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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

Department Summary

Conference and Event Services at The University of Michigan is accepting applications and nominations for the position of Sales & Conference Manager. Conference & Event Services provides expertise in conference and event management to U-M and external groups.  As a member of the team you will provide sales, operations and systems support for a department that recruits conferences and events, including summer programs and annual conferences, in multiple facilities across the U-M campus.  Conference & Event Services is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment.

Job Summary

Dual reporting to the Associate Director for Sales and to the Associate Director for Summer & Conference Operations, grow a portfolio of Conferences & Events clients to increase revenue and to execute a roster of summer programs and conference(s) annually. The Sales & Conference Manager will work with both Sales and Conference Managers and oversee their own clients and events.  You will promote the department as the recognized University resource for conference and event management. All staff are expected to facilitate services in a consistent professional manner and to achieve a high level of guest experience during all interactions.

Responsibilities*

Sales (40%)

Sales

  • Manage a portfolio of existing accounts to achieve retention of business and promote referrals for lead development; conduct research and mining of potential new clients weekly.
  • Solicit a portfolio of clients through existing accounts, cold calling, referral and other means to increase the number of possible sales/leads.
  • Achieve agreed upon sales targets, revenue and outcomes annually.
  • Work with Associate Director for Sales in development of programs to produce profitable margins within multiple market segments.
    • Help develop new inventory (sales) and pricing strategies.
    • Suggest new ideas and ways to improve operations and sales.
    • Increase revenue and maximize profits.
    • Anticipate changes in market trends and implement plans to take advantage of these.
  • Document sales tracking, including captured and lost business within CRM and associated software; develop weekly and annual sales reports.
    • Create client profile in Client Relationship Management (CRM) database and applicable software, develop planning file per established guidelines; conduct turnover meetings with operations.
    • Maintain program data in event management software; exercise diligence in updating program confirmations (added billable items, price changes and customer-focused changes)
    • Ensure signatures and funds are received within appropriate timelines.
  • Prepare Requests for Proposals and Quotes
    • Use existing service and equipment inventory. Initiate new services with Procurement.
    • Create conference and event bid proposals and budgets and prepare contracts for new and returning business.

Customer Service

  • Ensure exceptional customer service during each step of interaction with clients and prospective clients with a goal of providing one-stop shop service.
  • Expedite the resolution of client concerns and complaints to maximize satisfaction.
  • Provide timely and professional response to all sales leads and inquiries including returning clients, those from trade shows, web inquiries, catering inquiries and other referral sources.  Identify sources of campus support to enhance the University's expressed interest in hosting programs and seminars.

Conference and Event Management (40%)

  • Lead site tours, site selections, sales meetings, outside sales functions, sales visits, community involvement groups, and multiple functions for potential clients.
  • Work with a team on an everyday basis to make certain of successful coordination of conferences, events and programming.
  • Develop internal operating systems for delivery of conference management services.
  • Negotiate on behalf of clients and engage services of campus and non-campus services providers to support programs.
  • Manage assignment of facilities for large scale conferences with on and off campus venues and increase space usage in all facilities.
    • Partner with service providers to secure necessary services and facilities on campus; work with service providers on behalf of clients.
    • Manage assigned program(s), including scheduling and monitoring of all logistical and support service arrangements (dining, catering, facilities, housing, audio-visual, transportation, registration).
    • Ensure optimized summer occupancy in residence halls and campus facilities.
  • Manage client file set-up per established guidelines.
    • Manage contracts through execution and file turnover to Operations.
    • Work collaboratively and participate in file turnover meetings once business is contracted by the Sales team.

Registration Management

  • Manage registration process, including fee collection and payment of honorarium and conference expenses.
  • Lead event and registration logistics, including on-site event day assistance as dictated by department need.
  • Design confirmation process tailored to client needs, monitor enrollment and capacities, and provide timely reports.

Summer Operations

  • Manage Internship Housing and other summer building assignment(s) annually; including residential housing, dining, meeting/classroom space, and parking while working directly with multiple departments across campus.
  • Monitor Iris registration software for daily registrations and provide weekly reports to clients.
  • Work directly with all clients, develop online registration, including marketing and visibility strategy, corresponding timelines, and pricing.

Coordination Other

  • Attend trade shows and sales conventions as a representative of CES and the University of Michigan.
  • Be knowledgeable of best practices, professional and promotional trends in the industry.
  • Staff client programs as assigned by Associate Directors and Director and as dictated by client contract.

