Director, Conference and Event Services

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POST DATE 9/8/2016
END DATE 10/8/2016

University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor, MI
AJE Ref #
Job Classification
Full Time
Job Type
Company Ref #
Entry Level (0 - 2 years)


How to Apply Please apply at Job Opening ID - 131029 Posting Available through 10/4/2016 A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. Job Summary Department Summary The University of Michigan is seeking applications and nominations for the Director of Conference and Event Services. This position includes a campus-wide approach to conferences and events, including summer conferences, and events in multiple facilities across campus. The Director will lead the Conferences & Events department to be the recognized University resource for conferences & events; to develop plans to aggressively seek and grow conference related business, including catering sales generated for Michigan Dining; to manage services in a consistent professional manner; and to standardize a high level of guest experience across all meeting, event, and guest spaces. The University of Michigan is unmatched for its student life capital improvements. Since 2004 the University has implemented an aggressive housing and dining facility renewal program called Residential Life Initiatives. Approximately $800 million in residence hall, apartment, and dining construction and renovation has been completed. In addition, the University recently approved $175 million in construction and renovation for unions and recreation facilities. Planning is underway for an $85 million renovation to the iconic Michigan Union. The Pierpont Commons recently completed a $5 million renovation to its main dining area. Student Life Auxiliary Overview Student Life is committed to student learning and the development of the whole student in a diverse campus community. Through its programs, services, facilities and partnerships, Student Life facilitates students' transformation and enriches their education. Student Life auxiliary and quasi-auxiliary operations including Capital Projects, Conferences and Events, Marketing, Michigan Dining, Recreational Sports, University Unions, University Housing, and various Student Life functions, such as retail space leasing, entertainment contracting, sustainability initiatives, and emergency planning. The Director fills a key leadership role within Student Life and the auxiliary organization. The Student Life auxiliary organization endeavors to be student focused and financially assertive, requiring the ability of its leadership to fulfill the Student Life mission while managing entrepreneurial and business-savvy enterprises. Job Summary The Director is responsible for the overall success of Conferences and Event Services, leads a department of approximately 20 full-time staff, and manages a $2.2 million operating budget, which generates over $12 million in combined auxiliary revenue. Reporting to the Senior Director, University Unions and Auxiliary Services, the Director of Conference and Event Services provides visionary leadership, supervision, and management for a campus conference program positioned for continued significant growth. Recent and planned major renovations to Housing, Recreation, and Union facilities provide an excellent opportunity for increasing the number of conferences sponsored on-campus and improving the conference experience for attendees. Capitalizing on the strong brand of the University of Michigan allows for strong recruitment of potential clients looking to host a conference at a world class university. A key responsibility of this position will be to develop a prospecting and sales plan and staff culture. Responsibilities Strategic Planning and Leadership (20') Articulate a vision for Campus Conferences and Events that will inspire staff and propel Michigan to become a national leader in college and university conferences and event management. Develop a strategic plan for the organization that aligns with the vision and includes an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to conferences and events, while also supporting the day to day needs of students, faculty and staff in using campus managed facilities. Provide leadership and direction for all conference and event related services within Student Life. Develop new initiatives and seek additional business to drive revenue growth in all areas. Elevate the visibility of the department on campus as the institutional expert and resource regarding conferences and events. Establish long-range plans for the summer conference program, as well as a year round program to expand conference and event business. Market and recruit conferences on a local, regional and national level; respond to RFPs and develop a network of potential clients and colleagues in the conference industry and community to enhance the presence of the University of Michigan as a conference site. Initiate and maintain partnerships across campus and in the Ann Arbor community to recruit and support conferences for the University of Michigan. Operational Management (25') Provide leadership and direction to the staff responsible for conferences and events by establishing fiscal and programmatic benchmarks, financial targets, goals and objectives. Manage processes that identify problems, prioritize goals, and report progress and solutions. Establish and update policies and procedures that maintain structure and consistency, and at the same time are easily understood and as accommodating as possible for clients. Oversee effective standard conference practices such as written pre-event confirmation of services, providing on-site support (accommodations, meeting rooms, food service, audio/visual needs, transportation, etc.), single invoice for client, and post-event evaluations. Evaluate, recommend and implement technology solutions for the delivery of conferences and events that improves efficiencies and enhances customer service. Business Management and Fiscal Stewardship (15') Manage all aspects of conference business such as prospecting for new business, negotiating venues and services, preparing facility use agreements, and reviewing and signing contracts. Develop agreements with service agencies to provide conference support at reasonable costs; evaluate service costs on an ongoing basis to ensure competitiveness; act as interface between conference clients and service agencies; evaluate post-event quality of support services and provide feedback as necessary to service agencies. Prepare, execute and interpret budgets and financial data to control costs, and make adjustments as necessary. Provide fiscal and programmatic benchmarks, performance feedback, goals and objectives, counseling, and training opportunities to staff. Monitor monthly financial statements to ensure financial goals are achieved, and ensure that individuals/units meet budgetary parameters. Ensure proper financial processes are followed such as client invoicing and payment of vendor invoices. Customer Satisfaction and Communication (20') Implement and maintain high quality standards for customer interaction, conference and event planning and implementation. Promote a positive relationship with all internal and external customers, especially students, and openly solicit comments from all customers. Assess anecdotal and performance data from customer feedback of service quality, develop and utilize service evaluation mechanisms. Continuously improve programs and services in response to changing needs and evolving institutional priorities. Develop and implement customer service standards, policies and procedures. Oversee marketing and communications efforts to recruit potential clients and engage current customers with available services. Develop and deliver presentations to large and small audiences. Ensure appropriate response to all concerns raised by students, faculty, staff, external