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Glossary of Meeting Planner Jargon

  • AD Hoc Committee
    Committee formed to deal with a specific issue and dissolved upon making its final report.
  • Advance Registration
    Registration for meeting activity made prior to opening day.
  • Agenda
    Subjects to be discussed at a meeting.
  • Air wall
    Movable wall or barrier dividing a large meeting room into two or more smaller rooms. These walls are not usually soundproof.
  • All-space hold
    Function and meeting space held at a hotel for the exclusive use of a group.
  • Ambient light
    The natural or existing light.
  • Attrition, or attrition schedule
    Usually applied to hotels. This means that if you’ve signed, say, a contract stating that you’ll guarantee to reserve 50 percent of the rooms you’ve requested, and they’re still unsold, they’ll release 25 percent of those rooms and try to sell them. If they sell them, you’re not liable. If they are not sold, you are liable.
  • Association
    Usually a non-profit organization of people with a common goal or purpose.
  • Association Planner
    Meeting planner who works for an association.
  • Attendee
    Individual, such as a guest, at the conference site but not necessarily involved with the meeting sessions.
  • Authorized Signature
    Signature of person(s) with authority: (1) To charge to facility master account. (2) To guarantee payment, and (3) to contract for space, services, and supplies.
  • Badge
    Identifying tag worn by meeting participants sometimes called a name tag.
  • Banquet Order
    A document that lists food for all meals for the whole meeting or event. Banquet orders usually contain other information for events, such as lists of AV equipment
  • Barrier-Free
    Absence of obstacles preventing handicapped persons from moving freely to all public areas within a building.
  • Bill of Lading
    Document or form listing goods to be shipped.
  • Brainstorming
    Group sessions in which all participants contribute creative ideas.
  • Break-Out Sessions
    Small group sessions, within the meeting, formed to discuss specific subjects.
  • Bunting
    Flags used collectively, or swaged strips of cloth hung as festive decorations from walls or tables.
  • Cancellation Clause
    (1) Provision in a contract which outlines penalties if cancellation occurs, for both parties for failure to comply with terms of the agreement. (2) (Entertainment) Provision with artist’s contract which allows artist to cancel within a specified period of time prior to play date.
  • Capacity
    Maximum number of people allowed in any given area.
  • Clearance
    Clear space between passing object and sides or roof of a passageway.
  • Clinic
    Workshop-type educational experience.
  • CMP
    (1) Certified Meeting Professional. (2) Complete Meeting Package.
  • Coach
    Individuals who help develop presentation skills.
  • Cold Call
    Sales call made without an appointment.
  • Colloquium
    Informal participatory discussion on group-selected topics.
  • Comp
    Abbreviation for complimentary.
  • Complimentary (Comp)
    Service, space or item given at no charge.
  • Complimentary Registration
    Waiver of registration fees.
  • Computerized Registration
    Automated registration records.
  • Conclave
    Gathering of a group with shared or special interests.
  • Concurrent Sessions
    Sessions scheduled at the same time.
  • Conference
    Participatory meeting designed for discussion, fact-finding, problem solving, and consultation.
  • Congress
    (1) Meeting of an association of delegates or representatives from constituent organizations. (2)European term for convention.
  • Contract
    Legal document defining responsibilities for all parties concerned.
  • Convention
    Assemblage of delegates, representatives, and members of an organization convened for a common purpose.
  • Convention Bureau
    Service organization that provides destination promotion and may offer personnel, housing control, and other services for meetings and conventions.
  • Convention Center
    Facility for meetings and expositions without sleeping rooms.
  • Corporate Planner
    Meeting planner who works for a corporation.
  • Customs Broker
    Person or company which provides customs-clearing services to shippers of goods to and from another country.
  • Delegate
    Voting representative at a meeting.
  • Destination Manager
    Local on-site coordinator.
  • Dialogue
    Discussion of ideas and opinions.
  • Discussion Leader
    Person who introduces topic of discussion and controls the discussion in the group.
  • Docent
    Tour guide at a museum or art gallery.
  • Dolly
    Low, flat, usually two feet square platform on four wheels used for carrying heavy loads.
  • Dress Code
    Suggested acceptable dress.
  • Dry Run
    Rehearsal or trial run-through of program.
