Director of Event Operations: The Barnes Foundation

Posted June 29th, 2016 at 1:15 pm.

Description: The Barnes Foundation is seeking a Director of Event Operations to oversee the development and implementation of event guidelines; the integration of food service and other event-related vendor functions; and the planning, administration, and implementation of events for the Barnes Foundation, whether at one of the Foundation’s facilities or at collaborating institutions.  The Director is responsible for the achievement of the Foundation’s revenue goals for events, including both facility rentals and commissions.  The Director plays a lead role in the sales and marketing of the Foundation’s events, in close coordination with the Foundation’s food service provider.  The Director is responsible for understanding and delivering events that exhibit the highest standards of social etiquette, cultural and performing arts organization best practices, internal coordination, and fiscal responsibility.

Established as an educational institution the Barnes Foundation carries out its mission by promoting appreciation of the arts and horticultural science, through the preservation, presentation, and interpretation of the collections of Albert C. and Laura L. Barnes.

Celebrated for its exceptional breadth, depth, and quality, the Barnes Foundation’s art collection includes works by some of the greatest European and American masters of impressionism, post-impressionist, and early modern art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Native American textiles, metalwork, and more. The 12-acre Arboretum contains over 3,000 species of woody plants and trees.

The Foundation engages diverse audiences through its exceptional collections and related high-quality programs that reflect a broad range of periods and cultures and build on the founders’ innovative educational vision of transforming lives through the arts and horticulture.


The Director is responsible for the achievement of the Foundation’s revenue goals for venue fees and commissions related to special events.  Working in conjunction with the Foundation’s food service provider, the Director supervises the inquiry process in order to ensure an effective conversion rate.  Working within the client’s budget, the Director works to maximize available revenue opportunity.  The Director is responsible for analysis of event activity to ensure sound business decisions are carried out.  The Director keeps abreast of trends in events in other venues to ensure that the Foundation remains competitive as an event venue.

This department is responsible for the scheduling of all spaces in the Barnes’ Philadelphia and Merion campuses, to ensure space allocations are clearly understood by the entire organization.

The Director and events staff offer a variety of planning and implementation services.  This may include direct responsibility for event management or consultation/technical assistance to internal or external event hosts.   This includes:

Oversight for pre-event timeline management ;

  • Vendor selection and contract review/preparation
  • Coordination with internal service departments such as security, facilities, information technology (for A/V requirements)
  • Oversight of event execution
  • Assignment of responsibilities week of, day of and during the event
  • Post-event financial analysis with monitoring of event facility fees and commission payments from Food Service provider.  Ensures all amounts due are collected in a timely fashion.

The Director supervises direct reports and various contract employees as needed, assigning them turnkey, shared, or directed event duties as appropriate.

The Director is responsible for targeting convention planners to capitalize on ways to grow the event business at the Foundation and may collaborate with the Group Sales Manager to target appropriate opportunities.

Examples of full service event oversight and implementation of events sponsored by the Barnes include:

  • Meetings, luncheons, receptions and dinners at Foundation sites for the Board of Trustees and other donors or special guests
  • Receptions and dinners in the home of the Executive Director and President
  • Fund-raising events for donors and members

Examples of consultative involvement and technical assistance to other departments include:

Support for staff responsible for on- or off-site events sponsored by the Barnes

  • Events scheduled by the Development Department related to the campaign, Corporate Council, general membership and Circles Programs
  • Barnes events for Foundation’s standing committees such as the Alumni Association
  • Barnes events related to education,  public programs and special exhibitions to be developed in the future
  • Catering and other event planning for Board Meetings and Employee events

Support for  events organized by outside parties where the Barnes is a venue or is involved in other ways

  • Events organized by Corporate Council representatives as a benefit of membership
  • Events organized by individual donors/members as a benefit of membership
  • Events organized by Barnes collaborators either on- or off-site

The Director will work effectively with a wide range of staff members throughout the Foundation:

  • Foundation’s food service provider(s)
  • Trustees, major donors, and volunteer fund-raising event committee chairs
  • Operations team, including Security, Facilities staff and parking vendor
  • Group Sales team, to develop effective group catering sales plans and actions

The events department will serve as the primary point-of-contact for catering requirements with the Food Service provider.  The Director will collaborate with the Foundation’s Programming Departments, including Marketing and Development, to provide support for space scheduling, operational support and resolution of conflicting programming requirements.

The Director oversees and ensures smooth transition from daily public visitation to private events, including management of internal operations requirements and janitorial/facilities service requirements.  Manages client and client vendor expectations for set-up and scope of event characteristics.

The Director is the primary staff liaison with the contracted food services provider(s) and negotiates (within established contract parameters) with the caterer to achieve the highest level of food and service for the lowest possible cost.

The Director will work with the Director of Visitor Services to ensure that the Parking service provider’s management supports a high level of customer service for events in a cost-effective way.

Event planning will be done utilizing event management software; therefore, an understanding of relational databases and proficiency in Microsoft Office are required. Use of event software and storage of related layouts, menus and other event details is required.

The Director will participate in strategic planning, and will be expected to contribute knowledge of the community and of important regional and national social events and their volunteer organizations.

  • Performs other duties as requested.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Five+ years in special events planning and implementation for a major cultural institution or business
  • Experience overseeing an event service unit providing outstanding customer service to internal and external constituents
  • Experience with event budgeting and institutional coordination to support accurate, timely payment of approved invoices
  • Experience with development and implementation of marketing and promotional strategies; demonstrated ability to drive sales
  • Experience in developing and maintaining event planning database systems and building scheduling systems
  • Proven leadership skills and demonstrated ability to drive sales
  • Highly motivated, independent individual, who works well with a variety of people and               personalities; outgoing personality and strong representative for the institution
  • Superior written and oral communications
  • Highly energetic individual with the ability to make decisions under pressure, meet deadlines, achieve goals, prioritize task, manage multiple tasks and work within a budget
  • Excellent attention to detail and follow-through
  • Strong organizational and computer skills (Microsoft Office a must, experience with EMS or other event software), excellent time management skills
  • Proven supervisory and leadership experience
  • Understanding of non-profit organizations, events, and missions and the importance of cultivation and stewardship

Competitive Benefits Include: Group health, vision and dental insurance; flexible spending accounts; short and long term disability and group life insurance; 403(b) with matching contributions; Employee Assistance Program; pre-tax parking and transit programs; voluntary benefits; as well as paid vacation, personal time, sick time and holidays.

To Apply

Please apply online

Please include your cover letter, a list of three professional references and resume with your application. Applications that fail to fulfill this requirement will not be accepted.

The Barnes Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and a Drug Free Workplace.

We participate in E-Verify.

Filed under: Executive Level by Margie DuBrow

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