Planning Helper Glossary
The Planning Helper Glossary defines terms as they pertain to the meeting and event planning industry. If a term is commonly used interchangeably with another, it is so noted within the term’s definition for clarification purposes. Some terms have been included from the APEX Glossary, a product of the Convention Industry Council.
This information has been reproduced with the expressed permission of the CIC. For more information on the APEX initiative or CIC go to www.conventionindustry.org.

A

Contents

Actuals History

A final accounting of a group’s performance while on-site for a meeting or event at a venue or facility, including revenues generated, total number of guests in attendance, overnight guest rooms and suites used per night, number of meals served, number of meeting or function rooms used, parking services utilized, revenues generated for every part of the program, and more. Actual history is an invaluable resource for projecting revenues and expenses for future meetings or events and for justifying terms being negotiated for future contracts with venues, vendors and service providers.


Affiliate

Any person or group of people or organization that assists or supports another organization for an event by providing volunteers, financial contributions, exhibits, products or services in return for recognition and visibility. Also sometimes referred to as sponsors or partners.


Agenda

An outline of what is to occur at specified times during a meeting or event; a guideline for a speaker or presenter with instructions on what is expected of him or her before, during and after the presentation.

Ancillary Services

Meeting or event-related support services within a hotel, venue or facility that generates revenue. An example would food carts or printing services.


Ancillary Space

Rooms or function space available for booking overflow meetings or special events in close proximity or adjacent to the venue or facility where the main event or conference takes place.
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Arrival-Departure Pattern

The date and time that a group is expected to check-in and check-out of a venue or facility. Sleeping room rates, meeting room and function space rental, and other rates or fees will be negotiated based on a group’s arrival / departure pattern with less flexibility if a group is arriving during peak season and on peak days of the week.


Artwork

Custom design for graphics, logos, posters, banners, invitations, and other promotional pieces created for printed materials, web sites, online audiovisual presentations, and such. Clip art is not generally included in this category.


Attractions

Points of interest in a geographic area or city that are well known and can entice visitors to attend a conference or event. Examples include cultural activities, sporting events, educational and medical facilities, natural wonders, and so forth.


Attrition Clause | Attrition Penalty

A clause in contracts that provides monetary compensation to venues, facilities and service providers if a minimum amount of revenues as stated in the contract are not actually generated by a group. This would apply to projected revenues from sleeping rooms, food and beverage functions, meeting room rental, recreational services, airline seats, and so on. Usually there is an allowable shortfall before damages are assessed. More on Attrition in Planning Topic Contracts.


Audio Visual

Equipment, software and technical support used to enhance sound and visual presentations or performances at meetings or events through the use of lighting, projection, mixing boards, microphones and amplifiers – or to create an environment in a room or outdoor space that makes it more conducive for participants to learn, relax or become energized, whatever the desired result might be. Also applies to basic equipment and materials such as film, slides, flip charts, white board and blackboards, television monitors, etc.

B


Back Channel

An indirect means of exchanging sensitive information, commonly used when referring to or monitoring social networking posts.


Banquet Event Order (BEO)

The most common name used for a document prepared by hotels, venues and caterers that confirms explicit details about the menu selected and the service and set-up required for a planned food and beverage function. Once approved by the customer, the BEO will be distributed internally for scheduling banquet, kitchen and service personnel to prepare for and handle the event, to purchase the necessary food and beverage items, and to serve as documentation of instructions received from the client. The BEO serves as a contract in itself or as an addendum to an existing contract.


Blueline

Final proof of a printed piece submitted for client’s approval before printing. Once the design of a printed piece has been developed to the blueline stage, changes to it will be difficult and expensive.


Booking Policies

A set of guidelines usually published by hotels, venues, facilities and caterers that give details necessary to understand prior to negotiating and finalizing group agreements or contracts for overnight sleeping room accommodations, meeting and function space, food and beverage functions, group airline travel, tour groups, and more. See Planning Topic Booking Policies.


Break-Even Formula

Using one of two standard break-even formulas discussed in the Planning Topic “Budget,” a break-even analysis will demonstrate: 1) The number of attendees needed at a pre-determined registration fee to generate enough revenue to cover all expenses, or 2) The amount that must be charged as a registration fee for a pre-determined number of attendees in order to generate enough revenue to cover expenses. See Planning Topic Budgets.


