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Convenings Manager

Vacancy #:   6124
Unit:   Global Convenings and Events
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Director, Global Convenings and Events / Congress Director
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   SP
Expected start date:   01 December 2022
Type of contract:   Max-term (25 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   23 September 2022
IUCN has created a Global Convenings and Events Unit, tasked with organizing the quadrennial IUCN World Conservation Congress as well as annual flagship events, and with supporting other key events internally. These will range from large-scale events, focusing on in-person experience, to fully virtual events. The events fall into 3 broad categories:
1. The IUCN World Conservation Congress
Every 4 years, the World Conservation Congress brings together the IUCN Members for the Members’ Assembly and a Forum and may be complemented by a large exhibition. The entire Congress is designed as a sustainable and gender-responsive event, and is currently the most widely know among IUCN’s externally-facing events. The next Congress will take place in 2025.
2. Annual Fora
IUCN is initiating an annual meeting which will complement the 4-year cycle of the World Conservation Congress with more regular inputs into the international agenda. These meetings will be hosted by different host countries or institutions from the Congress itself. They aim to provide cutting edge information and action relevant to the world’s pressing nature and climate issues.
3. IUCN global events
IUCN is a credible and powerful global convener. The Union organises multiple events with varying frequencies and scales. The Global Convenings and Events Unit is responsible for providing both content and logistical support, as well as marketing and outreach capacity to organisers, at a level of service to be agreed upon with the main organising entities.

The Unit liaises with many stakeholders, both in the Secretariat and in the Union’s components such as Commissions and Members. The Convenings Manager is expected to work closely with all of them, coordinating operations for the various categories of events listed above.
The Convenings Manager will report to the Head of the Global Convenings and Events Unit at IUCN Headquarters. S/he will be responsible for coordinating all operational aspects of our global events, in close collaboration with the staff members in charge of content and programming, logistics, systems, and communications.

The Convenings Manager oversees and guides the design, planning, and development of IUCN’s externally-facing events to achieve the outcomes assigned by the Director general and by the Head of the Global convenings and events unit.

He/she is responsible for:

Event operations: planning, monitoring and delivery
o Designing and executing the development and/or contracting of IT and knowledge management systems that help the Secretariat to manage processes in a more efficient way;
o Coordinating the selection process for global event hosts, including contributing to the negotiation of robust hosting agreements with the candidate countries to minimize risks for IUCN and developing a sound bidding process for the World Conservation Congress;
o Identifying risks and related mitigation measures, implement risk responses and monitor and address gaps as necessary;
o Managing and/or supervising the handling of tender processes for all contracted services and ensuring that sustainability criteria are considered in the selection of services and equipment;
o Ensuring that event preparations by the host country proceed as per the hosting agreement;
o Overseeing and coordinating the work for communications, , Logistics, and support services for successful delivery of events;
o Ensuring that systems and logistics are in place for the Members’Assembly (e.g voting systems);
o Ensure that events are organised in line with highest sustainability guidelines applicable to the destination and that IUCN policies are abided by (including with proper tracking of KPIs);
o Coordinating the smooth running of the onsite and/or virtual programme and logistics
o Ensure adequate management of any crisis or unforeseen events;
o Review and adjust the scope of the Congress after each event to ensure that lessons learnt are integrated in next edition;
o Preparing meetings and site visits linked to event planning and participating in said meetings or visits.
o Keeping abreast of latest trends in the event industry to adapt plans, design and technologies in order to maximize experience for the participants;

Unit operations: budget, work-plan, and staff management
o Monitoring the unit’s budget (up to 25m CHF) including related cash flow management which entails financial reporting on funds provided by donors, sponsors and/or host countries;
o Helping develop and managing the Unit’s work plan, in line with annual objectives set by senior management, and ensuring that consultants or providers are contracted in time to deliver all work plan elements;
o Supervising direct reports and monitoring their performance;
o Ensuring that IUCN Committees are adequately supported, especially regarding the statutory quadrennial World Conservation Congress;
o Ensuring that evaluations are carried out and that actions addressing recommendations are implemented;
o Coordinating the evaluation and ensuring adequate post-event follow-up.
o Assisting the Head of Unit in interactions with other Secretariat entities to ensure that their requirements are being properly met;
o Providing support to the Head of Unit in other areas as necessary.
  • 10+ years of working experience, ideally in planning and managing events, preferably with international associations or organisations

• Excellent project and time management skills

• Strong negotiation, analytical and financial skills with the ability to manage and optimize complex budgets

• Proven experience in event operations management for large events

• Track-record of successful staff management (direct reports) and contractual management (providers, consultants, …)

• In-depth knowledge of event-related IT software and platforms, including mobile apps, room-booking systems, programming and scheduling, etc.

• Ability to work well under pressure, to handle a large number of tasks simultaneously and prioritize efficiently

• Team player with “can-do” attitude and ability to build effective relationships with people at all levels and in all business areas

• Disciplined and organized work approach with strong attention to detail

• Demonstrated attention to detail

• Willingness to travel Ability to anticipate risks and to identify and deliver workable solutions internationally on a regular basis (5 – 15 days per year on average)

• High fluency in both spoken and written English. Fluency in Spanish and/or French is a plus.
The gross annual salary for this position is between CHF 123'265 and CHF 154'081, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax. While this is an indicative amount effective as of the current date, changes may occur as per IUCN's compensation practices without prior notice. The same applies to other organisations hosted by IUCN.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: https://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,400 Member organisations and around 16,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.