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Event Planning Acronyms & Event Industry Terminology Decoded:

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Your Ultimate Guide to Navigating Event Management: 35 Essential Acronyms and Terms

Welcome to the world of Event Planning Acronyms! Time is of the essence in our fast-paced world, and understanding the specific lingo of event planning is crucial. From ADAAG (Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines) to BEO (Banquet Event Order), this guide demystifies the essential acronyms and terms you'll encounter in the event industry. Whether you're a seasoned professional or new to event management, this comprehensive guide ensures you're always 'in the know' (ITK) for your next big event. Dive into our detailed explanations, practical examples, and expert insights to master event planning terminology today

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 our comprehensive PDF guide to 35 essential event planning acronyms and terms. Enhance your knowledge and be 'in the know' for seamless event planning

Air Walls

Air walls, essential in event space management, offer a flexible solution for creating temporary meeting areas in larger venues like convention centers. These portable partitions enhance event customization, allowing for dynamic space utilization.

ADAAG - “Americans with Disabilities Act” Accessibility Guidelines

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADAAG guidelines are crucial for event planners to ensure accessibility for all attendees. Understanding ADAAG is key to hosting inclusive and compliant public events.

Attrition Penalty

his term refers to charges incurred when actual hotel room usage falls short of reservations, impacting budget planning.Familiarize yourself with 'Attrition Penalties,' a common financial aspect in event planning contracts.

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 (A/V) elements are the backbone of event experiences, encompassing everything from lighting to sound systems. Grasping A/V basics is vital for enhancing attendee engagement.

BEO - Banquet Event Order

It’s one of the most common event planning acronyms. Also called an EO (event order), The Banquet Event Order (BEO), a foundational document in event planning, outlines all critical aspects of your event. 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 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. Breakout rooms are integral for hosting smaller, topic-specific sessions during larger events. They offer attendees a choice in tailoring their event experience to best align with their interests.

CAD - Computer-Aided Design

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) transforms event planning by enabling precise layout planning, essential for event designers and planners. 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

Explore the concept of 'Concurrent Sessions' in larger events, a strategy to offer diverse learning opportunities and choices to attendees. 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

Central Reservation Systems (CRS) are vital tools for managing bookings in the event industry, enhancing efficiency in reservation management. 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

Convention Services Managers (CSM) play a pivotal role in coordinating between event planners and venue services, emphasizing the importance of this role in successful event planning. 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

Discover how Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVB) contribute to destination marketing and tourism, an essential element in destination event planning. 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

Destination Management Companies (DMCs) are pivotal for out-of-town event success. Specializing in local knowledge, they assist in coordinating events, offering valuable insights on venues and logistics. 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

Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) are critical for event safety. EAPs help mitigate risks, ensuring a secure environment for all attendees in various emergency scenarios. 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

Event Management Software (EMS) revolutionizes event coordination. They are 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, and enhance the efficiency of event planning, from promotion to performance analytics.

F&B - Food & Beverage

Food and beverage (F&B) planning is essential in event management. 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 against unforeseeable events that impact event execution and protects both the event company and venue.

Group Resume

Group Resumes are instrumental in personalizing event experiences. 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

Installation and Dismantle (I&D) processes are key in event logistics for efficient setup and breakdown of event elements. 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.Explore the significance of a keynote presentation in defining the theme and engaging the audience at your event. The headline speaker is often a public or well-known industry figure whose presentation motivates the audience and boosts event appeal and 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 engage remote attendees in real-time, a vital tool in today's digital event landscape

Load In

A window of time when vendors and exhibitors can set up, install equipment, test audio/visual gear, make last-minute floor orders, and more to ensure a smooth transition for exhibitor and organizers.


A window of time when vendors and 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 handle all event-related charges at a specific venue. All charges for a specified group will be applied (often by the host or event planner) to this account.

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. Pipe and drape systems can creatively enhance event venues, offering versatile solutions for decoration and space management

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 to ensure the success and smooth running of your event


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, thus enriching the attendee experience through networking and interaction opportunities.

RFP - Request for Proposal

This essential document helps define event needs and facilitates the vendor selection process by detailing services and pricing. 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

This document is crucial for comparing the costs and services of vendors, ensuring optimal financial decisions, and aids in event budgeting. 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. This is a strategy used for securing group accommodations at reduced rates ( average group rates are 15% to 40% lower than standard published 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)

Seasons greatly impact hotel rates and event planning strategies. A season is 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

Conducting a Site Visit is a critical step in the event planning process, ensuring the venue meets all requirements. 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 key element in maintaining communication and atmosphere during events. 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 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 our comprehensive PDF guide to 35 essential event planning acronyms and terms. Enhance your knowledge and be 'in the know' for seamless event planning

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