Conference Organiser

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP
21 Aug 2017
21 Sep 2017
Full Time
Contract Type

BMA House London

Conference Unit

The BMA conference unit is a small team organising a very busy programme of events including conferences, seminars, roadshows and social events.

Working closely with managers, you will take the lead on your own portfolio of events. Providing a complete conference service to colleagues, you`ll manage events from end to end. Working to a brief and liaising with teams throughout the association, your responsibilities will include budgeting, logistics, communications, speaker and delegate liaison and ensuring the smooth running of events on the day.

It`s not glamorous and our deadlines aren`t flexible! But if you have some experience of working in conferencing and an understanding of the nature of the work, you might be our ideal candidate. With excellent time management, organisation and administration skills you`ll need to be flexible in your working style and work to organisational standards.

In return we offer an excellent development opportunity with ongoing training and supervision.

If you have a "can-do" attitude and like working in a small team - we would love to hear from you.

As part of your application, we`d like you to describe very briefly what the difference is between events sales and conference organisation.

Interested? Have a look at our website:

Closing date is Friday 22 September 2017

Diversity monitoring: We need your help to ensure we continue to recruit people in the fairest way. If you could complete the diversity questions when you apply for this role, we`d be very grateful.

Role profile
Role title Conference organiser
Department and directorate Conference Unit, Finance and Corporate Services
Grade 6
Reports to (job title) Conference Manager
Direct reports (job titles) N/A

Summary – purpose of the role
Describe as concisely as possible the overall purpose of the job and including the core duties/responsibilities required to be performed in the role (eg, to provide a full range of administrative support services to the department including x,y,z)
– To help maintain an effective conference unit, providing a professional conference service to the association as a whole.  The unit produces up to 90 events each year, ranging in size from training courses to large multi-faceted conferences.
– The post-holder is responsible for undertaking the organisation of a range of conferences including commercial events, seminars and branch of practice (BoP) conferences.  The post-holder handles all the administrative arrangements including venue selection, AV, catering, liaising with speakers, managing the event budgets, processing delegate registrations.
– The post-holder will liaise with relevant internal departments in respect of publicising/marketing their events, produce relevant conference documentation, arranging for events to be publicised in the appropriate electronic media, and send out mass emails. 
– The post-holder is responsible for assisting in training the conference assistant in how to use the unit's database, explaining the correct procedures for processing registration forms and payments, how to produce and amend conference reports on the database ie delegate lists, badges, confirmation emails/letters. 
– The post-holder is responsible for creating content for the unit's webpages; and ensuring that webpages are kept up-to-date.      
– To assist the head of conference unit/conference manager as directed and required. Skill (level and breadth of application)
What relevant experience is necessary to undertake this role? What specialist, technical or professional qualifications are required to be able to perform the job?
How far does the role extend out across the organisation, eg confined to own team, involves co-ordination with another department or requires regular negotiation with many other parts of the organisation. Why is this necessary? Describe the range of issues that are involved in this, eg resolving people’s IT problems, collecting information on key research items or advising members on a particular issue.
– The post-holder will be expected to have experience of organising a variety of events ranging from small seminars, to residential conferences, dinners and receptions, invited-audience events to commercial conferences.  The head of conference unit/conference manager will provide guidance and support should the post-holder require additional training to enable them to run their own events with little, or no, supervision.    
– The post-holder must be able to multi-task and manage their own workload, ensuring that all events are delivered on time, and to budget.  It is essential that the post-holder has short and long term planning and organisational skills – events may be planned at short notice (3-6 months), others up to 2 years in advance.
– The post-holder must have excellent communication skills to ensure that all relevant stakeholder groups are kept advised and up-dated of progress throughout the conference planning cycle.  They will require good interpersonal and influencing skills, tact and diplomacy, as the post-holder liaises with colleagues across the association, as well as chief officers, members, venues and suppliers. 
– The post-holder will be required to attend some events on their own and they must be able to deal with any unexpected or unpredictable events that may occur on-site in a calm and resourceful manner, and yet still ensuring the successful delivery of the event.   
– The post-holder must have excellent IT/web/database and keyboard skills Intellectual demands (complexity and challenge)
What sorts of problems, situations or issues are typically dealt with? Give any illustrative examples. How are the problems, situations or issues dealt with (eg undertaking original research and analysis or seeking specialist advice)?
To what extent are standard procedures and processes followed when undertaking typical tasks, and how is personal initiative used when solving problems? To what extent is creativity used in solving the problems (eg adopting different approaches, trying things that have not been done before within the organisation or improving/changing previous approaches).
– The post-holder must be able to deal with any day-to-day changes that may occur during the planning process calmly and diplomatically.  The post-holder will be expected to use their skills to influence planning committees if they consider any suggestions being made are not practical, viable or cost-effective.  Guidance is readily available from the head of conference unit/conference manager, should they require this.   
– Similarly, the post-holder must be able to respond calmly to any unexpected or unpredictable occurrences that may arise during an event – the post-holder has to be able to respond appropriately, using their initiative to resolve the problem and still ensure the successful delivery of an event.
– The post-holder is responsible for negotiating contracts with venues and suppliers in respect of conferences and events held externally (values up to £30k).  Clearly defined procedures have been established with the legal department to assist in the review of these contracts, and after consultation, the post-holder is responsible for producing any associated correspondence to ensure the association’s liability and exposure is limited.  The post-holder does not have the authority to sign off any contracts, this must be done by the head of conference unit/conference manager.  

