Event Planning Tools

Learn speaking industry language to gain knowledge on how to support and promote your speaker, contract with production teams, secure venues and more. Mastering language brings new ideas and can make you seem like an expert. Learn the event planning terms and definitions to streamline your communications with your team and the stakeholders involved planning and delivering your event.

Whether you are an experienced meeting planner that can use an update on modern phrases or starting your event industry career, use the terms and definitions below to advance your career.  You too can learn the event industry lingo that everyone else seems to be using, by following this simple guide. There is a whole ton of vocabulary, jargon, and acronyms that industry professionals use that can sometimes feel like another language.

By becoming familiar with these keywords and insider language, you will be able to keep up with any professional and even teach others along the way. We have put together a comprehensive list of the staple keywords every meeting and event planner should understand. To help you understand what it all really means and to learn this ‘language’ of abbreviations and keywords, we have split them into five categories:

A La Carte

French term that translates to ‘from the menu,’ referring to items selected individually as opposed to offered in a package.

Act of God

These three words refer to an extraordinary natural event, such as extreme weather, flood, earthquake, or similar natural disaster that cannot be prevented or foreseen and which contracting parties have no reasonable control over. The cancellation of an event or inconveniences because of such an ‘Act of God’ renders performance of the contract illegal, impractical, or impossible. Therefore, neither party has a legal responsibility to continue performance of the contract.

Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX)

An initiative of the Convention Industry Council. Designed to develop and implement industry-wide accepted practices, APEX brings industry professionals together with cost savings and better education.

Activity

A sequence of progressive tasks that provide systematic experiences to achieve learning. In Critical Path Analysis this refers to activities that consume time and resources.

Across The Board

This term refers to an all-inclusive price given, commonly used by many venues and suppliers, that includes all hidden fees such as taxes and gratuities.

Additional Costs

Adult Education

The action of an external educational agent to purposely order behavior into planned systematic experiences that can result in learning for those for whom such activity is supplemental to their primary role in society. It normally involves some continuity in an exchange relationship between the agent and learner so that the educational process is under constant supervision and direction.

Adult Learner

A person who often attends a short-term educational meeting or training session to obtain new information, knowledge, and or skills. However, an increasing number of adults are finding ways to acquire new information on their own.

Advisory Council

A group of people created to give advice on a project, program, or organization.

Agency

An institution or group, formal or informal in structure, formed and operating to alleviate and serve specific needs of individuals in a neighborhood, community, or area. It also can be a group of dedicated people identified with a specific area of services.

Air Walls

Removable dividers in meeting spaces which allow event planners to create flexible spaces to meet their requirements. They can be used to facilitate multiple breakout spaces during a larger conference.

Amenities

This word can refer to a property’s features and facilities, as well as often complimentary items offered in a venue, such as free food or drink, office supplies, or concierge services.

Attendees

Attendee Relationship Management

Software that allows event planners and managers to create a database of contacts so they can better monitor, manage, and maintain contact relationships.

Attrition Rate

A measure of how many event registrants actually attend, calculated by dividing the number of no-shows by total registrants for the event or conference. For example, if 100 people register for an event and only 70 are in attendance, this event’s attrition rate would be 30%. In the events industry, when reviewing a contract to block off rooms or space for an event, meeting planners may come across an attrition clause.

Auditorium / Theater-style Layout

A meeting room or hall set up with chairs set in rows facing a stage or podium. The inner chairs directly face the front of the room, while the outer chairs may be angled to provide a better view of the stage.

Augmented Reality (AR)

‘Augmented Reality’ is a technology that superimposes a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment, often across multiple sensory modalities.

Audio Visual (A/V)

Refers to equipment with both sound and visual components event planners use for presentations, including screens, monitors, projectors, microphones, video, and sound equipment.

