Events Glossary

Welcome to VenueSeeker’s Events Glossary.

Have you ever come across a word or phrase that you don’t understand? It doesn’t help when these recurrent words are being used around an industry, and they can dissuade you from understanding the text. But, there are words common to the industry that may need an explanation.

The events industry is filled with buzzwords, so use our events glossary to find out what the jargon means. The glossary is here to help you in moving around  the site, so if you don’t understand what a word means – come and visit the glossary!

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XY | Z



Act of God – an extraordinary natural event such as extreme weather, flood, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquake or similar natural disaster that cannot be reasonably foreseen or prevented over which contracting parties has no reasonable control, making performance of the contract illegal, impracticable or impossible, thus the parties have no legal responsibility to continue performance of the contract.
Adjoining Rooms – hotel bedrooms with have connecting doors. Ideal for families attending events
Aerial Artist – someone who performs acrobatic acts in the air using specially designed aerial silks or ribbons, or with a wire and harness.
After dinner entertainment – an act or series of acts, performances or talks that have been promoted as the highlight of the evening.
After dinner speaker – someone who is hired to entertain a group of people and is usually the highlight of the evening.
A la Carte – French term which means “from the menu”. As each item is individually priced “a la Carte” menus are not usually used for larger conferences and events.
Appetiser – small bite-sized food served before a gala dinner
Attendees – the people present at a function
Auditorium – a purpose-built performance room
Auditorium Style – table and seating arrangement where the inner tables and chairs directly face the front of the room but the outer tables and/or chairs are angled upwards.
Auto Cue – (teleprompter) a device that offers a visual version of a script. Used often by TV presenters and News Anchors.
AV (Audio/Visual) – equipment with both sound and visual components used for the presentation of material/information.


B2B – business to business
B2C – business to consumer
Banquet Style – seating arrangement where round tables are placed in rows. Rows are set off centre in order to maximise space.
Back Curtain –curtain used at the back of a theatre stage to block out unwanted light.
Back Drop – painted curtain or drape used to re-create a scene for a photo shoot
Back Light – light from behind a performer, musician or object
Baffle – A partition specifically constructed to control traffic, light, air, or sound.
Banquet Top Table and Sprigs – table placement where rectangular tables are placed in rows with seats at both sides. This set up allows for a head or top table to be placed at the front of the room.
Blackout – loss of lighting/the non-airing of a radio or TV program
Board – audio and/or lighting console
Boards – slang term for stage floor
Boardroom Style – a round, rectangular or oval shaped tabled with chairs at all the way round.
Bowl food – a substantial alternative to canapés. A range of high quality savoury and sweet small dishes, served in small bowls or other small containers, to be eaten standing up with small forks, spoons or chopsticks
Breakdown – to take down equipment or other items that have been set-up especially for an event or function.
Break-Out Sessions – small group sessions, panels, workshops or presentations, offered concurrently within the event, formed to focus on specific subjects
Business Centre – a venue or set of rooms used solely for business meetings and presentations.


Cabaret Style – a number of small round tables with chairs facing a stage area.
Canapés – a small appetiser often served before a meal and eaten with the fingers. Can be hot or cold
Cancellation Clause – policy or statement that details the terms and conditions under which a person or group may terminate the agreement/reservation and/or contract.
Cash Bar – bar at an event or function where guests can purchase drinks as opposed to an open bar where alcohol is provided for free.
Caterer – an individual or company hired to provide food (and sometimes beverages) at an event. Create Food and Party Design is our preferred caterer at the majority of our venues
Catering – a food service for an event.
Check In – to announce arrival
Check Out – to announce departure

  1. to rent or lease to a group or organization often used when referring to a bus, plane or boat.
  2. the grant of authority or rights that allows the recipient the prerogative to exercise the rights specified
  3. project charter: statement of objectives, roles and responsibilities in a project in order to serve as a reference of authority for the future of the project. 4. Charter member: an original member of an organization.

