Position Description and Scope of Work
The American Ornithological Society (AOS) seeks a Meeting Manager to support AOS’s Meetings Program, including our flagship event, an annual scientific meeting that attracts 800-1000 scientists from across the globe. The Meeting Manager will oversee all aspects of AOS’s Meetings Program, including managing an overall project timeline and task list, meeting space, vendors, sponsors and exhibitors, and budget management for our Annual Meeting. The Meeting Manager will provide support for additional events throughout the year, including virtual scientific sessions, virtual professional development and training opportunities for members, and an annual AOS Staff Retreat. This is an opportunity to engage with the scientific community to develop and organize one of the biggest ornithology conferences in the world, to work with an engaged and enthusiastic volunteer community, and to help AOS grow our sponsor and exhibitor base and our virtual event program.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
1) Work with a network of volunteer leadership and other AOS staff to coordinate AOS’s flagship event, an annual scientific conference with 800-1000 attendees.
a. Work with a meeting procurement company to evaluate meeting locations and venues and develop contracts with conference centers and/or hotels to meet AOS’s future needs;
b. Help organize and coordinate all elements of annual meeting, including maintaining a checklist of tasks and decisions and maintaining and overseeing an overall project timeline;
c. Guide budget development and updates for the Annual Meeting program; serve as first point of contact for budget management; deliver an engaging, successful meeting that meets organizational goals within the budget;
d. Serve as primary point of contact for all meeting vendors, including conference center, hotel, food and beverage, audio visual, conference app, etc. Evaluate potential vendors, provide information about AOS’s specifications and needs to vendors, work with Executive Director to negotiate vendor contracts, and provide direction to vendors prior to and during conference. Work with vendors to develop cost savings and identify and avoid unnecessary expenditures;
e. Work with volunteer leadership to provide support as volunteer leaders develop the scientific program and select events. Create meeting schedule and assign sessions, events, and exhibitors to appropriate spaces within conference venue. Work with volunteers to help them understand the possibilities and constraints of the available space, budget, and staff support;
f. Coordinate within-meeting events, such as receptions or meals, coffee breaks, and other special meeting events
g. Primary contact person during meeting to coordinate vendors and systems and ensure meeting is running smoothly
2) Coordinate and support meeting sponsors and exhibitors
a. Develop sponsor and exhibitor prospectus to serve as quick reference guide for organizations considering sponsorship/becoming an exhibitor
b. Work with Executive Director and meeting coordination committee to secure meeting sponsors; solicit and secure meeting exhibitors
c. Coordinate the sponsor and exhibitor process, from collecting sponsor and exhibitor information and payment, to supporting sponsor and exhibitor needs through the annual meeting
d. Manage and coordinate the exhibition hall, including assigning sponsor and exhibitor booth space assignment to sponsors and exhibitors and working individually with sponsors and exhibitors to ensure a positive exhibition experience
3) Coordinate and implement AOS’s growing portfolio of virtual events
a. Work with AOS’s Student Affairs Committee to support online student-focused programming
b. Work with AOS leadership to coordinate periodic online community forums
c. Schedule and coordinate additional virtual programming, as needed
4) Organize AOS’s annual Staff Retreat
a. Evaluate and secure venue for 2-3 day retreat for all staff members
b. Provide list of restaurants, local activities, etc
c. Coordinate and track staff arrival/departure dates, rides, etc
This position requires planning multiple years at once; for example, as the Meeting Manager plans the details of the upcoming Annual Meeting, they will also be evaluating future meeting locations and working with local organizations to secure meeting space.
- Bachelor’s degree in marketing, hospitality, business management, or a similar field of study, and minimum of 3 years of meeting planning experience with in-person and virtual meeting logistics;
- Previous experience working with or for an association is strongly preferred;
- Experience managing and monitoring meeting budgets, managing costs, and holding vendors to contracted services and budgets;
- Experience managing, planning, or coordinating meetings/conferences that feature multiple simultaneous sessions;
- Excellent written and verbal skills.
- Effective time-management: proactive, efficient, sets priorities and establishes deadlines, handles multiple assignments simultaneously; plans effectively for both short- and long-term projects; meets deadlines.
- Effective problem solver, comfortable working under pressure; flexible and resourceful to find solutions to challenges.
- Experienced professional that uses diplomacy and tact to build and maintain positive relationships with a broad range of people, e.g. fellow employees, volunteers, stakeholders, vendors, etc.
- Excellent team player, experience working with virtual colleagues and teams.
- Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) certificate encouraged.
- Working knowledge of current trends in the meeting and event industry.
- Experience with sponsor and exhibitor recruitment and stewardship.
WORKING CONDITIONS, LOCATION, AND STATUS
- The Meeting Manager is a full-time position.
- The AOS is a fully virtual organization and we support remote work. Due to legal and registration requirements, we are unable to hire employees in California or New York.
- Occasional travel is required, including 7-8 days onsite for Annual Meeting, 2-3 days for a staff retreat, and periodic meeting site visits.
- Periodic work during evenings and weekends.
- Extensive computer use.
ANTICIPATED SALARY RANGE
The salary range for this position is $65,000-$70,000, depending on experience. AOS also offers generous benefits including annual paid time off, matching contributions to an employee retirement fund, a home office stipend, and a health insurance stipend.
Submit an application, complete with resume and cover letter, here. We will begin to review applications the week of 16 October 2023.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY
The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is the world’s largest international member-based society for professionals who study birds and individuals whose work intersects with bird science. The AOS supports science that advances the understanding and conservation of birds, promotes broad access to ornithological science, supports ornithologists throughout their career paths, and fosters a welcoming, diverse, supportive, and dynamic ornithological community. AOS annually hosts one of the largest international ornithological conferences, often in collaboration with other ornithological or scientific societies. AOS publishes two international scientific journals—Ornithology and Ornithological Applications. AOS also provides a rich array of grants for students and early-career professionals to support scientific research and participation in AOS’s meeting. For more information, see www.americanornithology.org. The AOS is an equal opportunity employer. We seek and welcome a diverse pool of candidates in this search.