A/V Requirements for Speaker

A/V Availability at Venue

Awards & Award Ceremony

The recognition of participants, sponsors, meeting officials, or community members in formal ways through such devices as pins, plaques, certificates, or cash grants. Often a special recognition or award ceremony will be planned as part of the meeting.

B2B    

This acronym stands for ‘Business to Business’ events, meaning corporate or trade-related events.

B2C

The opposite of B2B, this acronym means ‘Business to Consumer/Customer’ events, often relating to more consumer and public-facing events.

Back of House / Backstage

This term refers to areas of support and service usually not seen by guests, offered by the hotel, event venue or facility.

Banquet-style

Also referred to as ‘Pod’ or ‘Round set’, this seating arrangement is designed for large audiences for events such as awards ceremonies and galas, where there are typically round tables of 8-10 guests seated. Pod or banquet style seating is a strong choice for collaborative meetings.

Banquet Event Order (BEO) / Function Sheet

Also called a “Program Execution Order” (PEO), this order of instructions outlines all event logistics and instructions a venue needs to successfully execute an event. This document details the timings of the event, space or room setup, menu selections, audio visual requirements, and how the event will be run.

Breakdown / Load Out / Strike

These terms all mean to take down equipment and clear away items that have been set up for an event, after the event is complete.

Breakdown of Expenses

Itemized expenses for each cost incurred for flights, mileage, hotels, meals, parking etc.

Breakout Rooms

Smaller rooms used as part of a larger conference or event when a large group breaks into sub-groups for specific sessions.

Breakout Sessions

Usually taking place after opening keynotes up to lunch and after lunch until closing keynote. These sessions are usually focused to be more technical or specific to skills or learning applicable to a specific audience member or industry.

Bid Document

A Bid Document is a type of proposal from a potential vendor offering their services, which can include approximate costs, logistics, and time scale.

Blackout Dates

In the events industry, the term ‘Blackout’ means a period of time when tickets or specific prices are unavailable. This could be due to a result of high demand and limited availability, the dates occurring over major holidays when consumer travel is at its height, during a hotel’s busy season, or a venue’s limited inventory due to a previously booked event.

Boardroom-style Layout

Designed to facilitate conversation, preferred for training or committee meetings, this seating arrangement sees delegates seated facing each other around a square, rectangle, oval, or round table.

Business Center

This term refers to a facility, set of rooms, or area in a hotel or event venue used for the sole purpose of effective business meetings and presentations. Various office facilities and services, such as printing, and photocopying are offered to support the event team on site.

Cabaret-style Layout

A number of small round tables are laid out with chairs facing the stage area, with a gap closest to the speaker/performer so that no attendees have their backs to the front.

Cancellation Clause

This contract clause details the terms and conditions under which a company may cancel or terminate the agreement or reservation.

Charter

This word has a couple of different meanings in the events industry. It may refer to the rent or lease of a form of transportation (such as bus, plane, or boat) to an organization. It may also relate to the grant of authority or rights allowing the recipient the prerogative to exercise the rights specified in a contract. Charter also means the role and responsibility in a project to serve as a reference of authority for the future.

Celebrity Speaker

Central Reservation System (CRS)

Database software that contains information about availability, rates, and related services, and through which reservations can be made.

Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)

A well-recognized certification programs for professionals in the meeting, convention, and exhibition industries, organized by the Convention Industry Council.

The CMP credential can be a great addition to event planning résumés.

Certified Speaking Professional

 

Chevron / Herringbone / V-shape Layout

This setting design sees the room set up with tables and chairs in rows forming a V-formation facing the stage.

Circle-Style Layout

Layout arranging seats in a circle, where the inner space of the circle is not used.

Classroom / Schoolroom Seating

Imagine an old-fashioned classroom layout; rows of square or rectangular tables and chairs all face the stage or podium, directly facing the speaker or screen.

Closed Session

A session that is available only to those with tickets or special invitations usually obtained before the meeting begins.

Colloquium

This word refers to an informal participatory discussion around group-selected topics.

