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Conferencing Terms A–Z

Find here a list of terms commonly used in the events industry.
We have extended the list with terms used for online or hybrid events – these are marked with

Jump straight to a particular section: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Across the board: refers to an all-inclusive price given, commonly used by many venues and suppliers; this includes all hidden fees such as taxes and gratuities.

Act of God: refers to an extraordinary natural event, such as extreme weather, flood, earthquake, or similar natural disaster that cannot be prevented or foreseen and which contracting parties have no reasonable control over. The cancellation of an event or inconveniences because of such an 'act of God' renders performance of the contract illegal, impractical, or impossible. Therefore neither party has a legal responsibility to continue performance of the contract.

Advance registration: see Pre-registration

Air walls: removable dividers in meeting spaces which allow event planners to create flexible spaces to meet their requirements. They can be used to facilitate multiple breakout spaces during a larger conference.

À la carte: a french term that translates to "from the menu", referring to items selected individually instead of offered in a package.

Amenities: a property's features and facilities and often complementary items offered in a venue, such as free food or drink, office supplies or concierge services.

Attendee Relationship Management (ARM): software that allows event planners and managers to create a database of contacts to monitor, manage, and maintain contact relationships.

Audio-visual (AV): for both sight and sound, this refers to (1) hardware such as speakers, microphones, laptops, projectors, cameras, recording equipment and (2) technical support teams.

Auditorium layout: a seating layout, also referred to as "theatre style". A meeting room or hall set up with chairs set in rows facing a stage or podium. The inner chairs directly face the front of the room, while the outer chairs may be angled to provide a better view of the stage.

Avatar: a visual representation of a computer user. It may be a three-dimensional figure or a two-dimensional image used in online forums.

B

Banquet style layout: a seating layout for an event or conference, also referred to as "pod" or "round set", this seating arrangement is designed for large audiences for events such as awards ceremonies and galas, where there are typically round tables of 8–10 guests seated.

Bid document: a proposal from a potential vendor offering their services, which can include approximate costs, logistics, and time scale.

Blackout dates: a period of time when tickets or specific prices are unavailable. This could be due to a result of high demand and limited availability, the dates occurring over major holidays when consumer travel is at its height, during a hotel's busy season, or a venue's limited inventory due to a previously booked event.

Boardroom set-up: a particular seating layout, see Conference style layout

Boardroom style layout: a seating layout designed to facilitate conversation, preferred for training or committee meetings, this seating arrangement sees delegates seated facing each other around a square, rectangle, oval, or round table.

Break down: also referred to as "load out", "strike" or "take-down", the taking down of equipment and clearing away items that have been set up for an event after the event is complete. Part of Installation & dismantle.

Breakout rooms: smaller rooms used as part of a conference or event when a large group breaks into sub-groups for particular sessions.

Business center: a facility, set of rooms or area in a hotel or event venue used for the sole purpose of effective business meetings and presentations. Various office facilities and services, such as printing and photocopying, are offered to support the event team on site.

C

Cabaret style layout: a seating layout, where a number of small round tables laid out with chairs facing the stage area, with a gap closest to the speaker/performer so that no attendees have their backs to the front.

Cancellation clause: a contract clause that details the terms and conditions under which a company may cancel or terminate the agreement or reservation.

Central reservation system (CRS): a database software that contains information about availability, rates, and related services, and through which reservations can be made.

Charter: can refer to (1) the rent or lease of a form of transportation (such as bus, plane, or boat) to an organisation, (2) the grant of authority or rights, allowing the recipient the prerogative to exercise the rights specified in a contract, or (3) the role and responsibility in a project to serve as a reference of authority for the future.

Chevron layout: a particular seating layout, see V-shape layout

Cloud: once upon a time, data would be stored on a local computer. However, the birth of cloud computing means that platforms can store their information on remote servers. Meaning you can access your online information from any device at any time.

Co-host: with regards to online events via ZOOM; co-hosts can share most of the controls that hosts have. For example, managing attendees. The host must assign a co-host during the meeting; the co-host cannot start a meeting.

Colloquium: an informal participatory discussion around group-selected topics.

Concurrent sessions: during larger events, meeting planners often host shorter educational meetings 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.

Conference pack: if you want to provide your delegates with some information at your conference, offer them a conference pack. This could include a schedule or program of events, a map of the venue and information on venue facilities. Some events offer an event app to replace printed materials.

Conference style layout: a seating layout, also referred to as "hollow-square", "board-of-directors set-up" or 'boardroom set-up", where a room will feature chairs arranged around a table, with everyone facing in for a discussion. If there are too many participants to fit around one boardroom table, several tables may be used. Hollow square means that there is space in the centre between the tables.

