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Project Manager - Event Planning - Chicago

Chicago, IL



FIRST is a leading global brand experience agency providing Content, Creative, Digital Technology, Management & Delivery, and Data & Insights services. Operating as a full-service agency partner or through embedding specialist talent into client teams, FIRST brings brands and people together through creative, connected experiences. Spanning 11 countries and with more than 400 team members, FIRST works with clients across industries including financial services, technology, media, consumer electronics, medical and healthcare, automotive, aerospace and the non-profit sector. Event Marketer Magazine listed FIRST among their “Top 100 Event Agencies” for 2020, as well as one of 2020’s “Best Places to Work in Events.” Crain’s New York Business also recognized FIRST as one of the Top 100 “Best Places to work in NYC” for 2020, and The London Stock Exchange Group listed FIRST as one of “1000 Companies to Inspire Britain” in 2020.



In this capacity, the ideal candidate would represent the FIRST brand as an embedded team member at one of our newest and exciting client accounts, a multinational hedge fund and financial services company. The Project Manager will consistently deliver exceptional service to our high-touch clients through excellent project management and creative solutions. This position will primarily support virtual, in-person and hybrid events for the firm’s most high-profile internal events, both domestic and international, to include but are not limited to; holiday engagements, sales kick-offs, thought leadership, and a range of other internal-facing programs annually.


JOB LOCATION: Chicago OR New York, NY 



  • Full life-cycle planning and execution of multiple key, internal events in a virtual and in-person capacity 

  • Virtual event planning and project management, including confirming appropriate virtual platform, creation of timelines, invitation process, thorough and regular communications to attendees, suppliers, and stakeholders (Cvent experience preferred) 

  • Financial management, including budget development and management, expense management and invoice processing, timely post-meeting reconciliation and final financial reporting 

  • Sourcing, negotiating, and managing site selections, contract management for venues and suppliers

  • Coordinate registration, transportation, hotel accommodations, entertainment, gift selection, audio/visual needs, webcasts, staging and speaker selection for all programs 

  • Work with the team to ensure adherence to the client’s standards of operation and policies; ensure compliance and risk guidelines are followed

  • Domestic travel (when applicable) for site inspections and on-site management of live events to ensure full coordination of logistics and on-site teams for in-person events

  • Post-event wrap up including final attendees, budget reconciliation, observations, suggestions for following year, event surveys, as well as debriefs for year over year improvements

  • Co-plan with colleagues on larger scale programs; strong communicator who can work with a variety of personality types and skill sets including the firm’s senior leaders and sales team 

  • Mentor and support other team members as needed

  • Create and closely monitor value adds at every opportunity and demonstrate commercial awareness

  • Share knowledge of best practices, new suppliers, services, and venues



  • 5 years’ Event Management experience preferably in a corporate environment

  • Bachelor’s Degree required

  • Motivated, self-starter, ability to work independently and project plan; ability to think innovatively

  • Excellent project management skills with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously; proven ability to work well under pressure to meet established deadlines

  • Virtual event experience preferred

  • Leadership/influencing/negotiation and decision-making skills

  • Resourceful individual with the ability to take direction and work independently; be proactive with ideas and creative solutions

  • Customer focus, approachable; ability to adjust to client needs and style and deepen relationships in support of their programs; adapt to ever changing demands and different client work styles

  • Strong event management skills

  • Strong oral and written communication skills (including formal and informal) 

  • Ambitious, proactive, and highly organized

  • Willing to travel to various locations for site-visits and on-site management of events

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office and Excel (including general understanding of pivot tables and basic formulas) 

  • Experience working with large and complex databases preferred

  • Knowledge of venues and suppliers in key US cities


Administration & General: 

  • Work intelligently and ensure that the Team Manager is aware of problems or issues which negatively affect productivity

  • Strict and accurate adherence to company’s time tracking policies and systems

  • Ensure knowledge is shared within the team through positive communications

  • Flexible and willing to work long hours (evenings, weekends) and travel 

  • Work on ad hoc requests from clients as required

  • Assume responsibility for own environment, ensuring adherence to health and safety policies while having clean smart surroundings

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