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Event Acronyms & Terminology Explained

Our world has become a place where time is money and most of us use acronyms in our everyday lives - from LOL (laugh out loud) to DIY (do it yourself) to ASAP (as soon as possible). Acronyms make it easier, and faster, to say what you want to say. Whether you’re emailing, texting, or communicating through social media, using an acronym helps to simplify things.

Has event planning lingo ever left you scratching your head or wondering “What does that mean?" If so, you’re not alone.

The events industry is filled with acronyms, abbreviations and terminology and if you’re not already familiar with the lingo, you may find yourself feeling lost and confused.

While it’s true that shorthand can save time, when not understood, it also creates confusion and miscommunication.

So we compiled this list of 35 acronyms and event industry terms to help you navigate through the conversations and ensure that you are ITK [in the know] when planning your next event!

Download The PDF Guide of All Acronyms & Terminology

Air Walls

Air walls, also known as convention center partitions, are portable panels used to divide an open space into smaller sections. Air walls are useful for creating temporary meeting rooms within a convention hall.

ADAAG - “Americans with Disabilities Act” Accessibility Guidelines

Requirements and regulations, as stated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), that ensure ease of access for people with disabilities. All public events are legally obligated to meet ADA requirements.

Attrition Penalty

A charge from a hotel if an event or conference uses fewer hotel rooms than were reserved in the signed contract.

A/V - Audio / Visual

Most commonly referred to as the sign and sound at an event. An encompassing term for technology used to display video, images and/or broadcast audio at an event. Audio/Visual covers everything from stage lighting to extension cords, projectors, DJs, and their turntables. Audio visual is a huge part of any event.

BEO - Banquet Event Order

It’s one of the most common event planning acronyms. Also called an EO (event order), a BEO is a document created by the venue that outlines EVERYTHING! The BEO states the event timeline, set-up directions, F&B, A/V, costs, etc. A guiding document that serves as a guideline to help event teams execute and communicate key logistics. The venue will create this document in the format they need to distribute to all of their own departments. This information you provide becomes your final contract. If it isn’t on the order it won’t happen, and if it is, you’re responsible for the charges!

Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms typically refer to the smaller spaces or classrooms, where concurrent sessions take place, allowing your attendees the opportunity to select the sessions that are most aligned with their interests.

CAD - Computer-Aided Design

A process that uses software to design the layout of an event. CAD eliminates the guesswork of figuring out the perfect configuration for your event. Event professionals use CAD software like Allseated or Social Tables to decide where to place tables, chairs, staging, dance floors, bars, furniture, audio/visual equipment, food and beverage, and decorations.

Concurrent Sessions

During larger events, meeting planners often host shorter educational meetings known as ‘concurrent sessions’ which are scheduled to take place at the same time, each focusing on a different subject or theme. Attendees can choose which session, or track, interests them the most.

CRS - Central Reservation System

A reservation system used by hotels, restaurants and large event venues to store reservation information. A CRS can also make reservations, share information on availability, track rates, and handle upgrades.

CSM - Convention Services Manager

The CSM is the person responsible for connecting the event planner to the teams at the hotel/venue. They write the BEOs (see above), ensure that you are connected and coordinated with all of the correct service providers at the venue, and act as a primary contact between all teams. An important person to have in your emergency contact list when event day rolls around!

CVB - Convention and Visitors Bureau

A destination marketing organization that promotes travel to a particular area. CVBs work to create awareness, promote tourism, generate revenue and encourage overnight lodging for a destination. A CVB might also be called a travel bureau, visitors' bureau, welcome center, tourism bureau, or information center.

DMC - Destination Management Company

DMC’s are companies who are specialists within their particular city. They are a third-party firm that helps event planners coordinate out-of-town event programs. DMCs provide insight into destination spots and provide professional services to make travel experiences work for event professionals and attendees alike. These destination professionals are great at arranging hospitality events in special location-specific venues. They will coordinate with you to provide detailed information on accommodations and transportation, ensuring that you have all the information necessary to plan a spectacular event when you can’t physically be present.

EAP - Emergency Action Plan

A formally written document that identifies potential emergency conditions at events and creates procedures to minimize or prevent loss. Emergency action plans increase guest safety, reduce the likelihood of injury, and prevents property damage in case of an unplanned situation like a fire, natural gas leak, life-threatening situation, violent incident, medical emergency, or other scenarios.

EMS - Event Management Software

A wide range of software products specifically designed for event planners. They are used to coordinate events, manage conferences, plan events, host exhibitions – you name it. An EMS enables event organizers to manage event-related activity. An EMS can be used to streamline an event’s lifecycle, promote events, improve the attendee experience, and measure event performance analytics.