Classroom Style – rows of tables and chairs facing a stage or platform
Client – a person who pays for the products and/or services of another
Coeliac – medical condition which requires a gluten-free diet
Compensation – payment received for services provided.
Commission – a payment made to an individual or organisation for bringing business to another individual or organisation. This is standard procedure in the events industry. At Venueseeker we will never quote you a rate higher than the one you’d get if you went to the venue directly either, in fact due to our great venue relationships you’re likely to get a better rate with us. We’re just here to make your job easier!
Complimentary – comp. Service, or item provided free of charge
Conference Centre – a venue or set of rooms used solely for business meetings and presentations.
Conference Pack – an informational pack given at a conference. It may include a map of the venue, a schedule or programme or activities or events, name tags, contact information, information on venue facilities.
Confirmation – the act of confirming a reservation.
Continental Breakfast – a breakfast that normally includes: an assortment of different bread with butter/jam/honey, cheese, meat, croissants, cereal, pastries, fruit juice and hot beverages
Contingency Plan (/Back-Up Plan) – a document that is prepared in before the event to address what to do when the intended plan changes or when an emergency occurs.
Corkage – a small fee charged for bringing your own wine to an event
Corporate Event Planner or Organiser – An individual who organises corporate events for companies, such as meetings, conferences, team building, award ceremonies and evening events.
Crew – a group or team of people who work together at an event or theatre setting
Critical Time Plan – an event management planning tool which identifies tasks to be undertaken by whom and in what timeframe in order to ensure an event runs successfully
Cue – gesture, action and/or lighting/audio change that serves as a predetermined signal to a performer, musician, sound and/or lighting technician.


Dance Floor – the designated area of floor for dancing often distinguished by a difference in material
DB&B – dinner, bed and breakfast
Day Delegate Rate (DDR) – a day package offered to corporate customers by venues. Inclusions vary across venues, but DDRs typically include:

  • Use of meeting room and conference facilities, such as flip charts, pens, pads, projector and screen
  • Two servings of tea and coffee
  • Lunch

Delegate – the person attending the meeting or event.
Decibel – degree of loudness/the unit of measurement for sound
DMC (Destination Management Company) – a business that handles entertainment for a group of individuals (often conference or meeting attendees) from out of town


Early Bird Registration – advanced registration
Exclusive Use – private use i.e. solely for the use of a specific group or people
Evaluation – feedback regarding an event or performance evaluation conducted on staff or team members
Event – an event can be anything from a small charity fundraiser to wedding or large music concert
#EventProfs / #EventProfsUK – Hashtags used by the events industry. #EventprofsUK is used to indicate UK specific tweets.
Exhibition – a public display or demonstration
Exhibitor – a person who displays works of art or other items of interest at an exhibition
Emcee – entertainment or event host. Will often lead activities and introduce performance acts


Fairtrade – a way of trading that ensures small farmers in developing countries receive fair market price for their products enabling them to improve and maintain a decent standard of living

  1. positive criticism that normally highlights both positive and negative elements with ways to improve
  2. distortion on sound normally unpleasant to the ear, often occurring when a microphone frequency interferes with the frequency of a speaker

Floor Plan – the lay out of the room to include table and seating arrangements along with entertainment or stage area
Food & Beverage (F & B) – any catering service provided by a venue during an event i.e. refreshment breaks, lunch, drinks reception
Forum – online or offline meeting place where ideas and views on a specific issue are discussed
Fork Buffet – a buffet style eating arrangement where all food provided can be eaten with a fork
Front Projection – projector that projects an image onto a screen that is in front of it
Full English Breakfast – a traditionally British breakfast consisting of tea, coffee, juices, toast and eggs (fried, scrambled or poached), bacon, sausages, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes (and if you are lucky black pudding!)


Gala Dinner – a glamorous social event involving a sit down meal, dancing and entertainment. Often used as a great fundraiser
Get-in – the specified time for crew and staff to access a venue for set-up
Green Events – events than minimise carbon emissions for travelling delegates and speakers, save energy, practice recycling, and adopt environmentally friendly measures wherever practical and possible. The British Standards Institute to develop BS8901 a specification for a Sustainability Management System for Events, which has now being developed into an International Standard ISO 20121.
Group Booking – a reservation for a large number of people
Group Rate – a special or discounted rate given for a large group booking
Guaranteed Late Arrival –a guaranteed late arrival policy will allow for a reservation to be held for guests who have confirmed that they will be arriving late as opposed to letting their booking go back into circulation for sale. Often used by hotels for guests who will be checking in late into the evening
Guests – people invited to an event of function


