Opportunity: Conference Director

Hot Docs is currently seeking a full-time Conference Director to assume responsibility for the editorial direction and business management of World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (Congress), an annual event produced by Hot Docs on behalf of the event’s governing organization, World Congress of Science and Factual Producers Ltd. (WCSFP). The successful candidate will work with Hot Docs to ensure that the event’s activities, programs and stakeholders are aligned with the governing organization’s mission.

Congress is the home of smart content. It is the essential international conference and market event for content producers, broadcasters, distributors and other professionals working in science, history and other non-fiction genres across all platforms.

Each year, Congress takes place in a different city around the world to welcome new members, enrich networking opportunities and offer new dimensions to session topics. This year, Congress will take place in Brisbane, Australia, from November 27-30, after which the event’s long-serving Editorial Director will transition to a senior advisory role.

For 2019 and subsequent events, the new Conference Director will work to a strategic brief and plan approved by WCSFP’s Board of Directors and will report to the Executive Director of Hot Docs. S/he will directly manage contract positions working on editorial and stakeholder engagement, and will work collaboratively with other Hot Docs departments, including sponsorship, communications, marketing, operations and production, to help lead successful annual Congresses.

Hot Docs seeks a confident and collaborative leader who is passionate about how Congress supports the communication of science and other non-fiction content to mass audiences. This opportunity allows you to collaborate with the best science and factual content producers, as well as with some of the world’s leading scientists, researchers and academics.

Your vision will drive Congress to achieve excellence in all aspects of its programming, and you will demonstrate a passion for helping creators and producers reach audiences with their relevant and impactful science and factual programming.

You will enthusiastically build upon Congress’s successful foundation, which has aided the creative growth and business development of thousands of producers from around the world, and you will take the lead in further fostering Congress’s accessibility and sense of community.

As WCSFP evolves its scope to serve creators and distributors working in non-broadcast media, including interactive, social media, gaming and film, you will be capable of developing and implementing strategies to attract and integrate these communities.


Visioning & Strategic Direction

In partnership with the WCSFP’s Board and Hot Docs leadership, the Conference Director will:

  • inspire and drive the strategic direction and growth of WCSFP as it seeks to advance and support the work of science and factual communicators;
  • effectively represent WCSFP’s mission and vision with the member community and industry at large, as well as with sponsors, government agencies, foundations, and media;
  • and, lead the development of a new five-year strategic plan for the organization.

Program Management

The Conference Director will:

  • direct the successful editorial programming, scheduling and administration of Congress sessions, including panels, speakers, networking events and workshops;
  • provide hands-on program direction for the development of tent-pole sessions, and directly invite and confirm major speakers and/or subject matter experts;
  • supervise and collaborate with specialist producers to support their development of compelling editorial offerings for Congress, providing strategic direction that aligns with the input and objectives of the WCSFP’s Board and Advisory Body(s);
  • strategically evolve WCSFP offerings for members, exploring new models for advancing its mission;
  • and, formulate and achieve operating budgets for all editorial programs.

Partnerships, Fundraising & Marketing

The Conference Director will:

  • provide leadership and direction on all matters related to partnerships and sponsorships, including the development of comprehensive strategies to fully leverage opportunities while also ambitiously building strong relationships with international organizations, companies and brands;
  • help ensure the sustainable growth of Congress through sponsorship and partner development, marketing, and grants;
  • directly supervise staff conducting bidding and evaluation processes for locations, providing strategic direction and input;
  • represent the organization by attending and participating in industry events and conferences, and in media opportunities;
  • and, act as the primary spokesperson for WCSFP with the ability to effectively communicate to audiences and communities at all levels of cultural knowledge and experience, and to write and present information in a compelling manner that generates excitement for the organization’s mission and activities.

Administration, Budget, and the WCSFP’s Board and Advisory Body(s)

In collaboration with Hot Docs staff, the Conference Director will:

  • maintain oversight of operations and budget to ensure prudent fiscal management and provide recommendations to the WCSFP’s Board for strategic investments;
  • provide strategic growth opportunities that attract, retain and motivate a diverse, high-quality staff;
  • provide leadership and direction to the on-site Congress production team to ensure the highest levels of professional execution in all aspects of the event;
  • regularly report to and liaise with the WCSFP’s Board to secure input and required approvals;
  • and, regularly engage with and recruit members for WCSFP Advisory Body(s), ensuring engaged representation to advance editorial and business goals.


  • Minimum ten years of programming, distribution, media, conference or festival experience, with demonstrated expertise in, and in-depth knowledge of, the factual programming genre across conventional broadcast and digital platforms.
  • Excellent network-building skills and an understanding of the international factual production and distribution community, including familiarity with major broadcasters, producers, talent and other key players, as well as insight into current industry trends.
  • Strong and demonstrable negotiation skills.
  • Management and budgetary background, with strong team-building, communication and motivational skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication abilities.
  • Ability to work as a member of a high-performing team and manage multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Digital media, event production or arts administration experience, and bilingualism (English and French) are considered assets.

This is a full-time position and is required to be based in Toronto, Canada, for a substantial portion of the year. The position offers a competitive salary, benefits package and the opportunity for international travel.


Please forward your cover letter and resume to [email protected] by Friday, October 19:

WCSFP Hiring Committee
c/o Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 402
Toronto, ON
M5S 2T9

Email: [email protected]

No phone calls, please.

Applicants with disabilities who are qualified and selected for an interview will be accommodated upon request.

Hot Docs wishes to thank all those who apply, however, only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Hot Docs is an equal-opportunity employer.