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Event Planning Terms: Your Ultimate Guide to 150+ Industry Terms

Event planning terms are constantly evolving. From traditional terms to event tech jargon, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the ever-expanding lexicon. Whether you're a seasoned event planner or just getting started, having...

Event planning terms are constantly evolving. From traditional terms to event tech jargon, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the ever-expanding lexicon. Whether you're a seasoned event planner or just getting started, having a comprehensive understanding of event terminology is crucial.

In this ultimate guide, we've curated over 150 essential event planning terms that every event professional should know. We'll cover everything from accessibility and agenda to virtual booths and webcasts. So, let's dive in and expand your event vocabulary!

Accessibility

Accessibility is the process of ensuring that your event is inclusive and available to as many people as possible. It focuses on enabling access for people with disabilities. Examples of event accessibility include providing wheelchair access at in-person events and offering live captioning at hybrid or virtual events.

Activity Challenge

An activity challenge is an engagement tool used to create challenges and generate points during virtual and hybrid events. Typically implemented through an event app, activity challenges encourage healthy competition among attendees and keep them engaged throughout the event.

Agenda

The agenda is the itinerary of your event. It outlines each day, including the location and time of keynotes, breakout sessions, and other event-related activities. In a virtual event platform, participants can browse and sign up for specific event sessions using the agenda.

AI - Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to computer systems that simulate human intelligence. AI can be utilized in various ways in events, such as using facial recognition software for check-in at in-person events or generating data insights from polls during hybrid or virtual events.

Artificial Intelligence Image: Artificial Intelligence

Amplifier (Audio Amplifier)

An amplifier is a technical device used to increase the volume of sound. It is important to have amplifiers at in-person and hybrid events to ensure clear audio for all participants.

API - Application Programming Interface

API stands for "Application Programming Interface." It allows different software applications to communicate and securely share data with each other. APIs enable integration between your CRM software, event management software, and virtual event platform, streamlining data exchange and enhancing efficiency.

App (Application)

An app, short for "application," refers to software programs developed for specific purposes. Many event software companies offer event mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as web apps, enabling attendees to participate in events via mobile devices or desktops.

App Menu

An app menu is the main menu found within an application. In an event app, the menu typically contains icons that allow users to access different functions and content within the app.

Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio refers to the width-to-height ratio of a screen display. Having the correct aspect ratio is essential to ensure content shared by presenters appears clean and visually appealing. The most common standard aspect ratio for screens nowadays is 16:9 (widescreen).

Attendance Tracking

Attendance tracking involves monitoring the journey attendees take before, during, and after events. This includes tracking how and when they sign up for an event and which sessions they participate in. Attendance tracking helps measure event ROI, analyze marketing effectiveness, and facilitate post-event follow-up.

Attendee Relationship Management

Attendee relationship management is the practice of using specific software to build a central database of attendee contact information. This allows event organizers to better track, manage, and maintain relationships with event participants.

Attrition Rate

The attrition rate measures the percentage of people who sign up for an event but do not attend. It is calculated by dividing the number of no-shows by the total number of people who signed up. Understanding the attrition rate helps event organizers gauge attendee interest and event effectiveness.

Audiovisual (A/V)

Audiovisual, often abbreviated as A/V, refers to the recording and video equipment used at events. This includes microphones, cameras, projectors, and other devices used for recording, live streaming, and enhancing the audiovisual experience of an event.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that enhances a real-world environment by incorporating virtual elements. AR can be utilized at events to create interactive experiences for participants. For example, an interactive venue map that attendees can use for virtual exploration.

B2B Event

A B2B (business-to-business) event is an event aimed at marketing products or services to other businesses. Trade shows are common examples of B2B events.

B2C Event

A B2C (business-to-consumer) event caters to a business's customers. For instance, conferences or networking events are typically B2C events.

Backstage

In a virtual event platform, the backstage area is where event organizers manage the event. It provides control over workspaces, app settings, event data, and more.