Halal Food – catering prepared according to Islamic Law including meat slaughtered in a particular manner and permissible food
Hashtag -– a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the symbol #. Messages used on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram may be tagged by putting “#” before them. Hashtags make it possible to group such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it. #EventProfs and #EventrProfUK are both Hashtags used by the events industry. #EventprofsUK is used to indicate UK specific tweets.
Head Table – the main or principle table seating the most important people at an event or function
Herringbone Style – table arrangement used for dinners that will involve a speaker. Tables are placed at a diagonal pointing towards the front of the room with chairs are set on both sides and at the head of the table. The end of the table is left open so no one has their back to the speaker
Hollow Square Style – table arrangement where tables are placed in such a way as to form a square with an open inside space. Chairs are only placed on the outside of square
House Wine – generally the cheapest and usually the best value wine available at an event or restaurant


Incentive – reward offered by employers to stimulate greater effort
Incentive Travel – a business scheme where vacation travel is offered as a reward, prize or motivational bonus by companies to qualifying employees to encourage high performance levels.
In-House – production of a product or service by a company’s own staff and funds.
Invoice – a document that indicates costs for goods and services owed by one individual or company to another.



Keynote – opening remarks or presentation at a meeting that sets the tone or theme of the event and motivates attendees
Keynote Address – a session that opens or highlights the show, meeting or event
Keynote Speaker – a headline speaker whose presentation establishes the theme or tone of the event. Often a public figure
Kosher – food prepared according to Jewish dietary laws


Laser Pointer – a pen shaped device that emits a laser beam. Often used during conferences, business meetings and lectures to draw attention to certain areas of an enlarged image from a projector
Lavaliere Microphone – a small microphone that is clipped onto clothing to allow the speaker to move
Lapel Microphone – microphone that is clipped onto a person’s collar or part of clothing that is closest to the face
LCD /Liquid Crystal Display – advanced technology that improves image quality. Often a term used in television
LCD Projector – modern projector that displays enlarged images onto a wall or screen
LED – light emitting diode or light source which uses very little electricity in order to produce light
Lead Time – the amount of time that passes between the start of a process and its completion
Lectern – podium or tall stand with sloping top which speaker or lecturer can use to place their notes, books or other material.
Load In – the process of bringing in entertainment equipment and setting it up on stage ready for a performance


Mark-up – the amount added to the cost of goods or services to produce the desired profit
Master of the Ceremonies (MC) – a person in charge of procedures at an event or function
who will introduce the evening entertainment and entertain the audience.
Maître d’ – the person in charge of a restaurant or event (especially in hotels).
Maximum Capacity – the most amount of people permitted
Meeting Professional – an individual who plans and provides services for meetings, conferences, etc.
Mic – short for microphone
MICE – Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE, with the “E” sometimes referring to events)
Minimum Spend – the minimum amount of money to be spent on a product and/or service
Minimum Capacity – the smallest number of people required


Networking – a social engagement of meeting people in order to form good business connections
Non-Transferable – not allowed to be transferred from one person’s name to another. E.g. an event entry ticket in a particular person’s name may not be passed to and used by another person
No-Show – hotel guest or delegate who has a reservation does not advise the hotel that they are not going to use it


On Consumption – paying only for what has been consumed as opposed to paying in advance
Open Bar: bar at an event or function where the alcohol is provided for free. This may or may not be budgeted after which the open bar will convert into a cash bar
Overbooked – when an event or event venue has more reservations than there is room for
Overbooking – the process of taking in too many reservations for an event or event venue than there is room for
Overhead Projector – a device that projects an enlarged image onto a screen or wall using a light and mirror system


Per Room Rate – cost of accommodation based on a fee per room
Press Kit – A package of materials put together for the media, usually contained in a folder, in which news releases, product announcements and other materials intended for the media are distributed.
Press Release – description of a newsworthy occurrence written in journalistic or unbiased style and mailed to the news media. A press release is usually intended to promote an event or further the reputation of a facility.
Pro Forma Invoice – or confirmed purchase order is a document that states a commitment of good and/or services from the seller at specified prices and terms but is not used to record financial transaction.
Pre-Registration – booking before an event takes places. Allows attendees to register for an event before it actually takes place. Done through mail, phone, internet or fax. Often at a lower rate
Proposal – a plan or suggestion of services put forward for consideration


