Celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2022, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs is where your world and the world meet. The Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that empowers more people to help shape our global future. Through content and engagement experiences that offer diverse, fact-based perspectives and in-depth analysis, we foster dialogue on the world’s most critical issues. We are committed to building an inclusive community of globally conscious people who want to actively participate in global affairs and gain the knowledge that can help them make a tangible impact – big or small – in the world.
As the Council enters its second century, we are embarking on an ambitious digital transformation and are growing our events team to reach and engage more people in Chicago and beyond.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs seeks an events officer to manage leadership dinners and catering logistics for hybrid and in-person events in the Council’s meeting spaces. The Officer will coordinate the planning and execution of dinners with senior-level donors, experts, and policymakers. With practical skills in event planning and vendor management, the events officer builds on the Council’s reputation for excellence and ensures successful event outcomes are realized. The Officer participates collaboratively with the Events & Scheduling team’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies.
The events officer position is a hybrid role and requires in-person attendance at our Downtown Chicago location based on the event calendar and work activities.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Under the leadership of the Director, Signature Events & Scheduling:
- Liaise with teams across the organization to envision, plan, and execute high-level dinners for the Council’s leadership constituents and centers.
- Collaborate with colleagues on dinner planning and follow institutional processes to:
- Determine a location and format that best suit audience engagement objectives.
- Coordinate invitations and promotions on the Council’s website.
- Develop a seating plan to advance strategic goals.
- Evaluate and develop recommendations to improve future events.
- Assist with logistical planning by sourcing and liaising with venues, negotiating contracts, determining event costs, managing budgets, developing comprehensive timelines, and submitting catering/AV specifications.
- Create and produce printed materials such as scenarios, guest lists, seating diagrams, place cards, name badges, and menu cards.
- Manage setup and event execution to ensure a high-quality service experience for audiences of 10-50+.
Hybrid and In-Person Events
- Represent the Council at 40-50 hybrid and in-person events per year, interacting professionally with speakers and audience members.
- Plan and execute events in the Council’s Conference Center and Board Room with exceptional results, while managing contingencies, changes, and evolving needs and expectations.
- Serve as the main liaison to the Council’s catering partner for budgeting, setup needs, onsite service specifications, and food and beverage service.
- Execute a wide-range of events to support hybrid and in-person programming including, broadcast level productions, networking receptions, roundtables, and private convenings.
- Manage relationships with catering partners and oversee consistency in food quality, service, and pricing.
- Work with colleagues to select suitable menu options that stay within budget parameters.
- Place drop-off catering orders and coordinate delivery and setup for internal and external meetings.
- Assist with day-to-day maintenance and operations of the Conference Center.
- Coordinate with the building on HVAC, security, housekeeping, and ADA needs.
- Regularly provide a calendar of upcoming events to building management.
- Organize room flip or furniture movements for program setups.
- Process and track payments for vendors performing regular maintenance.
- Provide administrative support for the events team by assisting with daily tasks involving the Conference Center, processing invoices, and drafting correspondences.
- Occasionally assist at the front desk in meeting/greeting Council constituents and answering or routing incoming calls.
- Perform other projects as assigned.
- A bachelor’s degree with 2-3 years’ experience in event planning.
- Superior organizational skills, keen attention to detail, and knowledge of the highest standards for service delivery.
- Knowledge of the hospitality industry including contracts and pricing structure.
- Experience coordinating meal functions with audiences of 15-50+.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work cooperatively in a fast-paced team environment.
- Skilled at managing multiple concurrent projects and deadlines.
- Professional attitude, with the ability to communicate with donors at all levels using courtesy and discretion.
- Comfortable with flexible hours and the ability to work evening and early morning events.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Experience using MS Office (Word, Excel, and Outlook).
- Knowledge of Salesforce and Cvent is a plus.
- Ability to travel an estimated two times a month to local event venues.
Council Benefit Highlights
There are many benefits to working at the Council, including a flexible remote/in-office work environment, half-day summer Fridays, paid parental leave, employer-subsidized medical/dental/vision insurance, generous paid time off, retirement match, mobile phone stipend, commuter accessible, fitness center membership, and more.
We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, handicap or disability, marital status, military service or veteran status, genetic information, or for any other reason prohibited by applicable law.