University of Leeds - Assistant Head of Conference and Even…

Assistant Head of Conference and Events (Sales and Marketing), Residential and Catering Services Candidate Pack








We are recruiting for a Assistant Head of Conference and Events. The Assistant Head of Conference & Events will assist the Head of Conference and Events in leading and delivery of the University’s Conference and Events Sales Team in the development and execution of the sales, marketing, event coordination. They will be tasked at building a strong team around them, helping to reach the ambitious plans set by the Head of Department. The candidate will be involved in the PR strategies to drive conference and event sales and income and to increase the University’s profile within the conference and events market place. The post holder will be responsible for the generation of revenue from the sale of conferences, events and conference management services

in order to achieve, if not exceed, revenue targets.


The University, established in 1904, is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK. We are renowned globally for the quality of our teaching and research. The strength of our academic expertise, combined with the breadth of disciplines we cover, provides a wealth of opportunities and has real impact on the world in cultural, economic and societal ways. The University strives to achieve academic excellence within an ethical framework informed by our values of integrity, equality and inclusion, community and professionalism.


We have more than 39,000 students including more than 36,500 full time, 2,400 part time, 28,300 undergraduates and 10,700 postgraduates.

We have over 13,400 international students from 137 countries, including exchange students.

We have 3,500 student volunteers who contribute to local, regional and national projects.

We have a global network of alumni and are in regular contact with more than 312,000 alumni in more than 197 different countries.

We have 9,200 staff from more than 100 different countries.

We contribute £1.3 billion every year to the UK economy – students add close to £200m of international revenue into the City Region each year.

Our staff have been awarded 29 National Teaching Fellowships – more than any other university

Leeds is ranked in the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2021

We were The Times and The Sunday Times’ University of the Year in 2017 and are currently ranked 15th in its Good University Guide 2021

We are a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 identified that 90% of University of Leeds research has a quality rating of “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”.

In our latest audit by the Quality Assurance Agency the University received a commendation, the highest category of praise available, for our enhancement of student learning opportunities

We were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary prize, the country’s highest accolade for an academic institution, in 2009 and 2011 and 2021

We are part of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), which comprises 23 research-intensive institutions spanning six continents


The Facilities Directorate brings together Estates and Facilities, Commercial and Campus Support Services, Residential Services and Sustainability, employing over 1,100 staff, to provide first class facilities and services to support the University’s strategic objectives and world class aspirations. Our vision is to ensure that our campus offers opportunities for an exceptional student experience, provides first-class facilities for research and external collaborations and meets the best possible sustainability standards. Our mission is to provide first-class facilities and services to staff, students and visitors supporting the University’s strategic objectives and world class aspirations.


The University of Leeds Conference & Events team (MEETinLEEDS https://www.meetinleeds. sell, plan and deliver conference and event services, including venue hire, accommodation, catering, and conference management services. The University operates a wide range of venues and facilities that attract events such as meetings, conferences (including residential), exhibitions, award ceremonies, receptions and dinners. Conference & Event sales are set to grow significantly from £2million to as much as £4million following industry recovery from the pandemic and investment in facilities both on and off campus, including a new city centre venue set to launch in spring 2023. Working as the Assistant Head of Conference and Events (Sales and Marketing), you will be responsible for managing and directing the work of the Conference and Events sales team to attract event bookers to use University venues, accommodation and other services via pro-active and reactive sales strategies and overseeing marketing activities. You will lead the team, ensuring they maintain a high standard with systems, processes and service to manage customer relationships and attract new and repeat business. You must demonstrate a track record of working in a sales/business development/marketing role within the meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition industry. Moreover, to succeed in this role, you will need to be target driven and a fast learner with a proven track record of building significant event business sales and experience working as part of a senior management team. You will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills with an ability to work collaboratively with others and build effective working relationships (including the Universities Catering & Hospitality and Residential services).


Salary: Grade 8 (£43,414-£51,805 p.a.)

Main duties and responsibilities As the Assistant Head of Conference and Events , your main duties will include: • Develop and deliver sales strategies, including both reactive and proactive approaches, whilst working alongside colleagues to ensure integrated marketing activities that support these strategies; • Secure and attract national and international association conference business. Research potential events in partnership with external bodies such as Conference Leeds, Visit Britain, Visit England and Welcome to Yorkshire; • Develop, maintain and grow relationships with key stakeholders in the city, region, and event and HE industry; • Identify and manage presence at national and international industry exhibitions, events and sales missions. Attend destination and industry forums to raise the profile of the University of Leeds as a venue and service leader; • Lead, manage and develop the sales team to ensure that they are motivated and committed to delivering a high standard of service and that they understand how their performance and contribution relates to the achievement of strategic goals; • Take responsibility for developing and motivating your team to achieve their objectives; • Develop and maintain highly effective working relationships, both internally and externally; • Provide high-level expert advice on event management and conference delivery. Use your knowledge and experience to guide and influence clients and other stakeholders to make good choices and decisions to be able to satisfy their own requirements and fully meet the needs

