SmithBucklin, a 100 percent employee-owned association management company, is looking for Conference Leads to join our Events Team in Chicago and in Washington, DC. The Conference Lead is accountable for leading the overall delivery of meetings and events for a group of clients within a specified portfolio. The Conference Lead acts as a meeting and event specialist and develops and implements meeting and event components of event strategy and delivery. This role is accountable and responsible for meeting and event project management, financial management, team management and oversight of all aspects of meeting and event delivery for assigned clients.
Key focus areas and activities for the Conference Lead role include:
Strategy Support: The Conference Lead supports the Event Director in developing and implementing convention aspects of event strategy.
Develops event strategies, solutions and innovations that are tailored and relevant to client needs to support the overall event strategy and achievement of event outcomes.
Supports future year site selection strategy, confirms venue ability to deliver on client event specifications and develops recommendations with support of Event Directors in presenting recommendations to clients.
Event Management: The Conference Lead is responsible for planning, managing delivery of the financials on all aspects of conventions including coordination of the event project plan, Event schedule, registration, housing, meeting space management, general session production, food and beverage, audio/visual, supplier management, special events, and all aspects of on-site event preparation and delivery.
Develops and manages cross-unit project plan and Event Schedule of Events including end-to-end logistical management of conventions, conducts planning meetings and site visits for the event team.
Manages convention project scope, identifying issues and developing contingency plans.
Proactively communicates project status, program deadlines, identifying any areas of concern and addresses issues to ensure convention outcomes are met.
Manages financials including developing budgets, tracking against budget and forecast and overseeing ongoing monthly financial reconciliation and final billing.
Determines Housing plan and blocks, oversees housing dashboard for ongoing tracking and reporting to track performance, takes actions to address housing trends as needed.
Develops meeting space floor plan and assigns meeting space.
Partners with Education and Marketing to design and develop general session programming and staging
Creates food and beverage plans, grid and specifications while ensuring accurate BEOs and F&B guarantees.
Oversees Audio Visual requirements and vendor analysis, selects vendor and negotiates contracts.
Oversees third party supplier needs (DMC, temporary staffing, transportation, housing, registration) and coordination, leads RFP processes and ensures high quality supplier relationships and service delivery.
Manages all aspects of special events and networking sessions.
Manages volunteer event planning committees and communications
Manages and oversees all aspects for on-site preparation and delivery including staff travels plans, creation of on-site requirements and support documentation, VIP management, risk management
Registration oversight, including budgeting, set-up of registration, financial management, on-site registration, and oversight of registration support team.
Contributes to overall team success by identifying problems and proactively seeking out methods to improve self-performance and/or efficiency of an operation or task.
Facilitates continuous communication between SmithBucklin units, clients, attendees and suppliers to meet the needs of client organizations.
Manages weekly event Reporting dashboard to client
Technical Competencies: Industry and position specific skills
Excellent knowledge of meeting and event industry terminology and comprehensive knowledge of meeting and event planning, trade show and registration processes. Demonstrates expertise in meeting planning, housing and registration management.
Experience with international meetings and events a plus.
Proficiency with basic computer programming, including the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).
Strong communication skills to present and guide decision making of committees and ability to negotiate successfully on behalf of the client
Certification in Event Management or related professional certification is highly preferred.
A strong understanding of union and labor requirements in different states and destinations.
Familiarity with venues, facilities, convention centers and convention city hotel packages throughout the country.
Understanding of hotel contract terms and conditions
Financial and Project Management
Budget management, developing a budget with assumptions, and forecasting
Project management experience to include meeting deadlines on time and on budget.
Achieves favorable financial results through strong negotiation skills
5+ years of event management experience
ability to travel up to 20%, possibly both domestic and international (travel may include weekends)
Provides added value beyond immediate requests; goes above and beyond.
Anticipates and addresses needs and concerns.
Takes accountability; reviews own work and the work of others for accuracy and thoroughness.
Drive for Results Takes accountability and accepts responsibility for the outcomes of group efforts.
Pushes self & others for results.
Identifies and uses relevant information when making assessments and decisions.
Connects the dots; brings ideas and experiences from one situation to another.
Approaches problems from different perspectives.
Acts without having the total picture; comfortably handles uncertainty.
Allocates and manages resources (e.g. people, financial) to meet business priorities; demonstrates
Knowledge of how team/unit contributes to overall goals.
Accurately estimates own and others' resources required to complete tasks and activities; clarifies roles, monitors budget and others' workload/availability.
Assesses project status, identifies risks and issues, and takes the necessary steps for remediation
Uses own and others meeting time effectively.
Possesses strong financial management skills including budgeting, forecasting and analysis; can explain, present and influence financial based viewpoints and counterpoints.
Provides guidance and coaches others on revenue, expense and financial management practices.
Assists and involves others proactively; shares all relevant information.
Seeks, includes and respects different ideas and perspectives from others.
Consistently works well with a variety of different people.
Reads and relates to others.
Communicates effectively up, down, sideways, internally and externally; adjusts style and approach as necessary.
Conveys information in a manner that engages others and helps them understand and retain the message; reinforces as needed.
Communicates complex information clearly; breaks down and cascades as appropriate.
Writes in a straightforward, logical and comprehensive, yet concise manner.
Deals with conflict independently; acts in a professional and constructive manner.
Appropriately involves the right people at the right time.
Looks at the situation from both viewpoints; focuses on the problem, not the other person.
Proactively shares own knowledge and expertise to improve the contribution of others.
Identifies appropriate tasks to delegate to others and provides sufficient instruction and support.
Provides timely, specific and objective feedback on performance; seeks counsel from manager when necessary.
Is respectful and discreet; maintains confidentiality of others' performance information.