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Meeting, Event + Convention Planning Terms

Meeting, Event + Convention Planning Terms

Advance Order
An order for services (or goods) prior to an event

Advance Registration
Registration for a meeting or event prior to the day of the event; also called Pre-Registration

Agent
Representative of an entertainer who arranges for appearances, performances or shows

Air Walls
Moveable panels used to subdivide a larger area, such as a hotel ballroom, into smaller rooms

A La Carte
Any products that can be purchased separately, as opposed to in a package

Ambient Light
Any outside light such as sunlight coming through windows, or overhead room light

Amenities
The facilities and features of a property

American Plan
Three meals a day are included in the price of a meal plan at a resort or hotel

Amplifier (audio amplifier)
Increases the amplitude of sound to a level suitable for driving loud speakers

APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange)
An initiative of the Convention Industry Council that is bringing together all stakeholders in the development and implementation of industry-wide accepted practices to create and enhance efficiencies throughout the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry

Apron
The part of a stage in a theater extending in front of the curtain

Audio Mixers
A component that combines more than one sound input for composite output

A/V (Audiovisual)
Equipment used for sound and sight

A/V (Audiovisual) Contractor
Provider of AV equipment and technical staff to set up and run the equipment

Auditorium Seating
Chairs set up in rows facing the speaker or stage, also called Theater Style Seating

Backlight
A type of illumination from behind the subject or stage

Backdrop
A cloth, drape or panel hung at the back of a stage set

Back of the House
Support and service areas usually not seen by guests of a hotel

Backscatter Imaging
Technology used in security that can see through clothing, used to screen passengers at some airports and high security events

Banquet Captain
The lead person or persons, appointed by the venue, charged with overseeing food service at an event

Banquet Event Order (BEO)
Also called a Function Sheet or Event Order, a detailed document that provides to a venue instructions and a timeline for how the banquet, meeting, or event will be run

Banquet Round
A round table used at a banquet that usually seats between 8-12 guests, depending on its diameter

Basic Amenities
In lodging, describes a room has a bath or shower, hot running water, and a toilet that flushes

Bid Document
A proposal submitted by a potential vendor offering services; can include approximate costs
 
Blackout
Days or periods when tickets or certain prices are unavailable, usually coinciding with holidays and peak travel seasons

Black Tie
Required dress is formal; tuxedos for men and evening dresses for women

Block
Seats or a set of rooms set aside for group sale; to reserve such space

Break-Out Room

A smaller room used when a larger group breaks into sub-groups

Buffet
Food is prepared and set up at tables where guests serve themselves

Business Attire
Required dress is what would normally be worn at the office, i.e., business suits

Business Class
Airline service class that caters to business travelers with amenities, varies by airline

Call Brand
A specified brand name a customer requests when ordering a drink, as opposed to a house brand, when a customer requests a drink by its generic name, e.g., gin and tonic, scotch and soda, which is a less expensive brand

Cancellation Clause
Part of a contract that summarizes penalties, if cancellation occurs

Cartage
The act of moving of exhibit properties over a short distance, or the cost to do so

Casual Attire
Generally considered a middle ground between business formal wear and street wear, but its definition can vary widely among different organizations

Change Order
Venue or supplier document that outlines changes in an original agreement

Chevron Seating

Room setup whereas chairs are placed in rows forming a V-formation facing the stage or podium, also called Herringbone and V-Shape

Classroom Seating
Room set up whereas tables are set in rows with chairs all facing the stage or podium; also called Schoolroom Seating

CMP (Certified Meeting Professional)
Convention Industry Council certification program for professionals in the meeting, convention and exhibition industries

Complimentary Rooms (Comp Rooms)
Facility provided rooms without a charge based upon the number of rooms purchased by a group

Concierge
Person at a venue or facility who can arrange for transportation, tours, tickets or restaurant reservations

Concurrent Sessions
Sessions that occur at the same time

Continental Breakfast
Light morning meal that usually includes coffee, tea, juice and rolls

Continental Plan
The price of the room includes a Continental Breakfast

Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)
An organization that provides information such as events calendars, news, and a directory of accommodations, for visitors, meeting planners and travel agents

Corkage Charge
Cost of bringing into a facility alcoholic beverages purchased elsewhere

Count
Total number of guests at any point in time

Covers
Actual number of meals served

Cut-Off Date
The day when a facility releases a block of rooms or space

Cut Off Time
A time when reservations that were not guaranteed need to be filled or result in cancellation

Dead Man
Temporary post used during installation to help support the weight of an overhead structure

