, visual storytelling, content marketing and digital engagement for customers, partners and employees across six continents. His teams have won numerous industry awards, produced hundreds of episodic video programs and more than 3,000 webcasts and webinars driving significant pipeline and over a million views on YouTube. But in this constantly evolving landscape he insists he’s just getting started…

How do you get your attendees to engage and interact during your digital and hybrid events? This lesson begins with developing an understanding of what engagement looks like and why it’s vital to your digital experience. We’ll examine specific examples for fostering attendee interaction, what the options of engagement and networking are in various types of digital environments and how they can be successfully implemented.

After completing this lesson, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify ways to analyze the engagement mindset of your event attendees.
  • Discuss engagement expectations of digital participants.
  • Define engagement and how types of engagement differ per event type.

CIC Domain: Meeting or Event Design

Jeff Hurt
CEO – Chief Epiphany Officer, Empowered Epiphanies
Jeff Hurt joined Velvet Chainsaw Consulting in January 2010 and currently serves as Executive Vice President, Education and Engagement. In 2011, he was recognized as the PCMA Educator of the Year and one of BizBash’s top Event Innovators. In 2014, he was recognized as one of the meetings’ industry professional provocateurs and change agents by MeetingsNet and one of the top meetings professionals to follow in Twitter. In 2015, he was listed in Successful Meetings Magazine top 25 most influential people in the meetings industry.

Jeff has worked in leadership roles with five associations, five government organizations and several companies in the education, events and meetings departments, including Meetings Professionals International and Promotional Products Association International, one of the top 50 shows in the industry.

Part 1: The Technology RFP Process
How do you determine the best technology solution for you? In this module, we review the steps required to select the best technology to meet your organization’s needs. We will walk through a five step process from establishing and evaluating your needs, examining the wide spectrum of solutions options from open mobile streaming to robust enterprise platforms, analysis of the various solution to the final vendor selection.

David Stankiewicz, DES
Project Manager, IEEE
David Stankiewicz works as a Project Manager at Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. IEEE is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community through IEEE’s highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities.

For the past 3 years, as a Project Manager for the IEEE Strategic Programs group, David has been a part of a team of event production specialists servicing a global community of technology professionals, conference organizers and meeting planners. Their suite of services includes brainstorming new event paradigms, exploring new audiences, researching new tools, trialing new methodologies, creating highly produced content, elevating IEEE’s event profile, and making it easy for organizers to innovate.

Part 2: Other Elements for Integration
The second part of this module examines the current state of technology, how to use tech to project to manage and collaborate and how to use technology to enhance the engagement and attendee experience.

Will Curran
Founder and Chief Event Einstein, Endless Events

As founder of Endless Events, Will Curran has been named one of the most influential people in the meeting & events industry, one of the 40 under 40 event industry leaders, 35 entrepreneurs under the age of 35, and Inc Magazine’s Coolest College Start-up all before graduating college. Will has been producing events since high school when he started his first company and has now worked in production of large event clients such as Emerald City.

The key outcome to building a monetization strategy is to attract and grow your audience through your brand. Engaging your audience through valuable targeted content, and leveraging your reach and expertise will drive your monetization strategy. Monetization is more than just revenue. We’ll review the range of channel options to facilitate monetization and how to make smart decisions as to what channel[s] work best for your organization. We’ll also explore the ROI opportunities beyond hard dollars and how metrics play an important role in your monetization success.

CIC Domain: Financial Management

Mary Beth Micucci, DES
Digital Event Strategist and Learning and Audience Engagement Specialist, MBM Consulting
Mary Beth Micucci, DES has worked in the digital space over 20 years, providing organizations guidance and management on all aspects of digital events, including needs analysis, strategy, implementation and ROI measurement that accomplishes the organizations’ key goals and business objectives.