Badges & Certificates

Some virtual event platforms offer the ability to generate badges, certificates, and PDFs for event attendees. This feature enhances engagement and allows attendees to showcase their participation and achievements.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted over an internet connection. High-quality bandwidth is essential for seamless live streaming to hybrid or virtual event audiences.

Bid Document

An event manager submits an invitation to tender (ITT) to a potential event supplier. The supplier then responds with a bid document that details the services they can offer. This process allows event organizers to evaluate and select the most suitable suppliers for their events.

Blackout Date

A blackout date refers to a specific period during which event tickets or prices are unavailable. This situation often arises when an event receives significant interest and has limited availability.

Braindate

Braindate is a third-party web-based platform that facilitates conversations and knowledge sharing among event participants. It can be integrated with virtual event platforms to enhance networking and engagement.

Branded App

A branded app is an application customized to reflect a specific brand's logos, colors, banners, and designs. Having a branded app helps reinforce brand recognition and enhances the overall event experience.

Breakdown/Load Out/Strike

Breakdown, load out, and strike are terms used to describe the process of dismantling event equipment and removing it from the venue after an event has concluded.

Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms are small meeting rooms created within virtual events, enabling attendees to divide into smaller groups for focused discussions. Speakers can move participants into breakout rooms and then reconvene the larger audience at the end of the session.

Breakout Rooms on a Desktop Image: Breakout rooms on a desktop

Brief

An event brief is a concise document that summarizes an event's purpose, scope, target audience, timeline, and other essential details. It serves as a roadmap for event planning and execution.

Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)

A Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) is an event professional who holds certification from the Convention Industry Council program. Certification indicates that a CMP possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully plan and execute events.

Chat

Chat functionality is common in hybrid and virtual event platforms and apps. It enables participants to engage in written one-on-one and group communication.

Chatbot

A chatbot is an automated program designed to simulate human conversation using a computer. Virtual event apps can use chatbots to provide personalized concierge services, such as providing information on Wi-Fi passwords or session start times.

Check-in Apps

Check-in apps allow event organizers to check attendees in when they arrive at an event. These apps often utilize QR codes to streamline the check-in process.

Closed Captions

Closed captions, also known as live event captioning, provide simultaneous written text representation of spoken content. Closed captions are essential for creating an inclusive experience for virtual and hybrid event attendees, particularly those who are hearing impaired.

Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent sessions occur when multiple sessions run simultaneously during an event. Informing your hybrid event software team about the number of concurrent sessions planned helps them plan the live streaming logistics effectively.

Conference

Conferences, also known as conventions, are formal events where people gather to discuss a common interest, such as an industry or profession. Conferences can be held in-person, as well as in hybrid or virtual formats.

Conference Pack

A conference pack is a collection of important information about a conference. In-person events may provide printed conference packs, while hybrid and virtual events may offer digitalized versions accessible through the event platform or app. These packs often include event agendas, speaker and sponsor information, and other relevant details.

Configuration

Configuration refers to how a hybrid or virtual event platform is set up and operates. It includes customization options, integrations with other software, and the overall user experience.

Consumer Show

Consumer shows are B2C events where companies present new products or services to potential buyers. These events can take the form of in-person, hybrid, or virtual experiences.

Content Management System (CMS)

A content management system (CMS) is software that enables event planners, marketers, and other team members to create, edit, collaborate on, save, and publish digital content. Some hybrid and virtual event platforms offer built-in CMS functionality.

Contingency Plan

A contingency plan is a backup plan created before an event to address potential emergencies or last-minute changes. It outlines the steps to be taken in various scenarios, ensuring all event stakeholders are prepared.

Copyright Issues

Copyright issues can arise if copyrighted content is shared or used without proper authorization. Event organizers should ensure they have the necessary permissions before sharing copyrighted content on event platforms or apps.

Cross-Device Check-in

Cross-device check-in allows event staff to check attendees in using different devices simultaneously. For example, one staff member at the main entrance may use a mobile phone while another at a separate entrance uses a tablet. The check-in information is synchronized across all devices via the event app.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a centralized database that stores customer and attendee information. Event marketers utilize CRM systems to track, manage, and maintain relationships with event participants.