Concurrent Sessions

During larger events, meeting planners often host shorter educational meetings known as ‘concurrent sessions’ which are scheduled to take place at the same time, each focusing on a different subject or theme. Attendees can choose which session, or track, interests them the most.

Conference Pack

If you want to provide your delegates with some information at your conference, offer them a conference pack, which could include a schedule or program of events, a map of the venue and information on venue facilities. Some events offer an event app to replace printed materials.

Conference-style / Hollow Square Layout

Also referred to as ‘board-of-directors set-up’ or ‘boardroom set-up,’ a room will feature chairs arranged around a table, with everyone facing in for a discussion. If there are too many participants to fit around one boardroom table, several tables may be used. Hollow square means that there is space in the center between the tables.

Conference Theme

A special focus for a short-term meeting around which general sessions, many other sessions, special characteristics of the meeting, and the public relations efforts are woven.

Constraints

Limits beyond which a change agent can go. They are usually economical or political in nature.

Consumer Show

A consumer show is a B2C exhibition or showcase of products, exclusives and activations designed to attract the attention of new potential buyers. Often, visitors attend consumer shows to shop, see product demonstrations and socialize.

Contingency Plan

Also known as a ‘backup plan,’ this document has a crisis management agenda planned in advance before the event takes place. This is to address what to do if an emergency occurs or if the intended event plan changes.

Convention

A gathering of representatives from local branches of a parent organization having a common purpose. Participants discuss and act on problems of common interest and concern.

Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)

A ‘Convention & Visitors Bureau’ is an organization that offers information to meeting planners, travel agents, and visitors including news, events calendar, lists of suppliers, and a directory of accommodation.

Committee

A group of people who make decisions, plan activities, and acquire resources. Many short-term meetings are planned, at least in part, by a committee.

Comp Rooms / Complimentary Rooms

A venue or facility can provide an event planner complimentary room (without a charge) based on the number of rooms purchased by a group.

Corporate Event

A special activity that takes place during a conference or meeting for purposes of gathering people employees, leaders, or full organizations with focusing attention on a goal or gathering for the professional and personal development of the attendees.

Course

A planned sequence of educational activities leading to the acquisition of a skill, body of knowledge, or set of attitudes usually over a predetermined period of time. Sometimes the term is used synonymously with class, program, or training session.

Criterion

A standard against which some judgment or decision usually is based. The criterion can be conscious or unspecified, but it usually exists.

Criteria for the Speaker

The type of speaker, speaking style, are of expertise, specific topic themes or any specific traits that organizing team require when searching for a speaker that will be successful with attendees.

Critical Path Analysis

The logical sequencing of a series of events necessary for a successful meeting or activity such that the most efficient route to a culminating point can be determined or calculated.

Critical Time Plan or Critical Path

An event management plan used to ensure an event runs smoothly, detailing which tasks need to be fulfilled and who is responsible for them, and what timeframe they need to be completed by.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A shared online database system that stores a major list of contacts and their details. This system allows companies to manage their interaction, event attendance history, and communications with their clients in an organized way.

Cut-Off Date

This date refers to when a facility releases a block of rooms or space. For example, when a planner agrees to guarantee a number or room block to be reserved, by their ‘cut-off date’ they can no longer decrease the guaranteed number without a charge. Or, if the rooms have not been reserved by this date, they can be released for general sale.  Can apply to any decision regarding speaker, venue, catering etc. to keep planning on track.

Day Delegate Rate (DDR)

Day Delegate Rate, or DDR, is a charge by a venue per attendee, per day for an event, based on a full day’s meeting. Depending on the venue, DDR can include meeting room hire, refreshments, lunch, and conference equipment.

Data Base

The accumulation of information about participants and the meeting that aids in registration, report writing, and budget planning. Ideally, such databases are created on personal computers for use in subsequent meetings.

Data Protection

The responsibilities of anyone dealing with personal data. Laws and guidance vary from country to country.

