A/V Contractor

Supplier of technical staff and audiovisual equipment (e.g. projectors, screens, sound systems, video, and staging).

A/V Technician

An audiovisual professional who is responsible for the set-up, configuration or operation of lighting, sound, video, staging or other similar elements of an event function.


1) Written summaries of speeches or papers, generally between 200-500 words.

2) A brief statement of content.

Abstract Board

Usually rolling corkboards used for attaching copies of research papers for authors to discuss with participants.


Association of Collegiate Conference & Events Directors – International

Acceleration Clause

A provision sometimes used in contracts to accelerate deposit payment schedule or to demand full prepayment of master account in the event of a default or lack of credit by the organization. May also apply in other situations, such as assignments.


A requirement for entering into a binding contract. If a contract proposal (offer) is made, it is accepted if the offeree signs the offer as submitted. If the offeree makes any changes to the offer before signing, it is a counter offer, not acceptance.

Accepted Practices Exchange

APEX. An initiative of the meetings, conventions & exhibitions industry managed by the Convention Industry Council (CIC). APEX develops and manages the implementation of accepted practices (voluntary standards) for the industry.


Capable of being used by people with physical challenges and disabilities.


1) Any seat, berth, room, or service provided and/or sold to a guest, attendee or passenger.

2) A step taken to allow a person with a disability, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to participate in an event.


Official authorization or approval; to provide with credentials;  to recognize or vouch for as conforming with a standard; to recognize a post-secondary institution or degree-bearing program as meeting and maintaining academic standards.

Accrual Accounting

1) An accounting method that enters income and expenses into the books at the time of contract versus when payment is received or expenses incurred (cash accounting).

2) A system in which revenue and expenses are accounted for as soon as they are committed.


Association for Convention Operation Management.

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 a contracting party 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.

Action Station

Chefs prepare foods to order and serve them fresh to guests.  Also called Performance Stations, Carving Stations, or Exhibition Cooking.

Actual Weight

Also known as gross shipping weight. Determined by (1) weighing a vehicle empty, (2) loading a shipment and returning the vehicle to the scale to obtain the weight, and (3) subtracting the two weights. Can also be obtained by individually weighing each piece of freight.

Ad Hoc Committee

Committee formed to deal with a specific issue to be resolved upon making its final report.

Ad Valorem Tax

Tax applied to an item according to the value of an item.


Americans with Disabilities Act. U.S. legislation passed in 1990 requiring public buildings (offices, hotels, restaurants, etc.) to make adjustments meeting minimum standards to make their facilities accessible to individuals with physical disabilities.

Additional Insured

An individual or organization listed as covered by a primary insurance agreement.

Adjoining Rooms

Rooms with common walls, which do not have connecting doors.


Association of Destination Management Executives.

Adult Learner

An adult who is usually pursuing education to attain a specific and practical goal.

Advance Order

An order for goods and/or services ordered before the move-in date for an exhibition. Usually less expensive than a FLOOR ORDER.

Advance Rate

Fees associated with advance orders, which typically include discounts when paid in advance.

Advance Registration

Booking before an event takes places. Allows attendees to register for an event before it actually takes place.

Advisory Board

A group that offers advice or counsel to event organizer, event management, or other organization on strategic options such as education content, exhibitor matters, contracting policies or other issues.


Automated External Defibrillator. Device installed in many large public areas (e.g. airports, hotels, convention centers). Can be used by an individual to administer life-saving care to person experiencing a heart attack.

Affinity Group

Group sharing common interest, usually people who are members of an organization.


A list or plan of items to considered, decided, undertaken, or accomplished at a meeting or event. Agendas are generally formal, structured lists and may include a time schedule.


1) Broadly, one who acts or has the power to act: more usually, one that acts as the representative of another. Most frequently in travel, a specific kind of agent such as a retail travel agent.

2) Person that obtains engagements for entertainers, is paid by the entertainers and has no contract for production responsibilities.

3) Person in a speaker bureau/agency that acts on behalf of the seller (speaker) or on behalf of the buyer (customer).


American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Air Consignment Note

A bill of lading that covers domestic and international flights transporting goods to a specified destination.

Air Wall

Movable, track-mounted barrier that partitions a large area such as a ballroom or exhibition hall into smaller sections. May be sound resistant, but not necessarily sound proof.

Airfreight Forwarder

An airfreight company that transports freight via scheduled airlines. Forwarders do not operate their own planes.


1) Area between a booths/stands for attendee traffic movement.

2) Space between tables or chairs to allow passage of an audience.

All-Risks Insurance

Insurance against loss of or damage to property arising from any fortuitous cause except those that are specifically excluded. An insurance contract which provides All-Risks Insurance is an All-Risks policy.

Alternate Media

Alternatives to print materials (e.g. Braille, large print, etc.), telecommunications, computers, and other electronic media provided to assist people with disabilities in achieving full participation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Methods for resolving disputes without going to court.

