• Chief Meetings & Industry Officer – The Optical Society

    Location US-DC-Washington, DC
    Job ID
  • Overview

    Chief Meetings & Industry Officer - OSA


    As a senior leader of the global organization and a member of the C-level Executive Team, you will set the strategic direction for our meetings and exhibits and industry programs. Reporting to the CEO, you will have 6 direct reports and a team of 25-30 staff, with a budget of over $15MM U.S. You will develop five-year plans with the CEO and work with your team to ensure successful execution of our strategic priorities. As our Chief Meetings & Industry Officer, we will rely on your ability to see the big picture, analyze the impact of major initiatives, and effectively allocate all resources to each functional area, ensuring that we align resources toward strategic initiatives. You will establish procedural, quality control, and financial accountability and be responsible for monitoring trends in our budgets, revenue, and expenses. Staff will see you as approachable, visible, engaged, and credible.


    From fiber optics and telecommunications to medical imaging and quantum sensing, optics and photonics is the enabling technology that has fundamentally transformed the way we live in our daily lives.


    Like the industry we support, you will not simply maintain our current direction; you will conceptualize, strategize, identify, and implement new opportunities and strategic initiatives, developing winning partnerships and leveraging existing successful programs that support our membership. You will partner with our leadership to ensure that our efforts are successful in growing corporate membership, sponsorships and exhibits, conference attendance, and industry programs.


    Since 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) has been the world’s leading champion for optics and photonics, uniting and educating scientists, engineers, educators, technicians, and business leaders worldwide to foster and promote technical and professional development. OSA’s mission is to promote the generation, application, and archiving of knowledge in optics and photonics and to disseminate this knowledge worldwide. Through publications, events, and services, OSA’s staff of 150 is helping to advance the science of light by addressing the ongoing need for shared knowledge and innovation.


    Key Priorities for Your First Year as the Chief Meetings & Industry Officer

    • Deliver high-quality and operational success. Review, assess, and make timely key decisions to successfully deliver on our short-term and long-term commitments on its conference, exhibit, and industry programming.
    • Create and monitor financials. Develop the current year estimate and future years’ budgets; plan and course correct as needed. This includes an understanding of the funding sources for specific programs (exhibits, grants, sponsorships), analysis of costs, including labor, and financial forecasting based on industry standards and trends.
    • Learn about our business. Connect with the community at OSA conferences (related program committee volunteers, speakers and exhibitors, OSA governance councils, members, and staff) to understand our business, industry, and events. Attend industry events to understand the competition and market.
    • Develop and nurture the team. Spend time building trust with your support team and the executive team. Ensure you have a supportive, productive, and well-functioning department; mentor and provide professional development opportunities for staff.
    • Strategic planning. Develop and execute program specific strategies. Identify and recommend new business development opportunities, new technological solutions, and product/program opportunities; monitor and adjust OSA’s lines of business to react to market changes.
    • Lead strategic initiatives. Participate fully in our strategic planning process and weekly reviews of the strategic planning committee. Produce effective KPIs and benchmarks and explain variances and conditions completely and clearly. 


    Responsibilities of the Chief Meetings & Industry Officer

    Strategic Planning, Vision, and Leadership

    • Collaborate with the CEO to develop and implement OSA’s overall meetings and industry vision and strategies for achieving the vision.
    • Organize and interpret data (including internal content, competitive and comparative) to understand trends and lead improvements and changes, both financial and non-financial.
    • Maintain rich and relevant content in programs while continually searching for more effective delivery and greatest impact.
    • Develop relationships with partners, industry leadership, and top content speakers.
    • Develop strategic plans, with support and direction from the CEO, advisory committees, and key stakeholders. Create specific goals, tactics, and implementation plans in order for these programs to expand successfully: OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) membership and corporate industry programs, meetings and exhibitions portfolio, and managed events (OFC: Optical Fiber Communication Conference® and Exposition and CLEO: Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics®, co-sponsored conferences of 15K and 4K attendees, respectively).

    Meetings and Industry Division Operations

    • Oversee and lead a staff of 25+ who plan and successfully execute OSA’s exhibitions (over 1K), scientific congresses, topical meetings and conferences (ranging from 40-60 with an annual attendance of 22K), OIDA membership (280), and corporate industry programs.
    • Work with staff to provide high-level project oversight, approving project scope, budget, and deliverables within the department.
    • Together with the CEO, establish and monitor progress against program and organizational metrics and milestones.
    • Advise the volunteer leadership of various councils and the OSA Board as needed on department activities, initiatives, goals, and outputs.
    • Set and implement policies and procedures for committee management. Develop, ensure implementation, and enforce the use of systems that facilitate smooth workflow, equitable and efficient work allocation, quality control, monitoring and evaluation, and communication within and among programs and with other OSA departments.

