Events Management Glossary

    Categories Index
Banquet Event Order (BEO) – associated with catering orders, BEOs are used to outline the menu, number of guests, special dietary instructions, meeting room set up, audio/visual requirements, and other needs associated with a catered function. Event planners are responsible for reviewing and approving these documents prior to the meal service. Generally speaking, BEOs for most hotels can be submitted 72 hours prior to the event function date, although this is not Once the paperwork is signed, changes are subject to availability and can incur additional fees.   Food and Beverage B
Banquet meeting room set – a banquet room is commonly used for catered functions. Many groups set up their banquet style functions with round tables for 10. When possible to allow for more elbow room, consider setting your room up with round tables for 8. Alternatively, when your function is overcommitted and you have a 72-inch round table, it is common to seat twelve to a table.   Meeting layout B
City-wide conventions – events with 20,000 or more attendees on a peak night that generally last at least two days.    Conferences C
Classroom meeting room set – most commonly associated with educational or professional development programs, classroom meeting sets are ideal for intensive workshops. Generally speaking, classrooms are set up using 6ft tables in rows with 2 to 3 guests for each table allotted in the row.   Meeting layout C
Conferences – events with 1,000 or fewer attendees that generally last at least two days.   Conferences C
Conventions – events with 1,000 – 19,999 attendees that generally last at least two days.   Conferences C
Crescent rounds meeting room set – used for a variety of programs, this room set is popular because it communicates to a vendor that you would like to use a round table with chairs where no one’s back is to the front of the room. Generally speaking, crescent rounds can only have maximum of 6 six seats. Click here to see a sample of this layout.   Meeting layout C
Dine-A-Rounds – Traditionally used during conferences as an opportunity for attendees to have small group networking. Typically, an event planner makes reservations with restaurants across the city and has people register for a restaurant of interest to them so they can meet new people. On occasion, dine-a-rounds include a speaker or topic of interest.   Food and Beverage, Conferences D
Event debrief – a meeting that is ideally scheduled after the entire event data is reviewed, which is usually one month after the event concludes. The purpose is to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the event, as well as review a comprehensive financial analysis. Ideally, the group will reach consensus on any changes that need to be made to the event in the future.    Organization E
Event planning group – also referred to as an event planning committee, host committee, or a variety of other names. Ultimately this group is responsible for the overall success of the conference. Generally, conference event planning groups include a programming, logistics, development (when there is a cultivation opportunity), and marketing representative.   Organization E
Event productions schedule – account of all of the activities associated with an event. We recommend that you use this template for complex events to encourage shared accountability for the event’s success.   Organization E
Event tie down meeting – a meeting ideally at least  two weeks prior to a major event where all associated parties review the program minute-by-minute, line-by-line to ensure that everyone is on the same page to guarantee the event’s success. This meeting is a great opportunity to identify (and, ideally, resolve) red flags.    Organization E
Flow meeting room set – most commonly associated with receptions, a flow meeting room set usually involves a combination of high-boys and banquet tables to allow guests to flow during an event.   Meeting layout  F
Food and Beverage Attrition – Similar to guest rooms, food and beverage revenue requires a financial commitment which hotels develop based on what you tell them you are going to serve during your event as outlined in your RFP.   Food and Beverage F
Gobo – great opportunity to highlight the University’s logo or key sponsors, a gobo is a physical stencil placed in front of lighting source. Gobos can appear in one or multiple colors and are available in metal or glass. Gobos are considered a good investment because they can last for 10 years or longer. However, each time you use a gobo plan on budgeting the cost associated with having the light source.    Audio visual/production G
Guarantee – most commonly associated with catering or housing accommodations. A guarantee is the organization’s stated commitment to how many of a particular item they will financially pay for. For example, an organization may guarantee 100 people for lunch, meaning that they will pay for 100 guests to eat based on their approved   Food and Beverage G
Guest Room Attrition – the host organization’s commitment to how many hotel rooms they are “guaranteeing” they will sell or occupy over the course of their event. The standard attrition clause across the country is an 80% commitment.   Conferences  G
LCD projector package – most commonly used for presentations, an LCD projector package typically includes: projector, screen, and laptop. On occasion, production companies will include speakers, adapters, and other accoutrements to provide a more robust package. The type of screen and projector will depend on the size of the meeting space.   Audio visual/production L