As with physical events, the success of digital events is predicated upon efficient project management. In this module, we’ll share examples of detailed project plans and timelines to organize the various moving parts. We’ll examine the skillsets, internal collaborators and outside resources you’re likely to use as you launch your initiative as well as day of responsibilities. This includes a discussion on how to build out an environment that properly represents your brand and fosters interactivity. Technical insights abound. We’ll detail key A/V requirements for digital and hybrid events including cost benchmarks, share expert tips for executing quality production, and demystify tech considerations for streaming, encoding, encryption, and internet testing. Also covered are best practices for finding, vetting and coaching good presenters including legal nuances of speaker contracts for digital events – and engaging sponsor participation and recognition.

CIC Domain: Project Management

Kaila Bongiovanni, DES
Global Director, Digital Events, Sprinklr
Kaila Bongiovanni is an award winning and experienced Marketing professional with significant background building and executing marketing programs for technology companies serving the B2B market. Kaila launched her career in Silicon Valley’s technology and media industry, working for companies such as PC Magazine, Computerworld, CNET and ON24.

A lover of analytics, she’s determined to use the ever growing arsenal of digital tools available to today’s Marketers for a powerful seat at the revenue table.

Joshua Butler
COO, Falcon Events
Joshua began his career as a filmmaker producing both feature and short form documentaries. After a four-year stint as a Station Manager for Community Television, Joshua began applying his skills to the event industry. Joshua spent the next 8 years as the Product Manager of OnlineEvent at Freeman creating quality products that make it easier for companies and associations to enter the Virtual Event space. Now, Joshua is the COO at Falcon Events with a mission to assist businesses big and small with producing Virtual Events with max ROI.

James Newman
Director of IT, Digitell, Inc.
James Newman has been with Digitell, Inc. since 2006. James has served in the role of Director of IT since August 2012. James’s main responsibility is to make sure Digitell has the correct technology available to meet the current and future goals of the company and its clients. From managing the development of Digitell’s webcasting platform, to creating content capture and streaming processes, James ensures that Digitell has the technology necessary to deliver quality services at an affordable price.

Marketing a digital event requires good content, specific skills, engaging techniques, and a careful selection of channels to be able to reach and engage your audience. Remote attendees need dedicated messages and instructions to be effectively guided to attend your event, and there are some particular aspects to take into consideration to be successful in promoting digital events.
In this module, you’ll learn how to create a marketing plan for online events or how to integrate a “traditional” marketing plan with specific objectives, actions and tools related exclusively to the virtual component of a hybrid event.

CIC Domain: Marketing

Stefania Conti-Vecchi, DES
Founder & CEO, EVENTagist
Founder and CEO of EVENTagist and mastermind of the portal, Stefania organizes meetings applying the most innovative strategies and solutions. She works also as a consultant and coach closely with meeting professionals to provide strategies for meetings and events applying the most innovative solutions in each single stage of the organizing process.

She is an event strategist specialized on designing meetings using new technologies and new techniques to get the most out of any event. Her expertise ranges, particularly, on meeting design, hybrid meetings, social media and all the tech-tools that can facilitate the life of a meeting professional and effectively engage participants. Stefania speaks at international conferences, trade shows and training courses all around the world.

Now that you have all your strategies in place, you’ll want to ensure you measure the impact of each. A wealth of metrics and analytics are available through the various virtual event platforms, and this module examines how those tools can be used to measure and report activity to stakeholders, sponsors, speakers and your organization’s leadership. We’ll explore the basic elements of measuring levels of engagement and ROI, and how and when to use simple traffic reports vs. more robust, supplemental data. You’ll learn how you can use your data to continuously improve your future events.

CIC Domain: Strategic Planning


By completing the DES program, DEI-certified individuals will have gained the highest-level of proficiency and achievement within the digital events industry. DES certification imparts several advantages:

  • Improve Skills: Get the skills you need to excel in live stream and digital shows. You’ll learn to extend and increase the value of your events and initiatives.
  • Industry Recognition: DES designation demonstrates your professional expertise, knowledge and experience – and your commitment to professional development.
  • Career Advancement: You’ll be uniquely qualified to lead your organization into the future. The certification validates your capabilities to plan, build, design and execute successful digital engagements and environments, opening new career opportunities within your organization and the larger meetings, events, conventions, exhibitions and learning industries.
  • Peer Recognition: DES certification demonstrates your commitment to the industry and will be instantly recognized by your peers.
  • Professional Growth: The DES program keeps you current on all digital technologies and techniques available to augment physical programs and launch online programs.
  • Produce Results: Drive the digital event initiatives for your organization empowered by the DES certification knowledge, tools and resources.

