45 Event Industry Terms That Every Planner Should Know

The event industry is growing fast. That’s great for planners! But can make it hard to keep up with all the new industry terms and trends that are constantly popping up all over the internet and social media.

With new trends come lots of new industry terms and lingo to go with them! Add to that the tried and true terminology that every experienced planner knows, and someone new to the field can be left scrambling to keep themselves informed.

With so much competition in this field and so much new technology and standards of practice coming into play, it’s vitally important to sound professional and relevant. Especially when you’re pitching to new clients and meeting with colleagues.

With all this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of all the planning industry terms you should know to sound as professional and knowledgeable as you can. We know how challenging planning can be, and having these terms at your fingertips will help you feel confident at your next meeting or networking event.

Event industry terms that every planner should know: 

Airwalls

These are portable panels that are used to divide up large meeting rooms or halls into smaller areas.

Aspect Ratio

A screen’s width in proportion to its height. This might seem like A/V stuff, but it’s important for a planner to know what a screen’s aspect ratio is. If the aspect ratio doesn’t match the speaker’s media, the picture won’t show properly. 

Attrition Rate

This is important to planners as often an “attrition clause” is included in rental contracts for space or hotel rooms. The attrition rate is calculated by dividing the number of no-shows with the number of registrants of the event.

Back of house

The operations of an event that occur behind-the-scenes.

B2B

Business to Business.

B2C

Business to Consumer/Customer

Blackout Dates

During high-traffic times such as holidays or during large events, venues and hotels can employ blackout dates. This means certain rates, space or tickets are unavailable for a set period of time.

Breakdown / Load Out / Strike

Breaking down and packing up equipment and all other aspects of the event.

Cancellation Clause

In a contract, the cancellation clause outlines the terms and conditions that allow a company to terminate their agreement. 

Change Order

A document a planner provides to a venue or vendor that outlines any changes to an existing agreement or order.

Colloquium

An informal meeting or seminar.

Comp Rooms

Extra spaces or rooms provided free of charge by a venue if a planner books a larger group of rooms.

Conference Pack

A package of materials containing information about the conference, such as schedules, venue details, and maps. Many conferences now offer event apps as well as or instead of conference packs. Also often include gifts and freebies, because of this are often referred to as “swag bags”.

Consumer Show

Usually part of a B2C event; products, packages, and other deals are offered to consumers exclusively at a consumer show.

Critical Time Plan/Critical Path

It’s the play-by-play of the day. This document details the tasks of the event when they must be completed and by whom. 

Day Delegate Rate (DDR)

A venue’s rate, calculated by the number of attendees per day at full capacity. This cost can include equipment use, meals, and refreshments, among other things.

Early Bird Registration

Tickets purchased early for an event are often offered at a reduced cost.

Emcee/MC

Master of Ceremonies. This is the individual, often someone high-profile or a professional speaker, who presides over the whole event. Essentially the “face” of the event.

EMS (Event Management Software)

A range of software products that a planner uses to manage their events and conferences. These can be sold in packages or curated personally by each planner.

Force majeure clause

One of the biggest concerns of event planners and one of the industry terms that you shouldn’t forget! This clause is written into most contracts and states that a vendor is not responsible if the unforeseen happens.

Occasionally a speaker will have to cancel last minute for personal, travel or health reasons. If this happens to you eSpeakers marketplace has you covered. Our experienced team and deep pool of top-level speakers will have you back on track in no time. Contact us to get started!

Green Room

A private room for event VIPs and other guests and speakers to use for relaxing or entertaining their own guests.

Honorarium   

Payment given to a speaker or participant who is working on an official volunteer basis.

Hybrid event

An event that combines a live audience with a virtual audience.

I & D 

Installation and dismantle. In reference to a person or persons who will be performing this function.

Incentive Travel

A new way for employers to motivate staff, and an indicator of evolving event industry trends. Employers offer their team travel packages as performance incentives.

Keynote

The keynote address generally occurs at the very start, to set the stage and get the audience pumped up and excited about the event. A keynote speaker is often a well-known person in a certain field relevant to the event. They double as advertising and a draw to the event.

Lavalier

A microphone typically used by speakers on stage who are moving about freely. They are wireless and attach to the clothing of the wearer.

Load-In

The period before the event dedicated to hauling in and installation/set up of the equipment and items involved with the event.

Master Account

This is an account, often set up by the planner or host, to which all costs for a specified group will be charged.

M.O.D 

Manager on duty.

No-show

A no-show is anyone, including attendees, speakers, and delegates, who do not arrive at the event without informing the organizers beforehand.

