Senior Content/Conference Manager (freelancer position-2 days/week)
About the job
An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced education events professional (or a higher education journalist/external communications specialist looking for a career change) to join the Times Higher Education to build and deliver event content for our Digital Universities series.
The Digital Universities event series facilitate discussions for university stakeholders on the latest issues and challenges surrounding the digital transformation of higher education as the sector transitions to online and hybrid modalities of education.
Public intellectuals, media figures, university leaders, government representatives, policy-makers and commentators, and experienced administrators are all typical speakers at events held across the event series held currently in the UK, US, MENA and will expand to Asia and Europe in 2023.
Reporting to the Head of Content you will primarily work on Times Higher Education’s Digital Universities Series but also some specialist events for similar audiences. You will be responsible for end-to-end content delivery by researching the market through speaking with key contacts to determine compelling themes and discussion topics, and producing innovative event programmes with excellent speakers. The ideal candidate will be passionate about higher education and its impact and be prepared to proactively foster and build relationships with stakeholders across the sector.
You must have at least 4 years experience of successfully producing events and/or working within the higher education sector or have the equivalent experience in a closely related industry, and demonstrate clear transferrable skills. You’ll need to be used to a fast-paced environment, be an innovative thinker and have the ability to research independently and thoroughly to discover the best speakers. You will have a creative approach to be able to spot opportunities that add value and enhance the experience of our stakeholders. You’ll need to be confident talking to senior leaders and stakeholders.
Working with the Events team and across the wider business you will play an important role in delivery our global conferences.
Programme research and development
- Conduct effective phone and desk research with a variety of stakeholders to create high-quality event programmes that include compelling subjects for discussion
- Work in partnership with commercial partners to shape programmes to their objectives (and occasionally with host partners)
- Collaborate with the wider THE team to identify opportunities on event programmes that support the wider business portfolio
- Collaborate with the Sponsorship Directors to support the engagement of potential business partnerships at our events
- Participate in meetings with sponsors, host partners and other stakeholders. Client liaison skills are a must
- Recruit senior level, high-quality speakers to participate
- Ensure event programmes are researched, well-written, compelling and thoughtful to attract speakers and delegates to attend
- Draft best practice speaker briefs on the event themes and discussions
- Verify speaker submitted presentations prior to each event and ensure they are appropriate
- Ensure that all speakers involved in THE’s events portfolio have a positive experience through its high-quality speaker liaison
- On-site co-ordination of speakers and other key stakeholders, stage management and liaison with AV team to ensure a seamless production
Driving attendance, marketing and prospect management
- Write compelling programme abstracts and website copy to help market our events
- Clarify the event value proposition for interested parties
- Contribute to the production of effective marketing collateral
- Engage with key influencers of the market and generate interest in the event
- Support THE’s events engagement strategy to build a community around our events
- Identify potential fringe event and collaboration opportunities which support strategically supports the host partners and commercial educational partners
Experience and Skills Required
- 4+ years of proven experience successfully producing events, ideally within the higher education sector
- Quick to grasp concepts and understand the value proposition for different event stakeholders
- Confident and talented self-starter who is able to hit the ground running
- Experience of managing junior members of staff and/or freelance support staff
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to work with senior leaders from government, academia and industry
- Commercially astute and entrepreneurial outlook in order to work on commercial events
- Experience of work with media and communications
- Ability to work to agreed deadlines, working well under pressure
- Excellent planning and organisational skills in order to manage and prioritise workload
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including spelling, grammar and proofreading, with the ability to tailor style and approach to suit a variety of global audiences
- Passionate about international global higher education and current affairs
- MS Office essential Word, Excel and PowerPoint
- Flexibility to travel overseas to events
- Educated to a degree level
THE are proud to be an equal opportunities employer. We recognise that we are all different. Great strength is born through different perspectives and experiences. That is why we are committed to our mission of creating an inclusive culture that enables our people to feel able to bring their whole selves to work. We are proud to be part of the Global Equality Collective and a mindful employer to help support THE achieve this.
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