Dashboard

A dashboard is the main screen users first encounter when entering a hybrid or virtual event platform. It provides an overview of data and functions, enabling users to access key features easily.

Data Residency

Data residency refers to the physical or geographical location where a company's information is stored. Ensuring compliance with data residency regulations is crucial for data security and privacy.

Day Delegate Rate (DDR)

The Day Delegate Rate (DDR) is the cost per attendee for a full-day event at a venue. The rate typically includes room hire, equipment, and catering.

Desktop App

A desktop app is software that users can download and run on their computers or laptops. Hybrid and virtual event platforms often offer a desktop app for seamless access and participation.

Event Desktop App Image: Event desktop app

Early Bird Registration

Early bird registration offers attendees the opportunity to purchase event tickets at a discounted price for a limited time. This marketing technique is commonly used to generate early interest and boost ticket sales.

Email Marketing Automation

Email marketing automation allows event organizers to set up automatic email campaigns for event attendees. Some hybrid and virtual event platforms offer built-in email marketing automation tools, simplifying communication directly from the event platform.

Engagement

Event engagement involves actively involving attendees in event content and activities. Hybrid and virtual event platforms offer various tools to enhance engagement, such as polls, Q&A sessions, chats, quizzes, challenges, and applause features.

Event

An event is a gathering of people for a specific purpose. Events can take various forms, including conferences, trade shows, seminars, workshops, product launches, webinars, and networking sessions. Events can be in-person, hybrid, or virtual.

Event Management Software (EMS)

Event Management Software (EMS) refers to the software solutions used to manage and run events. EMS encompasses a range of tools, including event registration, ticketing, marketing, analytics, and communication platforms.

Event Marketing

Event marketing involves organizing events to promote products or services. It often encompasses content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing to maximize event reach and impact.

Event Tech

Event tech is a term that encompasses software, apps, platforms, and integrations designed to aid event planning, execution, and follow-up. Hybrid and virtual event platforms, as well as technical event equipment, fall under the event tech category.

Feed

A feed is a feature available in hybrid and virtual event platforms that allows event organizers, and sometimes attendees, to post and share news or information. Similar to a social media feed, it enables real-time updates and information exchange.

Floor Plan

Floor plans provide a visual representation of a room or venue layout. They are essential for contingency planning at in-person events, featuring details such as emergency exits, windows, and electrical outlets.

Force Majeure Clause

A force majeure clause is a common provision in venue contracts that absolves the event venue of responsibility for circumstances beyond their control. These circumstances can include war, labor disputes, or natural disasters that may result in event cancellation.

Gamification

Gamification involves turning elements of an event into a game-like experience to enhance attendee engagement. Gamification techniques can include challenges, leaderboards, and rewards to motivate attendees to actively participate and enjoy the event.

GDPR - General Data Protection Regulations

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulations. It sets guidelines on data collection and storage from individuals residing in the European Union. Event organizers must ensure they comply with GDPR requirements when collecting data from individuals in the EU.

GDPR Compliance Tools

GDPR compliance tools assist event organizers in meeting GDPR requirements, ensuring the privacy and security of attendee data.

Go-Live

The go-live refers to the moment when a virtual event, live session, or live streaming broadcast begins.

Green Room

The green room is the virtual equivalent of a waiting area for speakers before their virtual event session. It allows speakers and event organizers to run through technical preparations and ensure a smooth start to the session.

Group Registration

Group registration allows individuals to purchase multiple event tickets at once, ideal for B2B events targeting enterprises or larger audiences.

Honorarium

An honorarium is the payment provided to a guest speaker for their services.

Host

The event host is responsible for running the event or live session. In a virtual or hybrid event, the host starts and ends the live stream broadcast, introduces speakers, moderates Q&A sessions, and guides the audience through the event.

Hybrid Event

A hybrid event combines in-person and virtual elements, catering to both physically present and remote attendees.

