Director of Business Development – Venues – Special Events (MICE) Company: Maraya
Location: Maraya, Alula, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Reports to: General Manager
Direct Reports: Marketing Manager, Sales Manager (Agency), Programming Manager & Ticketing Manager
Please enter all your details in English in this portal and your resume or CV should also be in English.
This role will be initially on a 4-year contract with Maraya. The employee contract under Saudi law is an annual renewable contract.
We are seeking a motivated and experienced individual to take on the Director of Business Development role at Maraya. Maraya is a purpose-built event venue in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, comprising a main auditorium, a conference hall, meeting rooms, VIP facilities, and a dining hall. AlUla is known for its breathtaking desert landscape and magnificent heritage sites. Designed to blend into the surrounding landscape, the state-of-the-art structure is covered in mirrored panels reflecting AlUla’s beauty.
Maraya, which translates to “mirror” or “reflection” in Arabic, boasts 9,740 square meters of mirrors, making it the largest mirrored building in the world according to Guinness World Records. We are seeking a motivated and experienced individual to take on the Director of Business Development role at Maraya. Maraya is a purpose-built event venue in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, comprising a main auditorium, a conference hall, meeting rooms, VIP facilities, and a dining hall. AlUla is known for its breathtaking desert landscape and magnificent heritage sites. Designed to blend into the surrounding landscape, the state-of-the-art structure is covered in mirrored panels reflecting AlUla’s beauty. Maraya, which translates to “mirror” or “reflection” in Arabic, boasts 9,740 square meters of mirrors, making it the largest mirrored building in the world according to Guinness World Records.
Your Responsibilities will include:
- Ensure the creation and effective delivery of a sales and growth strategy specifically related to MICE events for the venue which maximises revenue and successfully promotes Maraya’s activities to as wide an audience as possible.
- Develop and strengthen internal and external relationships that will lead to increased lead generation, market share, sponsorship deals, and license deals with our F&B assets.
- Manage the outsourced commercial & marketing agencies.
- Set up KPIs and monitor commercial & marketing agencies performance in delivering Maraya sales, marketing, and sponsorship strategy.
- Lead & manage, sales manager based in Dubai (Agency).
- Lead & manage marketing, ticketing & programming managers.
- Direct development of customer-facing web platforms and digital experiences.
- Provide leadership to the team and ensure the effective management of all staff in the department, ensuring that the service offered to all stakeholders is first class.
- Evaluate existing partnerships and sales efforts with an eye toward building on what works and changing what doesn’t.
- Set goals and develop plans for Maraya business and revenue growth.
- Research, plan, and implement new target market initiatives.
- Research prospective accounts in target markets.
- Pursue leads and move them through the sales cycle.
- Develop quotes and proposals for prospective clients.
- Set goals for the business development team and develop strategies to meet those goals.
- Attend conferences and industry events.
- Identify and develop new business opportunities.
- Build relationships with customers, suppliers, distributors, partners, and vendors.
- Provide strategic input to the venue’s business planning process, and work positively with colleagues to deliver the organization's broader objectives.
- Help to shape the company’s long-term objectives and determine plans for how to meet them.
- Lead the creation of a multi-year operation plan for the business development department which meets the objectives of the Business Plan, marketing, and communications strategy and delivers the improvements endorsed within the venue’s departmental Business Plan.
- Keep abreast of developments within the business development area and make recommendations for how the venue can make improvements to its offering.
- Develop relationships with third parties to introduce new technology to the venue so that the visitor experience is taken to a new level in terms of enjoyment of their visit and longer-term engagement.
- Develop and execute strategies to leverage additional commercial opportunities in new and emerging trends.
- Ensure that all staff within the team have individual goals and development plans and that they receive appropriate support and feedback to ensure that they are able to perform to the highest level.
- Provide strategic leadership on all digital and non-digital projects.
- Ensure that the venue’s brand values are promoted and always protected, in line with stakeholders’ guidelines.
- Work closely with the commercial and sponsorship agencies, to ensure that the venue has an appropriate press and media relations strategy which provides clarity on the key messages the venue wishes to promote at any given time. Ensure that these messages are communicated and understood by relevant parties.
- Provide advice and support to all stakeholders regarding reputational issues, including the drafting, agreement, and dissemination of media communications.
- Implement and develop the strategy for venue business development to enable the achievement of mutually beneficial objectives.
- Build and maintain strong external relationships with potential sponsors, corporate partners, and supporters, through securing and leading new business meetings, and maintaining strong relationships.
- Create, develop, and grow long-term business opportunities and ensure all opportunities are maximized, and oversee the effective management of relationships with partners at all levels, including employees, sustainability officers, and CEOs.
- Work in collaboration within the Operator globally to identify and develop growth opportunities for the partnerships Strategy and Planning and deliver results.
- Work in collaboration with our ticketing partner to provide outstanding ticketing services to our stakeholders for all ticketed events.
- Manage and maintain an accurate venue calendar throughout the year.