Debrief

Decision Making

Connotes a conscious and deliberate choice of one alternative from among two or more possible alternatives.

Destination Management Company (DMC)

A private company that offers local expertise for event planners from out-of-town to assist with the planning and execution of conferences, meetings, concerts, exhibitions, and other large events.

Device

Instructional aids that extend or increase the effectiveness of a teaching techniques, but do not teach by themselves. Examples are an overhead projector or a particular workshop seating arrangement.

Direct Billing

All charges for a hotel’s services are billed directly to an organization’s or company’s master account. Credit applications generally must be completed 30-60 days prior to the event. A list of rooms for people to be directed billed usually must be provided to the hotel 30 days prior to the event.

Discovery Call

Drayage

Drayage refers to the transport and storage of freight and exhibits for an event, including the removal and return of crates and boxes during and at the end of the event to a carrier loading area.

Early Bird Registration

Early is the key word here for registration for an event, which often means tickets and services purchased before a specified date are available at a reduced fee.

Emcee/MC

This is the host who presides over the event program. Emcee is shorthand for ‘Master of Ceremonies.’

Engagement

How attendees are engaged or attentive to the speaker, the event, and the purpose/cause of the event.

Estimated Departure Time (EDT)

Scheduled time when a party or person will leave a venue.

Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)

Scheduled time when a party or person will arrive at a venue.

Evaluation

The systematic process of judging the worth, desirability, effectiveness, or adequacy of something according to definite criteria and purposes. It is possible, however, to carry out goal or criterion-free evaluations for purposes of determining value or worth from the views of participants regarding speakers, sessions, venue, catering etc.

Event

A special activity that takes place during a conference or meeting for purposes of gathering people together or focusing attention on an area, such as the opening of exhibits. In Critical Path Analysis an event refers to the exact start or completion of an activity and does not consume time or resources.

Exclusive Meet and Greet

Exhibits

An area set aside at the meeting site where vendors, professional associations, and sponsors display materials for educational purposes, sale, or publicity purposes. Individual booths are often made available for individuals requesting or paying for exhibit space.

Facilitator

Individual who serves as catalysts to make particular actions or learning experiences possible through their presence and/or instructional knowledge.

Familiarization Trip

Also known as a ‘Fam Trip’ for short, this refers to reduced rate or complimentary travel offered to industry professionals to introduce them to an area and showcase its attractions, hotels, and facilities. Often provided to showcase why business should be brought to that destination.

F&B – Food & Beverage

An acronym for ‘Food & Beverage,’ which refers to a catering service provided by a venue during an event.

Fixed Seating

Permanently positioned seating at a facility, not able to be moved.

Floor Plan

A ‘floor plan’ refers to the blueprint or layout of a room or exhibition hall, including electrical outlets, doors, windows, pillars, and other amenities and how the event will be set out within the space.

Force Majeure Clause

This clause is included in most venue contracts to prevent the facility from being held liable should it not be able to hold up to their end of the agreement due to circumstances that are not within the venue’s control. These circumstances include events such as a natural disaster or other ‘Acts of God’.

Get-in  

This term refers to the specified time for crew and staff to arrive and access a venue for setup before the public or guests arrive.

Goal

Something toward which some effort is directed. This also can be known as an aim, action, or objective for the event itself or a specific target within the event.

Guarantee

A number of participants declared as the minimum for a particular meal or other event. The sponsoring agency typically must declare this minimum several days prior to the event and pay that amount even if fewer than estimated participate. A certain percentage (5-10% typically) over that number is prepared for but there will be an additional charge.

Guest Speaker

Hall of Fame Speaker

HDMI

‘High-Definition Multimedia Interface’ (HDMI) is a digital audio/video/data connector; a replacement for analog video standards that is compatible with computer monitors, video projectors, digital TVs, and digital audio devices.

Honorarium

A fee paid to a guest speaker.

