Conferences and Events Manager

National Association of State Procurement Officials - Lexington, KY (30+ days ago)

JOB TITLE: Conferences and Events Manager

EMPLOYER: National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO)

DEPARTMENT: Conferences and Events

REPORTS TO: Chief Conferences and Events Officer

SUMMARY: The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) is recruiting for a Conferences and Events Manager. This position is responsible for the five stages of the event planning process – research, design, planning, coordination, and evaluation – for a wide variety of large and smaller scale strategic events and special projects that support the organization’s mission. This position collaborates with NASPO staff and members to plan and implement all conferences and events, including but not limited to Annual Conference, NASPO Exchange, Regional Conferences, REACH Conference, Executive Leadership Academy, State Procurement Law Institute, Stakeholder Round Table, State Training Coordinators Conference, Academic Forum, and Incoming Leaders Meeting.

Under the direction of the Chief Conferences and Events Officer, this position will work with NASPO leadership, staff and association members/committees to conceptualize, plan, implement, manage, and evaluate successful association-wide events. The Conferences and Events Manager works across all NASPO divisions managing all event details, including but not limited to planning, programming, session design, speakers and talent, marketing, registration, lodging and facilities, food services, technology, procurement and contracts, and transportation, parking, and security for all NASPO conferences and events. This position requires strong fiscal responsibility to manage event budgets and negotiate contracts while establishing productive vendor relationships. This position also requires strong working relationships across the association to manage event scheduling and all event resources and processes. This position will supervise conference and event coordinators, vendors and subcontractors, and event volunteers, and serves as a resource to NASPO staff and members who plan and support programmatic events.

Works collaboratively with NASPO’s Executive Management team to develop strategic goals, objectives, and performance metrics for each conference or event.
Works collaboratively with the Research and Innovation (R&I) team to design needs assessments to determine program content (i.e., procurement issues, challenges, trends, hot topics, and other related subject matter). Works with the R&I team, Conference Planning Committees and Track Subcommittees to drive program content and identify subject matter experts to serve as speakers, facilitators, panelists, and trainers.
Works collaboratively with the Learning Solutions team to determine the appropriate learning strategy related to program design and delivery on the various topics and subjects. Leans on the Learning Solutions team to create wrap-around training, professional development, and CEU opportunities for conference participants.
Works collaboratively with Conference Planning Committees and Track Subcommittees to develop the conference sessions. This involves creating, preparing, and distributing meeting schedules, agendas, supporting documents, and post-meeting notes highlighting meeting discussions, action items, and next steps. This may involve developing talking points for committee chairs and vice chairs, upon request.
Identifies the criteria for the event site selection, develops an event RFP, evaluates incoming proposals, prepares a facility comparison grid, reviews hotel and venue contracts, conducts site inspections, and negotiates terms and conditions with the selected facility. This may also involve working with external contractors and vendors that specialize in site selections.
Prepares event plans and summaries, develops and monitors project timelines, and manages the conferences and events budgets. Monitors contracts and billing/invoicing charges for all conferences and events.
Manages all conference and event logistics, including but not limited to venues, caterers, speakers, exhibitors/vendors, security, technical equipment, entertainment, off-site activities, decorations, marketing and outreach, registration websites, program apps, and program materials.
Works collaboratively with the Creative Services team to develop the event communications plan, event theme and branding, emcee script and talking points, website development, registration services, program app, and collateral materials. This may also involve working with external contractors.
Works collaboratively with the Information and Technology team on systems, tools, and technology solutions to support conferences and events. This may also involve working with external contractors as the Chief Information Officer deems appropriate.
Works collaboratively with the Contract and Financial Services team to contract with vendors and suppliers, i.e., hotels, transportation, speakers, talent, music, audio-visual and event production, exhibit decorators, event insurance, etc. Emphasis should be made to support NASPO’s LLC (ValuePoint) and Lead State portfolios in contracting with external vendors and suppliers.
Manages the hotel and/or venue contract, including but not limited to food and beverage minimums, room block commitments and cut-off dates, space assignments, audio/visual support, and overflow properties, if needed.
Conducts speaker and panel preparation webinars. Solicits program content, slides, and materials for the conference app. Ensures that speakers and panelists are supported with the appropriate audio/visual equipment. Serves as the On-site Production Manager, ensuring that the program agenda and schedule of events are kept on time.
Oversees the entire event production, from set-up to tear-down, including the supervision of event contractors, participation in pre-con meeting, and managing the rehearsal/dry-run. Manages all on-site logistics throughout the duration of the event.
Prepares a final report for each conference or event that summarizes the event highlights; evaluation feedback from attendees, committee members, and NASPO staff; recommendations to improve the program planning, content, and event logistics; and reconciliation of revenue and expenses.
Serves in a listening position on NASPO’s Regional Councils (Western, Midwestern, Southern, and Eastern) to gain an appreciation for and understanding of their strategic priorities, challenges, and opportunities. The information gleaned will help frame the goals and objectives for the Regional Conferences and the biennial REACH Conference.
Works collaboratively with peers, often serving as co-lead or manager of a significant component of each other’s programs and conferences, such as the supplier and state one-on-one scheduling, networking activities, off-site function, CARES activity, and so on. Serves as on-site support at all NASPO conferences, meetings, and events.
Manages special projects and other duties as assigned. This may also involve overseeing the scoping, analysis, and implementation effort for conference and event software, tools, and technologies.

