The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography and geographers, and it has charitable status. The Society was founded in 1830 and has been one of the most active of the learned societies ever since. It was pivotal in establishing geography as a teaching and research discipline in British universities, and continues to play a key role in geographical and environmental education. The Society is a leading world centre for geographical learning – supporting education, teaching, research and scientific expeditions, as well as promoting public understanding and enjoyment of geography and providing advice to policy makers.
The Society has an international membership of approximately 16,000, nine regional branches in the UK and two overseas, 32 specialist research groups, and a programme of activities that extends far beyond its membership to broad engagement with more than three million people per year. Over 400 lectures, conferences and other events are organised each year including a major four-day Annual Conference, a programme of popular lectures, professional development for professional geographers, and policy-related discussions.
The Society also publishes, under contract, scholarly journals and the popular Geographical magazine. It empowers others through a programme of grant-giving in support of research, fieldwork and expeditions, and teaching. The Society’s information resources include its historic and world-renowned geographic Collections of maps, images, books, manuscript archives and artefacts. The Society offers professional accreditation to members through Chartered Geographer status.
The Society is based in a listed building in its own grounds in Kensington opposite Hyde Park. There are 52 permanent full-time staff, together with part-time, temporary and volunteer staff. Applicants are strongly recommended to familiarise themselves with the current work of the Society set out on our website.
The Society is seeking an enthusiastic and effective Programmes Officer to join the small team that formulates, oversees and delivers the Society’s highly respected programme of events for the public in London, and for Fellows, members and the public across the UK. This is an excellent opportunity for an individual with some experience of working with volunteers and of planning and running events.
The Society’s Programmes Team exists to further the understanding and discussion of geographical issues through live events ranging from lectures and seminars to conferences, social events and debates. It contributes in particular to public engagement with geography through a comprehensive programme of events in London, and across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It oversees, and in some cases directly organises, some 150 events each year, and liaises with the nine voluntary regional committees in the UK, the voluntary regional committee in Singapore, and the voluntary Younger Members’ Committee. It also works with the Director’s Office to provide front of house support for the Society’s popular Monday night lectures for Fellows and members, many of which are given by well-known public figures. The team consists of the Programmes Manager, Programmes Officer and Programmes and Communications Assistant.
The Programmes Team forms part of the Public Engagement and Communications department, which is managed by the Society’s Head of Public Engagement and Communications. More information on the Society’s events programme can be found on the events section of the Society website.
Key responsibilities of the post fall under the following areas:
- Event planning and delivery
- Supporting Fellows and members to deliver events
- Front of house duties
- General administration
Salary and application details
This is a permanent appointment subject to successful completion of a probationary period of three months. The salary range for this post is £27,267 to £29,021 per annum depending on experience and qualifications. The post is usually based in Kensington, London, however remote working is expected until at least August 2021.
The position requires regular evening working to support the delivery of events that take place in the Society’s building or online. The post holder will be required to work on Monday evenings during term time (autumn: September-December, spring: January-March, and summer: April-June; 30 evenings in total) to perform front of house duties required for the Monday night lectures. The post holder will also be required to work on other evenings to support the delivery of events organised by the Programmes Team, regional committees and other teams within the Society as agreed in advance. Time off in lieu or overtime is payable for this.
Annual holidays are 25 days per annum plus the period over which the Society is closed between Christmas and the New Year and on bank holidays. The Society offers a personal pension scheme to which it currently contributes 7.5% of gross salary. Staff benefits include interest-free cycle and season ticket loan schemes and subsidised lunch. The Society aims to be an equal opportunities employer.
Please address your application for the post of Programmes Officer to Mitchell Clarke, Programmes Manager, with a copy of your CV and a covering letter explaining your suitability for the post and how you fulfil the selection criteria listed. Please include the names and addresses of two referees. Referees will not be contacted without your prior approval.
Deadlines and timetable
Applications must be received by 9.30am on Monday 17 May. Interviews are planned to take place on Monday 24 May via Zoom.