Budget Forecast

A financial document that serves as a starting point when developing a budget by providing estimates of revenues and expenses expected to be generated based on history from similar meetings or events conducted in the recent past or current quotes from venues, facilities, vendors and service providers.

C

Commissionable

Term used to disclose that a percentage of revenue generated will be payable to a third party agent for such things as airline seats or guest rooms booked, tickets collected, items processed, or other services provided.


Communications

For the meeting planner, the flow and method of communications about meetings, functions and events requires a strategic plan to maximize effectiveness in keeping all parties informed, energized, and enthusiastic about attending an event or role they play in planning, coordinating and producing the event or in deciding to attend it. Basic definition – a method of exchanging information verbally or in writing, on paper or electronically, wired or wireless.


Concurrent

Multiple meetings or functions that occur during the same time period in different rooms or open areas but usually in the same building or general area.


Conference Center

A facility that provides a dedicated environment for events, especially small events, usually equipped with state-of-the art equipment and technology. May be certified by the International Association of Conference Centers.


Contiguous

Meeting or exhibit space that connects to adjacent space or is in very close proximity.


Contractor

A person or company from whom you order supplies that will be used during a conference or event, although sometimes also referred to as a vendor, service provider, purveyor or supplier.


Controlled Environment

Specifies that no windows or mirrors can be located in a production room and temperatures must remain consistently cool.


Convention Center

A large facility that combines an exhibition space with a substantial number of smaller event spaces. The purpose of these buildings is to host trade shows, public shows, conventions, large food functions and other functions related to the convention industry.


Cover

A term used to describe a single table setting on a table or when counting the actual number of meals served at a food and beverage function; also used to describe a dome placed over a plate to keep food warm.
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Critiques

Similar in meaning to evaluations but can be more in-depth, specific and useful if conducted via conference call or face-to-face meetings soon after a conference or event with separate groups of stakeholders such as vendors, exhibitors, sponsors, or group leadership to get their observations on areas most pertinent to them.


Crowdsourcing

Delegating a task to a large diffuse group, usually without monetary compensation. The term was created by using a combination of the words Crowd and Outsourcing.


Cut-Off Date

The date specified in group room contracts when unreserved rooms from the block will be released for sale to the general public. A cut-off date also applies to the date when guarantees are due for food and beverage functions or number of foursomes for a golf tournament, etc.


CVB-Convention and Visitors Bureau

Not-for-profit organizations that represent a specific destination to develop communities through a travel and tourism strategy. Convention and Visitor Bureaus are usually membership organizations bringing together businesses that rely on tourism and events for revenue. CVB’s can serve as an official point of contact for convention and event planners, tour operators and visitors. They assist planners with event preparation and encourage business travelers and visitors alike to visit local historic, cultural and recreational sites.

D

Dais

A platform or riser used to raise a head table or speaker podium for better viewing by the audience. Sometimes also referred to as staging.


Demographics

Characteristics of a group that help determine the right topics to choose for a program, lodging options to offer, appropriate menus to serve, recreational activities to plan, etc., and may include such things as age group, gender, native area and custom, language, job function, purchase intentions, field of interest, dignitaries, executives, elderly, youth, employees, work experience, education, and so on.


Diagram

A schematic drawing of how rooms are to be set for meetings, exhibits, food and beverage functions, audiovisual equipment, etc. Also includes type of seating preferred. Final diagrams must be “to scale” meaning in exact proportion to the room dimensions, but rough drafts from meeting and event planners are helpful when communicating needs and expectations. See Planning Helper Topic Set-Up Details.


DMC-Destination Management Company

A professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources service provider with extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics. Most are capable of providing advance logistical support as for meeting and event planners located in a different area well as onsite management. These organizations offer valuable services for almost any destination, but they are particularly valuable when planning and coordinating activities in a foreign country.


Drayage

The handling of exhibit materials by a contractor who delivers to specific exhibit booths from loading docks, removes and stores packing crates after set-up, returns them for re-packing by the exhibitor, then delivers back to loading docks for shipping.