- Monitor, coordinate, and report regularly to General Manager on the specific projects funded by the partnerships.
- Take overall responsibility for all operational aspects of business development, any day-to-day issues, and accurate recording and reporting of income.
- Work with corporate partners and the stakeholders’ departments to develop and implement effective PR & marketing strategies for both internal and external communication.
- Ensure the strategy remains relevant and develops across the life of the partnership.
- Manage the income and expenditure budgets.
- Continually monitor and evaluate each partnership to ensure objectives are being met in line with partners’ expectations.
- Line manage the team supporting sales, marketing, digital marketing, programming, and ticketing.
- Work with the sponsorship agency and the events team to develop high-quality, commercially successful event sponsorship models, in line with the ethical collaboration policy (to be created by the postholder).
- Ensure along with the sponsorship agency that event sponsorship products are consistent with our corporate partnership programmes and maximize opportunities for cross-selling of sponsorship and partnership programmes.
- Write high-quality external communications documents.
- Ensure that all approaches to the corporate sector are tracked consistently, through the effective use of a CRM system or tracking spreadsheet.
- Ensure that the reputations of Maraya and our stakeholders are not compromised by our sponsorship and commercial partnership models.
- Plan and deliver world-class events for our corporate supporters and partners, including developing event formats and programmes, identifying and approaching relevant high-quality speakers, and working with the programming and events team to ensure the successful delivery of the events.
- Writing high-quality external communications documents, including monthly update emails to corporate partners and supporters, new business proposals, partnership contracts, and other marketing materials as required.
- Ensure the team provides high standards of relationship management to existing corporate partners and supporters, ensuring an outstanding experience, so organizations are motivated to continue to support Maraya.
- Identify potential new sources of corporate funding and secure new business development meetings with potential partners, supporters, or sponsors.
- Identify and progress new opportunities for the venue to promote its objectives to a wider audience.
- Provide recommendations to General Manager on the different opportunities for the venue to generate additional revenue through its digital platforms.
- Set annual operating budgets and work to ensure that the department operates as efficiently as possible within agreed budgetary limits.
- Act as an Ambassador for the venue and its activities at all times; including conducting presentations internally and externally to promote Maraya and its brand when required.
- Promote cooperation and communication between the sales and communication team and other departments around the venue.
- Provide input to our stakeholder Head of Marketing, ensuring that they are kept informed on the venue’s strategic objectives and progress in achieving such goals.
- Any other tasks as reasonably requested by General Manager.
- Arab and English speaking skills in order to be able to effectively liaise with stakeholders in the region.
- Prior Experience in the GCC region is mandatory.
- Prior experience in Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), entertainment, and business tourism is mandatory.
- Relationship management.
- Leadership, management, and mentoring skills.
- Strategic planning skills.
- Degree educated or equivalent.
- Knowledge of product and sector.
- Previous experience in scoping and managing the implementation of a sizeable project.
- Extensive experience in a similar role.
- Proven staff management experience, managing a sizeable team/department.
- Strong financial management, budgeting skills, and business acumen.
- Excellent presentation and communication skills.
- Ability to communicate accessibly and concisely about products or services to outsiders, including prospective customers and clients, partners, vendors, and the press.
- Effective organizational skills.
- Negotiation skills.
- Familiarity with technology and platforms used in your field.
- Research and analytical skills.
- Interpersonal and customer service skills.
- Big-picture thinking.
- Lead generation and management experience.
- Fast learner.
- Enthusiastic, sincere, and commercially minded with a proven track record in effectively planning, delivering, and embedding change.
- Skilled in motivating and inspiring individuals and teams.
- Effective influencing and negotiating skills.
- Effective and open communication/presentation skills at all levels.
- A confident leader and positive role model.
- Flexible and open-minded.
- Credibility and gravitas to work effectively within senior management and with external partner agencies and organizations.
- Ability to prioritize and work under pressure.
- An imaginative and creative outlook.
- An enthusiasm for the venue, the arts, and an interest in a wide range of events.
- An awareness of and interest in popular, classical music and live performance.
- Flexible approach to working hours.
- A professional personal appearance and the social skills are necessary to deal with a wide range of clients.
- Excellent PC skills.
- We are passionate and committed to our people and go beyond the rhetoric of diversity and inclusion.
- You will be working in an inclusive environment and be encouraged to bring your whole self to work.
- We will do all that we can to help you successfully balance your work and home life.
- As a growing business, we will encourage you to develop your professional and personal aspirations, enjoy new experiences, and learn from the talented people you will be working with. It's the talent that matters to us and we encourage applications from people irrespective of their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability status, or caring responsibilities.
- While this is a great opportunity in an exciting industry this is not just a chance to see shows for free!
- The role is not your ordinary 9-5 and the industry is demanding with sometimes unsociable and long hours.
- The excitement and energy of the shows, tours, and festivals we create comes from the hard work and dedication we commit to our work, and this role is no exception to this. So, get ready to bring your best to the role.