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Conference Coordinator

The Cato Institute is seeking applications for a full-time position located in DC as a Conference Coordinator. This position is responsible for handling all of the pre-planning, on-site execution and post event follow up for 100+ in-house forums/conference/small events and assist as needed with other in-house and off-site events. Some travel is required.

Company Overview:

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization—a think tank—dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.

Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th- century England that presented a vision of society free from excessive government power. Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution — individual liberty, limited government, and free markets – turn out to be even more powerful in today’s world of global markets and unprecedented access to information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for a free people; it is the indispensable framework for the future. Cato Institute is an EOE.


  • Create and maintain event timelines.
  • Draft budgets and track expenses. 
  • Manage the invitation process including collecting text, initiating and completing the editing process, formatting copy, proofing and scheduling web posting and invitation delivery.
  • Oversee the coordination of book sales during events by working with publishers, bookstores and the accounting department. 
  • Oversee the selection and collection of appropriate publications and handouts.
  • Recruit and supervise volunteers from the intern class to staff each event.
  • Work closely with conference registrar to coordinate registration and confirmations.
  • Manage speaker needs: audiovisual requirements, presentation materials, travel arrangements, hotel accommodations, and honorarium payment.
  • Work closely with caterers selecting menus, determining appropriate guarantee numbers and placing orders.
  • Submit RFPs for room blocks collect proposals, present recommendations and manage rooming lists.
  • Generate banquet event orders to include set up, catering, audio visual, and services using EMS.
  • Decide appropriate room set up and produce floor diagrams using Meeting Matrix.
  • Communicate meeting requirements to appropriate departments (communications, facilities, marketing, web, etc.) by producing and supply reports.
  • Works closely with the Conference Attendant to execute meeting sets.
  • Collect track and report registration, marketing and catering information.
  • Review invoices for accuracy and approve for payment.
  • Schedule and service in-house meeting and event space.
  • Generate monthly reports as assigned.
  • Receive and respond to meeting related phone and email inquiries.
  • Regularly update the conference manual.
  • Carry out other duties as assigned.


  • College degree with 2 years of relevant experience
  • Meet deadlines, manage time well and perform job responsibilities without constant supervision
  • Professional demeanor and comfortable working with top level executives, internal customers and vendors
  • Ability to problem solve, manage crisis situations effectively and maintain a professional composure while working under pressure
  • Strong customer service mentality with a proactive and positive attitude
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to work well in a team environment and independently
  • Exceptional attention to detail, quality and accuracy
  • Great communication skills, both oral and written
  • Outstanding research and proofreading skills
  • Proficiency with standard desktop software including all Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel & Outlook)
  • Knowledge of EMS and Meeting Matrix a plus
  • Ability to work beyond normal business hours (9am-5:30pm) as well as occasional weekends and willingness to travel on an as needed basis.
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