E

Early Arrivals

Guests or staff members who arrive prior to the official start date of a conference or event. If arriving days early, the group room rate at lodging venues may be requested and will often be honored. If arriving hours before the designated check-in time at hotels, early check-in can be requested and will usually be honored unless the property was full the preceding night and guest rooms have not yet been cleaned.


Equipment Rentals

Equipment rentals may include catering equipment, linens, tables, chairs, flatware, dinnerware cooking equipment, refrigerators, generators, heaters, tenting for inclement weather, cleanup supplies, vans, dollies, props and such that may have to be contracted separately if the venue selected does not carry its own inventory.


Ethics

A code of professional conduct that may be written or unwritten, individual or organizational, that refers to “a system of high level principles governing the appropriate and honorable behavior of a person or a group” as it pertains to activities relevant to the meeting and convention industry. The More in Ethics and Industry Etiquette.


Evaluations

Critiquing and rating the overall success of an event; developing an event profile from accurate event statistics. Creating evaluation methods that are effective in getting the feedback that is meaningful requires significant thought and strategy.


Event

An organized occasion such as a meeting, convention, exhibition, special event, gala dinner, etc. An event is often composed of several different yet related functions.


Exhibit Booth

Individual display area constructed to showcase products, services or convey a message. Can be a simple table-top exhibit on a 6-foot by 18- or 30-inch table in a room or foyer or an area in an exhibit hall that is separated by pipe and drape, usually 10 ft. x 10 ft. Some exhibit booths take up several 10 ft. x 10 ft. exhibit spaces and require elaborate construction.


Exhibitor Specifications

Information provided in a kit for all exhibitors, usually by the General Service Contractor (GSC) once a contract has been signed for an exhibit booth. The packet includes the rules and regulations of the exhibition, order forms for labor or services that the exhibitors need for their individual booths, an exhibit floor diagram, and a fact sheet about the event.

F

Facility

The structure of building that has been built for a specific purpose such as hosting events, trade shows, meetings, conferences or functions, such as convention centers, arenas, coliseums, exhibit halls, banquet halls, and more. The term is sometimes used interchangeably when referring to hotels and other venues, sites, and other property-types.
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First Tier Destination

An informal ranking of destinations that generally includes major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, or Las Vegas, where access by air and the type of facilities, venues, and services to choose from are unlimited. Generally more expensive than smaller, second-tier destinations that are less accessible by air and have fewer choices to offer for meetings and events.


Fixed Cost

Day-to-day cost of doing business such as utilities, leases, salaries.


Floor Diagram | Set-Up

A schematic drawing of how rooms are to be set for meetings, exhibits, food and beverage functions, audiovisual equipment, etc. Also includes type of seating preferred. Final diagrams must be “to scale” meaning in exact proportion to the room dimensions, but rough drafts from meeting and event planners are helpful when communicating needs and expectations. See Planning Topic Set-Up Details.


Food and Beverage | Catering

Any planned reception, bar service meal function that is prepared and served by a professional caterer. Food and Beverage also applies to services in restaurants or concessions provided by a facility.


Force Majeure

An event that cannot reasonably be anticipated that makes performance of terms in a contract impractical or impossible such as war or a labor strike.


Front Office

A department in a hotel that is responsible for handling front desk and reservations functions.


Function

Usually applies to an organized occasion that contributes to a larger event such as various meetings or planned meals, but it can also apply to a single event such as a gala dinner, an independent meeting or special event.


Function Space

An area in a building or outdoors that can be reserved by an individual or a group to hold an event.


Function Specifications

Details that describe the necessary arrangements and set-up needed to produce a meeting, function or event. Initial function specifications will give a general outline of what is expected, but final specifications give explicit details of what must occur.

G

Ganging Menus

A cost saving method when planning meal functions in a facility where other groups have also booked meal functions on the same day. Selecting the same menu items as the other group will enable the caterer to buy in greater quantifies for less and to reduce labor cost for preparation.


General Service Contractor (GSC)

An organization that provides event managers and exhibitors with a wide range of services including set-up and tear-down of pipe and drape for exhibit booths, hanging signage and banners, laying carpet, providing booth furniture and accessories, and more.