and expectations of delegates, guests and visitors; • Work with colleagues, stakeholders, and external professionals to monitor opportunities to develop and improve products and services; • Working closely with members Catering and Hospitality team to develop products to attract more conference and events sales opportunities; • Collaborate with the Facilities Directorate Marketing team to: • Plan and deliver digital marketing campaigns, including web, SEO, email, social media and display advertising; • Ensure that the website aligns with brand strategy and meets the organisation’s standards; • Continually monitor and improve the customer journey to maximise sales; • Liaise effectively with the Assistant Head of Conference and Events (Operations) to ensure that facilities and services are properly utilised to maximise business levels, income, and profit generation; • Prepare and provide accurate budgets/ forecasts for the conferences/events ensuring that all costs are identified and controlled to achieve budgeted or better levels of income and profitability; • Provide regular key performance reports for the Head of Conferences and Events to identify material variances against performance, budget, and forecasts. Make recommendations, prepare plans and act to remediate or mitigate performance shortfalls and risks; • Manage your team to collate and gather customer feedback regularly and utilise this to achieve continuous product and service improvements;

• Respond appropriately to complaints, complex queries and customer feedback, ensuring matters are dealt with quickly and effectively; • Contribute to initiatives to undertake development/improvements/tenders to our current software reservation system (Kinetix) and online registration and payment portal (Aventri); • Ensure that managed conferences and events arrangements have proper regard for clients’ and the University’s legal, social and commercial reputation. Ensure that any reputational risks are managed and, where necessary, brought to the attention of service heads and directors; • Undertake all staff management per University procedures. Ensure that the team you manage receive staff reviews (SRDS), coaching/training and planned personal development; • In line with HR policy and procedure, consistently and effectively performance manage your team, taking prompt action to address any issues of poor conduct or performance; • As a key member of the Conference & Events management team, you’ll attend regular management team meetings, actively putting forward ideas, suggestions and providing/presenting information when required; • Assist colleagues and teams in other University services, as necessary, and as may be directed by the Head of Conferences and Events; • As might be required, develop and maintain quality standards for conferences and events to meet the objective of operating a quality management system that will comply with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015;

• Prepare and deliver presentations/ demonstrations for staff, customers, and visitors to promote product and service standards awareness as necessary; • Promoting and upholding Service and • University values and leading by example; These duties provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list. Other reasonable duties may be required consistent with the grade of the post.

Hours of work

Hours worked will be flexible and as required to meet the demands of the business. I.e. 5 days over 7 (typically Monday to Friday during office hours; however, evenings and weekends will need to be worked during conference letting periods). In addition (given advance notice): • You may be required to be on call overnight and at weekends. In this role, you might be required to attend work to resolve/manage issues that can only be effectively dealt with by a senior manager; • You may be required to work on University closed days and public holidays if required by the business.

Qualifications and skills

• Educated to degree level in a related subject area or hold equivalent experience/ qualifications; • Significant high-level leadership and management experience, including working as part of a senior management team; • A proven track record of working in a sales/business development/marketing role within the meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition industry with a proven-track records of exceeding targets; • Significant experience in managing successful large conferences and events from start to finish, providing advice on best practices; • Significant experience in developing and delivering reactive and proactive sales strategies to attract new business; • Experience in building rapport with key stakeholders to secure and generate future business; • Ability to develop positive working relationships and networks, and to negotiate and influence others; • Experience in monitoring and managing budgets; • Numerical skills in-keeping with required competence for calculating bills/invoices; • Excellent IT skills, including use of a wide range of software packages and knowledge of Kinetics and Aventri software or similar/equivalent; • Experience in presenting to large audiences; • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to communicate and collaborate with people at all levels efectively, both written and verbal (including face-to- face, telephone and video calls); • Excellent organisation skills with an ability to prioritise own and others’ workloads effectively and to work under pressure;


The University of Leeds is one of the top 135 universities in the world. We have a truly global community, with more than 39,000 students from 170 different countries and over 9,000 staff of 100 different nationalities. Established in 1904, we have a strong tradition of academic excellence, reflected in first-class student education, along with world-leading research that has a real impact around the globe. You can find all of the information you need about working for us, including our strategic plan, on our website.