Ambient Light

1) Level of illumination from natural lighting sources already existing in an environment.

2) Uncontrolled and unintended illumination.


AMC (Association Management Company) Institute.

American Breakfast

A meal of fruits and/ or juices, cereal, eggs, meat, bakery goods and hot or cold beverages.

American Plan

A type of hotel rate that includes the price of the room and all meals. Also Called FULL AMERICAN PLAN (FAP). See INCLUSIVE RATE.

American Service

Food is plated in the kitchen and placed before the guest. Side dishes are used for bread and butter and salad. Food is served from the left, beverages from the right, and all items are removed from the right. This is generally the service used for banquets.

Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA. U.S. legislation passed in 1992 requiring public buildings (offices, hotels, restaurants, etc.) to make adjustments meeting minimum standards to make their facilities accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. See ADA.


Alliance of Meeting Management Consultants


One Per Fifty. Facility complimentary room policy: one complimentary room night for every fifty room nights picked up and paid for. While 1/50 was once the standard, the complimentary policies vary per hotel and/or event.


An outdoor facility with a flat performance area surrounded by a sloped seating area for the audience. The seating area is usually a semi-circular shape or adapted to the surrounding landscape.


A method of conveying audio or video data electronically in by varying its signal frequency or amplitude.


The art and science of helping adults learn as opposed to pedagogy, which is the science of helping children learn.

Antitrust Laws

Laws designed to promote competition and prevent unfair practices that may lead to monopolies or suppression of competition.

Application Service Provider

ASP. A company that provides software to customers through the Internet using centralized servers owned and managed by the provider.


Part of a stage in front of the main curtain.


Private dispute resolution process, often referred to as alternate dispute resolution, in which the parties agree to submit their dispute to an impartial third party for a decision. Depending on the type of arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision may or may not be binding. Several organizations, including the American Arbitration Association and JAMS-Endispute, handle arbitration claims. Courts may require some disputes be submitted to arbitration instead of or prior to the formal trial process.

Arc Light

A light source providing high-intensity light utilizing a positive and negative metal rod (instead of a light bulb) for large screens or long projection distances; also used in follow spotlights; replaced by xenon lamps in the 1980s.


Facility type featuring a large flat main floor surrounded by fixed seats in a sloping oval or modified oval shape, much steeper that the typical theater. Some are arranged in two or more tiers. Sight lines are nearly always designed for events the size of a hockey floor, circus, ice show, or basketball court.

Arranged Environment

A learning environment with planned physical set-up and seating arrangements.

Arrival/Departure Pattern

A description of arrival and departure activities of an event’s attendees. This information should be included in the specifications guide for an event.


American Society of Association Executives.


American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. A membership organization that represents individuals who hold the copyrights to music written in the United States and grants licensing agreements for the performance of that music.

Aspect Ratio

The ratio of image width to height; pertaining to audiovisual, video and slides.


1) A general or formal meeting of an organization attended by representatives of its members for the purpose of deciding legislative direction, policy matters, holding elections, or conducting governance business of the organization. Consequently, an assembly usually observes certain rules of procedure for its meetings; generally prescribed in its Articles & By-laws.

2) The process of erecting display component parts into a complete exhibit.


An organized group of individuals and/or companies who band together to accomplish a common purpose, usually to provide for the needs of its members. Usually nonprofit.

Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning is a student-centered teaching method that uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people. Typically this is on-demand and can be video-on-demand (VoD), audio-on-demand (AoD), correspondence courses, email messages, bulletin boards, etc.

ATA Carnet

An international customs document that permits duty-free and tax-free temporary import of goods for up to one year. It eliminates or reduces VAT charges, customs fees, and bond fees. The initials “ATA” are an acronym of the French and English words “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission.” ATA Carnets cover commercial samples; professional equipment; and, goods for presentation or use at trade fairs, shows, exhibitions, etc. Items not covered are consumable or disposable goods, which will not be returned home.


The difference between the actual number of sleeping rooms picked-up (or food-and-beverage covers or revenue projections) and the number or formulas agreed to in the terms of the facility’s contract. Usually there is an allowable shortfall before damages are assessed.

Audience Count

The number of people in an audience. s involved in crowd control are usually reliable.

Audience Left and Right

Stage directions from the audience’s perspective. This is the opposite of STAGE LEFT AND RIGHT.

Audience Response System

Computer application that enables voting and then collects and displays the results, simplifying decision-making among event participants.


A conference using only voice transmissions between two or more sites.


Also “A/V”. Equipment, materials, and teaching aids used in sound and visual presentations, such as video projection, monitors, sound equipment, etc.


1) A methodical examination and review of records pertaining to an event. For instance, an independent verification of attendance figures submitted by an exhibition’s producers.

2) An unbiased examination and evaluation of the financial statements of an organization. It can be done internally (by employees of the organization) or externally (by an outside firm).