Directly supervises Conferences and Events Coordinators in the Conferences and Events division.
Supervises event staff and volunteers throughout the duration of the event.
Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints; and resolving problems.

Bachelor’s degree required in Business Administration, Marketing, Communications or related field. Education may be substituted for certifications and/or years of experience in the meeting planning industry.
Minimum five (5) years direct, paid, full-time experience planning, designing, and implementing conferences and events.
Minimum five (5) years direct conference and event planning experience in a governmental, non-profit, or educational setting.
Minimum five (5) years supervisory experience of professional event planning staff.

Project Management – Requires deep project management skills including forecasting, planning, communication skills, problem solving, budgeting, leading volunteer committees and organizing teams. Proven ability to manage multiple projects at a time; and strong ability to set priorities, solve problems and be resourceful and diplomatic under pressure.

Problem Solving – Must be creative, enthusiastic, focused, disciplined, diplomatic, calm under pressure, have an ability to produce quality work, set and meet deadlines, and possess innate problem-solving skills.

Teamwork – Must be highly creative and a positive, contributing leader and team member. Exhibits confidence in self and others; inspires and motivates others to perform well; effectively influences actions and opinions of others; accepts feedback from others; and gives appropriate recognition to others.

Initiative – Volunteers readily; undertakes self-development activities; seeks increased responsibilities; takes independent actions and calculated risks; looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; and asks for and offers help when needed.

Communication – Requires excellent verbal and written communication skills including experience writing and editing proposals, delivering staff and volunteer instructions, and reviewing contracts.

Programming – Coordinates with the Chief Conferences and Events Officer, NASPO staff and committee members to determine program content, script, call to action, and attendee take-away materials.

Delegation – Provides support, training and guidance to staff and volunteers assisting with the event. Delegates work assignments; matches the responsibility to the person; gives authority to work independently; sets expectations and monitors delegated activities; and provides recognition for results.

Customer Service – Ability to maintain a strong customer service orientation to internal and external constituents.

Networking – Ability to work effectively with administrators and executive level community partners, as well as people at all levels of the organization.

Creativity – Ability to produce and implement creative and effective event concepts and themes on time and within budget. Works within approved budget; develops and implements cost saving measures; contributes to profits and revenue; and conserves organizational resources.

Innovation – Displays original thinking and creativity; meets challenges with resourcefulness; generates suggestions for improving work; develops innovative approaches and ideas; and presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others’ attention.

Service Culture – Eye for detail and a passion for the mission of the association and service to our members.

Dependability – Ability to work core business hours as well as after hours for events. Serves as the main point of contact on-site during special events including trouble shooting as needed.

Interpersonal Skills – Ability to communicate effectively with a broad range of diverse people, ability, culture, ethnic background, to maintain good working relationships across the association and our membership.

Professionalism – Ability to work with all groups in a diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic background of staff, membership, strategic partners, including those with disabilities.

Judgment – Displays willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; includes appropriate people in decision-making process; and makes timely decisions.

Office Skills – Must demonstrate proficiency with Microsoft Office products.

Occasionally required to stand
Occasionally required to walk
Continually required to sit
Continually required to utilize hand and finger dexterity
Continually required to talk or hear
Continually utilize visual acuity to operate equipment, read technical information, and/or use a keyboard
Occasionally required to lift/move up to 25 pounds
Air travel and overnight stay will be required

The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or physical requirements. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.