  • Easel
    Three- or four-legged stand with a rack used to hold cork board, magnetic board, posters, signs, charts, etc.
  • Estimate
    Preliminary calculation of the cost of work to be undertaken. (1) Critiquing and rating the overall success of a meeting. (2) Developing a meeting profile from accurate meeting statistics.
  • Evaluation
    Critiquing and rating the overall success of a meeting. (2) Developing a meeting profile from accurate meeting statistics.
  • Event Order
    See Function Sheet.
  • Facilitator
    Expert who guides discussion and/or decision making in small groups.
  • Fam Trip (Familiarization Trip)
    Hosted trip to assess facilities, locations, or services.
  • Feedback
    Audiovisual term to describe the return flow of noise into a room from amplifying equipment
  • Floater
    Worker(s) used by foreman to help out assigned labor for short periods of time.
  • Folio
    Individual charge accounts, either for guests or within one master account.
  • Force majeure
    Standard contract clause exempting either party from liability for non-fulfillment of services owing to acts of God or conditions beyond either party’s control.
  • Forum
    Open discussion with audience, panel, and moderator.
  • Function Board
    Announcements on facility board or video screen listing the day’s events. Also known as directory or reader boards.
  • Function Sheet
    Detailed instructions for a particular event, also known as banquet order, event order, or resume sheet.
  • Function Space
    Space in facility where private functions or events can be held.
  • Gratuity
    Gift for service rendered.
  • Hand Truck
    Small hand-propelled implement with two wheels and two handles used for transporting small loads.
  • Headquarters
    Hotel Facility, as the center of operations where registration, general sessions, and conference staff office is located.
  • Hidden Charge
    Unbudgeted expense.
  • Hold Harmless
    Clause in contract ensuring that a group or company will not be responsible in the event of a claim.
  • Honorarium
    Voluntary payment made for services where no fee is legally required.
  • Housekeeping Announcements
    Announcements about schedule changes, locations of functions, and similar program information.
  • Housing Bureau
    Reservation office, within convention bureau, which coordinates housing for groups.
  • IHO
    In honor of.
  • Incentive
    Reward offered to stimulate greater effort.
  • Incentive Meeting
    Reward meeting, usually of high quality, in payment for achieving goals.
  • Incidentals
    On a hotel bill, items like laundry, mini-bars, room service and in-room movies. These are usually paid by the individual. The hotel will require a credit-card imprint to protect themselves against escalating incidentals.
  • Institute
    In-depth instructional meeting providing intensive education on a particular subject.
  • Interpretation
    See simultaneous Interpretation.
  • Keynote Speaker
    Main stage speaker who sets the tone or theme of a meeting.
  • Lecture
    Informative and instructional speech.
  • Letter of Agreement
    Document outlining proposed services, space, or products which becomes binding upon written approval by both parties.
  • Liability
    Legal responsibility to make good a loss or claim.
  • Lock-up
    Lockable storage area.
  • Logo
    Symbol identifying an organization or event.
  • M.C. (Emcee)
    See Master of Ceremonies.
  • Master of Ceremonies
    Person who presides over the program.
  • Moderator
    Person who presides over panel discussions and forums.
  • Off-Site Event
    Activity scheduled away from facility.
  • On-Site Registration
    Process of signing up for an event on the day of, or at the site of, the event.
  • Outside Line
    Telephone line from in-house to the outside obtained through the in-house operator.
  • Overflow
    Attendees booked into facilities after headquarters facilities are full.
  • Panel
    Discussion with a moderator and two or more participants.
  • Participant
    Person actively involved in a meeting.
  • PBX Operator
    Switchboard operator.
  • PCO
    Professional Conference Organizer.
  • Perk
    See Perquisite.
  • Perquisite
    Payment, benefit, or privilege received in addition to regular income or salary.
  • Pert
    Acronym for Program Evaluation and Review Techniques.
  • Pert Chart
    Organizational flow chart defining responsibilities, due dates and other information.
  • Plenary Sessions
    General assembly open to all participants.
  • Post Conference Registration
    Registration for an activity or function which follows a meeting.
  • Post Conference Reservation
    Guest room space following a conference.
  • Poster Session
    Display of reports and papers, usually scientific, accompanied by authors or researchers.