Gratuities

Often confused with service charges. A gratuity, or tip, is voluntary and is given by the guest based upon the level of service given for food and beverage or other types of service. A service charge, on the other hand, is mandatory and will automatically be added to a bill for group meal functions and other services. See service charges.


Green Room

Room, stocked with refreshments, for artists, featured speakers and entourage to meet guests and media representatives.


Gross Square Feet/Meters (GSF/GSM)

The total amount of available function space in exhibit hall or other facility, or the total amount of space used for a specific show or event. See Net Square Feet/Meters.


Group Value

A calculation based on history of total revenue that a group has generated in the past and is expected to generate for future event for a venue, facility or service provider in connection with a meeting, conference, event or function.


Guarantees

A commitment made by a group to pay for a specific number of sleeping rooms or food and beverage meals, or attendance at a cultural event, etc. The time that such a commitment must be made varies but will be specified in the contract. Once made, the guaranteed number cannot be reduced, but it can be raised up to the day of arrival of the group.


Guest Room Block

An abbreviation that is often used by itself to describe a microphone that can be removed from a podium or stand by a presenter or performer and carried by hand when moving to different areas on the stage. The microphone can be wired or wireless.

H

Headquarter Hotel

The primary hotel designated as headquarters for a conference or event where the meeting planner and other staff will be located to coordinate registration and logistics. Other hotels may also be booked as overflow rooms if the headquarter hotel cannot accommodate the entire group or if more than one type of accommodations is required.


History | Actuals

A final accounting of a group’s performance while on-site for a meeting or event at a venue or facility, including revenues generated, total number of guests in attendance, overnight guest rooms and suites used per night, number of meals served, number of meeting or function rooms used, parking services utilized, revenues generated for every part of the program, and more. Also referred to as Actuals or Final Report. Actual history is an invaluable resource for documenting a group’s value from past meetings and events and projecting revenues and expenses for future meetings or events and for justifying terms being negotiated for contracts with venues, vendors and service providers. History can be communicated upon request from one venue or service provider to another prior to contract commitments.


Holding Room

A room backstage where speakers or entertainers wait to go on.


Hospitality Industry

A term used when referring to hotels and venues, caterers and other vendors that provide services for overnight guests and/or attendees of meetings, events and social functions.


Hospitality Suite | Event

A room or suite of rooms used to entertain guests, or an event separate from trade show or conference activities where refreshments are served and exhibitor personnel and visitors socialize.

I

In-House Contractor

Contractor retained by a facility to be on-site and provide services as needed. In some cases, meeting and event planners may not be required to use the services of the on-site contractor but could be charged a surcharge or facility for bringing I an outside contractor for the same service.


In-House Service

Service provided directly and entirely within the property.


Indemnification Clause

A contract clause in which one party agrees to pay damages or claims that the other party may be required to pay to another. For example, if a hotel is sued by an attendee that is injured at an event due to the fault of the group, an indemnification clause might require the group to pay back the hotel.


Insurance (Liability)

Insurance policy to protect the insured in the event that there is bodily injury or property damage to other people or to protect against negligence or a failure to live up to promises made under a contract.

J

Junior Suite

A hotel room that features a separate living-sitting area adjacent to the bedroom but not necessarily a room separate from it.

K

Keynote Speaker

Speaker whose presentation establishes the theme or tone of the event.


Kiosk

A free-standing pavilion or light structure, often inside a facility, where printed or electronic information is available; a small enclosure for ticket sales, information, etc.

L

Lanyard

A cord or string worn around the neck to hold attendee badges.


Laser Pointer

A compact instrument consisting of a visible light laser, used for pointing out features on a projected visual display.


Lavaliere

A miniature microphone that clips to a lapel or hung around the neck. It can be wireless or wired to a battery that will be strapped around the presenter’s waist. A technician will be needed to operate a sound mixer that adjusts volume and prevents feedback as the presenter moves about the stage.


LCD Projector

A self contained unit with a liquid crystal display (LCD) panel, light source and lens that works with both PC and Mac computers and duplicates the image being shown on the monitor without any need for special software or complex setting up.


Lead Time

Time between when arrangements are made and when an event occurs.


Lectern

A stand that is placed on a table or the floor in front of a presenter on which support materials can be placed. Also referred to as a podium, although a podium is usually raised above the floor on a riser or stage.