Plenary

A meeting at a conference attended by all the attendees.

Plus Plus (++)

Seen as ++ on the planner’s orders. Symbolizes the levels of gratuities and taxes that are being charged by a vendor.

Post Event Report

A detailed document that lists all the particulars of an event after it is over. It includes the total number of attendees, profits made, incidents, no-shows, etc.

Post Event Feedback

An opportunity for attendees and other participants to offer suggestions, notes, and advice around the event, both positive and negative.

Pre-con

Pre-convention meeting.

Pro Forma Invoice

An invoice that a service provider issues prior to delivery.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

In the early planning stages, a meeting organizer will send out RFPs to potential service and product providers, including all the particulars of the event. This allows vendors to submit proposals to fit those needs.

Rider

Speakers will often have stipulations about specific backstage requests in regards to refreshments and other particulars. 

Shell Scheme

A system in which exhibitors showcase their products or services.

SMERF 

Acronym for: Social, Military, Educational, Religious, and Fraternal.

Space only

If an exhibitor opts to rent only a blank space on the exhibition floor.

Traffic Flow

The flow of participants through the convention space as they move between different rooms and areas of the event. 

Workshop, seminar, breakout, concurrent sessions

Sessions that occur concurrently with the main events and sessions.

Venue

Where your event is held. It can be anything from a hotel to a community center to a large conference center. 

We hope these industry terms will help you to be the most well-informed, professional events planner you can be, and to kill it in your next pitch meeting!

Good luck!

At espeakers we handle the most important part of any event planning—the people on stage. We learn about your event, its audience and your ideal outcomes, and make it our goal to make your experience with us an easy, seamless one. Contact us to get started.

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7 Tips to Save Money When You’re Planning an Event

Event planning has always been a tough industry. And now with our ever more competitive economy and smaller and smaller budgets, planning an event is more challenging than ever. 

Gone are the days of sky’s the limit budgets. Now, clients are expecting their planners to pull off the same events they always have but at greatly reduced budgets. 

Everyone is trying to save money. And if you want to succeed in today’s planning industry, this means you, too.

Here are seven helpful ways that you can trim costs off of your next event.

7 Tips to Save Money When You’re Planning an Event

1. Know your budget.

This one seems simple but when you’re planning an event it is vitally important to know your budget. 

A million little costs you didn’t anticipate can pile up mighty fast and blow your budget before you know it, especially if you never had a handle on your budget in the first place.

So the first thing you need to do if you want to save money is to know your budget inside and out. No gray areas and no wiggle room. Before you start, solidify and confirm the final budget with your client. 

2. Use a sponsor.

Or better yet, sponsors. 

Our unforgiving economy means everyone is looking for ways to save money. So get out there and find them. There are many companies that would love to gain some exposure through sponsorship of your event. Sponsors can provide everything from banners to swag to free transportation. Take a look around.

New companies looking for exposure are perfect candidates for sponsorship. Approach some that are in fields related to your event and strike up a deal. This can potentially save a lot of money for your event.

3. Be selective with venues.

Think suburban! Don’t just go for the standard (and potentially expensive) conference halls and hotels in the center of town. When booking venues, you can save money just by thinking outside of the box and outside of the city limits, too. 

Next time you’re planning an event, instead of booking smack dab in the city center, think about booking slightly outside of town, in a suburb ideally reached by local transit. Or, book more creative (cheaper) venues such as local theaters, galleries, and smaller hotels. Even trendy “pop-up” restaurants and venues can be created for an event.

4. Think big? No, think small! 

There are so many amazing start-up companies out there that are chomping at the bit to get out there, get some experience, and get some exposure. So when you’re planning an event, from the transportation to the catering to the recycling, instead of defaulting to the big names, take a closer look at what the local entrepreneurs are offering. 

If you approach these vendors with an open mind and a willingness to negotiate, you can secure some great services for your event at great prices, and support small businesses as well. Not to mention the new relationships and alliances you will be forming. 

Planning an event? Browse eSpeakers’ comprehensive speaker directory, and reach out to us to get started getting the perfect speaker on your keynote stage!

5. Nothing is free…but social media is.

Save huge on your marketing budget by using free social media to its full effect. There are some amazing things being done with marketing on social media platforms these days, get online and look at some other events to see what they have done and to get inspiration. 

You can also use social media platforms in-event to get your attendees interacting with each other. Twitter is a great free platform to get people talking. Create a hashtag for your event and get posting.