Horseshoe Seating

Just like a horseshoe, tables and chairs are arranged in a U-shape with rounded corners.

Housing Bureau

Often offered by a convention bureau, this is a third-party agency who looks to manage the housing process for a meeting.

Hybrid Event

A conference, tradeshow, seminar, workshop, or other meeting that combines a live, in-person audience with a virtual, online audience. Speaker can be virtual or in person.

Inclusive Rates
Rates that include service fees, gratuities, and taxes.

Installation & Dismantle (I&D)

Also called ‘Setup and Take Down’—the process of preparing equipment for an event and taking apart that equipment after the event.

Incentive Travel

This type of travel is a reward or incentive given by a company to its employees to motivate productivity.

Incidentals

Refers to minor or miscellaneous expenses, other than room and tax rates, that are billed to a guest’s account in a hotel.

Institute

A formal program designed to provide a series of meetings for participants who desire instruction and information on a particular area of interest. Such programs tend to be short and intensive in terms of the training offered.

IT Representative

Itinerary

Another word for a schedule, agenda, or program. A detailed event itinerary can be created for attendees or team briefings to outline the flow of the event.

Keynote Presentation

Whether it’s a presentation or speaker, a keynote refers to the opening address or important plenary session at a meeting that sets the tone or theme of the event. Usually delivered to be less interactive with a Q&A following the presentation.

Keynote Speaker

One or more specialized speakers who present a talk at a general session or the opening or closing sessions for each day, or the conference itself. Often these are notable individuals who draw attention and participants to the meeting. Keynote speakers are often a motivator for attendees to participate in events. The headline speaker is often a public or well-known industry figure whose presentation motivates the audience and a strong motivator for guests to attend the event.

LCD

A type of monitor used for displaying images and video. LCD means ‘Liquid Crystal Display.’

LED

‘Light Emitting Diode,’ a type of display and lighting technology with wide ranging applications, including ambient lighting and large display screens.

Lead Time

The time between an initial venue inquiry and when an event actually takes place at a venue.

Learning

The acquisition of knowledge, attitudes, and skills. It also can mean the mastery of intellectual behavior in which facts, ideas, or concepts are manipulated, related, and made available for use in some way.

Livestream

Coverage of an event broadcast live over the internet, often via social media channels.

Low Season

When travel, hotel, and business demand is at its lowest and prices decline.

Logo Line

Various products placed on sale during a meeting that portray a sponsoring organization by its logo or title.

Load In

The opposite of ‘Load Out’, this term refers to a specific period of time for loading in equipment/items to install for an event.

 

Master Account

An account set up to which all charges for a specified group should be applied (often by the host or event planner). A special account number established for direct billing by the sponsoring group during the time they are using a hotel’s services.

MEEC

This acronym stands for the ‘Meetings, Expositions, Events, and Convention’ sectors of the meetings industry.

Meet and Greet

Meeting Planner

A person whose primary job responsibilities are the planning and management of short-term educational meetings. They might be an employee of the organization sponsoring one or more conferences or other types of meetings each year or employees of a convention center.

Meeting Professional

This term describes an individual in the events industry who works in the meetings sector.

Meeting Site

The area, hotel or convention center and city, where the meeting is held. The actual meeting facilities generally are included as part of the site resources.

Message Board: A large prominently displayed board used for displaying messages, attempts by people to contact each other, and important notes about changes in a meeting or its special features.

Method: The relationship established by an institution between a group of participants and somebody of knowledge to promote new learning. It also is known as the way in which a group of participants is organized for purposes of conducting an educational activity, such as a conference or workshop.

Metric Converter

A tool that allows meeting and event planners to convert non-metric units into metric units, so they can easily determine the size of the room they will require for their event.

MICE

This is an internationally used term in the events industry, which stands for ‘Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions.’

Motivational Speaker & Inspirational Speaker

Modified Meeting Package (MMP)

The ‘Modified Meeting Package’ refers to a type of conference package. It can typically mean a full conference package with the exception of one meal (dinner in most cases).

