The Ulster Hall & Waterfront Hall represent the live entertainment brands of two of Belfast’s most iconic live entertainment venues. ICC Belfast is the conferencing brand representing Northern Ireland’s only purpose-built international convention centre.
ROLE: Head of Event Operations
REPORTS TO: Director of Event Operations
WORKING HOURS: Your hours of work are on average 37 per week. You will be required, asnecessary to work in excess of the normal hours in performance of the duties andresponsibilities of the post. The nature of the post is such that considerableadditional hours will be required. The rota will include a mixture of days, eveningsand weekend working five days over seven. No additional remuneration will bepaid in respect of such working.
Main purpose of job:
As part of the Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall (BWUH) team, you are responsible to the Director of Event Operations for leading the events team in planning, management and delivering the operational & financial requirements of all events, within both BWUH venues to the highest standard. You are responsible for leading and managing a team of people and ensuring the goals and values of BWUH are clearly communicated to and delivered by your team.
You will be responsible for leading the team to achieve the highest levels of service for customers and clients, whilst maximising sales and profits. You will develop and manage agreed budgets, prepare regular business forecasts and reports and utilise resources in the most efficient manner to deliver BWUH objectives. You will be required to constantly review current work practices and ensure that new and innovative methods of working more effectively and efficiently are put into place. You will work to develop Standard Operating Procedures and implement same to ensure consistent delivery. You will work with the Leadership Team to lead on the implementation of a Quality Management System to ensure we are delivering World Class Service to all customers and stakeholders.
You will demonstrate a forward-thinking, commercial approach to problem solving. You must promote a professional image of BWUH to our team, clients and stakeholders and conduct yourself professionally and with integrity always.
To be accountable to the Director of Event Operations of BWUH for the following;
- Creating and developing a culture within the BWUH team that is innovative, customer focused, driven by world class standards, at all times upholds the brand values and goals of BWUH and creates accountability and ownership in your team.
- Working with HR and the Director of Event Operations, ensure that team members are fully trained and capable of managing each duty required as part of the Event Manager role within the maximum six month hand-over period within the revised structure.
- Effectively leading a team of people. Communicating clearly and delegating responsibility/ accountability to direct reports so as to ensure that the required standards of service quality are maintained.
- Ensure adequate and timely communication and feedback between all event planning and delivery departments to deliver events effectively.
- Hold regular weekly and monthly management meetings and reviews with your team as appropriate to ensure a culture of accountability, financial ownership and clear communication within BWUH.
- Develop and manage the weekly event planning meeting and ensure actions are captured and shared with team.
- Ensure that meetings are held prior to each event with all stakeholders for key contracts.
- Development and management of key performance indicators and targets for team members.
- Responsible to the Director of Event Operations for management and implementation of rotas for both permanent and casual team members, using the time and attendance system in the most efficient and accurate manner.
- Through empowering staff, develop a highly motivated, flexible and multiskilled team who take pride and ownership in their work.
- Develop a system of inducting and training casual staff within the department, ensuring that staffs have the skills to undertake their work safely and accurately, whilst delivering high standards customer care and exceptional standards.
- Ensure all BWUH Policies and Procedures are adhered to.
- Fully utilising all business information systems at BWUH including VEMS and the Time and Attendance System and ensure your team are complying with company procedures.
- Lead the Event Management Team to ensure engagement in company activities around Leadership, Accountability, Organisational Change and Culture
- Keep abreast of developing trends in the conferences, exhibition and entertainment events worldwide and introduce new ideas into BWUH.
- Undertake other reasonable duties/projects as determined by the Director of Event Operations.
- Prepare & manage budgets for relevant elements of the department as directed by the Director of Event Operations and the Business Support Director.
- To drive revenues of additional income including in conjunction with sales and marketing and technical including, hosts/security, AV, branding, porterage and other services.
- Develop innovative ideas to decrease expenditure and increase profits.
- In conjunction with the Senior Management Team forecast and agree sales budgets for all events. Ensure that event mangers meet budgets for each event and ensure all charges are billed in a timely manner
- Ensure compliance with any financial and related procedures and in doing so proactively monitor sales, margins and expenses, and in identifying negative variance against budget, taking appropriate and timely remedial action.
- Work in conjunction with the Entertainments Manager to develop and increase secondary income.
- To ensure that Event Managers are developing and manage budgets for each event and that they are highlighting any overspend or under achievement of income in an agreed timely manner.
- To ensure team members forward and sign off all event costs with clients in an agreed time scale.