Leisure Traveler

One who is traveling for pleasure rather than business.


License Agreement

A right or permission granted by the owner of property, either tangible or intangible (such as music), for another to use such property legally under certain conditions.


Locavore

Someone committed to eating or serving food that is grown or produced within their local community or region which is felt to be fresher, better-tasting, more nutritious, and healthier diet than supermarket food that may have been transported from long distances and may contain chemicals and preservatives.


Logistics

The planning, organization and implementation of a complex task. Logistics will involve researching, recommending, negotiating, contracting, and coordinating with all venues and support services to meet the needs of the program and the attendees of a meeting, conference, event or social function.

M

Marketing

Creating an awareness of an upcoming event or function and convincing those invited that they want or need to attend. Methods of marketing can be as simple as word-of-mouth or a sophisticated media campaign and includes all means of communications about the event, but a marketing strategy must be in place if marketing results are to be maximized, measurable and cost effective.


Matrix | Spreadsheet

A worksheet or table that is set up as a framework for easy analysis or comparison of services, products, budgets, venues, food and beverage functions, or for easy tracking of speaker presentation schedules, locations, audiovisual needs, transportation scheduling, etc. The format may or may not include the capability of formulas for automatic calculations.


Media Coverage

Press conferences or interviews scheduled with key members of a group or organization and press releases meant to create media interest in an event or occurrence. Releases must be submitted in a standard format and distributed to the appropriate individual within the media who covers your type of news. Strategic timing of releases is important if the event is to receive favorable and timely publicity.
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Microphone – Lavaliere

A miniature microphone that clips to a lapel or hung around the neck. It can be wireless or wired to a battery that will be strapped around the presenter’s waist. A technician will be needed to operate a sound mixer that adjusts volume and prevents feedback as the presenter moves about the stage.


Microphone – PZM

Pressure Zone Microphone® A microphone that can be placed on a large surface such as a table, floor, wall, or lectern. It picks up sound from the entire room and is often recommended for conferences, group discussion, interviews, lectures and recordings.


Microphone – Wired

A microphone with a long wire to a sound system, usually taped in position on a table or podium leaving the presenter with less flexibility in movement; it can be set on a floor stand, however, with enough wire left free that an individual can remove it and move around in a limited area.


Microphone – Wireless

A portable microphone operating on its own power source, often used to pass through an audience for questions or comments.


Minutes

Formal written record of a meeting.


Mock-Up

A sample or draft of a printed piece such as an invitation; a full-scale model of a proposed structure.


Moderator

A person who presides over panel discussions and forums.


Move-In / Move-Out Dates

Dates set for installation and dismantling of an exhibition (trade show).


Multi-Point

A technical audiovisual and communications term used to indicate that a broadcast of video will be transmitted from one point to more than one other point (location). If a video conference is broadcast from one point to only one other, it is called point-to-point, but if it is broadcast to more than one point it is called a multi-point requiring a multiple-point bridge to connect all locations.


Multiple-Point Bridge

A technical audiovisual and communications term used to indicate that a broadcast of video will be transmitted from one point to more than one other point (multi-point) requiring a multi-point bridge to connect all points (locations). If a video conference is broadcast from one point to only one other, it is called point-to-point. If it is broadcast to more than one point, it is called a multi-point and a multiple-point bridge will be required.

N

Net Square Feet/Meters (NSF/NSM)

Actual amount of salable space used by exhibit booths/stands which excludes aisles, lounges, registration areas, etc. See also Gross Square Feet/Meters (GSF/GSM).


Non-Profit

An organization whose members may not benefit financially from its net proceeds.


Non-Transferable

A ticket or invitation that cannot be changed to another name once issued.

O

Off-Site

Refers to locations away from the primary location (site) of a meeting, function or event where another activity that is part of the program is being held.


On-Site

Refers to the venue or facility where the primary meeting, function or event is being held.


On-Site Orientation

Brief walk-throughs scheduled with volunteers, vendors and contractors once they arrive on-site, preferably the day prior to the event, to direct them to their work areas and review details and instructions about their areas of responsibility.


