Director, External Events

Washington DC
Jan 21, 2019
Mar 13, 2019
Full Time

The Director of External Events will have oversight over the creation, development and success of a new department within the Kennedy Center, External Events. The Director of External Events will be expected to develop new revenue sources by offering REACH spaces for external rentals and to meet revenue targets for rentals of the REACH.

The successful candidate will be a sales oriented individual with leadership strength; the ability to draw upon a local, regional and national network of industry connections will also be important. The candidate must demonstrate excellent leadership, communication and team building skills with clients, associates, peers and across all Kennedy Center departments.

The Director of External Events, in close coordination with the Director of Booking, will coordinate the simultaneous use of adjacent spaces within the REACH. The Director will collaborate with the Community Engagement and Programming department in planning and coordinating campus wide festivals such as Page to Stage, Lunar New Year Celebration, International Festivals and Open House as well as with the Education department for the use of classrooms and studios for summer camps and other educational activities within the REACH.

The External Events Department will assist, as appropriate, with Development Special Events in planning and executing campus wide fundraising events such as Mark Twain Prize, NSO Gala and Kennedy Center Honors.

The Director of External Events will oversee an External Events Manager and manage both internal and external vendors vital to event execution.

Duties and Responsibilities:

35% Establish a proactive, sales focused events department environment. Develop and implement rental usage policies, contracts and scheduling processes. Develop rental rates in conjunction with Vice President of Campus Planning and Director of Booking. Develop and achieve annual sales budgets for the events department. Develop and implement an event rental marketing program and collateral.

25% Oversee all use of the REACH expansion spaces prioritized for external events. Maintain event calendar for all REACH expansion spaces. Manage staff in the execution of a variety of size/scale events. Set clear revenue, sales and performance goals for each member of the booking team. Provide management and oversight to individuals and organizations that rent space on campus to hold a meeting or event. This will include negotiation of contracts and, at times, development of contracts, ensuring that insurance provisions are met, and any risk exposure from external activities is mitigated. Oversee client space needs, the billing and collection of outstanding balances as needed, and overall client relations.

25% Respond to event inquiries and tour prospective clients in the Event Manager's absence. Be available for events as required. Ensure effective management of all details related to the REACH external events including coordination and confirming items like catering, parking, signage, media, public safety, building services, and more, partnering with other appropriate Kennedy Center departments as needed to ensure successful external events.

15% Network with the local event community including event planners, CVB's, event producers and other influencers. Act as ambassador in representing the Kennedy Center as a premier location for a variety of events.


Bachelor's degree required; Master's in a related field preferred. Minimum of 10 years Special Events experience; preferably with some nonprofit institutional knowledge/background.

Minimum Skills and/or Knowledge Required:

Experience in event sales and management, specifically conference programs, marketing, event budget management, revenue generation, public relations and/or special events management.

A thorough working knowledge of Microsoft Office is required. Knowledge of Arts Vision or other theatrical calendar software (Ungerbock, Artifax, etc.) is necessary. Knowledge of event related software (Room Viewer, etc.) is helpful.

Excellent communication and intermediary skills are necessary to work effectively with a diverse group of constituencies. This includes effective problem solving, conflict resolution, negotiation, and mediation skills.

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in person and on the telephone. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel in order to operate computer keyboard, office equipment, and other essential tasks. The employee is frequently required to sit, stand, walk, bend, stoop, crouch, and reach with hands and arms. This position infrequently lifts, carries, or otherwise moves and positions objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

Work Environment

This is a very busy, fast-paced environment which requires flexibility in adjusting to changing priorities and demands. Safety, guest service and teamwork are the primary values in this Division.

Some travel up to 5% may be required. Frequent nights and weekend work will be required.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world premier performing arts organization and our nation's cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion.

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