Needs

The gap between conception of a desirable norm and the actual status or a person or group of people. It is sometimes known as the gap between what is and what should be. Needs can be felt (perceived), real (actual or demonstrable), or unfelt (unrecognized but present).

No-show

An expected guest (i.e., delegate, hotel guest, attendee) who does not attend and hasn’t advised the organizer or hotel of a planned absence or delay.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Standardized metric for measuring the loyalty of an organization’s client relationships. Typical NPS surveys ask users likely they are to recommend a service or product to a friend.

Non-Transferable

Once a ticket has been issued, if it’s referred to as ‘non transferable’, then no name changes are allowed to be made.

Objective & Outcomes

The description of a desired outcome of a course, program, or meeting. They can be stated in behavioral, terminal, information, or program terms and sometimes are known as goals.

Open Rate

A measurement commonly used by email marketers that refers to the number of individuals who have ‘opened’ or ‘viewed’ an email sent out in a campaign. Open rate tracking is available through most email marketing providers.

Open Refreshment Bar

Providing an opportunity throughout the day for participants to obtain refreshments. Early morning might offer coffee/tea; mid-morning the adding of juice, fruit, and muffins; early afternoon coffee/tea; and mid-afternoon soda, cookies, peanuts, and vegetables.

On Site Contact

Onboarding Process

Over-set

Refers to the number of place settings above a guarantee. A caterer or venue will ‘over-set’ beyond the guaranteed number requested by the event host, but the client will only pay for the number of seats and meals actually agreed or consumed by attendees.

Overhead Projector (OHP)

Type of equipment previously found in conference rooms or classrooms. Overhead projectors displayed enlarged images onto a screen or wall from a transparency placed below the projector and lighted from underneath.

PA System

Shorthand for ‘Public Address System.’ A device that amplifies sound in one large area or throughout several rooms through speakers so that messages can be shared. Dedicated sound technicians can ensure sound systems run smoothly.

Participant: A person who takes an active part in an educational activity, program, or meeting. The term also can mean client, learner, or student.

Peak Season

When travel, hotels, and business demands are most active, and rates are higher. Also known as High Season.

Plus, plus (++)

Tax and gratuities are identified as “++” when they are not included in the price.

Photo Line

Planning Process: An activity carried out over a period of time whose objective is to produce an organized and rational system for achieving defined goals.

Pod Seating

Also referred to as ‘Banquet-style’ or ‘Round set’, this seating arrangement is designed for large audiences for events such as awards ceremonies and galas, where there are typically round tables of 8-10 guests seated.

Pre-Event Call

Pre-Event Feedback

Used to qualify attendees before the event and gather data about them, this type of information involves a questionnaire used to gather information from attendees, with questions often asked during the online event registration process.

Pre-Decision Discussion

Pre-Registration

Also referred to as ‘Advance Registration,’ this phrase means booking onto a meeting or event prior to the day of the event.

Presentation

Presenter

A person who conducts a meeting session, seminar, or workshop.

Presentation

Private Dining Room (PDR)

A room in a restaurant separated from the main dining area that can be reserved by groups to dine with more privacy. Frequently requested by event planners for parties or group dinners after a meeting or event.

Pro Forma Invoice

This is an invoice (or bill) provided by a supplier prior to the provision of the service.

Professional Speaker

Program

A total set of arrangements, methods, objectives, procedures, resources, and strategies aimed at moving a learner or client through a series of learning experiences or educational activities.

Program Execution Order (PEO)  

Also called a “Banquet Event Order (BEO), this order of instructions outlines all event logistics and instructions a venue needs to successfully execute an event. This document details the timings of the event, space or room setup, menu selections, audio visual requirements, and how the event will be run.

Program Development: Growth or change in the structure, function, or organization of an agency’s plan of procedure based on the passage of time or coordination of various separate plans.