Judgement (independence and level and impact limitations)
What are the typical decisions that are made in the job without reference to any higher authority? What informs/constrains the decisions (eg expenditure limits, have to follow clearly laid down procedures or working within broad objectives). What influence upon policy, procedures or resources is there (eg giving advice to others)?
Who (or what) is next to be affected by the decisions that are made – for example, supervisor sees them before they leave the team or the whole department sees and has to respond to the change that is made. Give typical example(s) of the consequences of the decisions (eg what impact does the decision-making have on the performance of the team/section/department/organisation)?
– The post-holder has the autonomy to make decisions on behalf of the unit in order to ensure the successful delivery and outcome of an event. The unit has clearly defined conference procedures to enable the post-holder to carry out their role effectively, and guidance is always readily available from the head of conference unit/conference manager.
– The post-holder needs to be aware of the requirements of their clients (BMA departments/external stakeholder groups) and action these efficiently and effectively, ensuring that they keep their clients fully informed of progress at all times.    As a customer service role it is imperative that the post-holder is aware of the impact of any decisions they may make and how these will affect their clients, as well as the unit's reputation.  The post-holder liaises with teams across the association, members, chief officers, external stakeholders.  The post-holder is responsible for researching and recommending venues to their clients, ensuring all arrangements are made with the venue for a successful event.  
– The post holder will represent the unit at conference planning meetings (attended by colleagues, members, external stakeholder groups), attend ARM site visits as and when requested, as well as any other meetings, as designated by the head of conference unit/conference manager.
– The post-holder is also responsible, along with the head of conference unit/conference manager, for making sure that a first-class professional conference service is delivered at all times. Use of resources (supervision of resources and influence)
What responsibility is there for managing people, equipment, budgets, resources, customer’s welfare or confidential information?  If this is a staff management role describe what is involved, eg staff reporting, staff development, appraisal, leading a department or the allocation of work.
How does the role fit within the organisation, eg support role, team member, team leader, specialist policy adviser, or leading major areas of core business?
– Although the post-holder does not have any managerial responsibility, they are responsible for assisting in the training of the conference assistant in how to use the unit’s database, explaining the correct procedures for processing registration forms and payments, how to produce and amend conference reports on the database ie delegate lists, badges, confirmation letters.  The post-holder will also be responsible for ensuring the conference assistant knows how to input information/data on the in-house booking system, the NFS. 
– The post-holder is responsible for ensuring that the conference assistant is responding to any general conference enquiries in the appropriate manner, and may be the first point of contact if the conference assistant is unable to deal with any particularly demanding members/non-members. 
– The post-holder is responsible for producing and managing a range of event budgets (up to the value of £30k), undertaking post-event reconciliations and relaying this information to the relevant departments.  The head of conference unit/conference manager will provide guidance and support should the post-holder require additional training to enable them to produce these budgets.  Any budgets produced are discussed with the head of conference unit/conference manager prior to them being sent to the relevant parties.  The post-holder does not have the authority to sign off any invoices received, this must be done by the head of conference unit/conference manager.  
– The post holder must be aware that any actions taken must be in-line with the association’s values.  They will represent the unit at planning meetings, site visits etc and they must ensure that any decisions taken are in line with the unit’s clearly defined service standards, and enhance the unit’s reputation for providing a professional conference service to their colleagues and the association as a whole  