- Source and contract third-party suppliers as required, obtaining quotations to ensure best value for money for the organisation and agree client tariffs for all third-party suppliers
- Ensure that internal resources and services are appropriately managed to facilitate recharging and invoicing
- Develop and manage a Capital Expenditure budget for annual purchases.
- Develop a close working relationship with the Head of Technical Production, Facilities Manager, and Event Safety & Contracts Manager to ensure venue operations are to a world class standard.
- Working with the Operations Director and other managers, develop a specification for the management of the Ulster Hall including events and day to day operations.
- Ensuring the all team members comply with company policies.
- To fully utilise the Venue Event Management System as appropriate and to ensure that all personnel within the team are trained and use the system effectively.
- To ensure appropriate and timely preparation of venue spaces through the cost-effective scheduling and allocation of staff and resources.
- To develop and maintain a training matrix and associated budgets for all event operations team members.
- To assist in ensuring the timely and effective recruitment, training, management and development of event managers and staff (permanent and casual) to ensure the delivery of services of the highest possible quality.
- Ensure all services are fully operational at scheduled times, high customer care standards are maintained and developed
- Ensure clients are responded to with professional and concise information in a timely manner
- Prepare tenders and quotes in accordance with the BWUH policies for sales bids and for clients.
- Ensure operational checklists are developed, completed thoroughly, with attention to detail focusing on service led issues via the VEMS system.
- Lead the team to plan and manage effective turnarounds between each event to ensure each event remains on budget and ensure all areas set as per the following events requirements.
- To ensure all staff members answer enquiries both internal and external in a timely manner.
- Deputise for the Director of Event Operations and represent other managers as required.
- Actively support and work with sales and marketing to maximize and grow all revenue streams.
- Proactively implement agreed strategies designed to ensure that all customers are served to the highest standards in customer care and that best practice operational and service standards are achieved.
- Develop a customer service strategy and customer survey system with Sales and Marketing to include an action register to resolve complaints.
- Development of customer satisfaction survey action register and management to increase standards of visitor experience.
- Ensure all clients promotors/corporate clients receive world class standards of operational expertise and customer service.
- With Sales and Marketing develop a system of feedback with promoters, exhibition and conference organisers to enable targeted improvements and developments to be made in terms of physical infrastructure and customer care.
- To ensure the accurate processing of customer quotations, orders and order confirmations within agreed timescales.
- To ensure that all customer enquiries are satisfactorily managed, resolved and closed within agreed timescales.
- To ensure that the Customer Services function (hosts) are adequately resourced and trained to deliver a world class service to internal and external customers within budgets.
- To actively promote and manage the process of continuous improvement in Customer Service Standards.
- Create and sustain a positive team environment displaying high levels of motivation and excellent team spirit.
Health and Safety and Quality Systems:
- Compliance with BWUH policies and procedures which set out governance standards and manage risks for our organisation.
- Develop key operational policies, procedures and processes in accordance with world class venues.
- Working with the Event Safety and Contracts Manager develop and implement procedures to work seamlessly with all contractors within the venues including caterers, cleaners and security to ensure a seamless event for clients and customers, from the planning process until event completion ensuring world class services within the venue at budgeted levels.
- Ensure that all contractors, departments and stakeholders involved in the delivery of events are compliant with Health and Safety Policy, Legislation and Best Practice and all associated policies, procedures and methods of working are adapted by them
- Ensure that all event health and safety, fire and building regulations and procedures are complied with.
- Monitor staff and team briefings, ensuring compliance and develop an action register to action any points raised.
- Manage the production all venue documentation relevant venue operations (agendas, Action Logs, lessons learnt logs and all other documentation as required).
- Ensure that the event teams work in safe manner, seeking to minimize hazards to ensure the safety of other staff and customers, and reporting all safety issues and concerns.
- Ensure that events within the venue are ran in a safe, orderly and disciplined manner in accordance with the conditions of the licenses, policy and Health and Safety requirements.
- Develop a register of event related risk assessments and updated as required and on an annual basis and ensure understanding amongst staff.
- To work with the Event Safety and Contracts Manager to ensure that the team follow procedures to stop all works via contractors on site for events without the agreed Health and Safety documentation, insurance and briefings.
- Work with the Event Safety and Contracts Manager to develop emergency procedures and initiate a system of training for all event team members including casual and full-time staff.
- With the Event Services Manager and Head of Technical Operations ensure that all areas both front of house and back of house including the service yard are clean, safe and presentable.
- Oversee the security strategy for each event to ensure the safety of organisers, visitors and staff.
- Develop a post event reporting system and action register.