Decorator
A professional or company that provides services for a trade show and its exhibitors, i.e., carpets, pipe and drape, labor

Definite Booking
Guest rooms and function space reservations confirmed in writing

Deposit
A partial payment to secure the fulfillment of a product or service

Destination Management Company
A company that specializes in the organization and logistics of meetings and events in a specific location or destination

Double Booking
To make two reservations for (i.e., a seat or hotel room) in order to be certain of obtaining one

DOS (Director or Sales)
Director of Sales of a facility or supplier

Drayage
The service that includes delivery of supplies to an exhibit space, removal of empty boxes during the show, and returning of crates at the end of the show to the carrier loading area

D.T. Labor (Double Time Labor)
Work performed on overtime, usually at a rate twice the usual cost

Duplex Outlet
A double electrical outlet

Efficiency Guest Room
A hotel room that includes a kitchen

Emcee, Master of Ceremonies
Person who presides over the program

EDT
Estimated Departure Time

ETA
Estimated Time of Arrival

European Plan
No meals are included in the price of a resort or hotel

Event Order
Also known as a Banquet Event Order or Function Sheet, a detailed document that provides to a venue instructions and a timeline for how the banquet, meeting, or event will be run

Exclusive Caterer
The featured and only caterer allowed to provide catering at a facility

Exhibit Booth
One display at an exposition

Exhibit Hall
The area(s) in an exposition where exhibits are displayed

Exhibitor Kit
A package of information that includes the rules and forms relating to a specific exhibition, provided to exhibitors by show management, also called a Service Kit

Exposition
Event or show usually with a collection of exhibits to display products or services

Facilitator
Person who guides discussion for panels or in small groups

Familiarization Trip (Fam Trip)
Reduced-rate travel offered to travel industry professionals to introduce them to an area, its attractions, hotels, and facilities

Family Style Service
Food served on platters at the center of the table (rather than on plates in the kitchen) so guests can serve themselves while seated

Fixed Seating
Seating at a facility that are permanently positioned, not able to be moved

First-Class Hotel
A hotel offering top quality services, usually in a prime location with extensive amenities

Flat Rate
One rate in terms of a standard hotel room, also called Run of House Rate

Floor Port
A utility box recessed in the floor with electrical, telephone, or plumbing connections

Force Majeure Clause
Part of a contract that limits liability should an unexpected or uncontrollable event occur

Front Screen Projection
Image is projected to the front of the screen

Full Service Hotel
Hotel with a restaurant

Function Sheet
Also known as a Banquet Event Order or Event Order, a detailed document that provides to a venue instructions and a timeline for how the banquet, meeting, or event will be run

Function Space
Space at a venue where “functions” or events can be held

Gala Dinner

A festive occasion or a lavish social event usually with entertainment or a speaker

General Session
A session to which all conference attendees are invited

Green Room
A private room prepared for a VIP to relax or meet with guests or the media

Ground Operator
A local transportation company, including taxi and land tours

Guarantee
The number of servings to be paid whether or not that number is actually used or consumed, usually required to be provided two days or more in advance of an event

Guarantee for Late Arrival
The assurance that a hotel room will not be sold to someone else if the person who booked it arrives late, usually held with a credit card

Guaranteed Reservation
Guest is responsible for payment if the reservation is not cancelled by a specified day/time the facility has set

Hall
An exposition facility or the exhibit area within a facility

Head Count
Actual number of guests attending an event

Head Table

Table at which honored guests sit

Headquarters Hotel
Hotel or facility where most convention activities take place

Herringbone Seating
Room setup whereas chairs are placed in rows forming a V-formation facing the stage or podium, also called Chevron and V-Shape

Hidden Charge
Unexpected expenses

High Season
When travel is most active and rates are at their highest, also known as Peak Season

Hollow Square Seating
Tables are arranged in a square shape with chairs set up only on the outside and nothing within the square

Honorarium
A fee paid to a guest speaker or lecturer
 
Horseshoe Seating
Tables are arranged in a u-shape with rounded corners; chairs may be placed on the outside or inside of the table arrangement

Hospitality Suite
A hotel room reserved by a group to greet and entertain customers or others; refreshments usually served

Host Bar
A sponsor of an event pays for drinks

House Brand
Any brand of liquor served when a customer requests a drink by its generic name, e.g., gin and tonic, scotch and soda - The least expensive brand served, as opposed to more expensive Call Brands, when a customer requests a drink and specifies a brand name

House Count
Number of occupied sleeping rooms in a hotel on any given night

House Lights
Existing lights in a facility, usually dimmed prior to a show in which stage lights are used

House Wine
A reasonably-priced wine featured by a restaurant or venue, often served in a carafe or by the glass - Guests specifying only the variety, i.e., Chardonnay, will usually be served the house wine.