Overflow

Overnight guest room accommodations booked at a hotel or lodging venue located in close proximity to the headquarter hotel for a conference or event to accommodate attendees when the group block at the headquarter hotel is full.


Overlay

Clear acetate film used to separate different components of artwork or a tissue sheet placed over artwork on which corrections or alterations can be indicated. Also refers to a second, smaller tablecloth used for decorative purposes at banquets.

P


Panel Discussion

Instructional technique using a group of people chosen to discuss a topic in the presence of an audience.


Partners

Any person or organization who provides significant support in some manner for a meeting conference or event, usually by technical or promotional expertise, relevant products or services, professional staff, or financial support. Partners include exhibitors, sponsors, vendors, service providers, suppliers, attendees, volunteers, volunteer speakers, venue and facility staff, and the like who have a vested interest in the success of the event.


Pipe and Drape

Light-weight aluminum tubing and drapery used to separate exhibit booths, staging areas, and other similar locations.


Podium

A stand that is placed on the floor or a riser or stage in front of a presenter on which support materials can be placed. It may be free-standing or a tabletop that is placed on a table. A microphone is usually attached to it.


Post-Con Meeting

A meeting at the primary facility where a conference or event occurred just after it has ended for evaluation purposes. Attendees generally include the event organizer and other representatives of the host organization, department heads from the facility and other staff as appropriate, and contractors.


Pre-Con Meeting

A meeting at the primary facility where a conference or event will take place just prior to the event beginning to review details and make last minute adjustments as necessary. Attendees generally include the event organizer and other representatives of the host organization, department heads from the facility and other staff as appropriate, and contractors.


Press Room

A room where members of the media may obtain press kits prepared by the event organizer or exhibitors, conduct interviews, or relax.


Program Development

Usually considered the educational or entertainment component of the planning process and is usually not considered the meeting or event planner’s area of responsibility; the planner is expected to make all the arrangements needed to support the program once it has been developed.


Promotion | Publicity

A media campaign, normally consisting of a series of public notices and advertising activities, aimed at ensuring maximum attendance by focusing attention on an event.


Prospect

A potential attendee, guest, buyer or exhibitor.


Protocol

Customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence, and etiquette; a formal description of message formats and the rules two computers must follow to exchange messages.


Provider

Person or company that offers services or products in support of meetings, functions and events. Also referred to as a purveyor, supplier, vendor, or contractor.


Public Relations

Establishment of mutually beneficial working relationships with individuals in the industry and business local media for the purpose of creating a positive image and awareness of your company’s brand, products and services or of your group’s purpose and mission.


Purveyor

A person or company from whom you order supplies that will be used during a conference or event, although sometimes also referred to as a vendor, service provider , contractor or supplier.

Q

QR Codes

QR (Quick Response) code “is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers, camera telephones, and to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. … Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the telephone’s browser.” [Wikipedia]


Qualify

To determine if a venue, facility, vendor or service provider is capable of handling the requirements of a specific group for overnight guest rooms; meeting, function or exhibit space; food and beverage functions; and other support services. A method also used by properties and service providers to determine in advance of negotiations whether a group has a solid financial and performance record from past conferences or events.

R

Ready Room

An area reserved for speakers to meet, practice their presentations, test audio visuals, or relax before going on-stage. The room must have electrical outlets, comfortable seating and tables for writing, refreshments, and a small supply of standard office supplies.


Registration

Process by which an individual indicates intent to attend a conference or stay at a property; method of booking and payment; process of recording data about an attendee or exhibitor, sending a confirmation and creating a badge used on-site during an event


Registration Back-Up

A loose leaf binder that is tabbed alphabetically by last name of individual or company name to file hard copies of registration requests. This backup is helpful in resolving disputes that might occur as people are registering or answering questions that might be raised.


Release Date

Date beyond which a facility is free to rent the unused sleeping rooms or function space to other groups. Also referred to as cut-off date.


Request for Proposal (RFP)

A document that stipulates in detail the services a group or organization requires from an outside contractor and requests a bid to perform such services.


Return on Event (ROE)

The measurement of financial results of an event, Return on Investment (ROI), but also attendee takeaway in benefits such as changes in behaviors, abilities/skills, feelings/attitudes, commitment, opinions/perceptions/beliefs, knowledge/understanding.


