Director of Conference Services

Job Description

The Luskin Conference Center (LCC) is designed as a 300,000 square foot, 7-story, International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) certified property on the UCLA campus. The LCC is comprised of 254 guest rooms, approximately 25,000 square feet of meeting space, a 160-seat restaurant, a fitness center, and a business center. The total staff anticipated for the LCC is approximately 165-180 FTE, with total revenue projected at $30 million annually. The LCC is an academic meeting and conference destination supporting UCLA’s education and research mission.

Reporting to the General Manager (GM) of the UCLA Luskin Conference Center (LCC), the Director of Conference Services provides overall leadership, guidance, and direction to the conference services team. The Director of Conference Services has the responsibility of overseeing event and facility management and being the lead LCC representative responsible for negotiating rates, coordinating the schedule for internal and external events and ensuring effective on-site management and full compliance with all University and applicable external guidelines for all Conference Services related activities for the LCC. Must be able to develop a network of potential clients and colleagues in the conference industry and community to enhance the public presence of the University as a conference site of choice for approved clientele.

Provides day to day leadership to conference services associates to ensure the effectiveness of accommodations for conference guests and their programs. Works extensively with group-based hospitality business including the association/education conference market segment. Responsible for the leadership and management of all aspects of conference services at the property to include catering sales, managing all public relations, promotions and advertising efforts to optimize profit potential and further enhance the property’s image. Implements the brand service strategy and applicable brand initiatives in all aspects of the service process and focuses on building long-term, value-based customer relationships that enable achievement of the hotel’s sales and (conference) service objectives. Manages the conference services budget to enable development of property specific campaigns, promotions and collateral to drive revenue and meet property objectives. Develops and implements property-wide strategies that deliver products and services to meet or exceed the needs and expectations of LCC guests and stakeholders. Requires strong communication skills, both verbal and written, and demonstrated outstanding leadership to guide a team of conference, planning, and sales staff.

Job Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management (or similar) with ten or more years of progressive experience in hospitality sales and marketing, including five years in leadership-level positions; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Required

Significant experience in group-based hospitality business including the association/education conference market segment.
Required

Demonstrated ability in establishing benchmarks and performance goals for all sales department employees, monitoring goal completion, projections, and future sales strategies.
Required

Working knowledge of conference/convention services management techniques including room allocation, meeting space and equipment need assessments.
Required

Demonstrated record of successful planning, budgeting, financial analysis, and fiscal management, including skill in budget preparation, analysis, and controlling costs of multiple, multi-million dollar budgets, with annual group sales revenue in excess of 10 million dollars.
Required

Working knowledge of organizational development in a large, multi-faceted organization, to include assessment, training, and performance management.
Required

Demonstrated ability to manage diverse sales and marketing efforts in hotel, conference center, and/or University environment.
Required

Excellent written and oral communication skills to write, edit, and present strategic planning documents, sales and marketing trends, reports, presentations and routine business correspondence.
Required

Excellent analytical skills to organize data and material to draw appropriate conclusions and make recommendations for solution, to evaluate the effectiveness of sales, methods, costs, and results.
Required

Skill in developing marketing materials, including brochures, fliers, pamphlets, web pages, and other promotional materials.
Required

Strong customer service and employee satisfaction orientation.
Required

Demonstrated excellent analytical, decision-making, and problem solving skills.
Required

Ability quickly to establish rapport, professional credibility and cooperative working relationships among all levels of the organization, clients and stakeholders.
Required

Computer proficiency in computerized reservation system, word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software.
Required

Ability to structure, sequence and prioritize work while dealing with multiple deadlines, changing priorities and frequent interruptions.
Required

Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends.
Required

Ability to travel locally, nationally and occasionally internationally.
Required

Ability to drive licensed electric carts and UCLA vehicles at times for meetings, site inspections, etc.
Preferred

Ability to drive the sales culture through active involvement in the sales process, including encouraging the leadership team to develop effective revenue management strategies and setting aggressive goals that will drive the property’s financial performance.
Required

Proven track record in delivering financial results.
Required

Ability to foster a teamwork environment and encourage staff in their professional development in a culture of service and attention to client. Commitment to exceptional guest service.
Required

Experience in pre-opening/opening a conference center or group-based hotel of similar size.
Preferred