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Currently Accepting Proposals for: Conference Coordinator

Mission: Future Harvest’s mission is to advance agriculture that sustains farmers, communities, and the environment. We provide education, networking, advocacy, and research to help build a sustainable Chesapeake foodshed, where food flows from farm and fishery to table in ways that strengthen farming and the regional food economy; protect our land, water, and air; and provide healthy, nutritious food that sustains the region’s communities.

About Us: A voice in the Mid-Atlantic agricultural setting for more than twenty years, Future Harvest has deep roots in the work of advancing agriculture that sustains farmers, serves communities, and protects the environment. Through education, networking, advocacy, and research, Future Harvest is committed to helping build a sustainable and equitable Chesapeake foodshed. Future Harvest’s foodshed, encompassing everything from the Blue Ridge to the Chesapeake Bay, is diverse, and includes stakeholders as varied as urban micro-farms and large-scale rural operators, DC chefs and off-the-grid homesteaders. The challenges they all face as they try to feed their communities and support their families, to access land or steward what they already manage are manifold and defy easy solutions. Future Harvest works to bridge those gaps, finding the common threads that unite this diverse group while also providing the tailored support that such disparate operations and communities need.

Request For Conference Coordinator Proposals: Future Harvest (FH) is seeking a visionary and detail-oriented contractual conference coordinator. This individual reports to the executive director and works closely with the FH staff and board, our members, volunteers, and partners to organize and execute an inspiring, educational, and community-building, annual winter conference. The conference is held every year on Martin Luther King weekend in January and is a key component of FH’s education programming and regional networking. For 2023, the conference will take place in person in College Park, Md., and may include a virtual component. This job requires someone who has vision, creativity, self-direction, and pays great attention to detail. Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives are encouraged to apply.   

The independent contractor’s responsibilities include:

  • In consultation with FH staff, education team, board, and conference committee members, develop and lead the vision and strategy for all aspects of the conference
  • Recruit keynote and session speakers, schedule and facilitate their participation in the conference, help craft the topics for their workshops/lectures, and build an organized schedule of events
  • Work with our development staff to recruit, steward, and coordinate exhibitors, advertisers, sponsors, and donations for the event, including layout of sponsor speaking opportunities, trade show tables, and the procurement of locally produced food. Must be comfortable with cold-calling
  • Track all exhibitor, sponsor, speaker, and vendor interactions and information in CRM system
  • Work with the executive director and development staff to on-board sponsors
  • Work with the head of communications to map out and create engaging and timely messaging, branding, and promotion plan with goal to increase attendance
  • Convene and lead a Conference Planning Committee; oversee scheduling of and agendas for regular planning calls
  • Conduct timely check-ins with staff, as needed, to gather input and share updates
  • Attend weekly virtual and in-person staff meetings when requested 
  • Provide outline and review print program and all materials, including signage, for accuracy
  • Negotiate and work directly with conference venue; assist with venue and hotel arrangements for ancillary meetings the week of the conference
  • Recruit and organize volunteers, and facilitate and administer scholarships
  • Delegate and oversee tasks to volunteers and to staff in consultation with executive director
  • Set up, organize, and execute registration
  • Coordinate with development staff to ensure thank-you letters for every donation and sponsorship
  • Keep close tabs on registration trends per category of attendee 
  • Prepare pre- and post-event financial and qualitative reports for executive director and board and oversee all post-conference tasks including survey(s), invoice collection, payments, etc.
  • Maintain up-to-date, organized and multifaceted conference planning documents


Qualifications required: 

  • Deep experience in event planning, preferably conference planning
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Chesapeake region farming community
  • Demonstrated superlative organizational and administrative skills
  • Demonstrated ability to use Google Suite to manage collaborative planning documents, Excel, event planning software, etc.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and self direct
  • Demonstrated ability to engage a diverse range of presenters, exhibitors, and attendees
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team, both internal and external, to create and strategically implement a vision for the 2023 conference
  • Ability to travel for meetings and conference
  • Equipment needed includes laptop with camera for virtual calls, smartphone with unlimited data plan, computer, printer
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Willingness to travel and do occasional weekend work


Hours:

  • Hours required for this position vary throughout the year, with 10-15/weekly from May – July and 20+/weekly from August to the end of January.

How to Submit a Proposal 

Please submit your proposal as one file via email to info@futureharvest.org and include a cover letter, resume, two writing/marketing samples, three professional references and flat rate required for the event. 

For additional information, email info@futureharvest.org or call 410-549-7878. RFP open until filled. Priority given to proposals submitted before May 6, 2022.