Promotion Package

Proposal

A written offer from a vendor to a prospective buyer, produced in response to an inquiry. This proposal will attempt to match the requirements and detail costs, availability, and specifications for the potential client.

Post Event Report

A report detailing the event history after the event has happened, including number of attendees, number of no-shows, total cost per person, profit, etc.

Post Event Feedback

Advice formerly offered to event organizers that includes positive and/or negative comments, suggestions, and notes provided by guests after the event, in order for event planners and organizers to gain an understanding of successes and where improvements can be made.

Publicity

The organized effort made to market or advertise a short-term educational meeting. This can be in the form of paid ads, mailings, articles in periodicals, buttons for people to wear, or special events.

Rack Rate

This is the standard rate for a hotel room without discounts, which is often the highest rate published.

Reception-style

Designed to encourage participants to network and a common set up during a cocktail reception. High-top tables are placed throughout the room with limited or no seating provided. Reception-style seating.

Registration Fee

A charge assessed individuals or their sponsors for the right to participate in an educational experience. The fee may be nominal, covering primarily the costs of registration, or may cover any of several major expenses, such as the cost of instruction, meals, lodging, overhead, etc. Whether or not the meeting should break even or make a profit also needs to be considered.

Residential Conference Center

Physical facilities devoted solely to the purpose of participants learning while in residence.

Resource

A factor whose characteristics appear to be of value in helping to meet needs, such as money, facilities, equipment, etc.

Resource Person: An individual whose experiences and knowledge are of value in helping to plan, operate efficiently, provide specific instruction, or solve particular problems.

Return on Equity/Event (ROE)

The profit or other gain an event generates for organizers. With regards to equity, the measurable amount of net income or profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested. With the ‘Return on Event’ phrase, ROE can refer to the value brand awareness exercises brings, and not just the contribution to sales volume.

Return on Investment (ROI)

A performance measure key to meeting planners and organizations. This refers to the ratio between the net profit made and the cost of investment in the production of an event.

Request for Information

This is a preliminary step to a ‘Request for Proposal’ (see below), where a company researches potential vendors for details about their products and services.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A formal request by an event or meeting planner, which lists/details all of the specifications required for the event, sent to suppliers in order for the companies to draw up a proposal of their services and bid for the business.

Rider

In events, this usually refers to food, drink, and other requests that a performer has specified should be provided for them backstage. It can also mean an amendment to a contract.

Risk Assessment/Management

Assessing the possibility of injury or loss to the person attending the conference and ensuring there is adequate insurance covering possible injuries or loss.  Event planners often provide a detailed Risk Assessment for every event they manage.

Room Block

Often used by hotels, this phrase refers to the total number of sleeping rooms in an event reservation. Typically, a cut-off date of 30 days prior to the event is established for holding these rooms. An industry standard is that if 80% of the room block is used, there is no charge for meeting room use.

Room Hire Rate

This phrase refers to the cost of hiring a meeting room, exclusive of equipment and catering.

Room Number / Name

The room where each session will be at the venue for each speaker and activity at each event.

Room Pickups

The actual number of rooms used for a short-term meeting by participants, staff, and guests. The number of “comp.” rooms earned are figured from this total.

Round Set

Also referred to as ‘Pod’ or ‘banquet-style’, this seating arrangement is designed for large audiences for events such as awards ceremonies and galas, where there are typically round tables of 8-10 guests seated.

Round Table Discussion

Shell Scheme

A modular system (which normally comes in one-meter modules) used at exhibitions to showcase companies’ products and services.

Session

This is one meeting, presentation, or workshop that can take place in a breakout room during a larger meeting or conference.

Session Requirements

Specifications   

Meeting or event requirements.

Sequence

A series of successive learning experiences at increasing levels of difficulty so as to provide broader and deeper treatment, problem resolution, or learning.

Site Visit

When a meeting or event planner wants to check out and tour a prospective or booked venue, they organize a site visit.