Return on Investment (ROI)

A financial ratio indicating the degree of profitability of a business venture (net profit divided by net worth). Can also be applied to experiences other than business by re-defining profit as benefits and net worth as perceived value, such as Return on Event (ROE).


Revenue Management System

A sophisticated computer-based pricing system that venues, facilities and vendors use to adjust prices based on anticipated demand. Also referred to as Yield Management.


Revenue per Available Room

Revenue per available room (RevPAR for short) is a ratio used to measure financial performance of hotels. It is a function of both room rates and occupancy and is one of the strongest indicators of how well a hotel is doing financially.


RevPAR

RevPAR (Revenue per available room) is a ratio used to measure financial performance of hotels. It is a function of both room rates and occupancy and is one of the strongest indicators of how well a hotel is doing financially.


Riser | Staging

A platform that is set on the floor to elevate a presenter or panel of presenters or entertainers for better visibility from the audience.


Room Block

Total number of sleeping rooms that are booked, utilized and attributable to one event.


Room Capacity

Number of people that can function safely and comfortably in a room.


Room Dimensions

Exact measurements of a meeting or function room used when determining the most effective way to set up furniture and equipment to accommodate the specific needs of a planned function.


Room Drop

Materials supplied by exhibitors, sponsors, etc. that will be delivered for a fee to individual guest rooms by hotel or lodging facility personnel. A formal agreement with specific criteria about packaging and size of deliveries within the stated price range is recommended.

S

Save-the-Date

An early notice of an upcoming meeting, function or event sent distributed to create awareness of an upcoming event but with limited information. Follow-up promotional pieces will be expected by the recipient giving more details.


Script

The written text and timeline for speakers or entertainers to follow throughout a program.


Seating Styles

Different patterns for set-up of chairs and tables to accommodate the needs of a meeting, banquet or special event. Variations include theater, classroom, chevron, herringbone, U-shaper, hollow square, rounds, etc. See Planning Topic Set-Up Details.


Second Tier Destination

A city where the space limitations of the convention center, the hotels or air lift, make the city more appropriate for smaller meetings and events. Cost is likely to be less than in major cities that are known as First Tier. Second tier cities have become extremely competitive with first tier cities in improvements of what they are able to offer for a better price.


Service Charges

1) A mandatory and automatic amount added to a total bill for food and beverage, audio visual , transportation and other services, typically used to defray the cost of labor (wages rather than gratuity) and service equipment. Usually calculated as a percentage that can be significant. Often confused with gratuities, which is voluntary. There is no guarantee that any portion of a service charge will be paid to employees as a gratuity. See also Gratuity and Tipping.
2) A fee charged to a client by a travel agent in addition to the commissions paid to him or her by his or her principals.


Service Provider | Supplier | Vendor

A person or company that supplies services or products in support of meetings, functions and events. Substitute terms also used are supplier, vendor, purveyor, and partner.


Short List

Refers to a smaller number of bidders still being considered after others who responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP) were eliminated.


Signage

Refers to the design and display of signs collectively including directional, identification, instructional and recognition signs or banners.


Site Selection

Primarily used to define the process of choosing a location for a meeting or function, meaning the destination city or geographic area, but also used when referring to choosing a hotel or other venue, facility, or outdoor area.


Sliding Scale

A method for charging increasing or decreasing fees based on a given time period or number of participants, etc.


Speaker Agenda

An outline of the program that gives details of what is to occur prior to and following a speaker’s presentation. Some speakers agree to stay after the program to mingle and network with guests.


Speaker Guidelines

Instructions regarding specific expectations for a speaker at an event. Usually outlined are the required format for presentations, AV request procedures, travel and accommodations instructions. Also instructions regarding the required format to be used for the written preparation of a speech.


Speaker Ready Room

An area reserved for speakers to meet, practice their presentations, test audio visuals, or relax before going on-stage. The room must have electrical outlets, comfortable seating and tables for writing, refreshments, and a small supply of standard office supplies.


Specifications Guide

A comprehensive document that outlines the complete requirements and instructions for all functions that will occur during an event. It is typically authored by the event planner and is shared with all appropriate venues and vendors to communicate the expectations of services for any project related to the event.


