The Economist

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Event Director and Head of Operations, Asia

Event Director and Head of Operations, Asia

Job Locations 
China-Hong Kong

More information about this job



The Economist is a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs. We deliver our information through a range of formats, from newspapers and magazines to conferences and electronic services. What ties us together is the objectivity of our opinion, the originality of our insight and our advocacy of economic and political freedom around the world.


Currently we are seeking an Event Director and Head of Operations for our Asia business who will be responsible for delivering all events in Asia, meeting contribution targets, and working closely with the Asia sales team to win business.  The role reports to the Global Head of Events and works in close coordination with the Managing Director for Asia Pacific and the Global Head of Operations for The Economist Events.  Responsibilities include participation on The Economist Group’s Asia Management Committee.



This role will directly manage the Asia events operations team, and will coordinate the activities of the operation, programming, marketing, and sales teams, working in close collaboration with the regional heads of programming and marketing, and the Senior Vice President, Media Sales Asia Pacific.



The Event Director and Head of Operations will have responsibility for the delivery of The Economist Events portfolio in Asia to the highest level of excellence. Whether live or online events, you will be responsible for the overall event management of the events portfolio including budgets, resources, management of sponsor deliverables, key supplier relationships, adherence to schedules, and the management of an in-house team of Project and Operations Managers.


The ideal candidate will be a seasoned events professional, accustomed to delivering events at the highest level.  



  • Act as the chief contact point on all issues relating to Asia Events
  • Work with the sales team to keep track of sales pipelines and ensure individual event and overall business revenue targets are met. Join sales calls and meet with prospective clients as needed to help close business and instill confidence in The Economist Events
  • Work with the global events leadership team and regional heads to set the overall regional plan for the business. Identify new conference topics and formats
  • Deliver events to budget and on schedule while working across global and Group projects where necessary as well as monitor and report on the revenue and profitability of the business, working with Sales & Marketing to improve both
  • Network with external parties and associations where necessary to develop sponsor, speaker, marketing, and logistics contacts


  • Ensure strong project leadership for each event, managing and motivating the event teams to ensure that conference topics, programme themes, venues and audiences are researched, developed and delivered to create compelling propositions which resonate with our target audience and sponsors.
  • Coordinate with regional heads of programing and marketing to adequately resource the team to keep events on track and budget and to deliver the overall annual budget, outsourcing event and programme development where necessary
  • Act as the senior sponsor liaison. Seek feedback and interact closely with sponsors throughout the life of the event cycle(s) to ensure project/event is running on track and meeting their expectations
  • Work across global events business, as well as with the Managing Director, Content Solutions, Asia and sales team, to develop and create integrated programs and different event formats
  • Work with marketing and sales to collect feedback from delegates and sponsors to ensure the on-going quality of events


  • Manage the Asia Events Operations team, handling resource allocation of the team across the event portfolio and overseeing hiring, induction and training of operations team members as required
  • Ensure responsible management of individual budgets for all Asia, working creatively to maintain cost control and quality of events, including identification of and negotiating with venues, suppliers, contractors etc.
  • Direct the logistics around all events, ensuring quality is maintained, the “buzz-factor” is high and costs kept to budget. Oversee key supplier relationships, supplier contract management and tender management, and onsite management from set-up, venue and registration processes to smooth overall team operation on-site

Experience, skills and professional attributes

  • Minimum of 10 years of professional experience in client-driven environment, including a minimum of 3-5 years experience managing client focused teams in a consultative project or events (programme, sales or marketing) environment
  • Solid events operations experience (5 years or more preferred), including a strong managerial background - hands-on experience of planning, scheduling and organising an operations team to execute an events portfolio
  • A demonstrated track record of driving successful projects that include substantial client interactions
  • An understanding of the commercial aspects of the sponsored-driven business; experience running a P&L a plus
  • Understanding of different models in the events industry
  • Excellent problem solving skills and ability to generate new ideas for events, partnerships, etc.
  • Demonstrated ability to work across business units and in multi-stakeholder environment
  • Deadline driven and accurate, excellent attention to detail
  • A professional, confident manner.  
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to lead from the front and command respect of peers
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Excellent communication, stakeholder management and networking skills
  • An experience working with highest level of speakers, sponsors, delegates 
  • High degree of emotional intelligence
  • A capacity to stay calm under pressure
  • Ability to generate ideas and transform good ideas into practice
  • Strong intellectual curiosity and keen interest in the editorial subject matter of Economist events
  • Ability to fulfil flexible working hours during busy periods; ability to travel internationally 20% of the time
  • Technology literacy, with solid experience with Powerpoint, Excel and Word 
  • Fluency in English, Mandarin strongly favored; other languages a plus