Communication (level, internal and external demands and significance)
What people are typically contacted (regardless of the medium) inside the Association, eg immediate colleagues, senior managers or administrators? Committee members are the only members classed as internal communication. Normal non-committee membership and doctors are external (see below)
Who is in regularly contact with the role holder outside of the Association, eg members who are not committee members, suppliers, members of the public? Approximately what percentage of the time is spent on external communications?
What is the purpose of these contacts, eg conveying information, gathering data?
– The post-holder regularly liaises with teams across the association.  The post-holder is required to keep their clients (BMA departments) informed of progress re an event, advising of the number of registrations received, of problems with any of the arrangements (speakers withdrawing) etc.  The role requires excellent communication and interpersonal skills as the post-holder must keep all relevant parties to pre-defined conference schedules.
– The post-holder will communicate with the chief officers, members, committee chairs about a variety of events – up-dating them on progress, ascertaining whether they will be attending and/or speaking at the conference.  The role also involves liaising with external stakeholders, often at a senior level (Surgeon-General, CEOs, Ministers), and the post-holder must be able to convey, and/or obtain, information clearly and politely.  
– The post-holder is also in regular contact with external venues, suppliers etc, and is responsible for negotiating with any such external contractors  

Physical demands & coordination (physical effort and mental strain)

Are there any unusual physical or mental demands of the role; for example, lifting heavy objects, standing for long periods, using VDUs extensively or high levels of concentration?
– The post holder will be required to work long and unsociable hours during busy times and on the lead-up to events. The role requires early starts to prepare and set up for events and late nights when managing social functions such as dinners and parties.
–  When preparing and setting up for events, some lifting and moving of heavy of heavy objects may be required, and standing for long periods of time is a regular part of the job when at events, and this may include working outdoors in unfavourable weather conditions Working conditions and emotional demands)
What are the environmental conditions in which the work is conducted, the social and emotional demands faced by the role and the pressures resulting from these?
– The role can be highly pressurised with a high volume of work required during particular times of the year, mostly to fixed deadlines.
– As a customer-facing role dealing with complex and sensitive situations, the role requires the post-holder to remain composed and professional under occasionally difficult circumstances  

Values and behaviours

The post-holder is expected to execute their role in line with our five organisational values. The following examples illustrate how we are using our values to inform how we act: We are leaders because:
– We strive to always improve
– We take responsibility for our actions
– We collaborate with each other and work as one BMA for the good of our members
– We are proactive and prepared to guide our members and each other We are experts because:
– We understand our members
– We draw on our collective experience and knowledge to solve problems
– We use our insights and research to make decisions
– We provide accurate, credible, relevant and engaging information
– We recognise our strengths and act upon them We are committed because:
– We listen to our members and put them at the heart of everything we do
– We are respectful, inclusive, open and honest with our members and each other
– We approach everything we do with confidence and sensitivity We are reliable because:
– We deliver on what we say we will do
– We are accessible and approachable
– We build trust by being consistent and supportive
– We are positive and decisive whatever the situation We are challenging because:
– We fight, ethically and fearlessly, for the interests of all our members
– We work as a brave, assertive and effective champion for high quality health services and the advancement of the profession  


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