- Create and drive a continuous improvement culture, including cost management, process design, delivery and compliance
- Working with the SMT and all stakeholders to assist in developing an environmental policy and actions for BWUH.
- Ensure compliance with all requirements of the entertainment license and all other applicable Legislation.
Qualifications, Knowledge and Experience:
Have a third level qualification in a relevant subject such as event management, hospitality operations or an equivalent qualification;
- A minimum of three years management experience within a conference, entertainments or sporting venue in managing and planning events and front of house operations.
- At least three years’ proven experience of developing, leading and inspiring a team of at least four direct reports in the delivery of events.
- Exceptional leadership skills required including the ability to build and inspire a collaborative, lean high performing team.
- Proven experience of effectively leading a team of people including communicating clearly and delegating responsibility/accountability to direct reports to ensure that the required standards of service, reporting and financial performance is delivered.
- Extensive experience of dealing with operational contractors directing event requirements and managing the associated costs.
- Strong results and delivery focus, with exceptional attention to detail.
- Proven experience of multi-site P&L management and accountability with excellent financial and commercial acumen.
- A high level of computer literacy / excellent Microsoft Office skills, specifically PowerPoint, Excel and Word.
- High level of initiative and responsibility and the ability to make sound decisions in a timely manner. The ability to consistently manage a wide range of issues, at pace and high volume.
- At least two years’ experience of operating an online time management system for a minimum of ten employees working within company policies, budgets and date requirements.
- NEEBOSH Qualification (copy of certificate to be included with your application).
- Relationship building skills – enjoy engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders, with proven ability to influence.
- An extensive knowledge of health and safety within venues and events.
- AutoCAD or Visio experience.
- In depth knowledge of the conference, corporate, entertainment and events markets, both nationally and internationally to ensure BWUH retains its position as one of the Europe‘s leading conference and events venues
BWUH reserves the right to short-list only those applicants who have demonstrated the appropriate level of experience as noted in the Job Description.
Applicants will be required to demonstrate the following competencies through the selection and recruitment process:
Strategic skills: the ability to work strategically in close co-operation with all other departments to ensure the success of all events within the venues, maximum client retention and contracting of new events with excellent income growth. The ability to make decisions that will influence services and which contribute to successful outcome, whilst giving full consideration to the other departments and BWUH objectives. The ability to plan, identify obstacles and exercise critical judgement in arriving at practical solutions, advice and recommendations in a high-pressure environment within limited time scales.
Communication & Customer Care skills: Excellent presentation skills with an ability to listen to and convey complex information. The ability to compile reports at the highest level for internal and external parties including boards and the parent company. The ability to build rapport with others, listening and learning as well as offering help and support. The ability to develop and put into practice customer care initiatives to increase standards of service to the highest level whilst working within budgeted parameters
Organisational skills: Excellent planning skills including prioritisation of work. The ability to identify goals in the short, medium and long term and prioritise allocation of skills, resources and services in the organisation of events, including liaison with all staff and the logistical management of associated customers. Allocates time to longer-term activities, always looking for opportunities to do things faster, better, more cost effectively, eliminating non-value added activities. Is clear-minded in pursuit of objectives. The ability to manage a team to prioritise resources effectively to meet organisational objectives,
Staff management skills: The ability to inspire and lead the team in conjunction with the goals of BWUH. The ability to directly manage a team and delegate to ensure that where possible personnel, department targets, company goals and objectives are exceeded. The ability to ensure the workload of all direct reports is reasonable, distributed and within company targets. The ability to manage, motivate and delegate effectively and to build rapport. Develop and encourage teamwork to achieve successful results.
Health and safety skills: To have an in-depth knowledge of venue health and safety, to ensure the team are trained as required and competent in all areas of venue safety as required, to ensure the in-house policies and procedures are observed and actioned at all times, to report any concerns to the relevant department immediately. To ensure that all buildings and associated facilities are at all times safe for use by the public and that the welfare of staff is not compromised.
Performance management skills: To lead a culture of accountability and continuous improvement in working practices and organisational change. Proactively promoting change. The ability to identify training requirements and produce a training matrix for team members. The ability to establish and maintain a performance-oriented culture to ensure the delivery, monitoring and review of business plans and objectives.
How to apply
To apply for this post, please send a comprehensive CV that details your relevant qualifications, experience, and work history along with a covering letter outlining how you meet the essential and desirable criteria for the role and monitoring form via NI Jobs or by post to Human Resources, BWUH Ltd, Ulster Hall, Bedford Street, Belfast BT2 7FF.
The closing date for application is Tuesday 14 May 2019 at 12.00pm.
We expect interviews to take place week commencing 20 May 2019.