Events Director – Smithbucklin

Company Name: Smithbucklin
Chicago, IL
Full Time

Job Description:

The Event Director is accountable for leading event strategy and the overall delivery of event outcomes for a group of clients within a specified Smithbucklin portfolio. The Event Director leads cross-functional event teams to deliver on strategic event outcomes through development and implementation of an event strategy and plan while ensuring superior service levels. This role is accountable and responsible for event strategy, event team execution, oversight of all aspects of event delivery, and financials for assigned clients; essentially this role is the quarterback of the event. The Event Director works in collaboration with their assigned Portfolio Director and Event Services Operations Leader to ensure that Event teams utilize standardized processes and tools.

Key focus areas and activities for the Event Director role include:

  • Event Strategy: The Event Director is responsible for development and implementation of event strategy for an assigned group of clients.
  • Works with Executive Directors and external clients to define and clarify strategic event goals and key performance indicators for events (e.g., registrations, gross revenue, attendee satisfaction, cost-to-revenue ratio, number qualified sales leads, project scope, etc.).
  • Works with Executive Directors and external clients to determine budget available to deliver on desired event outcomes and tracks performance against budget.
  • Develops site selection strategy and recommendations, facilitates site selection decisions and finalization of contracts working in partnership with Executive Directors and Event Services Site Search Specialists.
  • Leads cross-functional event teams to develop and implement event strategies that are tailored and relevant to client needs including ensuring marketing, education, sales and IT teams have strategies and plans to support delivery of event objectives.
  • Leads event experience design for events bringing specialized expertise in as needed to deliver compelling event experiences.
  • Continually works with cross-functional event teams to identify and introduce innovations that enhance client outcomes, profitability, productivity and efficiency.
  • Event and Team Management: The Event Director is responsible for leading cross-functional event teams to deliver on all aspects of event management and financial performance.
  • Oversees project plan, defines roles and responsibilities for event team members and ensures regular project team meeting cadence.
  • Partners with Executive Directors to determine appropriate engagement of client boards, staff and volunteer committees in events.
  • Develops forecasts, manages and tracks performance against event budget; addresses and resolves issues related to financial performance.
  • Develops communications and client management plans and ensures appropriate ongoing event communications around event schedule, project and budget status, key issues and resolutions.
  • Troubleshoots and drives course corrections to event strategies including initiating actions from education, IT, membership/operations, marketing and sales teams.
  • Leads post-event wrap-up process to assess event outcomes and debrief learnings with cross-functional event teams and client boards.
  • Unit Support: The Event Director is responsible for supporting their Portfolio Director and the Event Services Operations Leader.
  • Raises talent and people development issues and opportunities with the Portfolio Director.
  • Coaches cross-functional event team staff to ensure strong performance and high staff engagement.
  • Provides input to the Portfolio Director in defining event strategy and experience design guidelines for customization for their clients
  • Continually works with cross-functional event teams to identify and introduce process improvements and makes recommendations to Event Services Operations Leader.

Upholds and ensures event teams execute the established event delivery processes and standards defined by Event Services Operations.

Technical Competencies: Industry and position specific skills

Event Management

  • Comprehensive knowledge of meeting planning, tradeshow, sponsorship management and registration processes, as well as industry practices and dynamics
  • Knowledge and experience working with venues, facilities, convention centers and convention city packages throughout the US
  • Knowledge to make distinctions and guide decision-making regarding attendee management registration systems, applications and event technology
  • Knowledge and experience working with Events Industry relations and suppliers (e.g., Convention visitor bureaus, hotel brands, general services contractors, Destination management companies)
  • Familiarity with association client environment
  • Knowledge and experience with leading practices in the event management space and orientation toward adopting new practices and implementing innovation
  • Familiarity and experience with international events (preferred)
  • Data oriented Events leadership with experience defining key success metrics and driving toward those metrics as part of the overall Events strategy

Financial and Program Management

  • Budget management, including forecasting
  • Complex program management experience with the ability to oversee multiple client event portfolios

Basic Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of event and trade show management experience
  • ability to travel up to 20%, possibly both domestic and international (travel may include weekends)

Leadership Competencies:

Business Operations: Drives operational, project, and fiscal management practices that produce desired results.

  • Consistently meets or exceeds expectations; takes accountability for individual and group results.
  • Gains and sustains commitment of others; establishes and tests for role clarity.
  • Achieves results in a way that maintains or enhances the overall long-term effectiveness of the organization balancing human and technical resources so that long term high performance is sustainable.
  • Drives efficiencies and process improvements; challenges validity of accepted practices.
  • Ensures minimal disruption to service outcomes during resource transitions.
  • Assumes accountability for resource design; engages the right resources and places appropriate value on all options to meet the needs of the client.
  • Possesses strong financial management skills including budgeting, forecasting and analysis; can explain, present and influence financial based viewpoints and counterpoints.
  • Builds financial acumen and proficiency of team.
  • Adheres to human resource and other corporate programs, processes and timelines.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: Develops and maintains relationships of trust, collaboration, and partnership.

  • Earns confidence of clients, Event Services team and cross-functional event team staff; makes a strong positive impression in all settings.
  • Remains steady and effective during intensive and high stress situations.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness; responds appropriately to others’ style and emotions.
  • Communicates effectively up, down, sideways; adjusts style and approach as necessary.
  • Surfaces and confronts conflict; initiates difficult conversations; effectively resolves conflict.
  • Collaborates with colleagues within the Unit to support implementation of Unit Strategy.
  • Uses well considered approaches to convince others and build support of ideas & objectives.

People Practices: Builds high performing teams; develops and empowers others to achieve.

  • Insists on high performance; sets clear priorities, standards, and expectations.
  • Sets team up for success: ensures availability of standard operating protocols, training, and ongoing guidance.
  • Provides specific, regular, and objective feedback to others; swiftly addresses performance issues.

Value Creation: Envisions and drives conditions for improved client, team, or unit performance; effectively transitions stakeholders from a current state to a desired state.

  • Creates event related improvement strategies and the work plans for achieving them. Identifies and see relationships among key issues while understanding the big picture.
  • Constantly looks for ways to improve and promote quality and demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness in work output and decisions.
  • Proactively identifies and adopts evolving tools, technologies and business practices to enhance service outcomes.

Develops strong understanding of client needs and balances