  • Pre-assigned Seating
    Predetermined seat assignments.
  • Pre-Registered
    Reservation which has been made in advance with the necessary paperwork.
  • Pre-Registration
    (1) Necessary paperwork for event completed prior to arrival. (2) (Facility) Pre-assigned guest rooms available for occupancy.
  • Presenter
    Person explaining a given topic in an informational session.
  • Press Room
    Space reserved for media representatives.
  • Procession
    Group of individuals moving in an orderly, often ceremonial manner.
  • Program Book
    Printed schedule of meeting events, location of function rooms, and other pertinent information.
  • Program Design
    Structure of meeting program elements to achieve specific goals and objectives.
  • Promotion
    Publicizing an event.
  • Property
    Lodging establishment such as a hotel, motel, inn, resort, conference center, or meeting facility.
  • Proposal
    Plan put forth for consideration or acceptance.
  • Protocol
    Customers and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence, and etiquette.
  • Q & A
    Question and Answer period.
  • Rack rates
    A hotel’s published room rates, always higher than group rates.
  • Rally
    Gathering to promote enthusiasm and excitement.
  • Rapporteur
    Monitor who evaluates conference sessions.
  • Rap Sessions
    Informal sessions with no specific agenda.
  • Receiving Line
    Dignitaries, host, sponsor, and guest of honor lined up to greet guests.
  • Recession
    Withdrawing procession.
  • Reg Area
    Registration area.
  • Reg Desk
    Registration desk.
  • Registrant
    Individual who has submitted a registration form and attends an event.
  • Registrar
    Individual responsible for handling registrations.
  • Registration
    Process by which an individual indicates his intent to attend a conference or stay at a property.
  • Registration Kit
    Packet of meeting materials such as program book, tickets, maps, etc.
  • Rehearsal
    Practicing a presentation.
  • Resume Sheet
    See Function Sheet.
  • Rooming list
    A blocked-off list of rooms held by a hotel for a meeting or event.
  • Room Setup
    Layout of tables, chairs, other furniture, and equipment for functions.
  • Round Robin
    Contest or tournament in which each participant is matched with every other participant.
  • Rounds
    Banquet managers often refer to tables as “rounds,” so if you hear the phrase, “three rounds of eight” it means three round tables seating eight people each.
  • Sales Blitz
    Intense selling effort in a particular locality.
  • Sales Meeting
    Meeting to introduce new products and their applications or to motivate sales staff.
  • Script
    Written text of program presentations.
  • Security, Facility
    Facility personnel responsible for maintaining safety on the premises.
  • Security, Private
    Security personnel hired from a privately operated company.
  • Seminar
    Lecture and dialogue allowing participants to share experiences in a particular field under the guidance of an expert discussion leader.
  • Setup
    (1) Way in which a function room is arranged. (2) Mixers, fruit, and glassware accompanying a liquor order.
  • Signage
    All informational and directional signs required for an event.
  • Simultaneous Interpretation
    Process of translating one language into another while the speaker is speaking.
  • Site Inspection
    Personal, careful investigation of a property, facility, or area.
  • Skirting
    Material or decorative covering around risers or staging, used to hide the support structure. In audiovisual terms, material hung around or at the bottom of screens to hide screen supports and to create a movie-house effect for rear-screen projection
  • Sound mixing
    Audiovisual phrase referring to the process of combining separately recorded material onto a master tape.
  • Speaker Types
    keynote, general session and seminar leader who are topic specialists; trainers and workshop leaders who allow for group participation and interaction; and change of pace speakers such as humorists and entertainers.
  • Speakers’ Lounge
    Area set aside for speakers to meet, relax, or prepare prior to or between speeches.
  • Speaker rehearsal room
    Room furnished with video equipment, viewers, projectors and slide trays for use by speakers as they rehearse their presentations, load slide trays and prepare slides.
  • Spouse tour/programs
    Educational or special events developed for the spouses of meeting attendees.
  • Staging
    Producing an event, or, a platform.
  • Special Event
    Unique activity.
  • Specifications
    Complete description of meeting requirements.
  • Spouse Programs
    Educational and/or social events planned for spouses and guests of meeting participants.
  • Squirrel Cage
    Drum used for raffle tickets.