F&B - Food & Beverage

This term includes all of the catering, servers, appetizers, drinks, bartenders, liquor, coffee, muffins, dinner, dessert, and other refreshments that will be decided upon in your event planning meetings. Perhaps one of the most common terms that encompasses preparing, presenting, and serving food and beverages to event attendees. Anything being consumed by guests will be listed in the Banquet Event Order (see “BEO”).

Force Majeure Clause

A common clause in a contract that explains what would happen if a natural disaster or ‘Act of God’ were to prevent an event venue from following through with a contract. Flooding, fire, rioting or war are examples of force majeure events that might prevent a venue from upholding its side of the contract. The force majeure clause protects both the event company and venue, since these situations would let both parties off the hook.

Group Resume

Information for an event venue’s internal team that describes who will attend an event. A group resume may include the type of group, why the event is being held, notable demographics, arrival and departure details, special accommodations, and more.

I&D - Installation and Dismantle

The process of setting up and tearing down components of an exhibit at a trade show, conference or event. Also known as set-up, load-in, loadout, or striking, I&D refers to setting up and breaking down


Whether it’s a presentation or speaker, a keynote refers to the opening address or important plenary session at a meeting that sets the tone or theme of the event. The headline speaker is often a public or well-known industry figure whose presentation motivates the audience and a strong motivator to inspire event guests to attend the event. Their appearance can also be used as an event marketing tactic to encourage more event registrations.


Online event footage that is sent over the Internet in real time, without first being recorded and stored. Live streaming an event is a great way to let attendees watch and participate in activities in real-time.

Load In

A window of time when exhibitors can set up their booth, install equipment, test audio/visual equipment, make last-minute floor orders, and more.


A window of time when exhibitors can break down their booths, prepare equipment for shipping and exit the venue. Loadout can also be referred to as “breakdown” or “strike.”

Master Account

An account set up to which all charges for a specified group should be applied (often by the host or event planner).

MICE - Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions

An acronym used in the meetings, hotel and travel industry to refer to meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions. The terms "meetings industry" and "events industry" have gained popularity over the MICE acronym.

Pipe and Drape

Adjustable pipes (aluminum or steel) that are connected, draped with fabric, and supported by a weighted steel base. Pipe and drape is used for event backdrops, decoration, or vendor booths at conventions.

Post-Con - Post-convention [Meeting]

A meeting between an event planning team, venue, and contractors to discuss the successes and challenges of an event after it concludes. This can be held in person the day after the event or via phone, typically within a week.

Pre-Con - Pre-convention [Meeting]

The meeting between an event planning team and Convention Services Manager (CSM) to discuss the Banquet Event Order (BEO), food and beverage, audio/visual, and group resume prior to guests arriving.


An open common area adjacent to main event location that is often used for registration, sponsor displays, coffee and snack breaks during an event and even receptions prior to a meal.

RFP - Request for Proposal

A document that outlines and identifies the needs of an event, typically sent to event venues and contractors that may be interested in bidding on providing services and/or the space. As you attend event planning meetings, you will start to finalize decisions about the vendors that you would like to hire for the event. In order to make sure you hire vendors that offer the services you need at a price you need, you may ‘request a proposal’ from them for comparison and competition. An RFP is a document that breaks down the pricing of their services, what is included, and any additional fees, limitations, or requirements that go hand-in-hand with hiring them.

RFQ - Request for Quote

A document that details pricing options for a service or product. In event management, an RFQ is used during the procurement process and allows planners to properly evaluate all solutions based on price, terms, and product details.

Room Block

A reservation for 10+ hotel rooms. Room blocks not only save time and money, but also help ensure attendees have a place to stay during a conference, expo, or event. On average, group rates are 15% to 40% lower than standard hotel rates.

Room Night

The number of nights a single hotel room is occupied by a guest. For instance, a guest checking in on Monday night and checking out on Friday morning uses the same single room but consumes four room nights. This term is helpful when working with host hotels and booking room blocks.

Seasons (Low, Shoulder, High)

The different times of year on which a hotel bases their room rates. Seasons are largely based on the hotel's historical occupancy, with low seasons meaning low room rates, shoulder season meaning average room rates, and high season meaning high room rates.

Site Visit

A trip to an event venue to see the space that is typically done prior to signing a contract. A site visit can be done as early as a year or as late as a month before the event date depending on the meeting planner’s needs.

VOG - Voice of God

A term used by production professionals, the VOG is the individual making announcements that are live from the production booth (or pre-recorded) and announced over the audio system during the course of the event.

Now that you understand the lingo of the event planning world and are ITK [in the know], you can feel more empowered, better able to participate in important discussions and begin using these acronyms IRL [in real life] go on with confidence knowing that you won’t miss a thing!

If you have any questions or would like a professional event manager at your side, be sure to AMA [Ask Me Anything] and schedule a free consultation.

Download The PDF Guide of

All Acronyms & Terminology

for future reference as you are .planning your event

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