Associate Festival Manager

Location US-IL-Chicago
Posted Date 1 month ago(1/5/2018 9:14 PM)
Job ID




The Festival Manager will be a key leader of the “FOOD BOWL” initiative in Chicago and supports Los Angeles Times FOOD BOWL when required. The position reports into the events team and is supported by the FOOD BOWL team in Los Angeles, working directly with the existing events team, marketing and the FOOD BOWL Executive Producer, along with local, chefs, restaurants and bars, hotels, markets, councils, government and other key stakeholders to launch and deliver FOOD BOWL. This position will also work closely with the tronc Advertising department, particularly Sponsorships, to maximize the media revenue associated with event sponsorships, with a focus on extending event sponsorships into larger holistic programs (events, print and digital media, video sponsorship, custom programs). This position will also work with Editorial to create the overall strategy for “FOOD BOWL” across all aspects of planning, promotion, operations and delivery from launch through programming and execution.


What is FOOD BOWL?


The Chicago Tribune is launching a major new event in August 2018 celebrating the Chicago food scene and one of America’s great food cities.  As a sister event to the Los Angeles Times FOOD BOWL, launched in May 2017. A new kind of food festival that welcomed more than 100,000 Angelenos and visitors to over 250 events across Los Angeles. From lunches and dinners to pop-ups and parties, featuring L.A.’s top chefs and international guests. Together with our very first Night Market in Grand Park, there really was something for everyone.


This position will lead the Chicago Tribune FOOD BOWL launch whilst supporting the Los Angeles team as FOOD BOWL expands.



  • Implement structure of FOOD BOWL model, including talent identification and recruitment of key staff
  • Execute a strategy that positions FOOD BOWL appropriately in its target markets
  • Collaborate with existing events that presently operate under Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times and other external events

  • Work with existing portfolio and build operational efficiencies
  • P&L accountability
  • Deliver key FOOD BOWL events (i.e. Awards, Launch, Night Markets, Star Chefs, Restaurant program, etc.) 

  • Create opportunities, products and categories within FOOD BOWL based upon sound market insights and analysis. This will include events that are appropriate for associating with FOOD BOWL and leverage Chicago Tribune influence

  • Support sponsorships directly to community development and experiential marketing contacts within potential sponsoring companies, working cooperatively with the Advertising Department to manage any media elements within sponsorship pitches
  • Work in tandem with the Advertising and Sponsorship teams to support the process of compiling information and supporting sales through customized proposal generation including creative development, collecting and formulating research information, and building compelling presentations outlining all promotional elements and opportunities available within each event
  • Work in tandem with the Events and Sponsorship team to develop and implement innovative sponsorship sales strategies, defining what clients are sponsoring and establishing the unique value in all tronc event offerings
  • Support the marketing team in the development and implementation of the marketing & PR strategy



  • 4 year college degree with emphasis on marketing, business, or communications or equivalent related event/sponsorship/media experience
  • Extensive food festival or related major events experience, with expansive chef and restaurant industry network
  • Deep existing base of contacts related to community development and experiential marketing within potential sponsoring companies
  • Minimum 5-7 years of event management, marketing and sponsorship sales experience required
  • Proven ability to build trusted relationships with key internal departments (i.e. Editorial, Advertising, Consumer Marketing)
  • Proven team leader with results-oriented focus
  • Excellent analytical, written and oral communication & presentation skills
  • Must be effective at multi-tasking and have exceptional time-management skills
  • Must have a positive attitude and be driven to optimize results for clients
  • Must be able to work non-traditional hours to facilitate on-site activation of sponsorships
  • Understanding of marketing research techniques and ability to apply findings in a promotional context. Requires problem solving and interpersonal skills in order to reach compromises that all parties find acceptable during negotiation.
  • Senior leadership experience in conceptualizing and producing events and managing of events businesses
  • Track record of business growth and expansion
  • Proven negotiation skills demonstrated in deals of significance; some exposure to acquisitions would be desirable
  • Strong personal presence and excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability in managing complex and multiple stakeholders and relationships
  • Entrepreneurial, motivated, results focused, energetic individual who combines creative flair with commercial realism with a strong client focus

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