The Director of Guest Engagement is responsible the departmental staff, program, and resource management for guest engagement areas of service (Entertainment, Guest Engagement Hosts (e.g., touch habitats, informal gallery and/or exhibit interpretation), and “street team” for offsite engagement events). The Director of Guest Engagement directly supervises front-line engagement staff and is the primary point of contact for day-to-day engagement. This position oversees expense and revenue budgets for the Guest Experience service areas. The Director of Guest Engagement is responsible for the vision and growth of high-quality engagement experiences, to include both informal and Entertainer-led (e.g., shows, character encounters and programs). Reports directly to Vice President of Guest Experience and works in conjunction with all departments within The Florida Aquarium as well as outside partners to ensure smooth communication and daily operations. This position works closely with the Director of Guest Operations and the Director of Learning to promote collaboration and unification of guest-facing roles. This position should be innovative and seek ways to exceed the expectations of in-person audiences through the lens of Amazing Guest Experience.
Essential Position Functions
- Directly supervises the Entertainment and Engagement Host Supervisors and indirectly supervises scheduling, time off requests, and payroll for the full- and part-time staff in service areas.
- Oversees the hiring, coaching, counseling, promotions, development, and training of all full- and part-time staff in Engagement areas.
- Oversees developing and implementing engagement programs and experiences and ensures consistency in presentation (“show”).
- Monitors customer feedback to continuously improve overall ratings.
- Ensures smooth flow of communications and procedures within all engagement areas.
- Oversees the vision of Entertainment at The Florida Aquarium, including the development and implementation of programming such as character encounters, informal shows, and formalized shows/presentations, while proactively planning for new offerings on a regular cadence.
- Ensures the quality and consistency of interpretive engagements at touch habitats and within galleries.
- In collaboration with Marketing and Communications, Learning, Development, and other applicable departments, builds and grows the offsite engagement presence (e.g., community fairs/festivals, tabling events) through the development and growth of a “street team.”
- Oversees the processes and procedures for scheduling and fulfilling offsite event requests by collaborating and effectively communicating with departments receiving these requests.
- Ensures that the presence at Aquarium at offsite events reflects the brand quality and messaging goals of the Aquarium, including ensuring that the appropriate resources and products support these appearances.
- Works with Director of Guest Operations to ensure that operational elements of guest engagement are considered and implemented appropriately (e.g., crowd control at touch habitats, seating and flow for shows and experiences, etc.) so that guests’ needs are met to allow for higher-level engagement with programs and encounters.
- Works closely with Director of Guest Operations to ensure engagement standards are integrated into day-to-day operational staff expectations.
- Works closely with Director of Learning to ensure engagement staff deliver accurate content that aligns with messaging and conservation education goals of the Aquarium as well as supporting engagement components and expectations of Learning staff (i.e., seamless integration of both content and presentation/“show”).
- Works closely with Director of Animal Care to ensure engagement standards and expectations are integrated into animal ambassador programming, including leading cross-departmental unification of presentation and “show” standards.
- Provides engagement staff for special events (daily and evening) as well as providing input for improvements and efficiencies.
- Acts as key liaison between the engagement areas and internal and external stakeholders.
- Establishes and maintains community partnerships as a representative of The Florida Aquarium.
- Ensures all activities are conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Aquarium.
- Helps drive success for team goals to support the departmental and overall Florida Aquarium strategic plans.
- Serves as an active and contributing member of the Aquarium Management Team.
- Delivers extraordinary customer service to all Aquarium guests and internal customers.
- Other duties as assigned by direct supervisor.
Education Requirements and Technical Skills
- Four-year degree in attractions, entertainment, hospitality/visitor services or related field or equivalent work experience desired
- At least 5 years’ experience managing engagement program implementation at an aquarium, zoo, attraction, or related field
- Prior experience managing a large staff and complex operational scheduling
- Familiarity with the rules, regulations, and standards of AZA, OSHA, and any other governing bodies
- Familiarity and comfort with large crowds (6,000 people per day)
- Ability to work and communicate effectively with other members of The Florida Aquarium team
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- First Aid/CPR certification
- Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office software (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, etc.)