  • Stable
    Group of speakers or entertainers usually under agreement with a particular bureau or agency.
  • Staging
    (1) Design and placement of elements for events. (2) Implementation of an event.
  • Staging Guide
    Compilation of all function sheets, scripts, instructions, room set-up diagrams, directory of key personnel, forms, and other material relating to the event.
  • Standing Committee
    Committee, defined by organizational bylaws, which meets for a specific purpose.
  • State-of-the-Art
    Newest technology available.
  • Strike
    In exhibit terminology, it means the dismantling of exhibits, including audiovisual equipment. (“To strike a room.”) It can also mean a labor walkout.
  • Supplier
    Facility, company, agency, or person offering space, goods and services for meetings.
  • Surcharge
    Charge over and above established rates.
  • Symposium
    Event at which experts discuss a particular subject and opinions are gathered.
  • Teaser
    Promotional piece designed to build interest in an event.
  • Teleconference
    Type of meeting which brings together three or more people in two or more locations through telecommunications.
  • Tip
    See Gratuity.
  • Trade Show
    Exhibit of products and services that is not open to the public.
  • Traffic Flow
    Movement of people through an area.
  • Trainer
    Instructor of techniques and skills on a specific subject.
  • Training Meeting
    Structured learning session in which instructor presents specific information and techniques.
  • Transcription
    Written copy of spoken material.
  • Transfer
    (1) Process of moving equipment and/or people from one point to another. (2) Transportation between terminals and hotels.
  • Translation Service
    Translating written material from one language to another.
  • Trouble Shoot
    Process of finding out why plans or equipment are not working properly.
  • Utility Box
    Box in floor, wall, or column which houses electric outlets and other utility sources.
  • Vendor
    One who sells services or is a supplier.
  • Venue
    (1) Meeting site or destination. (2) (Entertainment) Location of performance such as hall, ballroom, auditorium, etc.
  • Walk
    Hotel term referring to the displacement of guests. It means that guests with confirmed reservations are either turned away or “walked” to another hotel because of over-booking or because expected guest departures did not occur as planned.
  • Walkie-Talkie
    Wireless radio that transmits and receives oral communication.
  • Walk-Through
    (1) Review of meeting details. (2) Site inspection. (3) Inspection of function room prior to function. (4) Inspection of trade show floor prior to opening.
  • Walk-Up Call
    Asking the celebrity or speaker to come up on stage from the audience to make a presentation.
  • Workshop
    Training session in which participants, often through exercises, develop skills and knowledge in a given field.
  • Wrap-Up
    (1) To conclude a meeting. (2) To prepare the final report on a meeting.
Facility Glossary
  • Account Sheet
    See Tally Sheet.
  • Adjoining Rooms
    Rooms with common walls which do not have connecting doors.
  • All Space Hold
    All function space at a facility is reserved for one client.
  • Amenities
    Complimentary items in sleeping rooms such as shower caps, shampoo, and shoe shine mitt provided by facility for guests.
  • American Plan (AP)
    Room rate includes three meals.
  • Arrival Pattern
    Anticipated dates and times of arrival of group members.
  • Arrival Time
    Time or approximate time guests plan to arrive at a facility.
  • Block
    (1) Number of rooms reserved for one group. (2) To assign space.
  • Book
    To sell room space.
  • Breakdown
    Time required to dismantle a function area.
  • Cabana
    Room adjacent to pool area, with or without sleeping facilities.
  • Cash Registration
    Full payment for anticipated room and tax charges at registration: credit for incidentals not extended.
  • Cash Reservation
    Payment with reservation for full or part of stay.
  • Chain Lock
    Device which connects a chain to a closed and ajar door or doorjamb.
  • Change Order
    Facility form to advise departments of changes in reservations or functions.
  • Check-In
    Procedure for guest arrival and registration.
  • Check-Out
    Procedure for guest departure including account statement.
  • Check-Out Time
    Time set by facility when guests are required to vacate rooms.
  • Closed
    See Full House.
  • Commercial Rate
    See Corporate Rate.
  • Commitment
    Agreement between buyer and facility to reserve function and guest room space.
  • Comp Rooms
    Complimentary room(s) which a facility provides without charge based on the number of rooms picked-up and occupied by a group.
