100+ Top Terms Every Meeting Planner Needs To Know

Our industry has its own terminologies for much of the things we buy, do and arrange. Some are straightforward, others perhaps a bit more vague in their meaning. It is imperative for anyone planning meetings or events to understand these terms and their implications. Today we are sharing the top terms every planner needs to know. The list is far from complete and we invite you to add your own top terms in the comment section below.


1. A/V or Audiovisual
Sound, lighting and projection equipment used at event.
2. Front Screen Projection
The image is projected to the front of the screen by a projector suspended or stationed in front of a screen.
3. House Lights
Existing lights at a venue usually dimmed when stage lights are in use.
4. Lapel, Lavalier or Pendant Microphone
A wireless microphone that can be affixed to a lapel of a speaker.
5. LED or Light Emitting Diode
A relatively new lighting technology used to create lighting.
6. Load In
Specified period of time for loading in equipment at the venue.
7. Load Out
Specified period of time for loading out equipment

at the venue.
8. P.A. System (Public Address System)
A sound system that amplifies sound in one area or throughout several rooms at the venue simultaneously.
9. Projection Screen
Surfaces upon which images can be projected.
10. Quad Box
Four electrical outlets in one box.
11. 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.
12. Roving Microphone
A microphone brought to audience members by an event staffer or volunteer, to pose comments or questions.
13. Standing Microphone
A microphone on an adjustable floor stand intended to remain in the same location.
14. Table Microphone
A microphone set up at a table.
15. Technical Rehearsal
A technical run through of an event to check light, sound and projection.
16. Throw Distance
The projection distance between the source of light or projection and the stage.  


17. Deposit
A partial payment to secure a venue or service.
18. Force Majeure Clause
A clause in a venue or vendor contract that limits the liability of the venue or vendor should an unexpected or uncontrollable event occur.
19. Guarantee
A confirmed number of meals or servings you will be paying for whether or not those will be consumed by the attendees at your event.  Venues typically require a 72-hour guarantee prior to the event.
20. Master account
An account set up with the venue to which authorized charges incurred by a group or planner can be charged.
21. Plus Plus (++)
Reflect the level of tax and gratuities charged by a venue if not included in the price, always identified as a “++” on your orders.
22. Rider
An amendment to a contract.


23. Exhibit Booth
One display at an exposition.
24. Exhibit Hall
The area(s) in an exposition where exhibits are displayed.
25. Inline or Linear Display
An exhibit that is set up along an aisle.
26. Island Display
An exhibit surrounded by four aisles.
27. Masking Drape
Fabric used to cover areas that should not be seen by an audience.
28. Peninsula Display
An exhibit bordered by three aisles.
29. Pipe and Drape
Draped fabric suspended from a tubular pipe that makes up the back and sidewalls of an exhibit booth.
30. Strike
The taking down of exhibits and staging.
31. Table Top Display
An exhibit designed for use on the top of a table.
32. Traffic Flow
The movement or flow of attendees through an exhibit, or how attendees travel from room to room at you meeting.


33. Banquet Captain
The lead person or persons, appointed by the venue, charged with overseeing food service at an event.
34. 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.
35. Continental Breakfast
Light morning meal that usually includes coffee, tea, juice and rolls.
36. Corkage Charge
The cost of bringing into a facility alcoholic beverages purchased elsewhere.
37. Covers
Actual number of meals served.
38. Host Bar or Open Bar
The host or sponsor of an event pays for the drinks. Guests do not pay for drinks.
39. Minimum
The minimum catering revenue required for an event set by the venue. If the minimum revenue is not met, additional charges will apply
such as waived complimentary meeting rooms.
40. Off-Site Caterer
Person or company who prepares and delivers food.
41. On-Site Caterer or On-Site Catering
Person or company who prepares food at the venue kitchen facilities.
42. Overset
The number of meals or settings the venue will prepare over what you have guaranteed. Usually 2% to 5%.
43. Plus Plus (++)
Reflect the level of tax and gratuities charged by a venue if not included in the price, always identified as a “++” on your orders.
44. Water Stations
Tables set up with self-service water bottles or pitchers of water for guests.


45. CMP - Certified Meeting Professional
The Convention Industry Council certification program for professionals in the meeting, convention and exhibition industries.
46. CVB or Convention and Visitors Bureau
A local organization that can help meeting planners conduct venue and vendor selection at no cost. A CVB publishes events calendars, news, and a directory of accommodations, for visitors, meeting planners and travel agents.
47. DMC or Destination Management Company
A company that specializes in organizing the logistics of meetings and events in a specific location or destination.
48. Director or Sales or DOS
Director of Sales at a venue.
49. D.T. Labor or Double Time Labor
Overtime work at a rate twice the normal rate.
50. EDT
Estimated Departure Time.
51. ETA
Estimated Time of Arrival
52. Fam. or Familiarization Trip
Free or reduced-rate travel offered to meeting industry professionals to introduce them to an area, venues, attractions, vendors and suppliers.


