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Venue Contracting Lead

Portland, Oregon
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Job Description:


What makes Gartner Conferences a GREAT fit for you? When you join Gartner, you'll be a part of a team that serves more than 75,000 business and technology leaders at 75+ global conferences each year. You’ll work with curious, motivated people, have unlimited growth opportunities, and learn about the latest in technology and business. Our Conferences team is growing in double digits and is positioned to exceed that growth in 2019 and beyond. If you enjoy challenging yourself, connecting with people and pushing the limits of your career, Gartner is the place for you.

Essential Functions/Major Responsibilities:

  • Collate event requirements and partner with the Evanta Brand Leadership and Event Operations teams to ensure informed venue selections based on the projected growth and requirements of each individual conference.
  • Lead a team of 3-4 direct reports on our in-house operations team
  • Determine and communicate the sourcing priorities, understanding the needs and timelines of each region to ensure a holistic approach when confirming dates, avoiding conflicts where possible.
  • Develops and implements negotiation strategy to achieve best price and/or enhancement consideration with suppliers, supporting the specific needs of the events and revenue goals/targets.  Proactively negotiates prices and contracts for maximum cost savings.
  • Negotiates critical program components based on knowledge of internal stakeholder requirements from initial request through contract completion and turnover; this includes recommending supplier and destinations options and solutions while considering client requirements.
  • Manage the date allocation process for Evanta conferences, approx. 238+ conferences per year, ensuring venues are contracted and dates published in a timely manner to allow Sales sufficient lead time to reach business goals and Content enough time to secure speakers.
  • Initiates RFP process to secure appropriate room blocks, logistical event needs, and pricing from hotels and other suppliers.
  • Consider and flag the financial implications of any venue or portfolio changes or date moves, creating a calendar of conferences that supports our P&L goals – to maximize revenue opportunities and the ability to deliver exceptional on-site experiences while still minimizing costs where possible.
  • Enable a proactive and strategic approach to managing the global calendar to optimize both date and venue selection.
  • Apply knowledge of business strategy to streamline the review and approval processes
  • Serve as a contributor on all official calendar communications, providing status updates and reporting to leadership, and control when future conferences can be published.
  • Partner with technology providers and relevant stakeholders to ensure the products are depicted externally as envisioned (i.e. naming conventions, dates, locations etc.)
  • Manage all approvals in line with the business strategy; initially identifying the criteria and approval process, then guiding stakeholders to ensure any decisions not in line with the strategy are escalated and presented effectively to leadership as required.
  • Utilizes knowledge of domestic and international destinations to recommend appropriate sites.
  • Ensures on-going assessment of current suppliers focused on optimizing cost savings, innovation and process improvements, while maintaining knowledge of new destination options, value-priced destination options and promotional offerings.
  • As needed, conducts additional negotiations with supplier(s), such as DMC companies, and all other third-party suppliers, pre and post-sale, to improve costs, profitability and/or terms of targeted program components.
  • May participate in program re-negotiations or cancellation negotiations, as required.
  • Achieve appropriate benchmarking metrics as per client or company requirement.
  • Manage a team of 3-5 direct reports to ensure goals and deliverables are achieved/executed before, during and after each respective conference, from both corporate messaging and attendee perspective, and individual professional development.
  • Works on special projects as assigned by the Sr Operations Manager
  • May require travel to conferences as needed, < 15% annually

Ideal Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree with focus on events, project management or business preferred
  • n depth knowledge of hotel, travel and meeting planning business is required, particularly in terms of normal service expectations.
  • Understanding of event or conference logistics and technical production
  • 3-5 years of business experience
  • 2+ years of supervisory or program management experience, including cross-functional management
  • Event planning experience helpful and experience with office billing, inventory control, invoices and collections.
  • Exceptional communication and collaboration across events team, event partners and key stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the processes and sharing ideas from events
  • Proven project management abilities
  • Experience of working in a complex multi layered environment with multiple stakeholders
  • Knowledge of travel supplier operations, overall capabilities/range of services
  • Proven experience in driving decisions in a matrix environment
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to build and leverage relationships with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Fully competent in Microsoft office, especially Excel
  • Passionate, energetic & enthusiastic, with a willingness to learn and produce high quality work
  • Solution oriented strategic thinker - self-motivated & collaborative
  • High sense of urgency
  • Analytical / ability to work with high volumes of data
  • Confident decision maker
  • Comfortable working on multiple projects in a fluid, changing environment without a reduction in accuracy or quality of work product
  • Exceptional professional integrity
  • Willingness to assist colleagues with projects and tasks outside of job requirement

Job Requisition ID:34977

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