Event Planner

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA 920371002, USA
  • May 04, 2022
Full time External Relations, PR, Marketing

Job Description



  • Event Planning (75%)
    • Directly responsible for planning of "Level 2," half-day donor cultivation events such as Back to Basics, Excellerators, Women & Science, President's Club reception, unique one-time events such as memorials, etc. Also includes 1-day outside organization events (requires site visit with organizer, site visit with caterer(s) and/or multiple additional vendors). Examples include CARTA events, Peptide Therapeutics, etc. Includes working with 1-5 vendors (florists, rental companies, caterers, etc.). Requires creating specialty floor plans and decor, briefing other department liaisons, etc.
    • Directly responsible for planning more complex, "Level 3" events, such as 1-2 day Salk scientific events/symposia, Salk Picnic, multiple-day, non-Salk events on Salk campus and large-scale donor events. Responsibilities include: creating and maintaining websites; managing registration for 200-800 attendees; planning menus; coordinating rentals; staffing events; overseeing briefings with multiple departments who are also supporting the event; managing abstract submission process; advertising; coordinating speaker travel; managing budgets; processing reimbursements to guest speakers, both national and international; providing travel support for international attendees; administering consent to record protocols and follow-up; planning occasional off-site events as part of the main event program; handling special guest requests; managing parking needs; and acting as guest speaker liaison. Responsible for working with 5-8 vendors, including hotels, multiple caterers, rentals, florists, transportation and entertainment. Works directly with faculty or Development event organizer.
    • Creates abstract books as assigned for multiple annual symposia. This includes managing online abstract submission process; proofing materials; working with individual presenters on each submission; confirming participation of each presenter; formatting documents; and acting as liaison to outside printing vendor to produce final product.
    • Directly responsible for orchestrating "Level 4" events, such as 3- to 4-day scientific symposia (Adler Symposium, PRCS, Cell Cycle, Mechanisms & Models of Cancer, Salk/Foundation Ipsen, Society for Neuroscience Salk events, etc.) and for highly complex or VIP events, including Explore Salk, Symphony at Salk and other unique, high-profile events. Responsibilities include all those listed in Level 3, plus planning and managing multiple off-site events that take place during the main event; accepting and managing sponsorships; coordinating more complex housing arrangements with multiple housing vendors; and overseeing contract management. Includes adjusting budget expenses to revenue if registration revenue is lower than projected, which includes creating new budget(s) if needed. Responsible for working with 7-12 vendors, including hotels, other venues, caterers, rental companies, florists, transportation providers, travel companies and entertainment providers.
    • Serves as contact and a Salk liaison for all requested "outside" (non-Salk) scientific and non-scientific events on Salk campus. This includes "joint" events (Salk and an outside institute or university).
    • Arranges and acts as liaison to facilitate parking needs for each event.
    • Ensures completion of all speaker/presenter communication and travel, including securing of air/ground transportation and lodging; processing all required paperwork, vouchers, documentation and reimbursements before and after trips; and preparing itineraries.
    • Supervises and directs workflow for operations and serving staff working assigned events.
    • Independently resolves problems and implements creative solutions before and during assigned events.
  • Marketing and Collaterals (10%)
    • Submits Communications requests and information for websites, posters, banners, flyers, sponsor and acknowledgment displays and other related collaterals.
    • Proofreads poster rough drafts, invitations and other printed material from Communications department which support Salk scientific events.
    • Produces abstract books as assigned for multiple annual symposia. This includes gathering and proofing of materials, confirming participation of each registrant, set up of website, formatting of documents, working with each abstract presenter on their abstract document review process and acting as liaison to outside printing vendor to produce final product.
    • Oversees, organizes and assembles data for the creation of various websites, from inception to completion.
  • Budget Management (10%)
    • Creates, manages and monitors expenses/income, working with the Events Fiscal Coordinator and event organizer to stay within budget parameters for each event/project. Ensures appropriate fund balances before initiating ledger expense. Oversees monthly budget reconciliation for all current events through final resolution.
    • Ensures that cumulative expenses are in line with the assigned budget.
    • Prepares program support budget status reports and projections for review by Director, Salk Events (DSE).
  • Supervision (5%)
    • During events, directs workflow for the Events Operations (Ops) team and serves as liaison between Ops team members and the DSE as well as Events Coordinator to ensure all event-related requests are executed with a high degree of efficiency and satisfaction.
    • Attends relevant trainings and keeps abreast of all HR supervisory requirements, policies and procedures to ensure proper application and adherence to Institute and departmental policies.



  • 4 years' proven experience as an events planner or organizer.


  • Experience with creating and reviewing Banquet Event Orders.
  • Experience with both hybrid and virtual events.
  • Prior experience in a larger (500+) nonprofit organization.



  • High school diploma


  • Bachelor's degree



  • Demonstrated ability to plan, organize and execute a successful event. Demonstrated ability to handle logistics and effectively carry out event goals of the designated unit/partner organization in a manner that enhances the image of the Salk Institute.
  • Ability to make creative recommendations regarding individual events' improvement and streamlining of internal processes.
  • Strong, demonstrated organizational skills, with ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, often working under pressure and with frequent interruptions while exhibiting extreme attention to detail and maintaining a high degree of accuracy at all times.
  • Demonstrated exceptional interpersonal skills to communicate and interact in a positive and effective manner with diverse clientele.
  • Ability to make appropriate decisions and to employ good judgment under demanding conditions and/or when confronted with frequently changing priorities and challenging situations.
  • Proven ability to work with high level of independence.
  • Excellent communication skills, verbal and written.


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Will require occasional evening and weekends to assist with events. 


This position will constantly be adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, communicating, reading, reasoning, working inside, and writing.


Application Details

Apply Here: https://www.salk.edu/about/careers/


 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


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