Jayhawk Hospitality is the single point of entry for meetings and events at the University of Kansas spurring revenue growth across academic and service units, creating efficiencies in scheduling and use of space, provides support for campus planners, and interacts with campus stakeholders. The Director will head this initiative by leading a team that delivers a vision across the University in partnership with major service providers, including Lifelong and Professional Education, Housing, Athletics, Alumni, the KU Memorial Union, and the City of Lawrence among others. The events portfolio will include traditional year-round conferences, symposiums, and special events and summer-only camps, conferences, and retreats. With specific, aggressive goals for generating revenue growth, increasing annual headcount, gaining operational efficiencies, increasing space utilization, and supporting the recruitment pipeline, the Director implements best practices in the marketing, sales, operations, and evaluation of meetings and events at the university and is a resource for any university college, department, or program that seeks to create or attract meetings and events in support of their individual missions. The Director will also be a liaison with the City of Lawrence, Kansas to coordinate operations, align goals, and establish regional benefits to the program in addition to liaising with third-party partners selected in relation to the 11th & Mississippi Gateway Project and associated conference center buildout.
Responsibilities of this Position:
- Work with campus stakeholders to create and manage efficient practices for internal and external clients to reserve spaces for meetings and events, communication of reservations, setup requirements and costs to relevant campus service providers, and billing and collection of appropriate charges. Evaluate and procure technological solutions to support the event management process.;
- Set and manage sales strategy for Jayhawk Hospitality focused on aggressive, pro-active, and organic outreach. Implement and manage marketing plan to support sales efforts. Handle operational oversight of all department functions and reporting.
- Manage advisory group that will put together parameters for ongoing coordination and partnership with University partners and stakeholders along with the City of Lawrence to ensure universal benefit and alignment on goals and opportunities;
- Develop a set of standards for all meetings and events at, or sponsored by, the university that establish expectations for quality of service, adherence to brand, and suitable outcomes for attendees. Train all campus meeting planners and service providers on the established standards and ensure accountability across all meetings and events;
- Provide direction and leadership for a team of professional staff and student staff that are charged with the booking, planning, and execution of meetings and events at the university, including external events such as conferences, day meetings, youth and athletic camps, academic symposiums, educational programs, retreats, and other activities that leverage the outstanding academics and premier facilities at the university, provide for greater space utilization during periods of lower use, and generate net revenue to the University;
- Manage all unit functions including:
- Recruitment, training, and annual evaluation of staff;
- Development and implementation of policies that are client- and customer-focused and financially responsible related to scheduling, booking, contracting, and invoicing spaces and services on campus;
- Marketing and outreach activities to internal and external constituencies;
- Development and execution of proposals and contracts between the university and internal/external clients for all meetings and events activities;
- Preparation of an annual budget for Jayhawk Hospitality in alignment with established goals for the unit. Management of detailed financial reporting for each meeting and event, specified categories of meetings and events, revenue share for campus service providers, and unit operating expenses;
- Oversight of execution of meetings and events to established university standards, including scheduling, overnight accommodations, food service, facility setups, technology, parking, and other services as required;
- Develop and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external service providers, vendors, and stakeholders; establish expectations, standards, and accountability for the provision of services that ensure a high level of customer experience;
- Oversee the development and implementation of a strategic marketing and outreach plan to attract new meetings and events to the university, with the goal of increasing annual headcount and net revenues. Coordinate with the City of Lawrence on these efforts;
- Function as key liaison for third party partners selected in relation to the 11th & Mississippi Gateway Project and associated conference center to maximize year-round traffic onsite while leveraging to create incremental campus opportunities
- Other duties as assigned or required.
- Bachelor’s degree with seven or more years of job-related experience, or master’s degree with four or more years of job-related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience. A degree in Business Administration, Hospitality Management, or related field is highly desirable;
- Experience with managing meetings and events in a higher-education setting is preferred;
- Experience in the development and review of contracts and service agreements for the execution of meetings and events;
- Must be able to thrive in a fast-paced environment;
- Work with a sense of urgency, have the ability to handle stress associated with tight deadlines and deal with multiple projects in short time frames;
- Ability to prioritize, coordinate, and organize own work and set direction for subordinates;
- Effective communication and interpersonal skills;
- Ability to work with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community;
- Ability to make administrative/procedural decisions and judgments;
- Ability and willingness to work on evenings and weekends as needed.
Travel Requirements: 5-10% to attend regional trade shows, training, and being on-site for conferences booked through Jayhawk Hospitality as needed.
Base Annual Salary: $90,000
The Perks: Kansas Athletics offers relocation assistance and an excellent benefits package including: 403(b) matching program, plus voluntary retirement savings plans; health, dental, vision insurance, Section 125 flexible spending plans; paid holidays, vacation and sick leave; paid Parental leave; employer paid long-term disability, group term life and AD&D; tuition reimbursement; Adidas merchandise allotment and discounts; free weight room access; and more!
Encouraged to apply: Kansas Athletics is committed to providing an equal opportunity for all qualified individuals to be considered for staff positions regardless of race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, age, or status as a veteran. As a reflection of this commitment, Kansas Athletics strives to recruit and employ the most qualified applicants available, consistent with the requirements of the position and the long-range objectives of Kansas Athletics.
Learn more about Jayhawk Hospitality here: https://hospitality.ku.edu/