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Chief Meetings and Exhibits (CME)Officer

Employer
The Optical Society
Location
Washington D.C.
Salary
$230K- $240K annually
Closing date
May 4, 2024

View more

Field of specialization
Business
Work Function
Administration
Job Type
Full time

The CME leads the strategy-building and successful execution of Optica’s global events and exhibits portfolio. The CME works in concert with the CEO and volunteer leadership to define the strategic vision for each event and is directly responsible for delivering the technical content, profitable financial performance, and positive experiences for individual and corporate participants. This position is directly responsible for budgeting, contract negotiations, location selection/confirmed bookings (24+ months in advance), logistics planning, staffing, IT/technical support specifications, and performance reporting of the conventions, meetings and exhibits under his/her supervision.

 

The position holder is a key point of contact and collaborator with Optica’s technical meeting governance bodies. This position takes a proactive role in sessions with the volunteer planning/programming committees/councils as they plan the technical content for Optica’s +40 annual events.

 

As a member of the Optica Executive Team, the CME works directly with executive staff colleagues to ensure activities coordinate with those of peer departments and support the Society’s overarching strategy and mission. The position holder collaborates directly with the COO/CIO, Science Advisors, Marketing Department, and Communications contacts who are tasked with supporting conventions and meetings.      

 

The CME is a key contributor to the strategic plan development for Optica partner conferences and is the management lead for these events. Tasks include, but are not limited to, budget development and presentation, logistics planning, site recommendations (24+ months in advance), contract negotiations, staff planning, IT/technical support specifications, and performance reporting and analysis.

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

Strategy Development and Oversight 

Oversees the implementation of near and long-term strategic plans. Produces tracking reports and performance assessments for the CEO and leadership.

  • Works in concert with the CEO and volunteer leadership to define the near-term strategic vision for each of Optica’s +40 annual events.
  • Defines the overarching +5-year strategic vision for Optica’s convention, meetings and exhibits portfolio as a whole.

 

The CCM is a key point of contact and collaborator with Optica’s conference and technical meeting governance bodies. This position takes a proactive role in sessions with the volunteer planning/programming committees/councils as they plan the technical content for Optica’s events.

This position is a key contributor to the strategic plan development for Optica partner conferences and is expected to provide governance with background materials, reporting, and recommendations relevant to the planning process.

Responsible for developing a site selection/negotiation plan (24+ months in advance of meetings/conferences) that leverages the size and frequency of Optica events and secures ideal locations for the success of the events.

 

Operations and Staff Management

Oversees a department of 28 staff tasked with delivering technical content, profitable financial performance, and positive experiences for individual and corporate participants.

Directly supervises three senior department members. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, evaluating and adjusting (as needed) position descriptions, establishing individual performance objectives and metrics, evaluating performance throughout the year, and providing feedback and support as needed.

Works closely with direct reports to ensure a thorough understanding of each area’s operation, challenges, and opportunities. This position should always be aware of the status of each area’s deliverables.

Partners with department staff to ensure they are able to fulfill their responsibilities and that the department as a whole successfully delivers quality and financially successful meetings and conferences throughout the year. Key benchmarks include but are not limited to quality: program content, exhibition sales/sponsorships, facilities, IT/AV/technical support, registration operations, catering, advance promotion, on-site materials, cyber security, safety compliance, transportation, performance tracking, and reporting.

Provides indirect oversight of staff who report to the department’s senior managers and should be aware of each team member’s role, responsibilities, strengths, and development needs.

Collaborates with peer departments to achieve conference and meeting deliverables. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Promotional and branding support – Marketing Department and Corporate Communications Departments
  • IT/technical services/website functionality – IT Department
  • Budgeting, forecasts, performance tracking – Finance Department
  • Contracts, negotiations, insurance, compliance – Legal Department

 

Exhibit Sales

Oversight and support of staff tasked with conference and meeting exhibit and sponsorship sales.

Provide guidance on business growth. Support relationship cultivation by participating in sales calls and development meetings.

Assist in implementing/refining customer relationship management tools, such as SalesForce and social media outreach.

Explore new avenues for revenue growth and diversification.

 

Financial Management

Directly responsible for the profitable financial performance of conferences and meetings.

Prepares and manages department budgets and ensures revenue and bottom-line targets are achieved.

Oversee department budgets on an ongoing basis to ensure financial benchmarks are achieved. Seeks cost-saving opportunities and provides senior leadership with regular financial reports and forecasts.

Ensure bill reconciliations are precise for financial tracking and reporting.

Direct participation in site and vendor evaluation, selection, negotiation, and service quality monitoring.

 

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

A master's degree in business administration, hospitality, or a related field is preferred; a Bachelor's degree is required.

CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certification or the willingness to work toward CMP certification within one year of being hired.

Demonstrated success in strategy building and execution.

Volunteer relations and governance experience in a not-for-profit environment.

Proven track record of success for ten or more years in a senior leadership programming/event execution/sales position with a not-for-profit organization.

 

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES

Advanced strategic thinking and analytical skills.

Experienced in successfully developing budgets and assessing financial performance.

Writing and in-person presentation skills.

Leadership, coaching, and supervisory skills.

Project management abilities, with a priority on efficiency building.

Facility with new and emerging software programs and system integrations, e.g., Salesforce, Customer Relationship Management tools, technical paper management systems, etc.

Facility for developing positive relationships with internal and external contacts.

Demonstrated ability to work across programs and departments collaboratively and to include partners in decision-making to build consensus.

Ability to provide exceptional customer service to ensure member and attendee satisfaction.

Successful experience working in an environment that requires multi-tasking.

The ability to prioritize tasks and deliver results even when deadlines are tight.

Ability to coach and lead diverse teams and establish and maintain credibility with a variety of internal staff and external partners.

Flexibility to travel throughout the United States and abroad.

 

Estimated Travel: 35%  

 

 

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