Slide Deck

SMERF

This acronym stands for the ‘Social, Military, Educational, Religious, and Fraternal’ sectors of the meetings industry.

Space Only

Unlike a shell scheme contract where the modular system is provided, an exhibitor can choose the space only option, which refers to space on an exhibition show floor, of which the exhibitor can be creative and has to provide their own exhibit stand.

Skirting

Fabric that is affixed around tables, risers, and stages—often hiding cords, leads, and storage.

Short-Term Educational Meeting

A generic term that represents such meeting formats as conferences, conventions, institutes, seminars, and workshops.

Speaker Introduction

Sponsor

A person or agency that lends prestige, encouragement, administrative support, and/or financial assistance necessary to increase the success of a program or meeting.

Sunset Time

A specific time established for ending a function or activity.

Swap Shop

Placing several tables near the exhibit or registration area so people can bring brochures, newsletters, and other free materials for distribution about their organization.

Talent

The name of an individual or company that has been hired to entertain at an event, demonstrate products, work at an exhibition/conference to greet visitors, stage a performance, or host an awards ceremony.

Target Date

The event management team decides this date for the arrival of freight at an event—if shipments are received before or after this target date, a penalty fee may be charged.

TBA / TBC

To be announced/To be confirmed.

Teleconference

A conference being broadcast simultaneously to multiple sites via phone or other audio.

Test Run

Technical Sessions

Technique

The relationship established by an educational agent to facilitate learning among participants. The term is also used to indicate the ways in which instructors establish a relationship between themselves, learners, and learning task, such as a lecture or role-playing activity.

Trade Show

Often referred to as an exposition or B2B exhibition, a trade show is an event where a specific industry meets its peers. Goods and services are exhibited and demonstrated.

Traffic Flow

In terms of events, ‘traffic flow’ refers to the movement of visitors through an exhibition. It can also refer to how attendees move from one area, hall, or room to another.

Transcription

A typed or written document that has recorded a speech or discussion from an event or meeting.

Translation

Topic Description

Throw Distance 

Also called ‘projection distance.’ Refers to the distance from a video projector to the screen. Throw distance can have an effect on screen size and resolution.

Value Added

Added products or services a facility or organization can offer on top of the contract, which can include amenities such as free Wi-Fi, upgraded rooms, or free parking.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

A consumption tax commonly used in the European Union.

Value Bonus

Venue and Facility

Venue Inspection

This enables event planners to view the facilities before final confirmation.

Venue Search

Researching and sourcing the right venue for an event.

Video / Web Conferencing

Using video technology to broadcast an event or meeting to participants unable to attend in person.

Virtual Event / Online Event

Virtual Platform / Software

Virtual Trade Show / Virtual Conference

A trade show that is hosted online. It takes the same form as a traditional physical trade show and allows attendees to communicate with exhibitors through web chats, while vendors can showcase their products and services at 3D virtual booths.

Virtual Reality (VR)

An artificial environment created using a computer-generated simulation of a real physical, three-dimensional image, body, or place to create an imagined and interactive environment.

Waitlist

A client is ‘waitlisted’ when an event, session, or space is fully booked. They can be held on a waitlist for cancellations and if a spot becomes free, they can be offered the opportunity to attend.

Webcast

Also known as ‘Simulcast’, this is a media presentation or an event that is broadcast live over the internet.

Workshop

A meeting of people who work together in small groups on common problems/interests; also, sometimes known as a scheduled seminar in a specialized field for participants learning in group settings that are generally more interactive.

Webinar

A presentation, session, forum, or seminar broadcast over the internet.

Wireless

Tools and products that operate without any need for a wired connection. This can relate to internet, microphones, printers, speakers, headphones, and other technology products. Wireless microphones are ideal for Q&A sessions with speakers.

Wrap-up

This can mean either the end an event or meeting or a debrief following an event, otherwise known as a ‘wash-up’ meeting.