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18 Jan 2023

Head of Operations (Confex Operations)

The Opportunity:

Lead, manage and develop the Confex operations team members, ensuring operational excellence for all events (approx. 35 per year), working across a number of portfolios in Energy, Oil & Gas, Life Science, Insurance, Internet Retail and Payments.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Manage the operational delivery of a couple of complex events, both UK and Worldwide from conception to completion, notably the Africa Energy Forum.
  • Build strong relationships with MD/Portfolio/Event Directors and team members to understand their objectives and resource requirements in order to deliver their events to the highest standard.
  • Accountable for day to day decisions and for setting clear objectives for the confex operations team.
  • Manage staffing levels by finely balancing workload, team structure and appropriate resources to efficiently organise events whilst keeping budgets tight. Manage staff allocation on events including managing the fluctuations during busier periods.
  • Ensure all Clarion working procedures and standards of practice and reporting are followed within the Confex Operations team for financials, H&S, data management and all other operational requirements.
  • Work with the portfolios to set and manage the operations budgets, future planning, forecasting and maintaining event financial margin on all events.
  • Design event floorplans for exhibitions in time for rebook for multi destination events.
  • Supplier sourcing, contract negotiation and management of relationships with core venues and suppliers.
  • Identify and implement areas of improvement for best practice throughout the department.
  • Accurate and timely communication of cash flow for all operations costs, ensuring internal payment processes are followed and payments are made on time.
  • Manage the Confex Operations team Design schedule, working closely with the designer to schedule and ensure resourcing needs.
  • Post show evaluation and development.
  • Collaborate with other operations teams across the business and take part in working groups.


Staff Management

  • Provide leadership and direction to the Confex Operations team (10 people plus 2-3 freelancers), including on-going performance management ensuring staff are motivated, supported and challenged.
  • Day to day direct line management of four to five operations team members.
  • Train & develop the team to encourage high performance.
  • Lead by example.
  • Monitor and evaluate reporting staff progress, completing staff appraisals as required.


Experience and Knowledge:

  • Proven experience of management and delivery of large scale/complex international confexes from conception to completion.
  • Proven ability to understand an event brief, criteria and brand value, unpick the detail and go above and beyond when delivering the event.
  • Experienced line manager, including training of inexperienced team members and coaching of more experienced team members.
  • Proven experience in dealing with difficult situations calmly and with diplomacy and tact.
  • Proven experience of creating and managing event operations budget, future planning, forecasting and delivering on target.
  • Thorough health & safety experience and knowledge within the UK and international events industry including sound technical knowledge of complex stand build, venue, H&S / CDM regulations, safety file preparation, incident management and general H&S best practices and procedures.


Skills and Behaviours:

  • An astute problem solver – able to analyse and work through complex operational issues and work out the best possible solution.
  • Able to create excellent rapport and build trust and strong relationships internally with peers and externally with suppliers, contractors and clients.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills.
  • Organised and methodical.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Able to deal with a broad range of people at every level.
  • Self-motivated, pro-active and able to take responsibility.
  • Available to travel worldwide.


About Clarion Events:

Clarion Events is one of the world’s leading event organisers, producing and delivering innovative and market-leading events since 1947. ( Clarion Events embrace diversity and equal opportunities in all that we do. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. Clarion is private equity backed and owned by Blackstone. Blackstone is one of the world’s leading global investment funds, investing capital for the long term in order to build successful, resilient businesses. ( Our purpose is to deliver exceptional customer outcomes and experiences, by making every connection count. Our vision is we want every one of our products to be a market leader in customer satisfaction and delight.


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