Housekeeping
The department of a hotel charged with cleaning and maintaining rooms and public spaces

Housing Bureau
Third-party agency capable of managing the housing process for a meeting, often offered by a convention bureau

I&D (Installation and Dismantle)
Can also be called Set Up and Take Down

Incidentals
Minor, miscellaneous expenditures

Inclusive Rates
Rates that include service fees, gratuities and taxes

Inline Display
An exhibit that is set up along an aisle; Also called Linear Display

Island Display
An exhibit with four aisles surrounding it

Itinerary
Schedule of a visit or the route of a tour

Jet Lag
A condition caused when a person traveling across several time zones

King Room
A room with a King-sized bed, for one or two guests

Lapel Microphone
Wireless microphone that can be affixed to a lapel of a speaker, also known as a Lavalier Microphone or Pendant Microphone

Lavalier Microphone
Wireless microphone that can be affixed to a lapel of a speaker, also known as a Lapel Microphone or Pendant Microphone

Light Emitting Diode (LED)
A display and lighting technology used to create ambient lighting

Linear Display
An exhibit that is set up along an aisle; Also called an Inline Display

Linen
Usually referring to fabric on tables, plus napkins

Load In
Specified period of time for loading in equipment

Load Out
Specified period of time for loading out equipment

Low Season
The time of year when travel to a destination is at its lowest and prices decline

Maitre D’
The host or head server at a restaurant; supervises other servers

Marquee
A large tent, usually without some or all sides, used during outdoor events

Masking Drape
Fabric used to cover storage or other areas that should not be displayed

Master Account
An account set up to which authorized charges incurred by a group can be charged

Master Key
One key that opens all doors, including guest rooms and facility spaces

Master of Ceremonies, Emcee
Person who presides over the program

Media Advisory
Concisely alerts the media to an upcoming event

Minimum
The minimum catering revenue required for a function; If minimum is not met, additional charges usually will apply

Mixed Drink Tax
A local tax sometimes used to fund tourism related projects

M.O.D.
Manager on Duty

Moderator
Person who presides over a panel discussion

Modified American Plan (MAP)
Two meals a day are included in the price of a meal plan at a resort or hotel, usually breakfast and dinner

Multimedia
Combined use of several audiovisual media in a presentation

Net Square Footage
Total square feet of booth space at an exposition facility

No-Show
An expected guest who does not attend; Reservation is not used and is not cancelled

Off-Season
A period of the year when demand for a destination decreases and prices go down

Official Contractor

Company, appointed by show management, that provides services to a trade show and/or its exhibitors; Also called General Contractor

On-Site Order
Order placed at a show/event site

Off-Site Caterer
Person or company who prepares and delivers food

On-Site Caterer
Person or company who prepares food at a facility

On-Site Catering
Facility offers catering services on-site

On-Site Registration
Guests register at the facility, upon arrival to an event

Open Bar
Guests do not pay for beverages

Overset
Number of place settings above a guarantee

Overbooked
Confirmed reservations surpass number of available rooms

Overhead Projector
Equipment that projects enlarged images of written or pictorial material onto a screen or wall from a transparency placed below the projector and lighted from underneath

P.A. System (Public Address System)
A loudspeaker; a system that amplifies sound in one large area or throughout several rooms

Paid Out
A form that authorizes cash withdraws which will be charged to a master account or guest

Panel System

Referring to a pre-made exhibit composed of connected rectangular panels of various sizes

Pay Own
Refers to when each guest pays own charges

PBX Operator
Person who operates a Private Branch Exchange, or a central switchboard

Peak Season
Also known as High Season, when travel is most active and rates are at their highest

Pendant Microphone
Wireless microphone that can be affixed to a lapel of a speaker, also known as a Lapel Microphone or Lavalier Microphone

Pending Registration
A registration that is not complete due to lack of payment or completed forms

Peninsula Display
An exhibit with three sides of aisles or walkways

Per Diem
By the day

Per Diems
An allowance for daily expenses

Per Person
A charge for each guest or attendee

Pick-Up

Number of guest rooms used compared to the number of rooms initially blocked for an event

Pipe and Drape
Tubing covered with draped fabric to make up the rails and backwall of a trade show booth

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

Podium
A platform on which a speaker may stand

Post Conference
Any event or meeting that follows a conference

Poster Session
The presentation of research information by representatives of several research teams at a conference with an educational or professional focus

