The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. CCSSO seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.
The Senior Meeting Planner reports to the Director of Meeting Services and is part of the Meeting Services team. This position manages the planning and execution of successful events while maintaining a high level of customer service to the internal stakeholders and to program participants.
The Senior Meeting Planner executes events and conferences throughout the year, including events of 300 attendees or more requiring the management of multiple vendors and staff and are generally attended by executive level members, partners and staff. The Senior Meeting Planner plays an integral project management role in all preplanning and on-site execution for assigned events.
Essential Functions and Responsibilities
The Senior Meeting Planner coordinates and manages all event logistics including but not limited to registration, housing, budgets, timelines, event specifications, program presenters, ground transportation, audio visual, and meeting room set-up for events ranging in size. Specific responsibilities include:
Event Planning, Coordination, and Facilitation
- Build and maintain strong internal and external client relationships.
- Possess an understanding of and experience in:
- Online and onsite registration processes.
- Hotel logistics including sleeping room management, meal planning, and meeting space management.
- Audio visual terminology and general equipment specifications.
- Event budget management and reporting.
- Speaker and session proposal management.
- Consult with stakeholders to determine programmatic goals and develop event specifications, timelines, and budgets based on identified goals.
- Coordinate and facilitate pre-planning meetings with stakeholders and manage all information, event timelines, and task lists for assigned events.
- Provide regular status reports to keep stakeholders up-to-date on planning activities and ensure all deadlines and timelines are monitored and met.
- Work with the planning team to identify event sites and room designs aligned with event goals and conduct site visits as needed.
- Maintain appropriate documentation on all event planning activities and deliverables.
- Initiate and negotiate proposals with vendors and manage auxiliary services for assigned events as needed.
- Manage event budgets in collaboration with planning team to maximize participant experience while minimizing cost.
- Collaborate with stakeholders on changes, updates with event registration data in support of logistical activities.
- Leverage technologies as appropriate to enhance the participant experience.
- Manage and facilitate post-event activities such as expense/bill reconciliation, staff debrief, vendor payment, data tracking, post-convention reporting, and final budget reports.
- Assist as needed with in-house meetings at CCSSO headquarters including acquiring space and ordering food and beverage.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Strategically participate in industry groups to gain knowledge and stay abreast of current trends.
- Establish and maintain positive and ethical relationships with Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs), national hotel sales representatives, and local peer groups.
- Engage in industry networking to promote CCSSO’s vision/mission and maximize exposure.
- A Bachelor’s degree in hospitality management or related field, or an equivalent combination of relevant education and work experience required.
- Professional designation, Certified Meeting Professional, Certified Meetings Manager (i.e., CMP, CMM) strongly preferred.
- 5 – 7 years of progressively responsibility of event management experience required, association experience preferred.
- Ability to read, analyze, and interpret instructions, contracts, budgets, and Audio Visual specifications.
- Ability to write concise, easily-understandable reports.
- Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication and negotiation skills and the ability to respond to common inquiries from internal and external customers.
- Demonstrated presentation and speaking skills and the ability to effectively present information to internal and external clients in one-on-one and small group situations.
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Ability to apply active listening and questioning techniques to gain a complete understanding of issues.
- Ability to apply situational understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.
- Ability to troubleshoot and respond to challenges based on knowledge of industry best practice.
- Travel to on-site meetings and the ability to attend evening and/or weekend meetings. Travel is required at minimum 12-15 times per year or 30% of time.
- Positive team player with strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work with a wide range of internal and external personalities.
- Detail oriented, works well under pressure, and able to handle multiple tasks and requests simultaneously, with excellent focus and strong prioritization skills.
- Proven skills in contract/pricing negotiations.
- Proven ability to work in partnership with hotel staff, partner organizations, and vendors to achieve successful results.
- Demonstrated budget management and forecasting skills.
- Demonstrated project management skills.
- Collaborative work style and a dedication to exceptional customer service.
- High business ethics standards.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, and use of Internet browsers to conduct research.
- Understanding of online registration and event management software, experience with Net Forum database software and on-site badge printing a plus.
- Able to apply basic troubleshooting techniques to address equipment issues while onsite.
- Understanding of event Audio Visual terminology and equipment, ability to develop specifications for all size events, and experience engaging in informed negotiations with vendors.
While performing the duties of this job the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; and stoop, kneel, or crouch.
The employee is occasionally required to lift up to 30 pounds. The vision requirements include: close vision.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.
Equal Opportunity Employer of Minorities, Females, Protected Veterans, and Individual with Disabilities