"Focus on making a contribution rather than on making a career."

-Brian Stovall, Allen Event Center

"The view is always better from the high road."

-Paul Turner, CFE, AT&T Stadium

"Fancy carpet and trendy art do not bring customers back ... a great experience does!"

-Bryan Chatterton, Sacramento Convention Center

"Another day in paradise."

-Allen Johnson, Orlando Venues

Enhanced patron experiences + loyal partners + enthusiastic employees = Stronger Business”

-Steve Hevern, Sydney Entertainment Centre

“The show is not confirmed until the artist goes on stage and stays.”

-Michael Marion, CFE, Verizon Arena

“It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit.”

-Eric D. Hart, CFE, Tampa Sports Authority

“What you allow is what will continue.”

-Stephanie Curran, Spokane Convention Center and INB Performing Arts Center

“Never try to teach a pig to fly.  You’re wasting your time and you’re annoying the pig.”

-John Rhamstine, CFE, Seven Venues

“High-performance teams succeed through leadership, communication and balance of purpose.”

-Mark Gnatovic, SearchWide

“Our Benchmark is to provide Excellent Quality and Service by retention of staff.”

-Joe Floreano, CFE, Rochester Riverside Convention Center

“The customer experience is at the heart of everything we do.”

-Brian Morris, CFE, Melbourne & Olympic Parks

“Success is not permanent and failure is not fatal so get the hell out there and just TRY!”

-Karen Totaro, CFE, Atlantic City Convention Center

“You are who you surround yourself with…hire wisely.”

-Karen Totaro, CFE, Atlantic City Convention Center

“You can do anything as long as you have the right people, a great plan and the right equipment.”

-Paul Cramer, CFE, Classic Center

You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

-Kim Bedier, CFE (via Dr. Seuss), City of Tacoma Public Assembly Facilities

“When faced with a choice, do what would make your mother proud.”

-Kevin Mattingly, Phoenix Convention Center & Venues

Certified Facilities Executive (CFE)

Earning your CFE acknowledges you as well-versed in all areas of venue management, invested in your own professional growth and the growth of others, and dedicated to the advancement of the venue industry as a whole. Your CFE also provides:

Increased Marketability

A Certified Facilities Executive is highly regarded as an elite level candidate among hiring professionals in our industry.
 
Attaining your CFE sets you apart from the competition, whether your goal is to move from a small-market to a large-market venue, take on new challenges inside your current organization, or expand your earning potential.

Growth

Attaining your CFE will require you to obtain and maintain competency in all areas of venue management.
 
Recertification is required every three years, so you’ll keep up with industry trends and technologies and stay at the forefront of our ever-changing industry.

Confidence

A CFE title assures clients in our very competitive industry that they can be confident you and your team are well prepared to consistently deliver exceptional events.

Can I Become a CFE?

IAVM Members, Non-members and Allied Members may apply for this certification.

How Do I Become a CFE?

Our One-Minute CFE Guide is a starting-place for young professionals mapping out their career path and acts as a guide for seasoned managers to evaluate past experiences to determine whether their accumulative industry involvement qualifies them to apply for their CFE. Preparation for your CFE typically requires at least 7 to 10 years of industry experience and significant involvement in the association. CFEs hold the top two positions within a venue or organization with titles including CEO, President, Executive Director, General Manager, or Senior Management and are active in the industry as leaders and innovators.
 
In addition to your years spent in venue management, the following required professional activities include:
  • Degree/s from an Accredited College or University
  • Continuing Education, Conference, and Professional Program Attendance
  • Intensive Continuing Education – Leadership Training
  • Teaching, Public Speaking, and Mentoring
  • Association Volunteer and Committee Participation
  • Publication Contributions and Authoring Industry Articles
  • Professional Association Boards and Community Service Involvement
 
The above areas of expertise are rated by a point system, and a total minimum of 300 points are required before a CFE application will be accepted. Once you’ve reached your goal, there are four steps to attaining your CFE Certification.

FOUR STEPS TO CERTIFICATION

Step One: Application– Professional Development and Service

The annual deadline for receiving completed applications is November 1.
 
Submit the CFE application with attachments outlining: your education, experience, program participation, publications, and professional and community activities. References are required, as well as commitment to the IAVM Code of Ethics.
 