When paid sponsorships have been secured for a meeting, function or event, complimentary seating or access will most likely be provided as a benefit of sponsorship for a number of attendees from the sponsor organization. These comp seats are to be considered as an allocated expense against the budget.


Sponsorship

Donated financial or material support, usually in exchange for recognition.


Spreadsheet | Matrix

A worksheet or table that is set up as a framework for easy analysis or comparison of services, products, budgets, venues, food and beverage functions, or for easy tracking of speaker presentation schedules, locations, audiovisual needs, transportation scheduling, etc. The format may or may not include the capability of formulas for automatic calculations.


Staging | Riser

A platform that is set on the floor to elevate the presenter, panel of presenters, or entertainers; implementation of an event.


Stakeholder

All individuals who are invested in a project or event such as the sponsors, attendees, vendors, media and others.


Strike | Tear Down

Removal of equipment, supplies or products from a conference, trade show or special event. Many labor agreements use the term “strike” instead of “tear down,’ but the terms are interchangeable.

T

Tear Down | Strike

Usually applies to dismantling exhibits but can also apply to removing and packing supplies and signage from an offsite office or other area or for taking down audiovisual and other equipment. Many labor agreements use the term “strike” instead of “tear down.”


Time Line

Includes each task to be accomplished and is the core of the program plan. Set-up in chronological order by start date of tasks that must be completed on a certain date to be integrated into other tasks so that all will be ready before a function is to take place. A comprehensive time line will specify various categories by which the timeline can be sorted such as start date and due date, person assigned to the task, main topics and subtopics.
Time matters most to meeting & conference attendees.
Attendees expect to have time for learning, time for networking, time for relaxing, but NO time for program delays at meetings and conferences.


To-Scale

A ratio representing the size of an illustration or reproduction, especially a map or a model, in relation to the object it represents; exact measurements of a room or space and the equipment and furniture that are to be placed in it; also applicable to artwork for banners, signage and any other items that require exact measurements to fit within a boundary and around obstructions.


Tours

Any prearranged journey to one or more destinations and back to the point of origin; a recreational trip or activity provided to event attendees and/or accompanying persons as a scheduled portion o f the event program.

U

Utilities

Specific energy needs relating to use of electrical power, water, or gas. Traditionally associated with exhibitor needs.

V

Value Proposition

A statement that defines the way a business proposes to use its resources to deliver superior value to its customers.


Variable Cost

Expenses that vary based upon factors that can change such as number of attendees.


Vendor

Person or company that offers services or products in support of meetings, functions and events. Also referred to as a purveyor, provider, supplier, or contractor.


Venue

Property, site or destination for a meeting, event or show to be held; location of performance such as hall, ballroom, auditorium.


Videoconference

A meeting between two or more people or groups across a distance, including video, audio, and potentially other data, utilizing telecommunications or communications satellites for transmission of the signal.


Virtual Assistant

An entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office.


Virtual Conferencing

Any meeting where people at two or more distant locations are linked using video, audio and data for two-way communication via satellite communications or the Internet. Each party sees and hears the other through a TV screen or computer monitor and audio speakers.


Voice Over

Announcement or other narrative copy which is “voiced” over the top of video or musical programming.


Volunteer

Anyone who provides time and service at no charge for the benefit of an organization or a group; volunteer committees are a critical component in the planning and production of meetings, functions and events.

W

Walk-In

Guest requesting accommodations without a prior reservation for a sleeping room or registration for a meeting or event.


Webcast

An event that broadcasts the audio and/or video portion of a presentation or other educational sessions over the Web in real-time or on-demand.


Webconferencing

Web browser-based videoconferencing.
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Whiteboarding

A feature of videoconferencing systems which allows the placement of shared documents on an on-screen shared space or “whiteboard.” Participants can edit and mark up the documents just as on a physical whiteboard.


Y

Yield Management

A sophisticated, computerized method of pricing to maximize revenue for intangible products such as hotel rooms or airline seats using the basic supply-and-demand theory plus variables that are unique to the industry. Also referred to as Revenue Management.


Z

Zero-Based Budgeting

The process of building a budget without the benefit of a previous year’s budget.