Content sharing: the ability to show data over a video conference call.

Contingency plan: also known as a "backup plan", this document has a crisis management agenda planned in advance before the event takes place. This is to address what to do if an emergency occurs or if the intended event plan changes.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM): a shared online database system that stores contacts and their details. This system allows companies to manage their interaction, event attendance history, and communications with their clients in an organised way.

D

Daily conference package (DCP): a charge by a venue per attendee, per day for an event, based on a full day's meeting. Depending on the venue, DDR can include meeting room hire, refreshments, lunch, and conference equipment.

Daily delegate rate (DDR): a charge by a venue per attendee, per day for an event, based on a full day's meeting. Depending on the venue, DDR can include meeting room hire, refreshments, lunch, and conference equipment.

Destination management company (DMC): a private company that offers local expertise for event planners from out-of-town and that assist them with the planning and implementation of conferences, meetings, concerts, exhibitions, and other large events.

E

Early bird registration: "early" is the keyword here for registration for an event, which often means tickets and services purchased before a specified date are available at a reduced fee.

EMCEE: see MC

End-user: a person who is the user of a product. In video conferencing, it would be the person making or receiving a video call.

ETA: shorthand for "estimated time of arrival", i.e. the scheduled time when a party or person will arrive at a venue.

F

Fixed seating: a seating where permanently positioned seating at a facility is used, the seating is not able to be moved.

Floor plan: the blueprint or layout of a room or exhibition hall, including electrical outlets, doors, windows, pillars, and other amenities and how the event will be set out within the space.

Force majeure clause: this clause is included in most venue contracts to prevent the facility from being held liable should it not be able to hold up to their end of the agreement due to circumstances that are not within the venue's control. These circumstances include events such as a natural disaster or other acts of God.

H

Herringbone layout: a particular seating layout, see V-shape layout

High season: see Peak season

Hollow square layout: a particular seating layout, see Conference style layout

Honorarium: the fee paid to a guest speaker.

Horseshoe seating: a seating where – just like a horseshoe – tables and chairs are arranged in a U-shape with rounded corners.

Host: with regards to online events via ZOOM; this is the person that scheduled the Zoom meeting. Hosts have full permissions to manage the meeting, and there can only be one host of a meeting.

Hybrid event: a conference, trade show, seminar, workshop or other meeting that combines a live, in-person audience with a virtual, online audience.

I

Inclusive rates: include service fees, gratuities, and taxes.

Infrastructure: a centralised suite of services, for example streaming, recording, firewall traversal, bridging and mobile support. Infrastructure can be either on-premise (hardware or virtualised) or hosted in the cloud.

Installation & dismantle (I&D): the process of preparing equipment for an event (setup) and taking apart that equipment after the event (take down)

Itinerary: a schedule, agenda or program. A detailed event itinerary can be created for attendees or team briefings to outline the flow of the event.

K

Keynote presentation or speaker: 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 for guests to attend the event.

L

Lead time: the time between an initial venue inquiry and when an event actually takes place at a venue.

Live streaming: a type of streaming in which audio or video is broadcast live over the Internet. The media is transmitted while recorded, allowing viewers to watch or listen to it in real-time.

Load out: part of Installation & dismantle, see Break down

Low season: time of the year when travel, hotel, and business demand is at its lowest and prices decline.

M

MC: the host who presides over the event program; "MC" is shorthand for "master of ceremonies".

Multiple video conference: a video call that allows multiple attendees to join a single virtual meeting room .

N

Networking event: an opportunity to meet with others in your local travel and tourism industry, learn from each other, and even build partnerships.

No-show: an expected guest (i.e. delegate, hotel guest, attendee) who does not attend and has not advised the organiser or hotel of a planned absence or delay.

O

Online& event: a conference, trade show, seminar, workshop or other meeting that comprises a virtual event location and an online audience.

P

PA system: shorthand for "public address system", a device that amplifies sound in one large area or throughout several rooms through speakers so that messages can be shared.

Participant/participation list: users joining your meeting. By default, in a meeting, participants are restricted from sharing their video, screen and audio.

PAX: the number of people, i.e. 2 pax = 2 people. The terms also extends to the number of guests, diners or participants.

Payment gateway: a service that processes and authorises card payments from your customers.

PCO: professional conference organiser

Peak season: time of the year when travel, hotels and business demands are most active and rates are higher, allso known as "high season".

Pod layout: a particular seating layout, see Banquet style layout

Post-event feedback: advice formerly offered to event organisers that includes positive and/or negative comments, suggestions and notes provided by guests after the event, for event planners and organisers to gain an understanding of successes and where improvements can be made.