  • Computer Card
    (Registration) See Registration Card Key.
  • Concierge
    (1) Facility staff which provides special services such as tickets to local events, transportation, and tour arrangements. (2) Designated area in facility providing special amenities and services to guests.
  • Confirmation
    Written acknowledgment of a reservation request.
  • Confirmed Reservation
    Oral or written agreement by a facility to accept a request for an accommodation; to be binding the agreement must state the intent of the parties, the particular date, the rate, type of accommodations, and the number to accommodated; oral agreement may require guest credit card number.
  • Connecting Rooms
    Two or more rooms with private connecting doors permitting access between rooms.
  • Continental Plan
    Room rate includes continental breakfast.
  • Convention Service Manager
    Facility manager who is responsible for all details of an event.
  • Corporate Rate
    Special room rate, lower than rack rate, for corporations that have made prior arrangements with the facility.
  • Cut-Off Date
    Designated day when the facility will release a block of sleeping rooms to the general public.
  • Cut-Off Time
    Hour when a non-guaranteed reservation must be filled or it may be cancelled.
  • Definite Booking
    Space reservations confirmed in writing.
  • Departure Date
    Date when majority of meeting participants check-out of a facility.
  • Deposit
    Partial payment to secure product or service.
  • Direct Billing
    Accounts receivable mailed: individuals or firms with established credit.
  • D.O.S.
    Director of sales.
  • Double Bed
    Bed measuring 53 in. x 75 in.
  • Double Booking
    Reserving space for two groups for the same dates when only one group can be accommodated.
  • Double-Double Room
    Room with two double-size beds suitable for two to four persons.
  • Double Lock
    Two locks, one dead bolt on door for extra security.
  • Double Room
    Room with one large bed for two persons.
  • Early Arrival
    (1) Guest arrival before confirmed reservation date and/or time. (2) Arrival prior to arrival of the majority of the group.
  • Efficiency
    Guest room with kitchen facilities.
  • E-Key
    Key used to prevent a guest from entering his room.
  • Engineering
    Facility department charged with keeping the building in working condition.
  • E.P.O.
    See Pay Own.
  • European Plan (EP)
    Room rate does not include meals.
  • Flat Rate
    See Run-Of-The House Rate.
  • Folio
    Form on which all charge transactions incurred by a registered guest are recorded.
  • Forecast
    To predict a hotel’s occupancy situation on any given day or dates.
  • Foyer Public
    Area in hotel or hall for assembly or registration.
  • Full American Plan (FAP)
    See American Plan.
  • Full House
    All rooms occupied or committed.
  • Function Book
    Diary used to control the assignment of meeting space within a facility.
  • Group Booking
    Reservation for a block of rooms specifically for a group.
  • Guaranteed Late Arrival
    Guest room that is guaranteed by credit card or advance payment if arrival is later than six p.m.
  • Guaranteed Reservations
    Pre-paid reservation held until agreed arrival time, or check-out time the next day, whichever occurs first. Guest is responsible for payment if reservation is not cancelled.
  • House Account
    Term for internal accounting by the facility to cover incidental expenses not chargeable to the meeting or another hotel account.
  • House Count
    Number of sleeping rooms actually occupied during a particular night.
  • House Keeping
    Facility department charged with maintaining guest rooms.
  • House Plan
    Diagram depicting the function space in a facility or the entire facility.
  • Incidentals
    Expenses other than room and tax, billed to a guest’s account.
  • King Room
    Room with king-sized bed suitable for one or two persons.
  • King-Sized Bed
    Large bed usually measuring 76 in. x 80 in. Long, king-size bed measures 76 in. x 84 in.
  • Lanai
    Room with a patio or balcony overlooking a garden or water.
  • Lobby
    Public area which serves as an entrance or waiting area.
  • Lockout
    Refusal by a facility to allow guests access to their guest rooms.
  • Master Account
    Form on which authorized charges incurred in a facility by a group are recorded.
  • Master Bill - RTI
    Room, tax, and incidentals billed to master account.
  • Master Key
    One key that will open function and guest rooms.
  • M.O.D.
    Manager on duty.
  • Modified American Plan (MAP)
    Room rate includes breakfast and dinner.
  • Murphy Bed
    Retractable bed built into the wall.
