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Association Update

ARA Develops Certification Program

The American Rental Association aims to raise the professionalism of the party and event rental industry by creating a Certified Event Rental Professional designation program.

ARA director of education Maureen Conway says party rental professionals will earn CERP certification by accumulating 25 qualifying points through continuing and formal education, industry experience and awards. Certification also will require completion of two self-study modules-Foundations and Storage, and Warehousing and Delivery. Beginning in the fall, both modules will be available on CD-ROM or the ARA Web site.

"After you complete the two self-study modules and the ARA verifies your 25 points," Conway says, "you complete your choice of one of eight specialty courses to gain the CERP designation."

The eight areas of specialties are tenting; sound and visual effects; flooring, risers and staging; linens; tabletop products and design; electrical power and lighting; decor, props and themes; and games, concessions and emerging markets.

The CERP program begins this fall. Rental professionals can complete the course in less than one year, the association says.

Contact: ARA, 1900 19th St., Moline, IL 61265; 800/334-2177; Web site:

ISES CPD 2000 to Capture the 'Spirit' The International Special Events Society has scheduled its Conference for Professional Development 2000 for Aug. 5-8 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

The curriculum will feature top industry professionals in the following tracks: The Spirit of Events-a series of seminars that will revisit the basics and review current trends; The Spirit of Excellence-seminars and workshops to prepare special event professionals for accreditation, plus a comprehensive and inclusive overview of the Certified Special Events Professional program and exam; The Spirit of Success-a business track designed to provide administrative and management skills; and The Spirit of Leadership-designed to provide CEOs with strategies to take their companies to the top of the industry. The latter includes an all-day intensive workshop on project management.

ISES executive director Nancy Rainey, CAE, says CPD 2000 will include many social functions. Attendees can join in a powwow at the sacred Ventana Plateau and enjoy a Western-themed dinner in the canyon hills of Tombstone Territory. Robert Sivek, CSEP, of Elmhurst, Ill.-based The Meetinghouse Companies, will be installed as ISES president.

The sixth annual Esprit Awards will be the highlight of a reception and dinner, according to Rainey. The awards celebrate the creativity and professionalism of individuals and companies that create memorable events.

"CPD 2000 offers special event professionals the chance to meet some of the best and most creative minds in the industry," Rainey says.

To register or find out more about CPD 2000, turn to the eventworld insert on page 18f or contact ISES at 9202 N. Meridian, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46260; 800/262-4495, ext. 123, or 317/571-5601; Web site:

SITE University Examines E-Business The Society of International Travel Executives will host its University of the Americas June 25-29 at the Marriott Camelback Inn Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

SITE director of communications Maureen Mangan says the university will focus on two issues at the core of the travel industry-technology's impact on business decisions, and methods to enhance performance achievement in the workplace.

The educational curriculum will consist of plenary sessions and workshops. One session will show attendees how to take advantage of e-commerce opportunities instead of looking at the Internet as a serious competitor, as many incentive industry members do, Mangan says.

University registration fees are $525 for SITE members, $575 for associates (those employed in a firm with a SITE member) and $625 for nonmembers.

Contact: SITE, 21 W. 38th St., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10018; 212/575-0910; Web site:

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