53. Concurrent Sessions
Sessions that occur at the same time.
54. Gala Dinner
Usually an evening event, with lavish décor, food and entertainment.
55. General Session
A session to which all conference attendees are invited, usually hosted at the beginning or end of the day.
56. Moderator
A person who presides over a panel discussion.
57. Poster Session
The presentation of research information on posters displayed on poster boards by representatives of research teams.
58. Session
A workshop or meeting that is part of a series of meetings.
59. Spouse Programs or Partner Program
Activities planned for guests of people attending a conference.
60. Welcome Reception
A casual opening event to welcome guests at a conference. Food and drinks are usually served.
61. Working Lunch
An active meeting around lunchtime during which a meal is served.


62. Advance or pre-registration
Sign up or registration for a meeting or event prior to the day of the event.
63. Online Registration
Event sign up or registration via a dedicated website allowing for collection of attendee information and payment processing.
64. On-site registration
Attendees can register upon arrival at the venue.
65. Registration Desk
A table where guests check-in prior to attending a meeting or event.
66. Registration Kit or Welcome Kit
A packet of meeting materials, including venue maps, agendas and additional information important to event attendees.

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67. Auditorium Seating or Theatre Style Seating.
Chairs set up in rows facing the stage.
68. Banquet Rounds
A round table used seating between 8-12 guests depending on its size.
69. Chevron Seating, Herringbone or V-Shape
A room setup where chairs are placed in rows forming a V-formation facing the stage.
70. Classroom Seating or Schoolroom Seating
Room set up where tables are set in rows with chairs facing the stage.
71. Hollow Square Seating
Tables are arranged in a square shape with chairs set up only on the outside.
72. Horseshoe Seating
Tables are arranged in a u-shape with rounded corners. Chairs are placed on the outside but can be added on the inside also.  
73. Serpentine Setup
A series of tables set together making a curvy line, mostly used for buffet or display set-up.
74. U-Shape Seating
Tables are arranged in a u-shape. Chairs are placed on the outside but can be added on the inside also. 


75. Air Walls
Moveable wall panels used to partition a larger area into smaller rooms. Frequently used to make divide larger ballrooms into smaller spaces.
76. Back of the House
Service areas of the venue usually not seen by attendees.
77. Banquet Captain
The lead team member(s) at the venue overseeing food service at an event
78. BEO or Banquet Event Order
Can be called an Event Order or Function Sheet. This is an extremely detailed document designed by the venue outlining all of the details of your event and how it will be run. It showcases set-up, meals, times, audiovisual needs and special instructions. It is the venue’s script of your function.
79. Block or Room Block
Group of rooms or seats set aside for a specific event or group at a group price.
80. Breakout room
Smaller rooms at the venue made available for breakout sessions.
81. Cancellation Clause
Detailed explanation in the contract of the penalties should a cancellation occur.
82. Change Order
Document provided to a venue or vendor that outlines changes to an existing order or agreement.
83. Comp Rooms
A number of free or comp rooms provided by a venue based upon a number of rooms or room nights purchased by a group.
84. Cut-Off Date
The day when a facility releases the block of rooms or space held for your event if not booked.
85. Function Space
The locations or spaces at a venue where functions can be hosted.
86. Green Room
A private room for speakers, VIPs, performers to relax, away from the crowd, mostly used to meet with invited guests or media.
87. Hall
The facility where exhibits are held, or the area within a venue where exhibits are placed.
88. Head Count
The real number of guests attending an event.
89. Hospitality Suite
A hotel room or suite reserved by a group to entertain customers and invited guests. Hospitality suites often feature refreshments and food.
90. House Count
The number of occupied guest rooms in a hotel on any given night
91. Housekeeping
The department of a hotel charged with cleaning and maintaining guest rooms and all public spaces in the venue.
92. Incidentals
Miscellaneous expenditures at a hotel such as mini-bar, phone calls, in-room movies and room service.
93. Inclusive Rates
Rates that include all service fees, tips and taxes.
94. M.O.D.
Manager on Duty
95. No-Show
An expected attendee or guest who does not show up, and the hotel reservation is not used and not cancelled. No-shows are usually billed for one night.

Confirmed reservations at the hotel exceed the number of available guest rooms at the hotel.
97. Per Diem
By the day expenditure allowance commonly, but not exclusively, used by government employees.
98. Pick-Up
The number of guest rooms used compared to the number of guest rooms blocked for an event.
99. Pre-Con or Pre-Convention Meeting
A meeting for the event or meeting planner to review in detail the Banquet Event Orders and other details of the event with the staff of the venue.
100. RFP or Request for Proposal
A formal request by a company, containing detailed specs, to a prospect vendor asking for a bid based on the provides specs.
101. Rooming List
A list of guest names and their lodging needs given to a hotel by a meeting planner prior to the event.
102. Service Charge
A fee for services provided by facility, including food staff.
103. Set-Up Time
The time to set-up an exhibit or prepare for the event prior to guest arrival.
104. Skirting
Fabric attached to the side of tables, stages and risers, hiding cords and storage.
105. Walk or Being Walked
Guest with confirmed reservation are sent to another hotel due to overbooking at the hotel for which they hold a confirmed reservation.

Top 10 new terminologies every meeting planner needs to know.

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