Courses and Conferences Team Lead
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 3 years (renewable)
Grading: 5 or 6; depending on qualification and experience (monthly salary starting from 3.2k€ to 3.7k€ after tax, plus other benefits)
Closing Date: 14 April 2021
Reference Number: HD01952
The Course and Conference Office (CCO)  is responsible for the logistical and operational fulfilment of EMBL’s mission to provide exemplary training for the life sciences, making the laboratory the leading learning and meeting place for biologists in Europe. Join the team that delivers a world-class programme of international conferences, courses and events, primarily at the striking Advanced Training Centre (ATC). The ATC is EMBL’s purpose-built venue, centred on a large conference auditorium, wet laboratories and computer-based training rooms and complete with social spaces designed to foster networking and collaboration. We offer an international working environment with superb benefits and facilities for staff.

This operational management post contributes to the leadership of the Course and Conference Office. Besides your supervisory role, you will produce your own share of the programme of events.

As one of two Course and Conference Team Leads in the CCO, you'll share in the overall management of the 20 person department, directly supervising assigned team members. The two team leads each additionally hold responsibility across the whole of the CCO, for one segment of the programme: specialising in either courses or conferences to ensure quality, consistency and continuous improvement in that area of focus.

For the current opening we seek an experienced events professional who combines leadership flair with the solid operational skills to independently deliver their own events projects. You would join us in the coming months, focusing on our conferences as we deliver our 2021 programme online in exciting new digital formats, whilst planning for a return to our venue, taking with us some of the better aspects of virtual events into the onsite programme... when conditions permit. 

The post is based in Heidelberg with the team working remotely by default during the pandemic, but onsite for coordination of virtual events and for in-person onboarding and training sessions. 

Your role

Main functions Leadership:
  • Ongoing supervision of 4 to 6 Course and Conference Officers and / or Course and Conference Managers and other staff as assigned, managing performance and coordinating their training and development
  • Direct, overall management of specific functions of the CCO’s operations as agreed with the Head of the CCO.
  • Shaping efficient team communications and training for assigned area of focus (ie. courses or conferences operations) through effective meetings, learning events and information management.
  • Monitoring and ensuring operational quality in the organisation and delivery of all events in own area of responsibility
  • Oversight of all courses, conferences and projects assigned to reporting team members
  • Budgetary responsibility for own events and projects, and accountability for those of directly reporting team members, ensuring adherence to EMBL and CCO financial policies and regulations
  • Overseeing and / or initiating and driving projects and working groups to advance the continuous development of the CCO
  • Representing the CCO and EMBL by acting as principal liaison in relationships with key internal and external partners, suppliers and service providers
  • Contributing to recruitment, training and resource allocation for the production of the C&C programme
  • Identifying opportunities for improvement in the CCO and leading their implementation
  • Creative input to strategy and planning for External Training / the CCO
Events organisation:
  • The end-to-end production of own assigned conferences, courses and events
  • Working with customer relationship management databases, events software and platforms to manage event registration, reviews, abstracts and other processes and to deliver digital aspects of events
  • Creation, population and upkeep of event websites via content management systems
  • Coordination of event logistics including catering, technical, transport and accommodation
  • Programming of non-scientific content of events: social and networking provision, off-site dinners, excursions etc.
  • Working with the CCO Marketing Team, the EMBL Strategy and Communications team, internal and external suppliers to produce marketing materials and execute campaigns for the events.
  • On-site or online coordination of events.
  • Communications and correspondence with event participants and speakers worldwide.
  • Preparing financial and statistical reports following events and collating information for funders and partners.
  • Building and maintaining good relationships with internal and external partners, scientific organisers and service providers.
  • Communications and correspondence with event participants worldwide.
  • Administrative functions necessary to the post.
Specialised functions and responsibilities:
  • Overall responsibility for conference operations across the CCO
The role requires occasional evening / weekend work or work at other EMBL sites and external locations

You have

  • A career to date in events coordination, conference production, courses or other appropriate projects which has prepared you to work on EMBL's busy programme. 
  • 5+ years of event management experience. 
  • Proven leadership ability and prior experience of supervising team members.
  • Strong administrative, coordination and customer service skills. 
  • Adept communicator and relationship builder.
  • A talent for organisation: combining attention to detail with flexibility and the vision to see the priorities, enabling you to manage multiple projects.
  • Creative self-starter and innovative thinker.
  • Strong software skills and facility to rapidly learn new applications. Especially relevant applications are: CRMs and event registration / management systems, CMS (currently Wordpress) and virtual events platforms.
  • Fluency in English is essential, this being the working language at EMBL.
  • Basic level of German language proficiency, or commitment to acquiring it - courses available internally.

You might also have

  • Specific experience organising international conferences and / or courses would be an advantage.
  • Experience in virtual events management and of working effectively in a remote team will be considered an asset in these times.
  • Level of university / academic education and relevant professional qualifications will be considered in shortlisting.

Why join us

The Course and Conference Office team is international, creative and collaborative in character. A warm welcome from a motivated and ambitious team of skilled events professionals awaits the right candidate. From audio-visual through catering to accommodation and facilities management, our key internal service partners are reliable and responsive in-house teams who operate to the highest standards. An events marketing team, administrative support and financial management all sit within the CCO, freeing the events teams to focus on their projects. We enjoy clear scientific leadership and direction at a senior level from our parent unit: EICAT-External Training. 

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation with a very collegial and family friendly working environment. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial support for relocation and installation, including your family and the availability of an excellent child care facility on campus. 

What else you need to know

We are innovative and interdisciplinary laboratory with more than 1700 employees from many nations, operating across six sites: in Heidelberg (HQ), Barcelona, Hinxton near Cambridge, Hamburg, Grenoble and Rome.

Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review. The pathway for Course and Conference Office staff  at EMBL is commonly up to three consecutive three-year contracts, with clear progression opportunities within the team.