Q&A – questions and answers
Questionnaire – a set of specific questions in order to attain certain information often for a survey or study


Rack Rate – the suggested retail price. A term often used in the travel/hotel industry to describe the inflated prices someone pays when booking a room directly with a hotel rather than a discounted travel agency
Rear Projection – projector that projects an image from behind a screen rather than from in front of it
Registration Fee – an initial sum of money or deposit required to ensure registration, placement or enrolment. Not normally returned upon cancellation. The remaining amount of the full attendance fee is paid upon entrance to the event or venue
Registration Area – area of a venue designated solely for the purpose of handling guest registration and registration fees
Risk Assessment – safety assessment (could be of a venue or structure)
Rigging – rigging equipment is used to suspend light and sound systems and aerial performers
Rigger or Rigging Specialist – person highly qualified in assembling sound, lighting and show structures for indoor and outdoor performances, including moving scenery and equipment for aerial acts
Rooming List – conference guestroom reservation list that shows names and corresponding room numbers
Room Hire Rate – the fee to rent the room
Room Turnover/Turnaround – the time it takes change the layout of an event space according to predetermined set-up requirements


Serpentine Tables – curved tables that can be used at corner points in U-Shape, Conference and Hollow Square style table/seating set ups
Site – the location for an event
Site Visit – visitation of event site/venue to check layout, facilities and safety features
Skirting – decorative fabric placed around a table or riser to conceal the area underneath
SPL – sound pressure level
Spot Light – beam of light used to light up a performer or entertainer
Spot Light Operator – someone qualified/trained to operate a spot light
Sound Technician – the person in charge of the sound
Stage Hand – person who works backstage or behind the scenes in a theatre, film or other performance venue. Their role is to help with setting up and striking performance props, scenery and other set-ups
Street Food – The term ‘Street food’ has various influences and inspirations, however, it is generally considered to be artisan food sold on the streets, or more accurately, not served from restaurants or cafes
Supplier – The individual or company that sells goods or services to another company; term often used synonymously with “vendor”


Theatre Style – layout of a room where rows of chairs are facing a stage
Toastmaster – the person in charge of making the toast or series of toasts, introducing speakers and making other formal announcements.
Top Table – the main or most important table in the room – normally situated in full view of all other tables.


Upgrade – to replace a product or service with another that is of better quality
Unusual/Unique Venues – any venue that is a little different but is generally not a hotel. Venueseeker specialises in venues like this
U-Shape Style – when tables and chairs are set in such a way to form a U shape often facing a focal point such as a podium, head table or stage area
Usher – a person who shows someone to his or her seat. Often seen at theatre performances and weddings


Vegan – a person who does not eat meat or dairy products
Vegetarian – a person who does not eat meat but will eat diary products
Value Added – something you get when you work with Venueseeker
Vendor – the company retained by an event planner to handle one or more aspects of an event; term sometimes used synonymously with “Supplier”
Vendor agreement – a legal contract between event planner and vendor
Venue – Place or site where an event is to take place
Venue Finding – a service or act of finding a place for an event, function or meeting that meets certain requirements and expectations Venueseeker does this really well!
V-Shape Style Set Up – table/seating arrangement where tables/chairs are set similar to classroom style but angled to face a head table or podium at the front of the room
VIP – Very Important Person, often used to refer to a celebrity or person with authority or high social status.
VVIP – Very Very important person


Webcast – an event that broadcasts the audio and/or video portion of a keynote presentation or other educational sessions over the Web in real-time
Web Conferencing – web browser-based video-conferencing
Welcome Reception – the opening of an event where welcome drinks and canapés etc are served
Workshop – this is a term given to areas/rooms that are allocated in addition to the main plenary session; they can consist of teambuilding exercises, Informal sessions of free discussions or training sessions in which delegates, often develop skills and knowledge in a given field
WIFI – wireless local area network. A technology that allows people to exchange data over a computer network (Internet) without the need of a cable
Working Lunch – a lunch over which business is discussed




Zero – what it cost to use our venue finding service.