Financial (10%)

  • Prepare contracts (Letters of Agreement) for conference services, facility use and catering.
  • Create bid proposals and budgets and prepare contracts for new business.
  • Prepare and reconcile cash and check deposits.
  • Process and reconcile wireless terminal payments.
  • Reconcile P-card statement on a monthly basis.
  • Work with Business & Finance to process all summer and conference billing; creation of preliminary invoice, communication with client, and closing out of the final invoice.
  • Prepare billing for early move-in.
  • Authorize payments for materials, services, and other conference related expenses.
  • Manage client billing process (audit and approve billing).

Other (10%)      

  • Contribute to the development of and administer long-term goals and strategic planning for Conferences & Events.
  • Manage inventory of office, summer conference housing items, sales and event related supplies including ordering of all items from preferred vendors.
  • As a member of Conferences & Events and the Division of Student Life, serve on committees and work teams.
  • Participate in staff meetings, training and professional development opportunities.
  • Promote department customer service reputation, standards, and goals.
  • Hire, train, manage, and evaluate student staff for summer operations to achieve customer satisfaction and fulfill departmental administrative needs.
  • Review/approve time for summer operations student staff payroll.
  • Track time allocated to specific client program management; oversee tracking for any support staff assigned to a program.
  • Complete special projects and support the department as designated by the Associate Directors and Director.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor's degree and a minimum of 4 years of event management or sales experience in a corporate hospitality or university environment; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Working knowledge and experience with Microsoft Office Suite, with advanced knowledge specifically in Microsoft Excel (can maintain complex spreadsheets).
  • Working knowledge and experience with Google products/suite.
  • Valid Driver's License Required
  • Experience building customer relationships.
  • Personal commitment to diversity and an understanding of cultural, ethnic and individual differences. 

Desired Qualifications*

  • Knowledge of Residence Education systems and procedures.
  • Experience in or a strong familiarity with higher education.
  • CMP (Certified Meeting Planner)
  • Experience in conference planning or in the hospitality industry will be especially helpful.
  • Proficiency in Iris Conference, Conference Programmer or other event and catering management and client management databases or related software.
  • Service recovery and problem resolution abilities and experience.
  • Organization skills and project/process management with firm completion dates.
  • Coordination experience amongst functional partners across campus or Organization.

Additional Information

Position Criteria:

  • Handle multiple tasks requiring a high degree of attention to detail and meet deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, planning, communication and problem solving skills, with an emphasis on commitment to customer service
  • Commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment
  • Work effectively in an environment in which the parameters may change daily and to adjust behavior to meet the needs of different people and situations
  • Compose precise, well-organized emails, letters and proposals while using appropriate vocabulary and grammar
  • Maintain high level of confidentiality
  • Represent the University of Michigan and Conference and Event Services with professionalism and positivity
  • Communicate effectively one-to-one, in small groups and in public speaking contexts
  • Willingness to promote open and effective communication, cooperation and teamwork within and outside of one's own team
  • Establish professional relationships with student and professional staff, Division colleagues, and the University community
  • Plan in an efficient, productive manner and target initiatives that require special focus on key tasks when faced with limited time or resources
  • Primary activities and decision-making are predominantly performed independently affecting business operations to a substantial degree
  • Willingness to explore alternatives to existing services and identify opportunities to improve practices
  • High degree of integrity and is committed to upholding the reputation of the university

Financial/Budgetary Responsibility

Position is responsible for conferences with related potential revenue up to $1,000,000 per conference.  Position documents sales tracking, Return on investment, and projected internal allocation of revenue resulting from conference bookings (i.e. catering, meeting space, parking)

Working conditions

  • Occasionally requires travel to meet with potential clients on/off-campus.
  • You communicate with students, alumni, recruiters, faculty, about hosting, programs, events, and conferences on and off the U-M campus.
  • You present information at events and in meetings.
  • On occasion working weekends, early mornings and evenings/late nights are expected.
  • May occasionally require more than 40 hours a week.
  • Work with clients who may have high and impractical expectations to meet their needs while working within University policies and procedures.

Physical requirements

  • The staff team routinely moves materials weighing up to 30 pounds to campus locations or other venues or events and conferences.
  • You occasionally move through buildings and campus to attend meetings/events and access clients, files or information.

Direct reports

  • Temporary Student Staff (10-12) for summer operations, partnering with Residence Education

Additional Information

This role may have reporting obligations under Title IX and Clery.

Starting salary may vary depending on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.

Relocation will not be offered for this position.

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U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.