The application fee is US$150 ($200 non-members). Applications and all accompanying material must be received by November 1. A check or credit card payment in the corresponding amount, payable to the International Association of Venue Managers must accompany the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
 

STEP TWO: WRITTEN ESSAY

A written essay must be completed outlining the candidate’s knowledge of facility management. Detailed instructions concerning the essay structure and content can be found in the CFE Information Packet.
 
Written essays must be received at IAVM HQ by February 1.
 

Step Three: WRITTEN EXAMINATION

Individuals whose applications and essays are accepted will move into Step Three – the written examination. Candidates receive written notification from the Certification Board that they will be allowed to sit for the written examination. The examination covers basic knowledge regarding the operation of public assembly facilities, including arenas, stadiums, convention centers, and performing arts centers.
Individuals who pass the written examination will be required to sit for an oral interview by a panel of Certification Board members. The oral interview panel will evaluate the candidate’s knowledge of a series of industry topics that probe professional experience, management philosophy, professional contributions, and overall management of public assembly facilities, including arenas, stadiums, convention centers, and performing arts venues. The oral interview panel will also evaluate the candidate’s ability to articulate those points. The panel will consider the above criteria to determine whether the candidate passes the oral interview.
 
A list of suggested study materials for the CFE written examination, as well as entrance to the digital study manual and group, is available from the IAVM Headquarters.
 

Step Four: The Oral Interview

Individuals who pass the written examination will be required to sit for an oral interview by a panel of Certification Board members. The oral interview panel will evaluate the candidate’s knowledge of a series of industry topics that probe professional experience, management philosophy, professional contributions, and overall management of public assembly facilities, including arenas, stadiums, convention centers, and performing arts venues. The oral interview panel will also evaluate the candidate’s ability to articulate those points. The panel will consider the above criteria to determine whether the candidate passes the oral interview.
 
Renewal
Certified Facilities Executives must renew every three years in order to maintain their certification. The Certification Board has established this requirement under the rationale that maintaining competency in the field of public assembly facility management requires continuing professional development through activities such as continuing education programs, teaching and program planning, writing and publishing, and community service. Renewal demonstrates your continued dedication to stay up-to-date with the changing public assembly facility management profession, and it's an important indicator that shows your dedication to your profession and industry by continuing your education and maintaining your certification. In addition, renewal is a process necessary to maintain the standards of the certification program.
 
CFEs must submit their application for renewal and fee three years after the January 1 that immediately follows their earning the designation. For instance, CFEs who earned the designation in July 2011 are required to submit a new application for renewal by January 1, 2015, and then every three years following.
 
CFE Retired
The Certification Board has approved a “CFE retired” status. A CFE, upon retirement from the industry, is certified for life. No further action is necessary except to notify the IAVM office. The recertification requirement, combined with the rigorous selection process the Certification Board has developed for certification, ensures that your CFE designation continues to be an acknowledged mark of your professional status among public assembly facility executives.
 
Background
IAVM began the Certified Facilities Executive (CFE) program in 1976 to recognize excellence in the professional development and competence of managers of public assembly facilities. The program has undergone continuous modification to ensure fairness and objective measurement of candidates' qualification for the designation. In 1993, a new qualification phase was added to the program: successful completion of a written exam. Certification Board members are closely evaluating the validity of the exam, and in future years, objective measurement of candidates' knowledge and skills will increase in significance. In 1994, the Certification Board added a recertification requirement for CFEs to maintain the Certified Facilities Executive designation. Every three years, CFEs are required to submit evidence of continuing education and professional development. In 1995, the Certification Board approved a "Retired CFE" status, which was updated in 2004 stating that CFEs who have retired and notified the Certification Administrator in writing of their retirement will not be required to meet recertification requirements and may use the designation “CFE Retired.”
 
The basic purpose of the voluntary certification program is to provide additional incentive for professional improvement in public assembly facility management, to assure recognition for those who attain certain specific standards, and to lead toward development of a full professional status in the field of public assembly facility management.
 
It is not the purpose of the certification program to determine who shall or shall not engage in the management of public assembly facilities. It is recognized that there are many who are successfully engaged in public assembly facility management who are not interested in applying for certification. The primary purpose is to encourage professional development and to recognize achievement.
 
MORE INFORMATION

How to Become a CFE – FREE Webinar
View the "How to Become a CFE" webinar, presented by the Board of Governors, to find out more about earning your CFE.

Contact Us
Contact the IAVM team at (972) 906-7441 or email certification@iavm.org.
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