Senior Meetings Program Manager

Washington D.C.
Jul 17, 2018
Aug 21, 2018
Program Manager
Full Time

The Optical Society (OSA) is recruiting for a Senior Meetings Program Manager. The position develops the Project Plan and manages the team’s performance of project tasks, coordinates and executes the logistical aspects, programming and volunteer management aspects of all assigned meetings.  The Senior Manager is responsible for communication, including status reporting, risk management, and the escalation of issues that cannot be resolved by the team, and, in general, making sure the project is delivered in budget, on schedule, and within scope while maintaining a co-operative, motivated and successful team environment – cross divisional and cross departmental.  The Senior Manager provides onsite supervision of staff and vendors as well as supervises and mentors direct report(s).



Project Management

  1. Serves as primary contact with senior management, internal stakeholders and committee members
  2. Serves as on-site staff lead to ensure event is executed appropriately, troubleshoot issues, manage staff/vendors, and act as primary emergency/crisis contact
  3. Communicates dates, FAQs and key deadline changes to internal stakeholders (e.g. Exec. Team, senior department staff, customer service)
  4. Facilitates regular team meetings and communicates team decisions, action items, and interim and final reporting (accurate, thorough, meaningful)
  5. Develops and maintains a detailed project plan
  6. Monitors timeline and fulfillment of deliverables
  7. Records and manages project issues (inclusive of marketing, exhibits sales, registration and exhibit operations) and escalates where necessary
  8. Ensures website reflects key messages of the meeting
  9. Identifies conference staffing needs and schedule
  10. Evaluates effectiveness of programs and communicates improvement opportunities for next meeting


Committee Education and Program Development

  1. Reviews past meeting wrap-up notes, event statistics and evaluations to determine program improvements
  2. Reviews meeting outline and prior meeting programs to determine general flow, parallel sessions, special events and meeting culture
  3. Highlights committee feedback on hot topics, scope, and committee suggestions
  4. Reviews expectations and process, to include peer-to-peer marketing
  5. Confirms meeting topics and/or categories with Chairs
  6. Supports needs to ensure key metrics are met
  7. Liaises with grant manager and chairs in grant development for budget and program objectives
  8. Works with committee to develop slot allocation and determine joint Congress activities
  9. Provides reports to assist with committee/speaker identification
  10. Develops and maintains key committee communication tools, such as the calendar of deadlines and slot allocation
  11. Updates meeting outline on a regular basis, at least annually
  12. Works with committee on resolving any session/speaker conflicts
  13. Works with both outreach programs and conference chairs on selection of special awards programs
  14. Manages correspondence with plenary speakers
  15. Generates agenda of sessions


Budget Management

  1. Effectively plans and develops accurate budgets
  2. Ensures expenses remain within budget limits and revenue goals are met
  3. Reconciles event bills and invoices
  4. Provides interim variance statement reports


Vendor/Site Selection

  1. Analyzes proposals, issues recommendations to supervisor for vendor selection, and negotiates terms
  2. Serves as liaison with all vendors and venues and manages their performance and delivery of services/products
  3. Ensures successful fulfillment of contract specifications
  4. Reviews hotel/venue terms during negotiation process
  5. Establishes and implements proactive processes to avoid attrition
  6. For larger conferences:
  7. Conducts site selection visits and planning trips 
  8. Negotiates convention center contracts, including rates and space
  9. Accurately forecasts and establishes room blocks and sub blocks

Meeting Logistics

  1. Manages execution of plenary/general session(s)
  2. Maintains space diary
  3. Manages the development of signage, VIP and speaker rooming lists, concession usage and shipping
  4. Approves specs and signs off on BEOs


Collaborates with other Senior Meetings Program Managers and departmental senior staff to effectively manage department resources

  1. Ensures consistent processes and policies for all programs are followed
  2. Identifies potential efficiencies
  3. Coordinates distribution of IT equipment and signage inventory




  • Four-year college degree required
  • CMP or like certification required
  • Five or more years of event planning experience required
  • Three or more years of volunteer (subject matter experts) experience required
  • Association experience preferred
  • Supervisory experience preferred
  • Contract & vendor management experience required


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with both scientific minded volunteers and members
  • Superior analytical abilities
  • Ability to meet multiple deadlines, coordinate details, and work independently
  • Excellent ability to establish and build relationships
  • Ability to travel, approximately 20%
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office software and database applications
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Excellent project management skills

OSA offers a competitive salary and benefits. Please send your resume and cover letter to

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