Preferred Caterer
A catering company that appears on a list offered by a venue from which meeting and event planners must choose; A caterer who is not on this list is not permitted to provide services

Pre-Convention Briefing (Precon)

A meeting for the planner to review with facility personnel the details of the convention

Pre-Registration
Registration for a meeting or event prior to the day of the event; also called Advance Registration

Premium Brand
Usually referring to higher-priced, better quality brands of liquor offered at a venue

Press Kit
A folder assembled for the media, usually includes press releases, product announcements and general company information

Press Release
An announcement of an event, performance, or other newsworthy item that is issued to the press

Prix Fixe
French for "fixed price;” a multi-course meal allowing no substitutions

Pro Forma Invoice
An invoice sent to a buyer prior to shipment that details the kinds and quantities of goods to be shipped

Projection Screen
Surfaces upon which images are projected

Promoter
A person or company charged with publicizing an event

Public Relations (PR)
The methods and activities employed to establish and promote a favorable relationship with the public, includes working with the media

Quad Box
Four electrical outlets in one box

Quadruple (Quad)
Guest room for four people, usually with two or more beds

Queen Room
Guest room with a queen-size bed, for one or two people

Quote
The stated price

Rack Rate
A facility’s standard guest room rate

Rear Screen Projection
A video technique in which images are projected on the back surface of a screen positioned between the projector and the audience

Reception
A social gathering with food and drinks often held to welcome guests

Registration Desk
A table where guests check-in prior to attending a meeting or event

Registration Kit
Packet of meeting materials, including maps, agendas and additional pertinent information for event attendees

Request for Information

A preliminary step to a Request for Proposal (RFP), in which a company solicits a number of potential vendors for information about their products and services

Request for Proposal (RFP)
A formal request by a company, containing detailed specifications, to a potential vendor asking for a bid on satisfying those specifications

Rider
An amendment to a contract

Risers
A platform for people or materials, often put together to form a stage

Roll-In Meal
Buffet presented on a moveable cart

Rooming List
A roster of guests and their lodging needs given to a hotel by a group prior to a meeting

Roving Microphone
A microphone brought to audience members who have comments or questions

Sales Manager
Usually reports to the Director of Sales at a facility; sells hotel rooms

Schoolroom Seating
Room is set up whereas tables are set in rows with chairs all facing the stage or podium; also called Classroom Seating

Security Cages
Cages provided to exhibitors to keep materials locked up for safe keeping

Security, On-Premise
Professionals from the facility who provide security

Security, Private
Professionals hired from a private company to handle security

Self-Contained Exhibit
A display that uses its shipping case as an integral part of the exhibit

Serpentine Setup
A series of tables set together making a curvy line, often used to make a more interesting display of food or literature

Service Charge
A fee for services provided by facility, including food staff

Service Desk
The location at which exhibitors order services from show management

Service Kit

A package of information that includes the rules and forms relating to a specific exhibition, provided to exhibitors by show management

Session
One meeting that is part of a series of meetings

Set Up Time
Window of time to erect an exhibit or prepare for an event before guests arrive

Shoulder Season
A short period of time that falls between high and low season, offering rates and fares between high and low seasons

Show Break
Time specified for the closing of an exhibition and the beginning of dismantling

Show Decorator
A company or individual responsible for providing draping, carpeting, and signage services for the trade show and its exhibitors

Show Manager
The organizer and operator of an exposition

Show Producer
An individual or company which manages trade shows, including leasing the exposition facility, hiring official contractors, and promoting the show; Also an individual or company which produces an event show

Side Rail
A low divider wall, usually pipe and drape, used to divide one exhibit space from another

Sign Standard
A frame on a stand into which a sign can be inserted for display

Signage
All essential signs for an event, including directional and informational

Sign language interpreter
An interpreter who facilitates communication between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear; American Sign Language (ASL) is used

Simultaneous Interpretation
An interpreter interprets the message orally at the same time as the speaker is speaking

Single Room
Room occupied by one guest

Skirting
Fabric affixed around tables, stages and risers, often hiding cords and storage

Skycap
Person who helps passengers with their baggage at an airport

SMERF
In the hospitality industry, an acronym for Social, Military, Educational, Religious, Fraternal, indicating a market segment for the sales of banqueting rooms and meeting facilities

Specifications (Specs)
Meeting or event requirements

Spec Book
A document used by a meeting planner to record all the specifications and detailed supplier instructions for a specific event

Spotlight
A lamp that provides a defined circle of light projected upon a person or object