Our Benefits

As a member of staff at the University of Leeds you’ll have access to a diverse range of benefits to help support your lifestyle. Some of these include: • Annual Leave: 25 days paid holiday every year. Plus approximately 15.5 days off for bank holidays and days when the University is closed (depending on how many hours you work and our campus closure schedule); • Work Life/Family Balance: A commitment to helping you achieve a work life balance, including flexible working opportunities; generous family leave packages, including maternity, paternity, adoption/surrogacy and parental/partner leave; an award winning on-campus nursery, Bright Beginnings, and childcare voucher scheme; • Skills Development: Access to professional, personal and leadership development, including a high quality Organisational Development and Professional Learning (OD&PL) provision and Staff Review & Development Scheme; • Pensions: Access to one of three competitive pension schemes, with generous employer contributions; • Facilities: An impressive range of facilities such as The Edge gym: a £12 million pound fitness centre, pool, climbing wall and sports halls all located on campus; an award-winning student union, including a supermarket, beauticians, cafes and bars; one of the UK’s largest and most renowned libraries; • Reward and Recognition: Competitive pay structures and reward policies; • Discounts and Expense Schemes: Save on shopping, public transport, cycling, healthcare and financial services. We can also help you with the cost of relocating to the local region (depending on meeting the eligibility criteria); • Events: We hold events, exhibitions, seminars and lectures on a range of different topics, many of which are free. • Find out what else is available to you by visiting our website.


Our Equality and Inclusion vision

As an international, research-intensive university with a strong commitment to student education we will create an inclusive environment that attracts, develops and retains the best students and staff from all backgrounds from across the world and supports them in delivering their ambitions, contributing to our institutional strategic aims.

Context for the framework

The foundation of our global community at the University of Leeds is equality of opportunity, respect, fairness and inclusion. These are vital enablers of the aspirations set out in our University Strategy 2020-30: ‘Making a Global Impact’. One of our five University values is inclusiveness. We believe that every student, all our staff and other members of our community should be treated with dignity and mutual respect. We should all be part of a learning and working environment that is free from barriers, regardless of age, caring responsibilities (University of Leeds specific characteristic), disabilities, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity status, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (Protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010). As well as speaking to our core values, we know that enhancing equality and inclusion is advantageous on an individual and organisational level. It supports the wellbeing of our students and staff and improves the sense of belonging for everyone learning, studying or working at our University. This in turn encourages commitment, performance, creativity and innovation strengthened by a wider range of perspectives and experiences contributing to key decision making. By fully embracing and valuing equality and inclusion, our University will ensure its long-term relevance in a fast-changing world and our already considerable global reputation and impact will be further enhanced. Our actions and commitments will need to be developed against the recognition that bias and discrimination have existed and still exist both in society and throughout higher education. Our University acknowledges our own responsibilities in this regard. We will address these issues locally and also seek to provide leadership and best practice more widely across the sector. We recognise that to achieve this there is a continuing need to build trust and engagement between our University and all our student and staff groups. We acknowledge that there are disadvantages and inequalities in accessing education, opportunities, experiences and outcomes for both students and staff. We know that we have further work to do to ensure we achieve a genuinely equal and inclusive environment and this framework commits us to this. We also know that delivering a genuine environment of this nature is the responsibility of everyone at our University.

Additional information

We are a campus based community and regular interaction with campus is an expectation of all roles in line with academic and ser- vice needs and the requirements of the role. We are also open to discussing flexible working arrangements. To find out more about the benefits of working at the University and what it is like to live and work in the Leeds area visit our Working at Leeds information page.

Our University

At the University of Leeds, we are committed to providing a culture of inclusion, respect and equity of opportunity that attracts, sup- ports, and retains the best students and staff from all backgrounds. Whatever role we recruit for we are always striving to increase the diversity of our community, which each individual helps enrich and cultivate. We particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community; people who identify as LGBT+; and disabled people. Candidates will always be selected based on merit and ability.

Information for disabled candidates

Information for disabled candidates, impairments or health condi- tions, including requesting alternative formats, can be found on our Accessibility information page or by getting in touch with us at hr@

Criminal record information

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 A criminal record check is not required for this position. However, all applicants will be required to declare if they have any ‘unspent’ criminal offences, including those pending. Any offer of appointment will be in accordance with our Criminal Records policy. You can find out more about required checks and declarations in our Criminal Records information page.


The University is being supported on this recruitment campaign by the search consultancy The Management Recruitment Group (MRG).

To arrange a confidential briefing conversation please contact our advisor James Gregory of MRG.

Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of no more than 3 pages) and a covering letter (of no more than 2 pages). Applications should be sent directly to James Gregory.

James Gregory E: T: 07966 827 391

The closing date for applications is 25th of September.

Final stage assessment interviews are proposed to take place at the University of Leeds on the 7th of October 2022.

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