Light-emitting diode (LED) – lighting option used in a variety of event planning functions. LEDs can vary in their application, including bi-color, tri-color, or seven light options as well as, digital and flashing. Currently, the only venue at USA equipped to provide a range of LED options is the Mitchell Center. However, all offsite production companies should be able to provide a range of options for the event planner to consider.   Audio visual/production L
Meeting specifications – information that the person in charge of logistics submits to the hotel. Depending on the event, this information varies. Generally speaking, meeting specifications include: catering, meeting agenda, audio/visual requirements, housing list, and VIP information.   Meeting layout, Organization M
Plexi podium – clear podium usually provided in an acrylic material which is an alternative to a standard wood-based podium. Plexi podiums come in a variety of sizes.   Audio visual/production P
Pods meeting room set – most commonly associated with educational or professional development programs, “pods” are encouraged when programs want individuals to meet in small groups of 4, 6, or 8. Pods tend to work best when the meeting space will accommodate 100 guests but you anticipate 80 or fewer participants. Pods are harder to achieve for groups of 100 or more people.   Meeting layout P
PowerPoint sizes – Microsoft PowerPoint allows you to format your presentation to the size of your presentations. Most systems populate to a 4:3 presentation, whereas many presentations to a larger group will need to be formatted to 16:9. When a presentation is not formatted properly it runs the risk of appearing smaller than the screen size necessary for the presentation or size of the room.   Audio visual/production, Conferences P
Room Block – A room block appears within the contract in a grid/table format that outlines the complete lodging commitment including room type, dates of stay, rate, and total guest nights.   Conferences R
Run of Show (ROS) – used by many producers and events management professionals, a run of show is a minute-to-minute account of the activities associated with a particular event within a larger event. This is helpful for events that have complex program. ROS are often referenced during event planning meetings to ensure that every activity has a proper time allocation and script. This is also a great tool to provide to vendors associated with the program so they understand when they should deliver their services. At USA, ROS may also be referred to as a minute-to-minute and production schedule.   Audio visual/production, Organization R
Script reading – using an ROS, minute-to-minute, or production schedule, this is where all key parties associated with an event go through the talking points of a given program.   Audio visual/production S
Session review process – more commonly known as request for proposal (RFP), this process is when the programmatic lead for a conference receives, reviews, evaluates, and accepts/denies proposals. Many conferences/conventions use a virtual platform, i.e., DoubleDutch to seamlessly manage this workload. In recent years, many organizations have foregone the RFP process and opted to personally invite speakers who match their programmatic objectives.   Conferences, Organization S
Shared accountability – when all members take full responsibility for the successes and failures associated with a given event. OSE encourages this approach to event planning because it creates an environment where one person is not burdened with all of the responsibility for an event. We believe individuals can do good (and in some cases great) work but that teams can do amazing things!   Organization S
Site visit – in-person walkthrough of a venue to identify if the space truly meets the needs of your program. It is highly recommended to conduct a site visit when booking any venue (especially an external venue) to avoid disappointment and frustration on the day of your event.   Conferences, Organization S
Target audience – the dominant group of individuals that (x) organization wants at their event. Identifying this group of people is important because it can influence the size, cost, and marketing strategy for a conference.   Conferences, Organization T
Theater in a round meeting set – taken from the boxing arena and made popular by the increased interest in Ted Talks, theater in a round only works when you can build technology that allows an audience member to have a view of the stage regardless of their seat. In this set, the stage is placed center of the venue and chairs are strategically placed in a circle around the stage. To allow for visibility, there are usually four screens in each corner of the circular shape.   Meeting layout T
Theater meeting room set – most commonly associated with theatrical performance and keynote presentations. Theater/amphitheater seating is when there are only chairs provided for guests. Theater sets in any venue will provide the most space because tables take up additional space. Click here to see a sample of this layout.   Meeting layout T
Venue Request for Proposal (RFP) – process by which an events management professional conducts a search for a venue by outlining all of his/her core needs. RFP’s generally include a brief program overview, dates, catering needs, audio/visual needs, and any critical concessions. In most major cities, RFPs are submitted to the local convention and visitor’s bureau.   Conferences V
Voice of God (VOG) – used by production professionals, the VOG is the individual making announcements that are either pre-recorded or from the production booth during the course of the event. VOGs generally have a distinct voice such as, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, or Michael Buffer (famous for his trademark “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble…” VOGs are used mostly during more formal programs. At USA, one may consider a VOG during a gala, reception, awards ceremony, pageant, or other special occasion.   Audio visual/production V