The DES certification program is a three-part process including professional experience, an online learning program, and a final exam.

  • Application: Each DES candidate will complete an application affirming a specific level of professional experience required to sit for the certification exam. Candidates may submit prior and ongoing learning courses and continuing education units (CEUs) toward their qualification for the certification. Twenty-five hours of qualifying education must be completed to be eligible to take the exam.
  • Online Learning Program: The DES Online Learning Program is a 10-module course in digital event planning and production, and covers the key “areas of focus” to be found on the exam. Applicants earn CEU credits with each course for a total of 14 hours of digital event training.
  • DES Exam: Once a DES candidate has met the prerequisites he/she is qualified to take the exam. The examination is composed of multiple choice questions based on content from the Online Learning Program. After you have submitted your complete application (including fees) and your credentials and CEUs have been verified, we will forward you the proctor and ethics statements documents. Once we receive these documents back from you we will work closely with you to schedule your online exam.

To qualify for the DES credentials, a candidate must demonstrate the following:

  • Applicant must be currently or recently (within 12 months) working in events, meetings, marketing, conventions or learning industries.
  • Applicant must have three year’s experience in events, meetings, marketing, conventions, or learning industries or be a member of a professional association in one of the above fields – such as PCMA, MPI, IAEE, ASAE, AMA, CEMA, etc.
  • Applicant must have experience in various virtual and digital environments. Experience may include attending, producing or exhibiting in online events or meetings.
  • Applicant must have completed (or will complete) 25 clock hours worth of digital-related continuing education in 10 key “areas of focus” within 12 months of application. Programming may include online and/or onsite education programs through the Digital Experience Institute or other as approved by DEI.

Note: While event planning and management certification demonstrates an individual’s high standard of professional achievement within the meeting, event, convention and exhibition industries, DEI recognizes the unique attributes required of digital event strategists. As such, there are no exceptions to the DES program prerequisites. Digital-related CEUs earned in the process of achieving the meeting or event-planning certification may qualify for use toward the DES prerequisites, if they’re approved by DEI and within the stated time frame.

Right now. The self-paced course is always available for immediate access to modules upon successful registration.

Live online courses are scheduled throughout the year.

Re-certification will require 20 clock hours of “new” virtual/digital-related continuing education programs, with an average of 10 clock hours per year. Programming may include online and/or onsite education programs through the Digital Experience Institute or other event management organizations as approved by DEI. Need more CEUs? Visit the On-demand library.

The Digital Event Strategist program is supported by


Event marketers who want to measure digital event ROI.

Corporate planners hosting digital stakeholder meetings.

Association event and meetings professionals planning virtual exhibits.

Freelancers who desire the technical skills to produce hybrid events.

Event sales team members who want to better understand their clients.

  • My company had just started talking about digital events, and I wanted to have the tools at my fingertips before decisions were made. Signing up was a benefit to my company and also a strategic move for my career.”

    Gayle Patterson Withers Director of Events, Law School Admission Council
  • DES was so much more than I expected both in terms of content, value and resources. I can see why so many companies use the DES certification as a criteria to evaluate a vendors commitment to digital education. I am confident my DES certification will continue to add value to my career long after I print the certification.”

    Michael Sullivan Director of Client Services, Vector Health
  • PCMA's DES course has such incredible ongoing resources, and you will learn so much. I believe it saved my job as I'm able to pivot to fully digital events in these trying times.”

    Caitlin Hume Director of Events, Kindred, New York
  • Receiving my DES Certification gave me the insight, knowledge and with that the confidence to speak to C-Suite Stakeholders and to effectively plan, produce and measure Digital Events for my clients with great success. The DES Course provided the tools, mapped out the formula and as long as you apply it, you too will be producing successful digital events in no time.

    Kyle Smith Information Systems Manager, Conference Consultancy South Africa


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