Spouse Programs
Activities planned for any guests of meeting participants

Stage Lighting
Lighting used for the stage

Stage Manager
Person charged with managing what happens on stage

Staging Area
A location used for demonstrations

Stanchions
Posts that are sometimes attached with rope, used to guide traffic; posts can also display signs

Standby
Ready and waiting; waiting for unreserved travel space that is made available by an airline only shortly before departure

Standing Microphone
Microphone mounted on an adjustable floor stand and intended to remain in the same location throughout a presentation

Stay Over
Guests who opt to remain at a hotel past the departure date

Stock Exhibit
A pre-designed display modified for a particular use by the exhibitor

Strike
Take down exhibits

Suite

In a hotel, an accommodation comprising more than one room; occasionally a single large room with clearly defined sleeping and sitting areas

Table Assignment
Guest’s assigned seat at a specified table

Table d'Hote
French phrase indicating a full meal with a limited choice of dishes for a fixed price

Table Microphone
Stationary microphone set up at a table

Table Tent
A folded card on a table used to indicate table number or provide other information for the guest

Table Top Display
An exhibit designed for use on the top of a table or similar surface

Talent
An individual or company hired to work in an exhibit to greet visitors, demonstrate product, or stage a performance; also an entertainer at a program or event

Target Date
Show management sets this date for the arrival of freight at a trade show;  shipments received before or after this date are usually charged a penalty fee

TBA
To Be Announced

Technology Butler
A hotel staff member who assists guests with computer questions and problems

Technical Rehearsal
Rehearsal that checks sound and lights

Teleprompter
A device that projects moving copy from the script in front of the speaker so that the talent can read it without losing eye contact with the audience

Teleconference
Simultaneous conference to multiple sites distributed via audio (phone or other audio)

Telescopic Pipe
Tubing used to support drapes, in which one section slides inside another, making it an adjustable length

Terminal (at convention center or event facility)
Loading dock or freight handling area

Theater Seating
Chairs set up in rows facing the speaker or stage, also called Auditorium Seating

Theme Party
A party organized around a single theme, like Hollywood, 1950s, Hawaiian or masquerade, that affects the behavior of guests, i.e., what they wear

Throw Distance
Projection distance; useful to know based on the layout and size of the room

Time & Materials (T & M)
A type of billing in which a consumer is charged for labor costs (time) and materials

Trade Show
An exposition; an event at which goods and services in a specific industry are exhibited and demonstrated - Trade shows are primarily a business-to-business event, although some trade shows are open to consumers

Trade Show Organizer
Person who plans the trade show, i.e., arranges details with the facility, recruits exhibitors, publicizes to potential attendees

Traffic Flow
The movement of visitors through an exposition or exhibit; also how the guests will move from one area or room to another

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

Travel Agency

A business that attends to the details of transportation, itinerary, and accommodations for travelers

Travel Agent
A professional who attends to the details of transportation, itinerary, and accommodations for travelers

Truss
Structural element hung above for the purpose of suspending lighting equipment to illuminate exhibit components or a stage

Turn Down Service
Hotel service in which a room is cleaned and bed linen is turned down for sleeping, usually during the period when a guest is not in the room

Twin Bed
One of a pair of identical beds, each suitable for one person

Twin Room
Room with twin beds, apt for one or two persons

U-Shape Seating
Tables set up in a U shape with chairs arranged around the perimeter; chairs are placed outside and sometimes inside too

V-Shape Seating
Room setup whereas chairs are placed in rows forming a V-formation facing the stage or podium; also called Chevron and Herringbone

Variety Show
Entertainment that includes several types of acts, i.e., magicians, singers, actors, dancers and comics

Venue
The location of an event, i.e., hotel ballroom, auditorium, convention center

Videoconference
A meeting, instructional session, or conversation between people at different locations relying on video technology as the primary communication

Walk or Being Walked
Guest with confirmed reservation is sent to another hotel due to overbooking

Walk-Through
Inspect a facility and its set up; To review meeting itinerary and details

Water Stations
Tables set up with water bottles or pitchers of water for guests to serve themselves

Welcome Reception
Opening event to welcome guests, usually serves food and drinks

White Tie
Required attire for men is white tie and for women is formal dress

Working Lunch

Meeting around the noon hour, lunch is usually served

Wrap Around Event
Can occur before or after a larger fundraising event, where guests decide to raise money at their own event to increase donations

Wrap-Up
End an event or meeting

Writing Chairs
Chairs with a writing surface or small table attached to the seat itself

Glossary terms and definitions from various sources, including convention, meeting and event planners, Exhibitor Online, hometravelagency.com, Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com