Post-event report: a report detailing the event history after the event has happened, including the number of attendees, number of no-shows, total cost per person, profit and similar.

Pre-event feedback: used to qualify attendees before the event and gather data about them, this type of information involves a questionnaire used to gather information from attendees, with questions often asked during the online event registration process

Pre-registration: also referred to as "advance registration", this phrase means booking onto a meeting or event prior to the day of the event.

Presentation sharing: the ability to show data over a video conference call.

Pro forma invoice: an invoice (or bill) provided by a supplier prior to the provision of the service.

Proposal: a written offer from a vendor to a prospective buyer, produced in response to an inquiry. This proposal will attempt to match the requirements and detail costs, availability, and specifications for the potential client.

Q

Questionnaire: a group or sequence of questions designed to elicit information on a subject, or sequence of subjects, from a reporting unit or another producer of official statistics.

R

Rack rate: the standard rate for a hotel room without discounts.

Reception style layout: a seating style designed to encourage participants to network and a common set up during a cocktail reception. High-top tables are placed throughout the room with limited or no seating provided.

Remote screen sharing: the ability to share your screen from outside of the conference room.

Risk assessment/management: assessing the possibility of injury, damage or loss to the person attending the conference and ensuring adequate insurance covering possible injuries, damage or loss. Event planners often provide a detailed risk assessment for every event they manage.

Round set layout: a particular seating layout, see Banquet style layout

S

Seating style: a particular room layout for an event, conference or occasion thereof, i.e. auditorium (or theatre) , banquet ( or pod / round set), boardroom, cabaret, conference style (or hollow-square / board of directors), fixed, horseshoe, reception and V-shape.

Session: one meeting, presentation or workshop that can take place in a breakout room during a larger meeting or conference.

Setup: part of Installation & dismantle

Space only: unlike a shell scheme contract where the modular system is provided, an exhibitor can choose the space only option, which refers to space on an exhibition show floor, of which the exhibitor can be creative and has to provide their own exhibit stand.

Streaming: the ability to convert a video image and send a video stream, while on a video call, to a specific webpage. Other people can view the video call in real-time or watch the recording after the call is over on that web page.

Strike: part of Installation & dismantle, see Break down

Suppliers: tourism or travel professionals who sell to businesses (buyers). They sell B2B (business-to-business) and work with tourism companies to promote their attraction or destination.

Survey: a research method used for collecting data from a predefined group of respondents to gain information and insights into topics of interest. They can have multiple purposes, and researchers can conduct it in many ways depending on the methodology chosen and the study's goal.

T

Take down: part of Installation & dismantle

Target market: when you are marketing your tour operator business, it pays to think about who your target market is – the demographic or type of people you expect to be most interested in your offering. Specialise your business offering to this target market to get more joy from your marketing efforts.

TBA: to be announced

TBC: to be confirmed

Teleconference: a conference being broadcast simultaneously to multiple sites via phone or other audio.

Theatre style layout: a particular seating layout, see Auditorium style layout

Traffic flow: can refer to (1) the movement of visitors through an exhibition or (2) how attendees move from one area, hall, or room to another.

V

Value-added: added products or services a facility or organisation can offer on top of the contract, which can include amenities such as free Wi-fi, upgraded rooms or free parking.

Video conferencing: using video technology to broadcast an event or meeting to participants unable to attend in person.

Virtual conference software: a solution that lets you conduct conference calls in a virtual meeting room.

Virtual meeting room: a reserved space allowing multiple participants to meet.

Virtual trade show: a trade show that is hosted online. It takes the same form as a traditional physical trade show and allows attendees to communicate with exhibitors through webchats, while vendors can showcase their products and services at 3D virtual booths.

V-shape layout: a seating layout where the room is set up with tables and chairs in rows forming a V-formation facing the stage, also referred to as chevron or herringbone layout.

W

Waitlist: a client is waitlisted when an event, session or space is fully booked. The client can be held on a waitlist for cancellations and if a spot becomes free the client can be offered the opportunity to attend.

Web conference: web services that allow participants to log into an online meeting through their browsers. Rather than the mostly one-way communication provided during a webcast, a web conference allows for more interaction among attendees.

Web conferencing: using video technology to broadcast an event or meeting to participants unable to attend in person.

Webinar: a web-based seminar. The term has yet to acquire any technical definition but is generally used to describe a webcast, possibly with additional interactive elements offered by a web conference.

Wrap-up: can refer to (1) the end an event or meeting or (2) a debrief following an event, otherwise known as a "wash-up meeting".

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