The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank dedicated to advancing individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peaceful international relations. Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th-century England that presented a vision of a society free from excessive government power. Cato’s Letters inspired the heroes of the American Revolution, and we strive to bring the timeless principles of that revolution—individual liberty, limited government, and free markets—to all people.
This role will be based in the Washington, DC office and reports to the Director, Conference & Events. You will be required to be in the office at least three days a week, but we welcome your presence more often!
About the Role
Cato is seeking a Conference Planner to plan and manage operations and administrative responsibilities for Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative which includes a variety of in-house and offsite events. These 20+ events are multi-day, virtual, and may have additional event formats. As part of the Sphere Education Initiative effort, the position includes being the lead planner for the Sphere Summit events which feature more than 200 attendees for several multi-day events that take place in Washington, DC throughout the summer.
This position is a great opportunity for planners interested in a variety of event formats and venues. This person should be excited to plan events that will take place in Cato’s event space as well as offsite in the Washington D.C. area and in cities throughout the country. The roles and responsibilities of events will vary insofar as some of the events will require the Conference Planner to plan individually, while other events will be planned as part of a team.
Essential functions may include, but are not limited to:
- Project Planning
- Draft each event’s timeline, complete tasks on time, and monitor the progress of tasks assigned to other colleagues
- Coordinate staff, speaker and housing for assigned meetings
- Financial Management
- Draft each event’s budget
- Closely monitor and document expenses
- Plan events within budget
- Vendor Management
- Create and submit specifications for logistics to applicable vendors (including but not limited to hotels, caterers, av suppliers, shipping vendors, printers, etc.)
- Ensure accurate conversion of event details into vendor documents and forms
- Negotiate vendor contracts as part of the internal approval process
- Serve as the primary contact for vendors; build and maintain relationships to achieve optimal results
- Execute onsite implementation of logistics including
- Registration Oversight
- Oversee registration aspects of assigned events and ensure accuracy of data
- Compile registration reports and distribute on an alternate days basis
- Maintain reports to track post event data for registration, catering, housing and other data sets as needed
- Event Collateral
- Compile and collect printed materials (including but not limited to badges rosters, signage, publications, marketing materials, etc.)
- Ensure accuracy in these details
- Virtual Events: Understanding on how to manage virtual attendee experience
- Registration Oversight
- 3-5 years of meeting planning experience and proven work history of managing multiple events simultaneously
- Commitment to Cato’s libertarian values
- Strong verbal and written communication skills with exceptional attention to detail, quality and accuracy
- Capable of effectively working in a fast-paced environment with strong customer service mentality and
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Manage time without constant supervision
- Positive and professional demeanor at all times while working with staff, vendors, and attendees,
- Swift adaptability if (when!) projects change scope
- Ability to problem solve, manage crisis situations effectively and maintain a professional composure while working under pressure
- Position requires at least 25% of travel throughout the year and may increase, which may include weekends
- Knowledge of EMS and Swoogo is a plus.
- Relevant bachelors degree preferred but not required
How to Apply
Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials (in order) in one PDF document:
- A cover letter detailing your interest in the position, why you want to work for Cato, and your salary requirements
Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link: talentmarket.org/apply-for-your-dream-job/.
Questions can be directed to Katy Gambella, Director of Outreach at Talent Market, who is managing the search process: [email protected].
There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled.
While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.
Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide consulting and recruiting services at no cost to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that clearly and directly focus on advancing the principles of economic freedom, free enterprise, free trade, free speech, property rights, rule of law, and limited regulation.