Conference Director

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $68,000
Maximum: $80,000
Details: The compensation for this position consists of base pay and variable income pay. The base pay range is $60,000 to $67,000, based on experience. The size of the variable pay is determined by the performance of the organization.



Start Date


Application Deadline



1629 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 200
United States


The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) seeks to hire an experienced conference director to manage our annual conference. Ideal candidates have had primary responsibility for multiday conferences with at least 600– 1,000 attendees.

About the Conference

In 2018, 1,800 people attended our 2.5-day conference in Atlanta. The NCEO Annual Conferences take place in convention centers with multiple hotel room blocks and include a preconference day, a small trade show (45 tabletop exhibits), general sessions with keynote speakers, networking activities, over 140 breakout sessions, meals, and special events. The conference is education-focused, offering continuing education credit to various sectors, but is also a major networking event and gathering place for the field of employee ownership.

The conference is in its fourth decade and has grown in attendance almost every year; it has more than doubled in the last 10 years. The conference is also vital to the health of the NCEO, accounting for over a third of our revenue.

About the NCEO

The NCEO is a private, nonprofit organization with a dedicated staff of 14 and over 3,000 members. We are the main publisher and research source in the field, and we hold dozens of in-person and online events yearly. Our events are premier gathering places for the community of employee-owned companies and the professionals who provide services related to employee ownership.

We have a close-knit and collaborative culture in which all staff members have significant job autonomy and the ability to shape the course of the NCEO's work. Many of our decisions are made collectively, and our compensation system is designed to let employees share directly in the success of the organization. Our office is located one block from the 19th St. BART station in uptown Oakland. 

The Job Opening

The conference director should be an innovative, self-directed, hands-on problem solver. She or he will maintain and improve all aspects of the conference, from attendance to the attendee experience to the event’s profitability. He or she should be ready to manage a team, work with finances, manage a $1 million conference budget, and be proficient in data and project management. The position involves roughly 15 travel days per year.

The new conference director will have responsibilities other than the annual conference, as described below.

Annual Conference (75%–80% of time per year), including responsibility for…

  • Ensuring the conference builds on its current strengths, develops creatively, and best supports the NCEO’s mission, financial sustainability, and our other activities
  • Site selection and negotiating contracts with hotels and event venues
  • Creating and managing budgets for annual conferences, ensuring payment of bills, collection of sponsorships/registrations, and reporting on financial results
  • Creating and maintaining timelines
  • Creating the overall event specification and schedule and overseeing its implementation
  • Collecting and analyzing data and history tables
  • Obtaining sponsors and exhibitors and managing exhibit area
  • Promotions and publicity
  • Overseeing attendee registration process
  • Managing speakers, including the selection process and gathering presentations
  • The RFP process for contractors including AV, expo services, food and beverage, on-site temporary workers, and more
  • Continuing education credits provided to attendees
  • Logistical planning & coordination for conferences/preconferences, including but not limited to: room layouts, F&B, AV, special event plans, sleeping room block management, vender selection and negotiations, on-site staffing, troubleshooting, hotel interface, etc.
  • Evaluating the success of each conference and ways to improve future conferences

Other Meetings and Related Work (15%–20% of time per year)

  • Working in tandem with partner planner (Seminar/Webinar Director) in a secondary role to produce NCEO’s Fall Forum conference
  • Working in tandem with other meeting planning staff to create and maintain continuing education credit program (CPAs, lawyers, etc.) and evaluation process for conferences and meetings
  • Work with other staff to maintain conference and meeting web pages
  • Involved in planning for social media campaigns for conferences and meetings
  • Involved in choosing various meeting platforms, apps, registration, databases, etc.
  • Supervises two full time staff assistants cooperatively, along with partner planner (Seminar/Webinar Director)

Organizational Work (about 5% of time per year)

  • Taking part in overall organizational strategic planning
  • Involvement in organizational development and yearly planning
  • Participating in weekly staff meeting

The NCEO’s current conference director, who started managing the conference in 1997, will be retiring in December. She is available to support the transition and the 2019 conference as a part-time consultant. 


Proven ability to manage all aspects of a large, multi-day event. The position requires excellent verbal and written communication skills. Proficient in online meeting planning software, Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, Power Point), familiarity with database programs, AV equipment including PowerPoint projectors, sound, lighting, and other event technology. Educational, theatre, or arts production background a plus. CMP designation a plus. Experience hiring and supervising staff a plus. We use Cadmium for speaker/sponsor management, so familiarity with it is a plus.

Experience required

At least five years of experience producing conferences/meetings: At least one with 600 or more attendees that includes multiple and simultaneous events. Experience producing other related events, including luncheons, dinners, award ceremonies, offsite events, etc. Experience with handling continuing education programs. Experience choosing speakers, and experience with trade shows of at least 25 participants. Financial management and budget creation are very important. Excellent time management skills are a necessity. 


Employees also receive generous benefits, including 100% employer-paid health insurance premiums for a high-deductible plan, an health savings account fully funded by the NCEO, an automatic 3% employer contribution to a 401(k) plan (after three months), and work schedule flexibility. 

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Applicants should browse our website ( to learn more about us and employee ownership before applying. We will review applications on a rolling basis, and, depending on the applications we receive, we may stop accepting applications as early as July 30. Your cover letter should be addressed to executive director Loren Rodgers and sent to with the subject line “Conference Director” plus your name. All applicants should send:

  • A cover letter (one page or less) addressing why you are interested in this position
  • A resume
  • A short writing sample (one page maximum)