  • No-Show
    Reservation not used or cancelled.
  • Off-Season
    Facility occupancy is at its lowest level.
  • One For Fifty or 1/50
    Facility complimentary room policy: one complimentary room night for every fifty room nights picked-up.
  • Open
    Rooms are available for sale or occupancy.
  • Outlets
    Restaurants and lounges within a facility.
  • Out of Order (000)
    Room under renovation or requiring maintenance.
  • Over Booking
    Accepting reservations for more guest rooms than are available; usually due to anticipated no-shows.
  • Overstay
    See Stay Over.
  • Padlock
    Removable lock with a shackle that can be passed through a staple, ring, or link and then closed securely.
  • Paid in Advance
    Registration (See Cash Registration)
  • Paid Out
    In-house facility form authorizing cash withdrawal to be charged to master account or individual guest.
  • Pay Own
    Each guest pays own guest charges.
  • Penthouse Suite
    Guest rooms and suites located on top floors of facility.
  • Pick-up
    Number of facility guest rooms actually used out of a room block.
  • Pre-Convention Briefing
    Meeting with planner and facility department heads to review purpose and details of event.
  • Pre-Opening
    Period of time before a property’s soft opening.
  • Pre-Registration
    List Computer-generated list of names pre-registered with a group.
  • Printout
    See Pre-Registration List.
  • Public Space
    Space in a facility that is available for public use.
  • Quadruple (Quad)
    Room with two or more beds for four persons.
  • Queen Room
    Room with one queen-size bed suitable for one or two persons.
  • Queen-Size Bed
    Large bed usually measuring 60 in. x 80 in.
  • Rack Rate
    Facility’s standard, pre-established guest room rates.
  • Registration Card
    Signature form used by facility when registering a guest.
  • Room Card
    Key Plastic card used in place of room key.
  • Reservation
    Process by which an individual or group secures space at a facility.
  • Reservation Center
    Telephone reservation sales office.
  • Roll-A-Way
    Portable bed that can be provided for extra persons.
  • Room Block
    See Block.
  • Room Nights
    Number of rooms blocked or occupied multiplied by number of nights each room is reserved or occupied.
  • Room Service
    Facility department which provides food and beverage service to guest rooms.
  • Rooming List
    List of facility guests and room data supplied to facility prior to arrival.
  • RTI
    Room, tax, and incidentals.
  • Run-of-the-House Rate
    One rate for facility guest room block. Does not include suites.
  • Sample Room
    Room with or without sleeping facilities, for displaying merchandise.
  • Season
    Period of time when facility occupancy is at its highest level.
  • Secure
    Act to make safe against adverse contingencies.
  • Shoulder
    Intermediate time, in the hospitality industry, between peak and low seasons.
  • Single Bed
    See Twin Bed.
  • Single Room
    Guest room occupied by one person.
  • Skip
    Departing guest who fails to pay for accommodations.
  • Soft Opening
    Time when a property is open for business prior to the grand opening.
  • Space
    Area in a facility where a group’s private function may be held.
  • Sprinkler
    Presence of an overhead fire extinguishing system.
  • Sprinkler System
    Internal watering fire protection system.
  • Stay Over
    Guest who stays at facility beyond stated departure date.
  • Studio
    Room with couches that convert to beds.
  • Suite
    Parlor with one or more guest rooms.
  • Tally Sheet
    Form used to keep track of number of rooms sold and/or still available.
  • Tentative Hold
    Spare temporarily held by a facility pending a define booking.
  • Three Sheet
    See Triple Sheet.
  • Triple Sheet
    Bed made with a third sheet on top of the blanket.
  • Turn-Down Service
    Early evening service in which beds are prepared for sleeping.
  • Twin Bed
    Bed measuring 38 in. x 75 in.
  • Twin Double Room
    Room occupied by two people.
  • Twin Room
    Room with two twin beds suitable for two persons.
  • Twins
    See Twin Room.
  • Under Depart
    See Stay Over.
  • Under Stay
    See Unexpected Departure.
  • Unexpected Departure
    Guest who leaves facility before the stated departure date.
  • Walk
    Guest holding confirmed reservation sent to another facility because of over booking.
  • Walk-In
    Guest requesting accommodation without a reservation.
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