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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