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SHRM Director, Event Experience in Alexandria, Virginia

Director, Event Experience

1800 Duke St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA

Req #456

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

At SHRM, we are committed to making work, workers and workplaces better through insights-driven policy solutions, learning and development, thought leadership and research. We are shaping the ways employers and employees thrive together. SHRM is empowering our more than 300,000+ members, including HR professionals, business executives, and people managers, to lead as strategic business partners and effective stewards of workplace culture, business productivity, and employee engagement.

The Director, Event Experience leads the business operations and logistical function of the events strategy and experience team. The team is ultimately responsible for the planning and execution of SHRM’s Annual Conference and specialty conferences. The Director oversees all contract negotiations and procurement of event vendors and services, department budget planning, delivery of operations and logistics, conference hotel management, contingency planning, and more. This role serves as liaison to SHRM’s Legal partners for legal needs including insurance and licensing/permitting as needed.

As a senior member of SHRM’s events strategy and experience team, the Director is key player in supporting SHRM’s business goals through powerfully memorable in-person and/or virtual conferences and events. They will lead and manage a team of event professionals – full-time employees and contractors/vendors – to flawlessly execute and elevate our event experience delivery. This leadership role works cross-functionally across the organization to elevate the event business. Moderate levels of travel is expected.



Responsible for annual budget planning for Annual Conference and all specialty conferences, a collective budget over $16M. Serves as budget liaison with accounting team to track expenses and revenues for event portfolio. Provides expense and revenue projections and reports to department leadership and other stakeholders. Works with department lead on annual registration pricing strategy.Leads all RFP, negotiation, and contract execution of site selection and vendors and services for department. Vendors will include hotels, convention centers, production, security, transportation, catering, entertainment, convention & visitors bureaus, and more. Leads planning of site inspections.


Leads and implements best practices for logistical operations and delivery at all SHRM events ranging from venue management, food and beverage, transportation, utilities, freight management, temp/volunteer management, and much more. Works with SHRM Legal partners and leads all annual insurance and/or licensing needs for department. Licensing may include music/entertainment, personal releases, and more.


Directs external housing vendor for our Annual Conference and fosters and maintains relationships with sales representatives from major hotel brands. Responsible for successful negotiation and contracting of up to 60 different hotel properties per year. Negotiates and manages commission and rebate revenue as well as hotel invoice payment post-event. Oversees all staff and vendor hotel assignments for all conferences.


Leads SHRM’s health and safety planning for all conferences. Develops show policies and operations plans as it pertains to safety and wellness. Works with local contacts as well as internal stakeholders on all health and wellness planning (ex. COVID-19) providing recommendations and counsel to internal stakeholders for operational best practices. Directs external security partner(s) on all safety planning and execution for event attendees: members/customers, VIPs, exhibitors/sponsors, speakers/entertainment, staff and more.Works with internal and external stakeholders on all contingency preparedness.


Represents SHRM guiding principles in all dealings with a specific emphasis on raising SHRM’s profile within the business events industry.

Education & Experience Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing, Hospitality, Public Relations, Communications, or equivalent relevant work experience/training.

  • At least 10 (ten) years of experience with diverse range of events – corporate, association, private, etc. Marketing/PR/event agency experience preferred.

  • Proven expertise with contract negotiation, budget development and management, conference housing management, and management of other logistical areas for both city-wide conferences as well as smaller conferences at hotels, conference centers, or similar venues.

  • Experience managing direct reports, contractors, and vendors while building a collaborative and productive team environment.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Strong project management skills: attention to detail, organization, prioritization, and analytic skills with a proven ability to multi-task and manage complexity.

  • Effective team leader with proven success as a coach and mentor.

  • Ability to work collaboratively across the entire SHRM organization, with an inclination to achieve the “best possible” result for our members and customers.

  • Effective communication skills, including public speaking expertise and concise written communication abilities.

  • Self-starter attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to move quickly in a fast-paced environment.

  • Proven negotiation skills and strong business acumen.

  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to diffuse challenging situations.

  • Calmly manages complex and fast-changing program elements and staffing assignments always prioritizing effectively.

  • Entrepreneurial spirit, track record of initiative, and ownership of work.

  • Experience with key software packages, including budgeting and financial management, data analysis and reporting, and meeting planning.

Physical Requirements: Must be able to perform essential duties satisfactorily with reasonable accommodations. Ability to travel to event venues as required.

Work environment: Work is regularly performed in a combination of office and conference events settings and routinely uses standard office equipment.

Our employment practices are in accordance with the laws that prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran’s status, marital status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by applicable law.

SHRM is an equal opportunity employer (Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran).

We do not sponsor applicants for work visas.

Other details

  • Job Family Meetings and Events

  • Job Function SHRM Products & Services

  • Pay Type Salary

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  • 1800 Duke St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA