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Head of Marketing

ZSL Commercial Events Manager

London Zoo Events Co-Coordinator

Whipsnade Zoo Events Co-Coordinator

Job Title: ZSL Commercial Events Manager
DIVISION: Commercial and Communication
RESPONSIBLE TO: Head Of Marketing

Job Description Reference Number:
Grade Allocated:

Events provide ZSL with the best opportunity to engage with visitors, members, fellows and donors and to reach new audiences. They are a fundamental part of communicating ZSL’s mission and also of reaching ZSL Commercial targets. Commercial events have developed at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoo’s to include a number of high profile profitable flag pole events which deliver over £1M commercial revenue to ZSL in turn feeding into our important Conservation work.
ZSL is well-placed to run unique, tailored events, in having a range of venues at its London and Whipsnade Zoos, and events/catering capacity on both sites. Events range from large scale (c10,000) to smaller more regular events. The events calendar includes targeted events that cater to a wide range of audiences. Commercial events are defined as having a commercial impact and benefit to ZSL as well as generating incremental or additional visitors to the Zoo’s which drive profitability from admissions at both sites. Commercial events sit alongside and complement our development events as well as the standard packaged events delivered by third parties on site.


ZSL seeks an Events Manager to deliver a programme of high-quality events at both London and Whipsnade Zoo’s which might include:

  • Evening Events at Both Zoos (where the zoo opens for a number of nights in the summer period)

  • Launches of campaigns or new Exhibits including Photography Prize

  • Seasonal Events e.g. Easter, Halloween, Christmas etc.

  • Family and child-friendly events

  • Cinema screenings

  • Third-Party Partnership Events

  • Events working with IP’s

  • Behind the scenes visits

  • Talks by ZSL curators and key staff such as animal keepers

  • Animal Awareness or fundraising events such as Elephantastic

An example of the events calendar for 2014 is as follows (Silent Cinema, ZAPP, Zoo Lates, Little Creatures, Boo at The Zoo, Meet Santa, Peppa Pig, Deadly 60 weekend and activity trail, Big Night Out, Elephantastic)

The ability to launch new successful events is imperative for this role to enable ZSL to cater for new and existing audiences.
It will need flexibility in working where some elements of roles and responsibilities may be subject to change. Management of time is critical and excellent project management skills required. The role will require evening and weekend work as part of a standard events delivery contract. Some allowance for this will be made with LIEU time although the post holder should accept this is part of the role.
The post holder will need exceptional interpersonal skills to be able to implement a number of new and existing events every year ensuring buy-in from all levels of ZSL. It is imperative that the post holder is sensitive to Animal Welfare issues and is able to be compliant to the events guidelines agreed by all.

Outline of the Job
To manage the delivery of a programme of Events at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoo which reflect and support the objectives and long term strategy of ZSL in building our relationships with all of our Supporters including Visitors, Friends, Fellows, Patrons and Donors. Also, to lead the overall ZSL Events planning and delivery process.

  • To devise and deliver a programme of small and large scale commercial events utilising London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo to engage ZSL’s key audiences and to implement events

  • To develop Business Cases and work within events guidelines to create new and existing events and to seek engagement and sign off from all departments

  • To generate Targeted revenue to ZSL through consumer events each year at both Zoo’s with a focus on Admission revenue, Secondary Spend and partnerships.

  • To agree objectives for each event and to report back on the success and delivery against set targets.

  • To undertake Visitor Satisfaction research at each event and track and report results against set targets.

  • To ensure events guidelines and best practice policies are in place and agreed to in relation to Animal Welfare Guidelines, Events Safety Plans and Guideline and Brand fit and appropriateness.

  • To work with external parties to negotiate contracts, commercial terms of delivery and to ensure all third parties are compliant with the agreed terms and conditions of conduct and guidelines as outlined above.

  • To work with External Parties (including IP’s) to negotiate the best terms of delivery for ZSL

  • To have regular update meetings with all key stakeholders in ZSL to review events and gather feedback – with a specific focus on Animal Teams.

  • To work closely with Marketing to develop audience positioning, brand strategy and creative development for each event and to ensure key information is made available for the development of business cases and marketing plan

  • To present when need to Directors and senior teams at ZSL

  • To have in place adequate contingency planning so that management of issues is effectively dealt with .

  • To work with HR to ensure management of seasonal staff and promotional staff support is managed correctly and within agreed budget limits.

  • To work with the Membership team to find ways of engaging Members in our commercial events and to make sure we support and engage this important part of the events audience.

  • To work with the Development and Sponsorship Team to agree what events, or elements of events can be used to leverage key corporate sponsorship.


  1. Vocational and Technical skills

  • Highly organised with excellent project management skills

  • Graduate or equivalent

  • Understanding of not for profit sector

  • Excellent computer and database skills.

  1. Experience

  • Five years experience of managing and delivering events ideally in the leisure sector

  • Experience of budget management

  • Experience in creating new profitable events

  • Proven track record in delivering profitable events

  • Direct management of staff

  • Be able to demonstrate a high level of planning, prioritising and control, and ability to establish a systematic course of action to achieve objectives effectively and efficiently. Appreciates the need to monitor and control outputs.

  1. Interpersonal skills

  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and influencing skills and a high level of credibility are a must for this role.


  1. Human resource management

  • Direct line management of two Events Co-Ordinators and co-ordinating other staff associated with each event

  • Manage a number of Volunteers and Interns to assist in the planning and delivery of events

  1. Physical resource management

  • This role will have responsibility for the co-ordination and production of events.

  • The role will have to produce and manage budgets for events.

  1. Communication

  • Strong communication skills are required.

  • Able to communicate effectively with senior management and staff at every level

  1. Liaison

  • Liaison with suppliers and with colleagues across ZSL who organise events

  • Research and work with contractors for events as necessary


  1. Judgement and Decision Making

  • This role will involve a raft of people in events and he/she will use judgement about who to involve in the process and at what stage.

  • The post holder will be juggling a number of priorities and will be making decisions with regard to deadlines.

  1. Original Thought and Problem Solving

  • The role requires imaginative thinking in creating new events to support the marketing, membership and Commercial functions of ZSL.

  1. Concentration

  • Project planning for events will require concentration, in addition to the actual delivery of events.

  • Excellent numerical and analytic skills are required ensuring the ability to analyse data and commercially evaluate activity.


Normal office conditions apply.

Regular out of hours and weekends will be required by the postholder
Driving licence essential
The post will be based at London Zoo, although some time will be spent at Whipsnade Zoo as required to deliver a comparable programme of events at each site.

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