Hybrid Event Platform

A hybrid event platform is a software solution designed to facilitate and enhance hybrid events. It provides tools and features to engage both in-person and virtual audiences seamlessly.

In-Person Event

An in-person event is a traditional event format where attendees physically gather at a designated venue to participate.

Installation & Dismantle (I&D)

Installation & Dismantle, also referred to as setup and take down, refers to the process of setting up and removing event equipment before and after an event.

Integration

Integration refers to the connection and data exchange between different software platforms. Hybrid and virtual event platforms often integrate with third-party providers to enable seamless data synchronization and enhance functionality.

Interactivity

Interactivity refers to the set of tools and features added to hybrid and virtual event platforms to engage attendees actively during events. This can include polls, Q&A sessions, chats, and other interactive elements.

Itinerary

An event itinerary, also known as a schedule or program, provides participants, including event staff, with a detailed overview of the event's activities and timings.

Keynote

A keynote is a presentation that introduces the main topic or theme of an event. Keynotes are often delivered by prominent speakers and set the tone for the event.

Keynote Speaker

The keynote speaker is the main speaker who delivers the opening presentation at an event. They often have a public or prominent background and capture the audience's attention from the start.

Lead Generation

Lead generation refers to the process of generating interest and collecting potential customer information. Events can be a powerful technique for lead generation, attracting individuals who show interest in a product or service but may not be ready to make a purchase.

Live Applause

Live applause is an engagement tool offered by many hybrid and virtual event platforms. Attendees can click an on-screen hand symbol to show appreciation for speakers during live sessions and interact directly with presenters.

Live Broadcast

A live broadcast refers to a live stream that enables audiences to see and hear speakers in real time during an event.

Live Event Captioning

Live event captioning involves creating real-time text captions synchronized with an event presenter or host's speech. It enhances event inclusivity by providing accessible content for hearing-impaired attendees or those unable to have the volume turned on. Some virtual event platforms offer live event captioning in multiple languages.

Live Preview

Live previews, or stream previews, allow event organizers to view the event stream within the virtual event platform studio before going live.

Live Stream Overlays

Live stream overlays are customized logos, graphics, and designs that event organizers can incorporate into live streams to enhance branding and visual appeal.

Live Streaming

Live streaming refers to the real-time broadcasting of an event, discussion, or session over the internet. It allows virtual event attendees to participate alongside in-person attendees.

Load In / Load Out

Load in is the process of setting up event equipment before an event, while load out involves dismantling and removing the equipment from the venue after the event concludes.

MC (Emcee)

The event MC, also known as the emcee or Master of Ceremonies, is responsible for providing entertainment and hosting duties at an event.

MEEC - Meetings, Expositions, Events, and Conventions

MEEC is an acronym that refers to the sectors of the event industry: Meetings, Expositions, Events, and Conventions.

MICE - Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions

MICE is an acronym that signifies the sectors of the event industry: Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions.

Mobile Event App

A mobile event app allows event participants to access event content and engage with sessions, networking, and other interactive features on their smartphones.

Mobile Event App Image: Mobile event app

Moderator

A moderator is responsible for controlling panel discussions, asking panelists questions, and facilitating audience engagement. Moderators often ask questions from the audience, including virtual attendees.

Multimedia

Multimedia refers to content that incorporates different formats, such as text, images, videos, and audio.

Native Application (Native App)

A native application refers to software developed specifically for use on a particular device or operating system, such as iOS or Android.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measurement used to assess attendee satisfaction and loyalty. It involves surveying attendees and asking them to rate their likelihood of recommending the event to others.

Networking

Networking involves interacting with other event participants and exchanging information to develop professional relationships. Some virtual event platforms offer networking features to facilitate connections among attendees.

No-Show

A no-show occurs when an individual who has registered for an event fails to attend.

Notification

Notifications are event updates delivered to attendees via the mobile event app. They often provide information about session time changes or updates regarding exhibitors or other event-related matters.

On-Demand Content

On-demand content refers to recorded sessions or videos from an event that can be accessed and watched at any time by attendees. This availability allows participants to view content at their convenience, even if they were unable to attend the live event.

