A conference manager is sometimes known as an events manager or events planner; he or she will work in a conference center and will be responsible for managing a staff of people who will help organize and run conferences or other events. The various job responsibilities of the conference manager can vary depending on the venue as well as the event being held, but generally, he or she will oversee all operations pertaining to a conference or event, from the planning stages all the way through to the clean-up stage.
Each conference venue is different, which means the tasks a conference manager will have to complete or delegate to others will vary. Parking, for example, may be an issue at some venues, but other venues may have on-site facilities in which guests can easily leave their vehicles. If this is not the case, the conference manager may need to find a way to indicate where guests should park and whether they will need permits to do so. The facilities will also need to be prepared ahead of time, so once guests park their cars, they can find their way easily to the appropriate space within the conference center. Signs or personnel will need to be on hand to help guide guests appropriately.
If food is being served at the conference, the conference manager will oversee the on-site staff responsible for cooking and serving the meals. If a caterer is hired, the manager will work with the catering staff and management to ensure all food is prepared properly and in a timely manner. Clean-up duties must also be delegated to ensure the facilities are clean and ready for the next event. Some conference centers will have cleaning staff on hand, while others may hire a third party cleaning crew to take care of this job. In either case, the conference manager must ensure the job gets done properly and in a timely manner.
Bookkeeping is another aspect of the conference manager's job. He or she may be responsible for organizing the staff payroll, acquiring contracts with third party vendors and filing those documents for future reference, and various other clerical duties associated with the operations of the conference center. Many managers will have college degrees in hotel and restaurant management, or other related fields to prepare them for the various job responsibilities he or she will face as a manager.