Position reports to: Associate Vice-President, Recognition & Conferences
This position will be onsite in Vermont once we return to the office.
The Senior Conference Planner is a highly visible role, which demands extensive customer service skills, a high level of professionalism and willingness to handle all planning and administrative details of customer-engagement (external and internal) program meetings and events. This role will support event strategies that build brand momentum and customer engagement and provide unique event experiences. The ideal candidate must thrive in a challenging and fast-paced atmosphere; where prioritizing and multi-tasking are the norm. Exceptional attention to detail and first-class organizational skills are mandatory. This dynamic position will report the AVP Recognition & Conferences, and work in a team environment to produce events, meetings and additional projects as required.
This position also has responsibilities for the daily oversight of the Guest House team. We are a high touch service organization, exemplifying National Life Group standards of hospitality. The operation serves as the face of National Life Group, and provides the unique, home away from home experience to its guests.
- Manage event/meeting logistics, including food & beverage requirements, room blocks, technical provisioning, vendor coordination and management, pre-event logistics/operational details and on-site event management.
- Provide logistical pre-event planning, on-site execution and post event wrap-up to include briefings, surveys, and budget reconciliation.
- Oversee attendee experiences.
- Assist in site selection, contracting and negotiation process. Adheres to all company legal, financial, health, safety and compliance regulations for successful outcomes.
- Source venues, vendors for catering, décor, technology for registration and/or virtual platforms, audio-visual elements, transportation, entertainment to support meetings.
- Develop and manage project timelines and action plans in collaboration with cross-functional departments and ensure all deadlines are met.
- Coordinate across internal teams for presentations, speakers, other materials as needed.
- Interface with the client, their stakeholders and external vendors to keep projects on track and meet deadlines with successful outcomes.
- Manage event budgets with regular oversight and drive savings. Budget responsibility includes creating accurate budgets, tracking costs, focus on savings, track spend against budget, invoice approvals, and accountability for accurate reconciliation, cross charges, as appropriate.
- Provides timely progress updates of meetings to stakeholders, supervisor and internal participants.
- Provides support simultaneously for a variety of large-scale conferences as assigned. Collaborates and communicates well with all Recognition & Conference Team members.
- Provides meeting support including but not limited to supplies, packing/shipping of event materials, signage, promotional items, etc.
- Provides white-glove customer service with agents. Excellent on problem solving skills.
Vermont and Texas Campus:
- Prepares timely logistics communications for distribution to internal and external partners that include, but not limited to Food and Beverage (Sodexo or preferred caterer), Travel (Direct Travel and NLG Transportation), Guesthouse and/or preferred local hotels, Facilities, Security, and IT/Audio Visual.
Guest House Management:
- Manages day-to-day operations. Oversee responsibilities and performance of the team, including coaching and performance appraisals.
- Ensures execution of standards, and all company policies are followed. Continuous focus of hospitality and quality of product.
- Support professional development and training of team members, with a focus on VIP hospitality service, technology skills.
- Analyze operations on a regular basis, including establishing success metrics, prepare, and implement recommendations for improving operational efficiencies.
- Bachelor’s Degree, with major in hospitality, event management or related field preferred.
- Minimum of 7-10 years’ experience in hospitality and/or corporate field. Proven success as a conference planner.
- Experienced negotiator. Sales experience a plus.
- Strong relationship skills with vendors.
- Exceptional customer service skills and enjoys working with the public.
- A team-oriented, positive and proactive attitude is essential. Experience working in a cross-functional team, a great team member, willing to roll up your sleeves and help colleagues when needed.
- Flexible with an ability to work to deadlines while handling multiple projects.
- Excellent influencing, problem-solving and consensus-building skills, strong interpersonal skills. Capable of making solid and quick judgement calls under pressure.
- Strong analytical, organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail.
- Skilled communicator. High emotional intelligence. Uses tact and diplomacy in dealing with others. Must be able to communicate effectively, both orally, and in writing, with customers, other associates and management.
- Leadership skills in managing/supervising direct reports.
- Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office, including advanced skills in Excel. Knowledge of Cvent, Salesforce, and Virtual Platforms a plus.
- Flexible ability to travel as needed.
- Physical demands include lifting/moving objects up to 25 pounds.
National Life Group® is a trade name of NLIC, Montpelier, VT, Life Insurance Company of the Southwest (LSW), Addison, TX and their affiliates. Each company is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. LSW is not an authorized insurer in NY and does not conduct insurance business in NY.