This particular client reached the final three in the interview stage for the position of Event Coordinator at one of Australia’s leading universities. The selection criteria component required the addressing of nine questions. A page or word limit was not specified. Responses to each criterion were compiled and ranged between 150 to 350 words. Following are the responses to three of those nine questions.

1. Previous experience of staff supervision including workload management:

In my current role I actively manage and supervise three staff who are meetings and event coordinators. Working in a small team ensures close contact with staff at all times and ongoing availability on my part to discuss issues and resolve problems. I am a systematic person who prepares daily task lists and allocates time frames to ensure tasks are successfully carried out by myself and the coordinators. I conduct daily meetings with coordinators to assess workloads, monitor the progress of individual tasks and ensure they have an understanding of what needs to be achieved. As a part of my role I review operational rosters on a weekly basis, and monitor revenue forecasts and productivity results to ensure manpower is being managed effectively, taking into account the profitability goal of the department. In the coordination and management of events, I implement set distribution dates and client event questionnaires which further assist coordinators in managing their daily and weekly workloads. My management style is collaborative and participative, facilitating and providing the staff with the opportunity to voice their concerns and ideas at all times. That said, I still always oversee and ensure control and direction in decisions made. My management style and ability is received well by the executive committee with acknowledgement given to the solid working relationships and open communication styles that my team displays.

2. Evidence of the ability to develop, monitor and work within a budget:

Over the past four years I have held an active role in developing departmental revenue and expense budgets totaling $1.8 million or more depending on the hotel, meetings and accommodation requirements. This also involves setting strategic action items as a part of the Integrated Business Planning process. In preparing weekly forecasts for the Meetings and Events department, I adjust figures where necessary and identify need periods well in advance, taking into account departmental lead times. I determine costs associated with holding events and set revenue targets (ranging in value from $1,000 to $30,000 or more) to ensure the profitability of these events and the department overall. In addition, I review monthly revenue and expense targets based on rises and falls in numbers and business results to ensure overall profitability, and monitor the flow through and recovery of the department. In the current economic climate I have also continued to work within allocated budgets, with an overall departmental profit being achieved in the first six months of 2009. Although the revenue results have been lower than expected, the careful management of expenses has helped achieve this result. When carrying out sales activities and campaigns I work through a process of establishing a budget, setting revenue/activity outcomes based on this budget, and ensure a return-on-investment analysis is completed to establish the success of the campaign.

3. Experience in managing conferences and functions in hotels, conference and reception centres:

In my current role I manage a $1.8 million business budget overseeing the successful execution of events (both onsite and offsite) from their inception including proposal, contract, event preparation, through to completion of the event and after service follow up including billing. I manage an average of 20 events per week including a variety of conferences, formal dinners and cocktail events, and arrange accommodation for attending guests. In addition, I liaise extensively with internal departments as well as external suppliers to ensure the successful execution of events. I also provide ongoing guidance to clients regarding their event ensuring that it is profitable and enjoyed by all parties and all needs and requirements are met. Moreover in managing the various events, I use a lateral thinking approach; thinking outside the box to offer solutions that are tailor-made for each client and add value to the entire experience. Subsequently this has led to repeat business and increased sales revenue.

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Annie Cerone