    Marketing and Sales

    • Oversee the development and implementation of marketing programs to promote each meeting and corporate membership/program. Work with Exhibit, Sponsorship, and Corporate Membership Sales team to ensure revenue goals are appropriately set and measures are in place to track progress and ensure we reach quarterly, monthly, and annual targets.
    • Lead ongoing market and competitive education of sales and marketing teams to ensure they have enough content knowledge to effectively promote the division’s products and programs.
    • Lead efforts to continuously improve targeting and market penetration of OSA’s meetings and industry programs.

    Committee, Volunteer, and Co-Sponsor/Partner Engagement

    • Enhance communication with OSA leadership to assure appropriate scheduling and coordination of meeting activities with staff and volunteer groups (technical program and steering committees, officers, and board of directors).
    • Hold primary responsibility through department senior staff liaisons for administration and implementation of the committees and their leadership engagement. Act as the primary liaison to OFC and CLEO co-sponsors on operational and strategic issues.
    • Develop and enhance relationships for the Society including responding to members and the optics and photonics community. Develop high-impact opportunities to promote OSA and encourage greater volunteer participation in industry-related committees and programs.


    Qualifications of the Chief Meetings & Industry Officer

    • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in a business-related field is a plus.
    • Fifteen years of professional work experience in progressively more responsible roles in meetings, exhibitions, conferences, and sales or new business development.
    • Experience working with a volunteer, governance-driven science or technology-based organization (or high-tech corporate environment) is a plus.
    • Experience managing large-scale tradeshows with 800+ exhibitors and 150K net sold square feet of exhibit space.
    • Experience managing vendors, volunteers, and customers globally based (Asia/Europe).
    • Ability to execute a high level of engagement within target market areas including corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies/research institutions.
    • Ability to travel 30%-40%, depending on the year, both domestically and internationally. 


    Attributes of the Chief Meetings & Industry Officer

    • Entrepreneurial. Smart and creative, you monitor the competitive landscape and intuitively see emerging trends, recognize opportunities, and take action – constantly adapting to leverage new opportunities. You are a builder with a can-do attitude; you build from the ground up and possess a resolute focus on the future.
    • Strategic. You are well versed in meetings and industry programs but you also have the ability to step back and look at the big picture. You have a curious mind that constantly challenges why things are done in a certain way and follows through with smart and creative solutions that can build future success.
    • Business-minded. You know how to take good ideas and make them profitable. You are skilled at helping organizations make informed decisions that deliver bottom-line
    • Gravitas. You are respected for your expertise and appreciated for how you can evaluate issues from both an individual and organizational perspective. You effortlessly communicate the message appropriate to your audience.
    • Project management. You have proven project management and organizational skills, able to allocate and optimize resources and manage timelines. You enjoy creating and implementing processes and procedures that uphold rigorous standards. You enjoy learning about and optimizing the technical/IT tools needed to support the portfolio.
    • Supreme relationship builder. You have a proven track record of getting results by building strong relationships and partnerships. You are self-confident and assertive, approachable and responsive.
    • Leadership. You respectfully listen to and learn from others, collaborate on projects, and communicate results. You confidently engage staff at all levels to define needs and expectations.  


    What’s Attractive to the Right Chief Meetings & Industry Officer Candidate?

    • It is an exciting time to join OSA. We are operating in a rich and growing field, and OSA is financially strong and poised for continuous growth. We have the resources you need to be successful and are invested in your training and professional development.
    • You will report to a CEO who is data-driven and financially savvy, and work with a knowledgeable and supportive board which has great respect for our team and the challenges of running a professional society.
    • OSA is globally known for our high-quality programs and we are continuously innovating to make our offerings even greater.
    • We offer competitive compensation and benefits, including a 10 percent bonus potential; 8 federal holidays, a 5-day winter break, and 20 days of paid time off medical, dental, and vision insurance; life and disability coverage; and 403(b) contribution up to 10 percent.


    To Apply for the Chief Meetings & Industry Officer position with OSA:

    Please share your resume by using the "Apply" button on this page. 


    Alternative Titles:   Vice President of Events, Vice President of Meetings, Senior Vice President, VP of Exhibitions, VP of Sales, Chief Industry Officer.


    Staffing Advisors has been engaged to find the right candidate and is committed to helping create a diverse work environment for our client. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. This position may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.



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