Assistant Director - Office of Conferences

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN
Jun 09, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Vanderbilt Office of Conferences is committed to creating a seamless conference and event management operation that delivers outstanding customer service while showcasing the best of Vanderbilt.


The Assistant Director of Conferences provides a one-stop-shop access and coordination of housing, food service, meeting facilities, catering, and other arrangements for various conference groups and will oversee management of the Summer Intern Housing Program. The Assistant Director negotiates, executes, and manages client contracts as well as processing individual invoices for all services rendered. The Assistant Director is responsible for recruitment, hiring, training and supervision of student staff. The Assistant Director serves as a knowledgeable resource of information about campus services, facilities and support services and serves as a goodwill ambassador for the university.


Minimum Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 4 years of relevant experience including at least 2 years in conference/event planning 


Preferred Qualifications


  • Experience managing, marketing, and providing financial oversight for a collegiate conference and/or event management and planning operation is strongly preferred.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Experience with Conference Programmer, IRIS Registration Software, or an equivalent are strongly preferred.
  • Strong organizational skills and self-motivation.
  • Strong communication (oral and written) and customer service skills.
  • Proven ability to build and maintain strong collaborative relationships with campus and community partners.
  • Ability to work effectively with clients and co-workers from diverse backgrounds.
  • Proven marketing, sales and public relations skills.
  • Experience interviewing, hiring, and supervising staff.
  • Proven ability to handle multiple priorities while maintaining a high level of professionalism and attention to detail.
  • The candidate must be self-motivated and well versed in conference and special event production. This individual will also exercise good judgment while maintaining confidentiality, integrity and discretion in performance of all duties.
  • The position requires a candidate with excellent verbal and written communication skills and exceptional customer service skills. This individual will work well under pressure, multitask, pay great attention to detail and utilize innovative problem-solving methods.




  • Manage, market, recruit, and provide financial management for conference and event programming that will bring guests to campus, utilizing spaces and resources that would otherwise remain idle. 
  • Primary responsibility for recruitment, hiring, and supervision of over a dozen employees, including but not limited to non-exempt office support staff, seasonal, and student workers.
  • Coordinate housing, food service, meeting facilities, catering, audio/visual, parking, security, logistic, and other arrangements for various conference groups and oversee management of the Summer Academic Intern Housing Program.  As such the development and nurtured maintenance of collaborative relationships is vital to the success of the office.
  • Market conference services, online registration and intern housing through a variety of methods, including social media increasing revenue for the office and assisting campus partners in summer employee retention.
  • Serve as ambassador to clients and partners, internal and external to campus. Representation in professional associations and at conferences on both the regional and international level is also expected. 


The job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


  • Assist the Director in managing a business unit with conference billings in excess of $3,000,000.
  • Assume full direction of all aspects of the Office of Conferences in the absence of the Director.
  • Assist Director in policy creation and implementation as well as the development and execution of training programs for summer and academic year staff.
  • Serve in on-call rotation with Director of Conferences to provide support and assistance to clients and staff to address urgent and emergent situations on campus, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
  • Supervise one non-exempt program coordinator, student employees, graduate students and student managers including recruitment, hiring and supervision
  • Assist student employees as a liaison for the Office of Conferences in assuring that accommodations for lodging, meals, meetings, equipment, and other arrangements are provided for as specified in each group’s contract.
  • Ensure a centralized one-stop shop providing for and addressing all needs of event and conference and intern housing clients.
  • Serve as primary marketing manager through the development and execution of marketing campaigns for summer conference services and the intern housing program through various avenues including traditional print media, trade show appearances, web presence, special events, etc. as needed. Maintain website for Office of Conferences and Summer Intern Housing Program
  • Create proposals and conducting site tours with interested parties.
  • Negotiate, execute, and administer contract terms as well as maintain records in order to ensure compliance with contract stipulations.  Process contract changes, additions and cancellations.
  • Provide on-site service including last minute changes for groups during their events and conflict resolution.
  • Document sales tracking, return of investment (ROI), and projected internal allocation of revenue resulting from conference bookings. (i.e. catering, meeting space, parking, etc.)
  • Ensure invoices are generated and delivered in a timely manner after a conference has concluded.
  • Provide financial oversight duties including but not limited to general ledger approval, purchasing card management, budgetary adherence and employee timesheets.
  • Ensure invoices are generated and delivered in a timely manner after a conference has concluded
  • Developing and maintaining positive, working relationships with campus constituents (i.e. Housing residential staff, Housing Facilities Management, Vanderbilt Dining, Traffic and Parking, Housekeeping, Athletic Department, Plant Operations, Vanderbilt Police, Special Events Committee, etc.)
  • Serve as primary contact to Student Life Center, Commons Center, Sarratt Student Center, Reservations and Events and Student Recreation Center in the booking and usage of indoor and outdoor event spaces
  • Maintain excellent product knowledge of University and Nashville area facilities and other available resources
  • Develop and maintaining positive, working relationships with outside organizations (i.e. local hotels, caterers, entertainment venues, transportation services, and other vendors as needed
  • Represent Office of Conferences and Vanderbilt University as representative and leader within organizations such as the Association of Collegiate Conference and Event Directors International at the regional and international level
  • Meet weekly with the Director to exchange information and provide updates
  • Represent the office on various University and community committees
  • Other duties as assigned



The Assistant Director must be accessible via phone, or in-person to address questions and/or to respond to emergencies and other urgent client matters. This is a full-time position. Occasional infrequent travel is expected.  Weekend and evening hours will be required, especially during summer months.


  Basic Qualifications Job requires Bachelor's and 4 years of experience or the equivalent.