If you can, dedicate a staff member or volunteer to be in charge of your social media campaigns. It will be worth it when you see the buzz and attention a little social media activity can create.

6. Trim food costs.

There are all kinds of ways to save money on your food budget. 

Going with a buffet instead of a sit-down table service is a great way to reduce costs, as is offering a simple drinks menu instead of a full bar, which can get very expensive.

Save money by eliminating afternoon sandwiches or cheese platters and keep it simpler and healthier with fruit and vegetable trays. 

Another option is finding a local caterer or restaurant that will offer a reduced rate in exchange for a high profile at your event.

7. Hire a speaker’s bureau.

Last but not least, hiring a speaker’s bureau is a great way to save money when you’re planning an event. 

A speaker’s bureau can eliminate all of the time-consuming legwork involved in securing a great speaker, and they have the experience and connections to negotiate the best deal possible for you. 

Consider eSpeakers when you’re planning your next event. 

Contact us to get started finding the perfect speakers who will make your events unforgettable!

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Your Ultimate Event Planning Checklist!

So you’ve done the hustle, you’ve sold your skills and pitched like crazy. And you did it—you landed that next big contract!

Well done…now what?

This one’s bigger than any event you’ve organized before and you’re feeling ever-so-slightly in over your head—you’re more nervous than excited! And you’re not sure where to start.

What you need is an event planning checklist that will ease your fears. 

With all the moving parts involved in planning an event, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t panic—you’re at the very start. The perfect place to be to plan an unforgettable event from the ground up.

But first, you need to get organized.

With this event planning checklist, you can keep track of all those little details and make sure you don’t forget anything.

eSpeakers Ultimate Event Planning Checklist

14 to 18 months prior to the event:

  • Write your event planning checklist!
  • Select and hire your planning committee
  • Delegate tasks and responsibilities
  • Create a preliminary budget
  • Establish objectives, goals, and theme of the event
  • Create a website 
  • Put together a mailing list
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Send an email blast: save the date
  • Venue search/site visits
  • Begin soliciting sponsorship
  • Outline event agenda
  • If you are using one, hire a decorator 
  • Establish satellite events 
  • Establish logistical parameters:
    • Space requirements
    • Number of attendees
  • Send out RFPs for ancillary services (transportation, equipment rentals)

Looking for the perfect speakers for your next event? Search our speaker marketplace here!

10 – 16 months before the event:

  • Contract ancillary services
  • Establish rates and pricing/early bird pricing
  • Begin promotion!
  • Launch social media campaign and platforms
  • Build registration platform on the website
  • Finalize contracts with venues and pay deposits
  • Seek out and secure speakers and facilitators
  • Arrange transportation and accommodation for speakers and guests
  • Be sure your website(s) can handle increasing traffic

6 – 10 months before the event:

  • Open registration 
  • Finalize sessions
  • Layout program
  • Plan event logistics with vendors (travel, menus, etc.)
  • Print and send out brochures

3 – 6 months before the event:

  • Confirm menus and ancillary venues
  • Review audio-visual requirements
  • Begin your “Event Day Master List”
  • Determine the final print date
  • Keep the website updated with new information
  • Finalize speakers and agenda

1 – 3 months before the event:

  • Hire and train event staff
  • Order attendee materials and swag (nametags, t-shirts, notebooks etc.)

As a professional in the event planning industry, you’re in the perfect position to help your colleagues find the right speakers to make their meetings great! Connect with our SpeakerShare program to learn how you can make a commission from referring speakers!

6 weeks – 2 months before the event:

  • Finalize decorative details
  • Prepare post-event survey
  • Email and snail mail reminders to speakers

2 – 6 weeks before the event:

  • Print signage, programs, and other literature
  • Finalize attendance numbers
  • Troubleshoot digital/online apps and technologies

1 week before the event:

  • Review Master Plan
  • A/V run-throughs
  • Troubleshoot equipment
  • Event walk-throughs with key personnel
  • Email updates to speakers and other participants
  • Familiarize personnel with logistical details of venues
  • Collect all presentations on USB sticks
  • Prepare check-in materials
  • Close registration, provide final numbers to venues and hotels
  • Prepare gifts for speakers and participants
  • Train event support staff

Day of the event:

  • Meet and greet
  • Oversee smooth functioning, monitor safety and cleanliness put out fires

Week after the event:

  • Email post-event questionnaires
  • Send thank-you letters to VIPs and speakers
  • Post-event breakdown meeting with key personnel
  • Begin planning the next event!

An event planning checklist is essential to keeping organized whether you’re a veteran planner or are brand new to the industry. Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Now, get planning!

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