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  Tuesday, July 17, 2018    

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Date Submitted:  06/07/2017

Position Available: 06/07/2017

Date Listing Closes: 07/01/2017

Assistant Director, Special Events
Company: Northwestern University

Job Type: Special Event Planner
Position Location:  1201 Davis, Evanston, IL

Compensation Type:  Salary
Compensation:  mid $50K

Position Description:

The Assistant Director, Special Events is a functional expert responsible for the planning, staffing, and tactical execution of programs and/or events for faculty, students, staff, alumni, friends, etc. The Assistant Director coordinates all activities of one or more small, less complex program(s) and/or event(s) or provides support on complex programs and/or events. Programs and/or events may be designed to strategically identify & cultivate prospects, students and alumni in meaningful ways that transition into engaged volunteers and donors. May supervise student workers, support staff and/or volunteers.

Strategic Planning:

  • Administers and maintains existing strategic plans.  
  • Recommends changes and improvements to maximize and ensure most effective and efficient use of revenue streams in regard to program and/or event operations.


  • Involves moderate level of collaboration with internal department partners and low level of collaboration with University partners in implementing and expanding existing relationships to accomplish strategic goals.
  • Includes briefing key partners on event specifics and timelines. 
  • Involves moderate level of collaboration with external contacts and vendors.
  • Please bullet examples of key partnerships and work involved below:
  • Collaborates with other teams such as Athletics, Principal Gifts, Campaign, Major Gifts, Schools/Units, Annual Fund, Commencement Committee, other University departments and the Finance and Budget group on event logistics. 


  • Manages one or more portions of programs and/or events which may include coordinating with leaders on interests in theme, timing, venue, speakers, etc.
  • Develops materials such as programs, posters, invitations, etc.
  • Processes and maintains information, registration and/or databases.
  • Markets and promotes using advertising, broadcast email, websites, social media, etc. 
  • Assists in scheduling details such as venue, space, caterers, musicians, photographers, audiovisual and technical requirements, name tags, etc. 
  • Prepares event plans and summaries.
  • Manages VIP events during potential bowl or other significant athletic activities, conducting site visits and providing on-site support. Offers concierge service for VIPs to help assist with all travel arrangements, including ticket purchases, hotel reservations, transportation arrangements, etc.
  • Assist in managing the President’s House events, which includes overseeing budget and all project details such as selecting venues, managing invitation production and lists, selecting menus, linens, and floral arrangements, creating seating arrangements, negotiating contracts with outside vendors, and managing vendors in accordance with Mrs. Schapiro’s vision for the event.  Also includes on-site management of the event and all pertinent event follow-up and reconciliation details. 
  • Reviews information and recommends “best practices” for future events.


  • Organizes and executes administrative aspects of program and/or event operations.
  • Maintains data (mailing, invitation, attendance, RSVP lists).
  • Manages timelines.
  • Manages expenses (venue, food, entertainment, technology, security).
  • Coordinates graphic design and/or scripting; staffing; working with subcontractors.
  • Documents results and response levels. 
  • Optimizes the use of technology including event planning software, invitation platforms, social media for marketing, communications and data reporting and analysis. 
  • Assists in the development of web analytics, dashboards, and metrics which provide quantitative analysis of program and event outcomes.   


  • Implement and administer approved budget for designated programs and/or events.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in business, accounting, marketing or equivalent
  • Preferably four years special events, development, marketing, sales or the equivalent experience is required.

Some Travel

Send Resume to: 

All interested candidates must apply through Northwestern Uniiversity's website.  Currently the job is posted here: https://careers.northwestern.edu/psp/hr92prod_er/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_APP_SCHJOB.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST&Action=U&SiteId=1&FOCUS=Employee&JobOpeningId=31238&PostingSeq=1



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