Assistant Convention Manager/Convention Manager

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Job Description

The Convention Manager (CM) and Assistant Convention Manager (ACM) are authorized by the President and the Board to coordinate and oversee the planning and implementation of annual conventions of the Association.

Duration of Appointment: A four-year commitment; a newly appointed Assistant Convention Manager spends two years in the Assistant position, followed by two years as Convention Manager. The initial appointment is one year, with reappointments possible, up to a total of four years. MLA seeks an Assistant Convention Manager for the term beginning July 1, 2018.

Position Description: The ACM accompanies the CM onsite inspection/hotel negotiation trips as appropriate and manages all facets of exhibits, signage, and print advertising for the convention. The CM oversees all other convention details and is responsible for onsite management of annual conventions. The CM serves as liaison to the Program Committee chair, the Web Editor, the Publicity Officer, the chair of the Education Committee (and other committees as appropriate, if a pre-conference workshop is planned), the Administrative Officer, the MLA Board, the MLA Business Office, and other affiliated groups planning events in conjunction with MLA’s annual conference. The CM also works closely with the Development Officer on fundraising for the meeting. The CM, in consultation with MLA’s convention event consultant, currently Experient, negotiates with hotels for future conventions to secure accommodations for meeting and sleeping rooms. The ACM, in consultation with the CM and MLA Business Office, is responsible for all solicitations and arrangements concerning exhibitors whose publications, products, and services are displayed at conventions. Both the CM and ACM positions demand heavy involvement during the three to four months prior to the annual convention, from early Fall when they solicit exhibitors/advertisers to the final preparation for the exhibits at the annual meeting, and also in Spring when they prepare the convention budget. The CM and ACM work closely with the MLA Business Office on all aspects of registration, the program book, and also mobile app development. The CM and ACM also work closely with the MLA website editor and the MLA Business Office on the content and functionality of the conference website.

Duties of the Assistant Convention Manager

  • solicitation of exhibitors and program advertisers for the annual convention;

  • maintaining a master list of exhibitors/advertisers;

  • managing the print ads and other exhibitor copy for the conference program;

  • working with the Development Officer on vendor fund-raising;

  • over-seeing all aspects of exhibits and all signage for the convention. This includes communications/negotiations with exhibition services/drayage firms, security firms, and Internet/electrical services, and on-site management of the exhibit area during the convention.

The ACM works closely with the CM, consulting whenever necessary to become familiar with the duties and responsibilities of the position.

Duties of the Convention Manager

  • site inspection;

  • reporting findings/recommendations to the Board;

  • negotiating hotel contract(s);

  • communicating with the hotel’s sales and event staff;

  • working closely with the Chair of the Program Committee during the assigning of meeting rooms;

  • selecting all catering for the convention and coordinating with constituent groups regarding their catering needs;

  • communicating with the hotel’s catering/banquet service;

  • coordinating the A-V for presentation spaces and consulting with the Board and Web Editor regarding streaming services;

  • working with the Administrative Officer to arrange for insurance coverage for the meeting;

  • with input from the Program Committee, the Development Officer, and other parties as needed, preparing the convention budget for the MLA Spring Board meeting. At the discretion of the President, may be invited to participate in meetings of the Board, either in person or virtually;

  • working with the Program Chair, the Web Editor, and the MLA Business Office, is responsible for coordinating the content of the convention program in its print and digital formats.

The CM has final responsibility for on-site management of all facets of the convention, reports to the membership at the annual convention on recent, current, and future annual conventions, and confirms and submits all bills to the Administrative Officer. In addition, the CM is responsible for maintaining, revising and updating, and distributing MLA’s Convention Manual, as well as the convention calendar.

Qualifications: Five years’ experience as a music librarian; membership in the Music Library Association, with good understanding of its organizational and annual convention structure (showing evidence of having attended past national conventions); administrative experience with strong organizational and management skills; the ability to set and meet deadlines; budgeting experience; effective communication skills in person, on the phone and in writing; availability for business trips of 2–3 days duration ca. 1-2 times per year as appropriate; availability to attend all annual conventions for a full week; good computer skills including word processing software, spreadsheet management, and telecommunications applications, along with access to a high quality printer, Internet, and email. Knowledge of applications such as Guidebook and QuickBooks is desirable.

Benefits: The CM and ACM receive support for most expenses required to carry out the responsibilities of the position (travel, telephone, postage, etc.), as well as gratis regular membership and early member conference registrations for the duration of their appointments. In addition, the CM receives an honorarium; the Board of Directors determines honoraria annually.

How to Apply

Deadline for applications is January 3, 2018.  Send application, along with resume and contact information (names, phone numbers, and addresses) for three references to the search committee chair Wendy Sistrunk via e-mail at Interviews will take place at the Portland convention.

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