Graduate Conference Research Assistant

Alderley Edge

Job title: Graduate Conference Research Assistant
Company name: Sarah Fleming Associates Ltd
: Alderley Edge
Job type: Full-time
Salary info: £16,000.00 -£20,000.00 FTE
To apply:
Send covering letter & CV to
Closing date: 27th September

The Company:

Founder and owner Sarah Fleming has been working within the Meetings Industry for over twenty years and worked as a PCO for ten years. Since setting up SFA in 2010, she has successfully delivered lead generation services to many international clients. SFA are experts in research, lead generation and destination marketing for venues, convention bureaux, destination marketing organisations, tourist boards and event management agencies across the globe.

Clients outsource their research and lead generation needs to SFA as it not only makes business sense – reducing overheads and freeing up sales staff to get on with what they do best i.e. direct selling – but it also means that vital future business opportunities are not missed. SFA’s experienced, international team of multilingual, permanent members of staff have specialist research and data organisational skills and a proven track record with a number of significant international clients. SFA are now regarded as market leaders in this field. We provide excellent customer service, always work in a friendly yet professional manner to satisfy our client’s business requirements and are extremely proud of our excellent client relationships.

Don’t just take our word for it:

“In order for ADNEC to develop the conference sector of their business, they employed the services of SFA. Sarah and her team of dedicated professionals have a specific remit to represent that venue and develop leads which the front-line sales team at ADNEC can then progress as live enquiries. The work we have received from SFA have been presented in a clear and coherent manner, makes the next step for the sales team absolutely clear and most importantly is always aligned to the company’s sales strategy. Sarah is innovative, always open to taking clear guidance on the direction in which her research should be focused and is a very valuable extension of the team.” Robin Miller, Director of Sales - Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company.

The Role


We are looking for an ambitious graduate to join our friendly, growing team to work on a selection of international client accounts and to support the Senior Account Manager with projects and lead generation campaigns.

It is an opportunity to join a small but growing local company with flexibility, opportunities for progression and a fun/friendly environment!

As this is an entry level role, we imagine your strengths will have been honed around interpersonal skills and experiences gained from University or work experience placements. We are particularly looking for candidates who are confident, motivated, have excellent attention to detail and are looking forward to working in the meetings and events industry.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Utilising on-line tools, databases, search engines and apps to research, analyse and reach out to potential market sectors, prospects and leads; qualifying these leads against agreed criteria;
• Making direct contact through productive outbound calls and emails to potential prospects/leads i.e. European/International Associations or local academics, doctors and national societies;
• Building and nurturing relationships with these potential prospects/leads;
• Maintaining a clear and concise pipeline of research opportunities, ensuring the pipeline of leads are well organized, following up in a timely fashion and ensuring that ‘call-back’ dates are met and relationships are maintained;
• Entering new leads/data into SFA’s data base system and updating existing records with current research as well as following a continuous data maintenance programme of account profiling and development, keeping detailed notes of all contact history including observations on any buying patterns and decision-making criteria and timeframes;
• Supporting the Senior Account Manager to meet targets and KPIs, weekly, monthly and annually and ensuring that SFA’s obligations in their contract with clients are met.
• Developing a good understanding of our client’s products and services.

Client projects/campaigns include:

• Research into market sectors to identify the most appropriate conferences for a client city/venue.
• Identification, qualification and development of conference buyer leads, understanding the buying process, recruitment of conference ambassadors/local hosts or contacting decision makers (as appropriate) and selling the client’s city or destination.
• Recruitment of guests for client hospitality events, sales trips etc.
• Representation of clients at trade events such as exhibitions, hospitality events, buyer forums etc.

Other duties:

The following list of duties is not an exhaustive list, but an indication of the sort of additional duties the research assistant may be expected to perform:
• cold-calling to a pre-prepared list of prospects in order to schedule face to face sales appointments;
• assist with collection of data for market research surveys; post-event follow-up of leads;
• contact name and detail validation/acquisition;
• liaise with clients as necessary;
• attend relevant business tourism industry educational/training events for the purposes of professional and personal development.
• general office administration and report writing;
• use of Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word to create documents and presentations.

Job Skills and Qualifications:

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate:
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal;
- The ability to research, qualify and analyse lead data and large quantities of information accurately and quickly;
- Confidence on the phone and demonstrate excellent telephone ‘sales’ skills;
- Being articulate, confident and a well presented individual
- Working in an organised manner and with tenacity;
- Initiative and common sense;
- The ability to work towards and be hungry to achieve goals and targets;
- Customer focus with great customer service skills and have a determination to succeed;
- The ability to work alone but also participate and contribute positively within a small team;
- A positive and proactive attitude;
- Being open to feedback and ability to improve performance;
- A professional, self-motivated and target-orientated attitude.

Fluency in written and spoken English is essential and having fluency in another European language would be advantageous. This position would be ideally suited to an Events Management or International Tourism Management graduate; however, graduates from all degree subjects including economics, marketing, languages and business studies are welcome to apply and should find this position interesting.

We strive for excellence in everything we do:

Over the past 10 years, SFA have connected clients to thousands of Associations, local ambassadors/hosts and corporate conference organisers, resulting in a significant return on investment for our clients. “We have worked with Sarah Fleming Associates for the last 7 years and are incredibly happy with the quality of business development leads created, the strategic outlook in market segmentation and the ROI of business confirmed. We are confident that our brand is represented externally in a professional manner through all interactions and communications with potential leads.” Orla Canavan, Stategic Partnerships & Futures Manager, Fáilte Ireland

Our Offer:

• Competitive salary package subject to skills and experience;
• 20 days paid holiday plus 8 statutory bank holidays
• Workplace Pension scheme available
• Easy commute to the office from Alderley Edge train station which is 5 minutes walking distance and easy motorway links to office
• Opportunities for development and progression within growing company
• Professional and fun environment
• Clean modern offices with access to private kitchen
• Full training, coaching and induction will be given

SFA clients are all in the Meetings and Events Industry e.g. Hotels, Conference Centres, Convention Bureaux, Tourist Boards, and Event Management Agencies so experience of this market sector is preferable. Languages and an understanding of or previous involvement with ICCA (the International Congress and Convention Association) is also desirable. Please send your CV with covering letter explaining why you are applying for this role (quoting SFA Graduate Conference Researcher) to: 

About Company

Sarah Fleming Associates Ltd

Job Information

Status: Open No of vacancies: 1 Job type: Full Time Job level: Any

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