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Director of Experiential Events

Job Details

Job Summary

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks a Director of Experiential Events. This role will work with RISD’s President and the Vice President for Strategy and Planning/Senior Advisor (VP/SA) to the President to develop and translate the President’s vision into a portfolio of high-level and globally visible experiential events that reinforce RISD’s stature and prominent position as a world-leader in art and design education and discourse; build engagement with new audiences to support the school’s mission and aspirations; and demonstrate the School’s commitment to social equity and inclusion (SEI).

The Director will be a seasoned event professional responsible for the planning, production and execution of in-person and hybrid events both on-campus and globally, with assistance from an events coordinator and, where needed, Institutional Advancement staff and a team of cross-functional colleagues. Events will range from global symposiums, speaker’s series and Artist’s Balls to partnerships with major cultural organizations and at top global prominent, premier and destination art, design and cultural events. The Director will also coordinate between, and develop best practices for, events professionals throughout the institution, helping to elevate all RISD events, support consistency in their brand representation and execution, and ensure alignment with RISD’s SEI goals.

The successful candidate will thrive in a campus environment that is committed to advancing the principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.

Essential Functions:
1) Build an advanced understanding of the strategic priorities and communications platforms to be advanced through Presidential events, then collaboratively with the President and VP/SA and input from internal stakeholders, translate these goals into a portfolio of new, high-impact events on-campus, in the US and across the world, including at leading major global art and design events.
2) Serve as a lead in the conceptualization of events, develop the strategy and goals, and engage senior leadership, faculty, Trustees and others, as appropriate, to shape events. Leveraging the latest industry trends and innovations, bring event concepts to life as dynamic, engaging and memorable experiences that further RISD’s mission and commitment to SEI and global discourse on art and design.
3) Flawlessly execute and lead events from conception through planning, production and follow-up. The Director is responsible for determining and executing- or organizing others to execute- all logistics for events including, but not limited to, selecting and leading contract negotiations with venues and vendors, building strategic guest lists, developing invitations and collateral, creating extraordinary event experiences, developing and managing event budgets, and conducting post-event follow-up and promotion. The Director must ensure that all project tasks and deliverable are completed on-time and within scope and budget, creatively problem-solved challenges, flagging significant obstacles to the President or VP/SA.
4) Center SEI principles throughout all projects and workstreams, clearly articulating events’ SEI goals and approaches and delivering experiences that are fully inclusive and have a broad reach.
5) With partnership from the Marketing and Communications team, create and facilitate execution of a robust, multi-platform marketing plan that elevates the visibility of events, reaches and excites diverse target audiences and leverages social media and other means to promote visibility, key messages and outcomes following events.
6) Set clear and measurable goals for events and lead thoughtful post-event reviews to assess return-on-investment and overall success, guiding future decision-making and applying lessons learned to drive continuous refinement and elevation of events.
7) Foster a collaborative environment for event planners throughout RISD, providing partnership and coordination that elevates all institutional events, centering RISD’s brand and SEI goals. Create and/or develop a tool kit and guidelines to be used by event planners in elevating their events and create a mechanism for resource and idea sharing among event planners.

8) Serve as an engaged member of the VP/SA’s senior team, contributing to an aligned, collaborative team that elevates each team member’s work through shared problem-solving and feedback, fosters individual and growth and DEI commitment and proficiency, and elevates overall team performance. Supervise and provide mentorship to the Meetings and Events Coordinator, supporting their role success and career growth.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 8 years experience in event management and production. Experience in planning and executing global events, engaging art and design communities and ecosystem, and event marketing are required, as is an understanding of the landscape of major global art, design and cultural events.

  • Proven track record of delivering events and experiential campaigns in the creative, brand experience, experiential and event production space at prominent, premier, and destination cultural and entertainment events globally.

  • Agency and/or Brand side experience in event production and experiential highly preferred, in a senior leadership role such as Director of Events, Director of Experiential, Head of Production, Executive Producer or similar role.

  • Ability to utilize and mobilize an established network of supporting vendors and venues in various locations to effectively execute campaigns and events nationally and internationally

  • Extraordinary creativity and strong familiarity with the latest technology, innovative approaches and trends in event production.

  • Highly organized with impeccable attention to detail and a demonstrated ability to manage multiple events simultaneously and be flexible in adapting to changed circumstances.

  • Ability to exercise discretion, manage up and apply sound judgment in problem-solving.

  • Proven commitment to social equity and inclusion, including the understanding and skills needed to craft events that are welcoming and accessible to all and meaningfully engage diverse participants and audiences, along with dedication to advancing these values within our community.

  • Independent, proactive leadership style, along with strength in building collaborations and trust, working across constituencies and influencing others outside of their span of control.

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

  • Ability to travel locally, nationally and internationally.



Work Schedule:

35 hours per week; 12 months per year

Employment Status:

Full-time, Exempt, Regular



Work Modality

Hybrid Eligible

Documents Needed to Apply:

Resume (Required)

Cover Letter (Required)

Salary Grade Structure

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

For internal use only - Job Family:

Events Planning



RISD is a college and museum founded in 1877 in Providence, RI. Today 2,620 students engage in 44 full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, supported by a committed faculty and worldwide network of more than 31,000 alumni.

By cultivating expansive and elastic thinking, RISD equips artists, designers and scholars to generate and challenge the ideas that shape our world.

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