The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), a 501(c)6 organization located in Chicago's River North neighborhood, has an immediate opening for a Director of Meetings & Events. This individual will lead and develop a team responsible for the strategy and execution of meetings and events that are innovative, state of the art, and reflective of ASTRA's brand and strategic objectives. The person chosen to fill this position will have a creative mindset, high energy level and be detail oriented.
This position is responsible for providing project management oversight in the development, planning, and organization of ASTRA's annual Marketplace & Academy and all other meetings. This includes supervision of all areas of the meeting planning function including committee management, program development, social programming, food service, registration and housing, exhibits, sponsorships, and department personnel. The Director works in conjunction with the President, Director of Education, committee chairs, department staff, volunteers, and vendors/contractors. In addition to working closely with the entire ASTRA team of eight employees, this individual will select and supervise contractors and supervise one staff member (projected to increase to two in 2019).
Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
Strategic Planning and Visioning
- Researches industry trends and makes recommendations based on existing ASTRA practices to improve processes and increase efficiencies.
- Identifies key competitor conferences and exhibitions; determines which events will be attended by staff for lead prospecting and competitive intelligence gathering and utilize other events for prospecting sources.
- Develops and manages revenue-generating programming that fosters long-term relationships; evaluates profitability and the viability of new and existing business models; recommends enhancements, new programs, and other content changes that optimize the association's goals.
- Identifies innovative business development opportunities and supports revenue growth through exhibitions, and advertising.
- Actively collaborates with internal stakeholders and education department to ensure education goals are met and conference processes are integrated into education planning.
- Identifies process inefficiencies (accounting, logistics, registration, etc.) and recommends and implements solutions.
- Develops and implements overall strategies for enhancing meetings revenue.
- Actively collaborates with internal stakeholders and development department to identify new sponsorship and exhibit sales opportunities across all ASTRA conferences and events.
- Actively collaborates with marketing department to ensure consistency of message branding for all meetings and event content and materials.
- Develops and attains exhibitor relations and retention goals.
- In collaboration with the President and internal stakeholders, develops financial strategies for all ASTRA meetings and events including budget, monitor, forecast and reconcile financials.
- Understands and implements ASTRA financial management policies and procedures.
- Oversees RFP processes for hotels and venues for ASTRA's meeting portfolio to ensure sites meet all stakeholder requirements.
- Negotiates contracts and service agreements with hotel and meeting venues. Ensures ASTRA contract procedures are followed, and negotiations are appropriate based on best business and legal practices.
- Selects, recruits, supervises and develops meeting department staff.
- Selects and supervises vendors including, but not limited to, logistics service providers, audio visual, and catering.
- Develops performance criteria and completes annual performance/salary reviews.
- Directs weekly/bi-weekly staff meetings with meetings department.
- Ensures project deadlines and production schedules are met and appropriate.
- Maintains professional and positive demeanor
- Demonstrates excellent oral and written communication skills
- Strong interpersonal and leadership skills
- Strong supervisory and organizational skills
- Proven accuracy and attention to detail
- Be a team player with ability to supervise and motivate staff
- Knowledge of MemberSuite or similar association CRM system a plus
- Knowledge of Map Your Show or similar show management/CAD software a plus
- Knowledge of website content management systems a plus
- Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment
- Ability to travel as required (up to 30%)
A Bachelor's degree and CMP Designation are required for this position. Additionally, supervisory experience and 5-10 years of progressively responsible and successful meeting planning experience as well as overall knowledge/experience of all aspects of conference planning including registration, exhibit sales, logistics, program development, catering, and audio-visual innovations are essential.
TIMELINE AND PROCESS
Please send resume, cover letter and salary requirements to: Tuft & Associates, ATTN: Karen Dunn Caspers, MSNM, CAE, email@example.com.