Job description for the post of Programmes Officer
- Post: Programmes Officer
- Department: Public Engagement and Communications
- Responsible to: Programmes Manager
- Persons reporting: None
Purpose of post
The Programmes Officer will help to plan and deliver the Society’s programme of events, with specific responsibility for the Regional Theatres Programme, supporting regional committees, providing front of house event support, and general administrative support for the Programmes Team.
Duties and responsibilities
The Programmes Officer works closely with both the Programmes Manager and the Public Engagement and Communications Assistant to ensure the successful delivery of events. Training will be provided where necessary and team working is essential.
Developing and running the Regional Theatres Programme
- Researching, identifying and securing suitable speakers.
- Liaising with partner theatres and meeting their varied programme deadlines.
- Managing relationships with speakers and venues.
- Ensuring that the Programme meets budgetary targets each year.
- Researching potential new venues for the Programme which will involve identifying and building partnerships.
Supporting regional committee activities
- Providing administrative and practical support and advice to the Society’s regional committees and overseas branches, including assisting with programme ideas.
- Being first point of contact for committee members, and ensuring relevant deadlines are known and met.
- Providing administrative support for the Regions Committee meetings, including liaising with the Regions Chair to draft discussion papers, presenting the Regional Theatres Programme report, coordinating attendance and minuting the meeting.
- Providing support for event marketing.
- Processing financial claims.
- For online events: setting up and managing digital platforms, acting as the virtual host to admit the audience, facilitate/stop screen sharing and moderating audience questions.
- Booking and liaising with speakers and venues for some events outside of London organised by the Programmes Team.
- For events at the Society, assisting with the setup of events and their delivery on the day (on average one to two per week). This will include working at the Monday night lectures each week (normally until 7.00pm, but until 8.15pm when there is a supper) and at other evening events taking place throughout the year as agreed in advance. The main role at events will involve front of house duties including event registration, assisting with guest lists and undertaking first aid and fire marshal roles.
Maintaining and updating CRM database
- Setting up events and online booking in the back office of the Society’s CRM database, OpenEngage.
- Managing booking for regional events, including sending out confirmation emails.
- Performing complex queries of the database to generate reports including attendee lists and contacts for mailing lists.
- Maintaining the integrity of data by updating records as and when out of date information is found.
- Setting up events and online booking in the back end of the Society’s website CMS, Kentico.
- Ensuring that the what’s on section of the Society’s website and other related pages are kept up to date.
The Programmes Officer will support the Programmes Manager in developing and implementing a marketing plan for the Society’s events programme including:
- Creating the events pages of the Society’s termly Bulletin from gathering information from regional event organisers to proof reading.
- Publicising events via email and social media to previous attendees and known contacts.
- Producing posters for Regional Theatre and regional committee events where necessary.
- Proofreading regional newsletters.
- Working with the Communications Team to develop and implement new marketing ideas for events.
General administrative duties
Working with the Programmes Team to:
- Process ticket sales and event bookings received by post, telephone and the website.
- Handle payments and report them to the Finance Office.
- Answer telephone and email enquiries in a timely and professional manner.
- Liaise with the Society’s caterers where required.
Any other duties required by the Programmes Manager or the Head of Public Engagement and Communications.
- Experience of working with volunteers and volunteer committees.
- Good interpersonal skills, including face-to-face, over the telephone and in writing.
- Excellent attention to detail, organisational and time management skills.
- Knowledge and experience of contemporary geography, or a closely-related discipline, and a good understanding of the breadth of the discipline across the human and natural sciences.
- Experience of engaging public audiences with geography and organising public events.
- Experience of customer service in a busy environment.
- Experience of using CRM databases, e.g. OpenEngage.
- Confidence with programmes including Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel, as well as video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
- Ability to multitask, use initiative and work efficiently under pressure.
- Ability to problem solve and work flexibility with enthusiasm to overcome issues.
- Systematic approach to tasks and taking pride in one’s work.
- A sense of humour and team spirit.
- A degree in geography or closely-related subject.
- Experience of partnership working or building relationships with external stakeholders.
- Experience of proofreading.
- Experience of working with content management systems e.g. Kentico.
- Experience of managing or supporting online events.
- First aid and fire marshal qualification or willingness to undertake training.