Conference Program Chair & Strategist
Born from the global movement spawned by bestselling-author Eric Ries, Lean Startup Company coaches a global community on the latest modern management techniques. We help advance Lean Startup principles, which provide a cutting edge, scientific framework for innovation and customer development. It’s about continuous testing so organizations of all sizes can effectively adapt and adjust before it’s too late.
Through our flagship conference, educational materials, and expert faculty, we arm organizations with the entrepreneurial tools necessary to transform how they work. We serve every size company and sector of the economy —- from the the aspiring entrepreneur to high-growth startups, nonprofits, and large bureaucratic institutions. Our engaged community looks to us for practical knowledge and valuable lessons in modern management.
ABOUT THE POSITION
We're seeking a Program Chair who’ll help us bring to the stage the most exciting, empowering stories of putting Lean Startup into practice in organizations around the world. We want to hear about the success stories, the still-working-through it stories, and the failures-that-lead-to-great-insights stories.
You’ll be helping current and future business leaders gain the personal insight necessary to make lasting change in their organizations. You’ll do this by curating engaging programming that highlights solutions to specific Lean Startup practitioner pain points—offering practical solutions to common problems as well as attendee networking opportunities—in the form of keynotes, interactive sessions, workshops, and other activities.
This is a remote, full-time contract position leading up to the conference this fall that allows you geographic flexibility while also giving you the power to positively impact our expansive community.
Join us if you’re eager to help our customers solve the world’s biggest business problems.
We’re seeking an entrepreneurial program chair experienced in the following core competencies:
- You’re a detail-oriented event programmer. You’ve worked in the conference space in the past and excel at booking speakers and activities that help resolve specific customer needs and encourage networking.
- You’re experienced in coaching speakers and reviewing decks to help ensure their presentations have maximum impact with your audiences. Lean Startup events shouldn’t feel like general tech/entrepreneur conferences; a strong program chair candidate understands the need to guide speakers on their presentations using our customer data and feedback.
- You’re well connected in the business/tech/innovation space and understand who the big players are that we should be inviting to speak at our conferences. You aim high and have solid follow-through in your ambitious speaking asks. You have experience managing a multitude of personalities and needs with utmost respect. You’re also an excellent communicator.
- You have examples of how you’ve helped large events run smoothly and efficiently and how you’ve helped enrich the programming.
- You share our commitment to diversity in our speaker lineups. Lean Startup Co. has taken the 50/50 Pledge, promising that at least 50% of our speakers are female; additionally we pledge to invite speakers who hail from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.
- You think beyond the standard conference format, incorporating different types of sessions that help attendees network and learn in new and interesting ways.
Bonus points, if you:
- Have strong writing and editing skills—meaning you can make sure our conference website is error-free and you can write blog posts/newsletter copy when there are big announcements about the conference (content themes, new speaker confirmations, etc.)
- Have experience coaching people in public speaking. We enjoy empowering newer speakers by working with them on best practices when it comes to addressing large audiences.
- Understand the needs of both enterprise and startup business leaders when it comes to modern management issues.
- Know the latest talking points in the modern management/business/tech world.
- Are already familiar with Eric Ries’ writing/The Lean Startup and/or similar innovation methodologies such as Agile and Design Thinking.
In this role, you’ll work closely with Lean Startup Faculty, the Director of Events, and the Director of Marketing, but will take the lead on the following:
- Understanding the core customer problems that we need to address in 2018 and breaking those needs down into specific tracks, themes, and and activities (i.e. keynotes, interactive sessions, roundtable discussions, etc.)
- Doing all outreach, onboarding, and coaching of speakers for our 2018 conference. This includes reviewing speaker talks/decks, updating speakers with the most relevant information on our attendee demographics and customer needs, coaching them on the specific type of content we’re looking for, being on-site managing speakers during the conference, and following up with speakers post-conference to thank them for their participation.
- Making sure the content we present our audiences is practical, non-sales-y, and from practitioners in the field. As speakers are preparing their talks, confidently and courteously communicating with them if the talks veer toward self-promotion; helping them shape presentations that focus on methods and strategies instead of marketing their companies/books/services.
- Running and reviewing Lean Startup Co.’s call for speaker proposals; going through submissions to pull speakers from our community to be part of the conference lineup where appropriate.
- Creating, editing, and maintaining the program grid as the programming evolves. Working with the Executive Producer to make sure all time constraints are accounted for in the programming.
- Programming different types of activities that map to customer needs and encourage networking.
- Booking emcee(s) and writing their script(s) in advance.
- Ensuring diversity in the speaker lineup—specifically inviting at least 50% women to speak and making sure we have racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity, from the keynote and workshop slots to the smaller sessions.
- Drafting/editing all talk descriptions/session descriptions. Working with Lean Startup Co. admin to ensure the website has the most up-to-date information on the conference available. Editing (and in some cases writing) all program descriptions to be posted by our admin on the website and in any printed collateral for the conference.
- Working with our admin to get new conference information posted to the website in a timely fashion so we have the most updated information on the website at all times.
- Proofing the website whenever there are large blocks of content being added to ensure all conference content is correct.
- Proofing all printed collateral for the conference to ensure all content is correct.
You’ll fit right into this role and our team if:
- You’re curious and resourceful. You love helping customers solve big problems and are obsessed with getting the details right.
- You have experience with, and genuinely enjoy working for a young, growing startup. You appreciate working in a position that allows you to shape the big picture, strategic thinking and also ensure the finer details get the required attention.
- You love that some processes haven’t been put in place. You’re excited to be deeply involved with building out strong live programming for Lean Startup Co.
- You have a strong sense of ownership and urgency as it relates to the health of the company and our events.
- You are open to feedback and love applying your lessons learned to get 10x better.
- You have a keen ability to manage competing and changing priorities.
- You are assertive, fair, and capable of directing others and implementing projects with little to no supervision.
- You work well with cross-functional, remote teams.
- Experience programming events in the business/tech space
- Familiarity with and an appreciation for working remotely and collaboratively, as well as the tools to make remote collaborations successful (Slack, Zoom, Google apps).
- Must be based in the U.S. and able to travel for team meetings (which include fun team-building activities) and conference prep/work. Estimated travel will include 2-3 team onsites, 1-2 venue walkthroughs, and the annual flagship conference.
- Excellent written, verbal, and communication skills.
- Consistent and thorough attention to detail.
- Ability to juggle and prioritize multiple tasks simultaneously, and you enjoy collaborating with a wide range of people.
Due to the high volume of applicants, we can’t respond to questions about individual applications or reply to everyone who applies for this job. If we think you might be our candidate for the job, though, we’ll be in touch!