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Lead Event Planner
Title:Lead Event Planner
Location:Grand Rapids, MI
Job Type :Full-time
Company:RDV Corporation
The Opportunity
The Lead Event Planner will oversee and provide “hands-on” planning and execution of a variety of events, from highly complex VIP retreats/events to organizational parties/celebrations and other special events as assigned. This position facilitates all aspects of planning, including site selection, schedule creation and management, vendor sourcing and negotiation, attendance, pre- and post-event communications, budget management, creative elements, and leadership over internal event team(s), as well as external and onsite resources & contractors, etc.

This position will also provide oversight and management over the internal Event Planning staff, as well as elements of external event planners and services as needed.

Culture of Care
At RDV Corporation, we recruit only the most talented people who are highly capable, energetic, positive, results focused, and who naturally contribute to a premier service-oriented culture. In turn, our employees experience competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits programs that enhance their lives and experiences. They also enjoy a workplace that is meaningful, engaging, and collaborative; a place where they can grow their career in the vibrant heart of downtown Grand Rapids, MI.

Duties and Responsibilities

Event Planning:

  • Overall superior project management and “hands-on” execution for all assigned initiatives and events, focusing on exceptional outcomes and experiences for key stakeholders and participants.
  • Display expert understanding and application of each event and/or initiatives focus, level of sophistication, and strategic goal.
  • Ability to navigate the business, creative, collaborative, and leadership functions of event and initiative management:
    • Proactively communicate and work with multiple Family members, RDV Corp., Staffing, & household employees, committees, and/or constituencies to understand objectives, manage deliverables and execute impactful programs.
    • Ability to design experiences and create event strategies that support event goals, understanding the big picture.
    • Establish comprehensive project plan to include timelines, budget development, guest attendance, travel logistics, agenda, itineraries, invitation and communication design, and production of other event materials.
    • Establish and track budget to stay within expectations and timely reconciliation of expenses post event.
  • Coordinate all details and aspects of each event including, but not limited to overall communication, location/facility, speakers, entertainment, technology, agenda, travel & logistics, accommodations, programming, etc.
    • Conduct venue selection process and propose venue recommendations.  Provide summary of ideas and preliminary plans to leadership and/or appropriate committee(s) for consideration and approval.  
    • Maintain and manage direct contact and outcomes with the venue(s) for all program specifics including food and beverage management, lodging, housekeeping, security, grounds, maintenance, etc.
    • Oversee all vendor management and communication including solicitation of bids, negotiation of contracts, and securing vendors for all necessary services needs as it relates to food and beverage, entertainment, speakers, transportation, facilities management, production, etc.
    • Creation of comprehensive and thoughtful designs and floor plan layouts including interior and exterior facility needs, infrastructure needs such as tents, floor, utilities, draping, floral and décor details including lines, “tablescapes”, furnishings, lighting, seating arrangements, etc.
    • Collaborate with the venue(s) on the menu creation as it relates to food and beverage selections for the various events including food styling and presentation, using information related to attendee dietary preferences and needs, as well as local cuisine.
    • Establish table assignments to enhance each meal-time experience.
    • Oversee and review internal event details to ensure potential issues are avoided or resolved, developing contingency plans as needed to ensure highest level of service.
    • Collaborate with appropriate staff to ensure all travel and logistics are made in advance and managed effectively “real-time”, depending on the event, situation, and the attendees’ preferences. Provide detailed event and travel itineraries. 
    • Serve as the on-site contact during events to ensure all event issues and planning is handled in a timely, professional manner, as well as serving as an active liaison with the attendees to ensure outstanding customer service while maintaining the appropriate professional boundaries.
    • Identify, coordinate, create, and/or facilitate activities during events ranging from learning and experiential activities, to entertainment, social, and team building.
    • Coordinate and arrange for photography and/or videography as needed; review content and arrange for the creation & distribution of the photo album, images, and video media post-event.
    • Present concepts, themes, and specific items for “Swag Bag” to leadership and appropriate committee(s) for event where applicable, order items, assemble and distribute Swag with well-executed presentation at the event.
    • Develop and maintain event records including service provider, vendor names and contact information. 
    • Communicate across all internal and external interfaces in an efficient and professional manner.
    • Create and distribute surveys, manage program assessments, and action items post-event.
    • Coordinate and write scripts for a wide range of individuals and speaking engagements for the events managed, maintaining the speakers’ voice.


  • Provide effective management of individual employees as well as internal/external event team(s), planning processes, and outcomes, fostering an environment of accountability and appropriate professional boundaries.
  • Foster a philosophy of effective and intentional collaboration and teamwork.
  • Determine internal and external resources needed in order to establish and assemble the appropriate resources accordingly.
  • Establish and manage roles & responsibilities, as well as the overall performance of each contributor, utilizing effective planning, tools, and supervision.
  • Provide and manage effective planning tools and processes, including Master Event Timeline.
  • Provide effective leadership & oversight for elements of other external event planners/events as needed.
Elements of Success
  • Bachelor’s Degree in hospitality or related field preferred.
  • 7-10 years of previous experience leading event planning, including experience in managing teams and “hands on” producing of all aspects of an event. Experience providing event planning services to VIPs a strong plus.
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Advanced ability to express oneself to provide information to others effectively and in a succinct manner; outstanding verbal, written, and presentation abilities; ability to ask thoughtful questions to gain insights, listen, and incorporate learning into solutions.
  • Strong project management skills required.
  • Displayed success taking the lead as well as providing behind-the-scenes “hands-on” services.
  • Excellent positive interpersonal and customer service skills.
  • Demonstrated skill in gaining the cooperation and support of others; ability to lead by example and foster constructive and collaborative relationships; ability to collaborate and work well with teams of all types.
  •  Strong sense of accuracy, quality, and organization.  Ability to think critically in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Flexibility and maturity; able to remain optimistic and calm while working with shifting priorities and deadlines essential.
  • A self-starter who is able to work independently on multiple projects and prioritize work.
  • Must be highly motivated and solution oriented with a high degree of integrity, ethics, discretion, and dedication.
  • Strong leadership, collaboration and interpersonal skills required for managing in a complex environment, including coaching, development and growth of individuals and teams required.
  • Must be able to work an irregular schedule, evenings or weekends as needed, additional hours and travel during peak times or as required.
This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications
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