Onsite

Onsite refers to events that take place in a physical venue.

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is third-party open-source software used for video recording and live streaming.

Open Rate

Open rate is a measurement used by event marketers to determine the number of individuals who open the emails they send. Some event platform providers offer tools to track open rates.

Overhead Projector

An overhead projector is a device used at in-person or hybrid events to project enlarged images onto a screen or wall.

PA System (Public Address System)

A PA system is equipment that amplifies sound, enabling participants in different areas of a venue to hear the same audio clearly.

Participant

Participants are individuals attending an event, whether physically or virtually.

Participant Matching

Participant matching is a feature offered by some virtual event platforms that collects attendees' common interests, fields, and skills. It uses this information to facilitate networking and knowledge sharing during the event.

Poll

A poll is a question or set of questions sent to attendees via the event app or platform. Polls are used to encourage engagement, gather real-time feedback, and increase interactivity during an event.

Post-Event Feedback

Post-event feedback involves gathering comments and feedback from attendees after an event. Surveys or interviews are commonly used to collect this information, helping event organizers assess the success of an event and identify areas for improvement.

Post-Event Report

A post-event report summarizes the details of an event in one place. It includes information such as attendee numbers, no-show rates, total costs, and ROI, providing insights into the event's overall success.

Pre-Event Feedback

Pre-event feedback involves collecting information about attendees before an event, usually through a questionnaire. This data helps event organizers understand their target audience and capture lead information.

Pre-Registration

Pre-registration allows attendees to sign up for a specific session or event before the day of the event, ensuring their spot in high-demand sessions.

Prize Store

A prize store is a virtual marketplace where attendees can redeem points earned during the event for prizes. This feature incentivizes engagement and leaves a lasting impression on attendees.

Pro Forma Invoice

A pro forma invoice is a preliminary bill provided by a supplier before delivering a service. It outlines the anticipated cost and available services.

Proposal

A proposal is a document prepared by a vendor in response to a prospective buyer's inquiry. It details the vendor's offerings, costs, and availability, aiming to meet the buyer's requirements.

Push Notification

Push notifications are notifications that appear on smartphone screens, even when the event app is not in use. Encouraging participants to enable push notifications ensures they receive important event updates.

Push to Screen

Push to screen refers to displaying a question from the Q&A session on the event screen during a live stream. This allows speakers and hosts to address questions and enables the audience to follow along.

Q&A

Q&A (questions and answers) is a feature provided by many hybrid and virtual event platforms. It allows attendees to submit questions to the host and speakers during a live event. Moderators can select and display questions on-screen for the audience to see, fostering engagement.

Virtual Event Q&A or Polls on Desktop Image: Virtual event Q&A or polls on desktop

QR Code

A QR code is a black-and-white square made up of customized pixels. Attendees can scan QR codes using their smartphones to access event websites, purchase tickets, or find relevant information about speakers, dates, locations, and agendas. QR codes can also be used for event check-in at in-person events.

QR Scanner

A QR scanner is a device or software used to scan QR codes quickly and easily.

Release Notes

Release notes are technical documents produced and distributed by event software companies to provide information about product updates. They outline new features or specific changes, ensuring event organizers stay informed and make the most of their hybrid or virtual event platform.

Request for Information (RFI)

A Request for Information (RFI) is a document used to gather information about potential vendors and their products or services. It serves as a precursor to the Request for Proposal (RFP).

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a document that outlines an event's requirements and solicits bids from potential vendors. Event organizers use RFPs to gather detailed proposals and compare offerings from various businesses involved in the event.

Return on Event (ROE)

Return on Event (ROE) measures the impact of an event on overall business performance. Event marketers calculate ROE by analyzing metrics such as product sign-ups or revenue generated after the event. ROE helps drive event strategy and evaluate event success.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on Investment (ROI) is the ratio between the net profit achieved after an event and the total amount spent on producing the event. Calculating ROI helps evaluate the financial performance and effectiveness of an event.

