Conference Planner

Cato Institute Conference Planner
Location Washington DC, United States
Application deadline 31 October 2022
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
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The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization—a think tank—dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on various policy issues. Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th- century England that presented a vision of a society free from excessive government power.

Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution — individual liberty, limited government, and free markets – turn out to be even more potent in today’s world of global markets and unprecedented access to information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for free people. It is the indispensable framework for the future.

Cato Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The role

The Cato Institute, a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C., is seeking a Conference Planner to plan and manage operations and administrative responsibilities for off-site meetings and ensure the quality of the events aligns with the standards of the organization. The Planner will be responsible for various 15+ seminars, conferences, luncheons, receptions, galas and other events.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Draft each event’s timeline, complete tasks on time and monitor the progress of tasks assigned to other colleagues.
  • Draft each event’s budget, closely monitor and document expenses and plan events within budget.
  • Create and submit specifications for logistics to applicable vendors (including but not limited to hotels, caterers, av suppliers, shipping vendors, printers, etc.) and ensure accurate conversion of event details into the vendor’s documents and forms.
  • Serve as the primary contact for vendors, building and maintaining relationships to achieve optimal results. Execute onsite implementation of logistics.
  • Oversee registration aspects of assigned events and ensure accuracy of data.
  • Coordinate staff, speaker and VIP housing for assigned meetings.
  • Compile registration reports and distribute on an alternate day basis and maintain reports to track post-event data for registration, catering, housing and other data sets as needed.
  • Compile and collect printed materials (including but not limited to badges, rosters, signage, publications, marketing materials, etc.) and ensure their accuracy.
  • Negotiate vendor contracts for the internal approval process.
  • Assist with additional Cato events when needed.

Experience and skills

  • A Bachelor’s degree with 3 years of meeting planning experience and proven work history of managing multiple events at one time.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Capable of effectively working in a fast-paced environment and meeting deadlines; managing time without constant supervision.
  • Exceptional attention to detail, quality and accuracy.
  • Strong customer service mentality with a cheerful “can-do” attitude.
  • Positive and professional demeanour while working with staff, vendors, and attendees.
  • Ability to problem solve, manage crises effectively and maintain professional composure while working under pressure.
  • Proactive and stays informed regarding upcoming tasks; easily adapts if the project changes in scope.
  • The position requires 25% of travel throughout the year and may increase. Knowledge of EMS, Social Tables, and Swoogo is a plus.