The Conference Manager is a highly visible role which demands extensive customer service skills regardless of demographics and personality types, the ability to remain flexible while maintaining a high level of approachability and professionalism and a willingness to handle all planning and administrative details of the RETA National Conference and Exhibition. The Conference Manager is responsible for overseeing, facilitating, promoting and managing all aspects of the event planning process and execution of the RETA National Conference from budget, theme, style, site selection, vendor negotiation, contract negotiations, guest accommodations, favors, event registration, promotion, staffing, programs, event timeline and more while adhering to the Association bylaws.
Duties, Responsibilities and Objectives
Event planning, design and production while managing all project delivery elements within time limits and while following all company standards.
Manage all event’s details such as décor, menu development, meetings, educational sessions, room layouts, ceremonies, and event entertainment.
Order supplies, equipment, décor, and signage to meet quality and brand expectations.
Manage, produce, and send all marketing materials to promote and publicize event via email, web, and print.
Manage sponsorship, exhibitor, and registration income and track expenses for budget reconciliation.
Manage all event invitee processes and attendee lists. Develop and distribute attendee communication.
Prepare and design and nametags, material, notebooks, goodie bags, registration lists, key cards.
Manage and update information on Conference app.
Coordinate and maintain the Conference website, links and program information.
Develop, budget and create location representative activities for the Conference guest program consisting of 80-100 guests as well as assign and direct guest program volunteers as needed.
Create, improve and maintain exhibitor program. Liaise with event exhibitors to maintain solid relationships and accurately identify their needs and ensure customer satisfaction.
Create, improve and maintain sponsorship program including budgeting. Liaise with event sponsors to maintain solid relationships and accurately identify their needs and ensure customer satisfaction.
Find and increase sponsorship by 5%-10% each year.
Write a monthly article for Association magazine relating to the Conference Department.
Manage the design, layout, and production of all printed and digital materials for the Conference such as but not limited to: “Save The Dates”, Conference Calendar, Conference Newsletter, Signage, Brochures and Conference Program.
Responsible for all staff and volunteer scheduling and delegation at Conference.
Create and analyze Conference evaluations and compile event data to track and report on overall metrics, budget and event compliance.
Manage, oversee, work collaboratively, assign duties, evaluate and provide guidance for to the Assistant Conference Manager.
Support, motivate, mentor, and provide guidance to Annual Conference Leadership.
Work directly and support the Annual Conference Chair regarding the Technical Program including but not limited to: topics, speakers, topic chair selections, white paper submission site, submission requirements and best practices.
Maintain historical record of past topics and speakers and explore new ways of learning. Resource local educational programs for collaborative opportunities to meet the Association mission statement.
Bid, negotiate, process and reconcile payments, and manage all contracts with subcontractors and vendors with Executive Director approval.
Assist with preparing budgets and provide periodic progress reports to staff directors, Association Board of Directors, and Executive Committee.
Maintain inventory of all Conference supplies, with annual discussion with Executive Director regarding inventory.
Work with Hotel Resource Vendor MSR, create or revise RFP, research, make site visits, and prepare presentations resources to facilitate the Executive Director and the Board of Director’s decision on future event sites/venues appropriate for size and needs of the Conference. Maintain a portfolio that is always 5 years out.
Propose new ideas to improve the financial strain, event planning, provided services, implementation process and event quality.
Comply with insurance, legal, health and safety obligations
Proactively handle any arising issues and troubleshoot any emerging problems as needed through the entire conference cycle
Be the onsite contact and resource for all fractions of the conference and expertly manage all elements of the conference including delegation of duties. Travel to oversee onsite management of the Conference.
Other duties as assigned
Strong interpersonal skills including experience building and maintaining productive relationships with a diverse network of individuals and organizations
Familiarity with all stages of planning, design, and production of events
Strong analytical and leadership skills
Superior planning, organizational and project management skills
Outstanding time management and communication skills
Ability to maintain a positive attitude and remain calm during crisis and the high pressure of an event in progress
Negotiation skills to work out contracts and pricing
Ability to manage multiple simultaneous projects independently and consistently
Ability to create and delegate work assignments for a variety of staff and volunteers
Ability to stay focused and organized in high stress situations
Innovative and resourceful; actively seeks opportunities to improve event
Must be a self-starter who can meet goals with little supervision
Proactive approach to handling any challenges that might arise and the ability to quickly troubleshoot any problems that should arise on the event day
Excellent communication skills including writing, proof reading skills, and public speaking
Excellent interpersonal skills both in person and by phone with high professionalism
Fantastic customer service ethic and high expectations for quality
Great team member: willing to roll up your sleeves and pitch in to help your colleagues when needed
Experience with Web communication, publishing, usability and/or social media is a plus
Proficient using the web to conduct research, event administration and procurement as well as the with the latest versions of Microsoft Outlooks, Work, Excel, PowerPoint and be familiar with all relevant technology
Up to date on current trends in the meetings industry
Contract negotiation with expertise in hotel attrition and contract clauses
BS in Event Management or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience
CMP, CMM, or PMP Certification preferred
5+ years’ experience as a certified professional meeting planner or organizer (nonprofit or association experience preferred)
Experience managing educational program with 45+ concurrent sessions, meetings and events daily for 8 consecutive days is required
Must work in the RETA office in Albany, Oregon
Must travel in order to attend Conference, site inspections, and other Association events as needed
About Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association
The Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA), founded in 1910, is an international society of individuals and companies involved in the design, operation and service of industrial refrigeration systems. Its purpose is to provide education and training, as well as networking benefits, to both experienced operators and those who have recently entered this rapidly expanding field