RTMP - Real-Time Messaging Protocol

RTMP is an abbreviation for real-time messaging protocol. It is a technology that facilitates live streaming by reducing latency and buffering issues.

RTMPS

RTMPS stands for Real-Time Messaging Protocol over a Secured Transport Layer Security (TLS) connection. RTMPS provides enhanced security for live streaming.

RTMPS Streaming

RTMPS streaming refers to streaming partners that utilize RTMPS technology to capture and deliver live streams to event participants via an event app or separate broadcasting tool.

Run of Show (ROS)

A Run of Show (ROS) is a concise document that keeps the event team on the same page. It outlines the timing, deadlines, and other essential information to ensure a smooth event.

Sightline

Sightline refers to participants' ability to see and experience all aspects of an event from their perspective. Ensuring a clear sightline is particularly crucial for virtual events, as it enhances the immersive experience and mimics an in-person setting.

Simulive

Simulive refers to pre-recorded content scheduled to play during a live event. Simulive sessions often incorporate live polls or interactive elements to enhance attendee engagement.

Simultaneous Interpretation

Simultaneous interpretation involves an interpreter translating spoken content in real-time during a presentation or session.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

Single Sign-On (SSO) is an authentication method used in many hybrid and virtual event platforms. It allows users to securely log in to multiple applications and websites using a single set of credentials.

Site Visit

A site visit involves event organizers visiting a venue to assess its suitability for an event. Event planners evaluate factors such as facilities, layout, and logistics during a site visit.

Speaker

Speakers are individuals who deliver presentations, speeches, or sessions at an event. They contribute their expertise and knowledge to enrich the event experience.

Sponsor

Sponsors are companies or organizations that support and attend events in exchange for brand exposure, leads, participant data, or other benefits.

Studio

The studio is a virtual space within hybrid and virtual event platforms that functions as a live production studio. It enables event organizers to live stream their events effectively.

Tech Stack

Tech stack refers to the collection of digital tools and platforms used for events. Examples include event management software, CRM systems, event apps, and video conferencing tools.

Technical Rehearsal

Technical rehearsals are essential for events, particularly hybrid and virtual ones. They ensure all technical aspects and equipment are tested and run smoothly before the event.

Templates

Some hybrid and virtual event software provides templates that event organizers can utilize to streamline event creation. These templates save time and effort during the planning stage.

Theme Editor

A theme editor is a feature offered by customizable event platforms. It allows event organizers to personalize the colors, logos, and graphics of their event app to align with their brand.

Ticketing Analytics

Ticketing analytics enable event organizers to analyze data related to ticket sales. This includes metrics such as profit, revenue, average price, and the number of tickets sold. Event registration software often includes ticketing analytics tools.

Trade Show

Trade shows are B2B exhibitions where companies showcase their products or services to potential buyers. These events typically cater to specific industries but can be broader in scope.

Transcription

Transcriptions are written documents that provide a written record of event speeches, presentations, or discussions. Transcriptions can be used for on-demand content or repurposing event materials.

Virtual Booth

A virtual booth is a dedicated space within virtual and hybrid events where sponsors and exhibitors can showcase their products and services. Virtual booths often include resources, videos, and breakout rooms for direct interaction with attendees.

Virtual Event

A virtual event takes place entirely online, providing a virtual environment for attendees to network, interact, and attend sessions remotely.

Virtual Event Platform

A virtual event platform is a technology designed to host all aspects of a virtual event, from the virtual exhibition hall to event registration and networking functionalities.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A virtual private network (VPN) is a networking tool that enhances online privacy and security by encrypting internet connections. VPNs are particularly crucial for establishing secure network connections during hybrid and virtual events.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that creates an artificial, immersive experience similar to or different from real life. VR is used to engage attendees, providing an interactive environment for events.

Waitlist

A waitlist allows individuals to register for an event or session that is currently full. If a spot becomes available, individuals on the waitlist are offered the opportunity to attend the event.

Web App

Web apps are accessed via desktop web browsers and offer functionality similar to mobile event apps. Hybrid and virtual event platform providers

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