Assistant Director for Events, Camps, and Conferences
The University of Southern Mississippi
Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Type: Full Time
Required Education: 4 Year Degree
Salary: $39,816 to $53,869
Commensurate with experience
This position exists to generate revenue through external and internal sales and contract negotiation, serving as both an advocate for the client and the University. Oversees the Union’s Events, Camps, and Conferences operation, each year generating nearly $1.4 million in revenue on over 5,000 event bookings and 55 camp and conference bookings, serving tens of thousands of visitors annually. This includes supervision of the Union Reservations Coordinator and Camps and Conferences Coordinator, as well as supervision of the Graduate Assistant for Union Experience Research, providing oversight for the coordination of one-off meetings and events as well as summer and year-round on-campus conferences for adults and minors. May work beyond traditional business hours (mornings/nights/weekends) as needed due to the nature of the work.
Primary Job Duties and Responsibilities:
Supervises the Union Reservations and Camps and Conferences Coordinators, regarding all aspects of daily responsibilities. Responsible for overall functional and fiscal performance of Event, Camp, and Conference (ECC) operation, to include revenue generation from facility and equipment rental of Union Complex meeting space and FF&E as well as profits from overnight summer camps and conferences. Conducts periodic market research to inform ECC fee structure, maximizing profitability on bookings and communicating changes as appropriate. Responsible for developing job standards for staff and effectively managing staff through the University’s performance management process. Originates and updates policies and procedures regarding ECC operations, including management of the campus-wide solicitation policy.
Works with Marketing Manager to develop promotional materials and proactively recruits new clients, including new external and university conference and camp clients. Develops and implements sales action plans with the express goal of increasing revenue. Represents Union Department in ECC presentations to campus and community. Attends tradeshows and other events to showcase facilities and cultivate potential business. Provides tours to potential clients and answers questions regarding all spaces and services. Develops a network of potential clients and colleagues in the conference industry and community to enhance the public presence of the University as a conference and event site. Responsible for outreach to on-campus entities and off-campus community constituents in an effort to recruit them to host events and conferences in Union facilities and outdoor spaces. Responsible for generating monthly and annual reports including income/expense reports, lost and new business data, occupancy reports, financial status reports, revenue and budget projections, ROI/profitability reports, and more. Acts as front facing representative for ECC with all current and potential clients. Identifies and implements a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for the ECC operation.
Provides support to Union Reservations Coordinator regarding space utilization in Union managed facilities. Transitions potential event clients from sales stage to booking stage as sales leads are converted to bookings, to include all three client types (university, external, and student organization). Works with Reservations Coordinator to ensure that client needs are met and that event details are entered based on methods defined by the Operations team. Helps Reservations Coordinator build and maintain relationships with campus partners to include Parking and Transit Services, Southern Miss Catering, Physical Plant, UPD, and more. Assists Reservations Coordinator with hiring, training, and supervision of student staff as appropriate.
Provides support to Camps and Conferences Coordinator generating revenue for the Union as well as contributing to the revenue streams of numerous other campus units, including Campus Recreation, Housing and Residence Life, Athletics, and Aramark Dining Services. Works with Camps and Conferences Coordinator in coordinating summer and year-round on-campus conferences for adults and minors to include facilities, dining, housing, special needs, contracting, collections, and more. Assists with hiring, training, and supervision of student staff as appropriate.
Provides support and supervision to Graduate Assistant for Union Experience Research, working to develop and administer customer satisfaction surveys and creating regular reports summarizing customer satisfaction data. Assists GA with other research projects and focus groups, presenting findings to the Union team, and transforming them into insights to inform decision making, drive improvements, and generate innovative solutions.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Minimum Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, business management, sales, marketing or similar from an accredited college or university with two years relevant event planning, event sales, or summer camp experience.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA): Business Strategy & Acumen: Understands higher education and can use industry/professional terminology fluently. Thinks strategically and seeks to align department services and goals with institutional strategic goals. Asks critical questions to delve to root cause to identify solutions. Understands the interconnection of decisions, actions, outcomes and measures.
Professional Knowledge and Application: Takes initiative to develop and apply professional knowledge and skills in order to enhance individual effectiveness and improve organizational performance. Creates opportunities to apply new learnings and best practices into innovative solutions that positively impact results. Seeks opportunities for development for both self and the team.
Business Execution: Leverages professional expertise and University knowledge to assess areas of opportunity, identify solutions and effectively execute the plan. Demonstrates a high level of planning and organizational skills and the ability to move projects forward to completion. Self-motivated and accountable for results. Seeks advice and input from others and recognizes when to escalate issues or seek help.
Communication: Demonstrates the ability to deliver accurate, concise, and quality communication (verbal and written) in a timely manner. Encourages an open exchange of ideas and differing perspectives. Adapts communication style to meet the needs of diverse audiences and situations. Listens to understand others. Provides quality feedback.
Relationship Management: Works to build and manage productive relationships with peers, leaders and customer groups. Effectively engages and interacts with others to collaborate and provide value-added support that enhances department results and team effectiveness. Affects outcomes and direction of customer’s decisions through effective relationships, trust and credibility.
Leadership: Demonstrates an openness and flexibility towards new ideas and concepts and effectively influences or facilitates during times of change. Helps others become more effective through development and coaching. Utilizes candid feedback, knowledge, resources and opportunities to improve the performance of others and to increase their contributions. Sets clear expectations for performance, provides meaningful feedback, holds employees accountable and recognizes successes.
Preferred Qualifications: A Master’s degree from an accredited college or university and four or more years relevant event planning, event sales, or summer camp experience.
Supervisory Responsibilities: Provides direct supervision for one Union Reservations Coordinator professional staff member and one Camps and Conferences Coordinator professional staff member, as well as the Graduate Assistant for Union Experience Research
DSA Statement: The Division of Student Affairs at Southern Miss seeks forward-thinking and innovative Higher Ed professionals committed to facilitating students' personal growth and academic achievement, thus building their capacity to be happy and engaged citizens. We work toward this aspiration by creating a relentlessly welcoming environment in which we develop Healthy, Connected, and Learning-focused students and communities through our programs, services, and frequent student interactions.
EEO Statement: As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer/Americans with Disabilities Act institution, The University of Southern Mississippi encourages minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities to apply.