Room for gathering an audience for speeches, concerts etc. Often used to name entire facilities, though properly applied only to the seated portion of the facility in which the audience is assembled. Typically a building named in this way will be an arena or theater class building.

Auditorium Set-Up

Seating arrangement where chairs are arranged in rows facing head table, stage or speaker. Variations are semicircular and V-shaped. See THEATER SET-UP.

Authorized Signatory

A person who is authorized to legally bind an individual or organization to a contract, to sign checks on behalf of an organization, or charge to an organization’s master account.

Average Room Rate

1) Mathematical average of a series of sleeping room rates.

2) The total sleeping room revenue for a given period’s occupied rooms divided by the number of rooms occupied for the same period. In this instance the average is commonly referred to as a hotel’s Average Daily Rate (ADR).

Back Drape

A drape, curtain or fabric panel that provides a soft, colorful background for a speaker or stage presentation.

back drop

A term used to describe the type of reservation made on function space within a venue (hotel, convention center, etc.). An event organizer who has 24-hour hold on a space has exclusive use and access to that space for a period of 24-hours, usually 12:01 am – 12:00 pm.

Back Light

1) A light source that illuminates any transparent or translucent material from behind.

2) A lighting instrument used behind and above a presenter to give more depth and better image to video projection or recording.

Back of the House

A term used in hotels  to refer to areas for staff only, as opposed to the front of the house.


A permanently installed series of copper wire or fiber optic cabling that provides the main infrastructure for transmitting voice, data, and video signals within a facility.


Drapes, curtain, or fabric panels at the back of a stage, speaker’s table, or exhibit booth/stand.

Backline Equipment

Equipment such as amplifiers and sound equipment required by musicians in order to perform at an engagement, often rented by the event organizer.


1) The back wall (either hardwall or draped) of a perimeter, booth/stand/exhibit, or inline.

2) Panel arrangement at rear of booth/stand area.

Balance Sheet

A financial status at a given time (includes liabilities, assets, etc.).


The data transmission rate on an information channel such as a telephone line, ISDN, or Ethernet. Higher bandwidth means that images and sound will be transmitted faster for use in videoconferences or video streaming.

Bank Guarantee Cash Deposit

Payable by the exhibitor to the forwarder, Customs agent, or official authorities in place of a temporary import bond to ensure the amount requested is the minimum amount of import duties and taxes that would be paid in case of final import.


An elaborate, and often ceremonial, dinner for numerous people, often in honor of a particular person or persons.

Banquet Captain

Person in charge of banquet service at food functions. For small functions, also serves as maitre d. For larger functions, may be responsible for a specific area of the dining room.

Banquet Event Order

BEO. A form most often used by hotels to provide details to personnel concerned with a specific food and beverage function or event room set-up.

Banquet Manager

A person in charge of banquet service.

Banquet Round

Round table used for meal service; depending on the diameter, can comfortably seat up to 12 persons. A round for 8 is usually 60-inches in diameter, and a round for 10 is usually 72-inches in diameter. Rounds that are 66 inches in diameter may also be found in use for tables of 8-10.

Banquet Set-Up

1) Seating arrangement where typically a grouping of rounds is set in such a way as to facilitate the serving of food, most often a hexagonal or square pattern.

2) Function-room set up and tear down. See HOUSEMAN.

Bare Booth/Stand

Booth/stand with no services or facilities, meaning that these all have to be hired at an additional cost.

Barn Door

Movable hinged flap used on stage lights to control light spill.


Absence of obstacles preventing handicapped persons from moving freely to all public areas within a building.

Base Currency

Currency in which all official business transactions will take place.

Base Plate

Plate used under bowl, glass, condiments, and so forth.


BATS. Lengths of pipe from which scenery, curtains, and lights can be hung.

Beaded Screen

Type of screen with highly reflective surface used for front projection.

Bed Tax


Bell Captain

A hotel employee who supervises the work of staff whose primary responsibility is to carry luggage, run errands, etc.

Bermuda Plan

Hotel accommodations with full American-style breakfast included in the rate.


A proposal submitted by a convention & visitors bureau and/or hotel(s) or other suppliers to an event organizer that includes detailed specifications (such as dates, rates, concessions, etc.)

Bill of Lading

B/L. A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company under which freight is to be moved between specified points for a specified charge. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt of goods.

Billing Weight

Generally refers to airfreight and van line shipments. The billing weight is the number upon which freight charges are based. The billing weight will be the actual weight or the dimensional weight, whichever is greater.

Black Light

Ultraviolet lighting that when applied causes phosphorescent paints to glow.

Black Tie

Required dress: dinner jacket, bow tie and cummerbund for the men and formal evening dress for the women. May include national dress. In the U.S. and Canada, Black Tie indicates Tuxedo. “Black tie optional” indicates that formal dress is preferred but not required.

Blind Commission

A commission that is paid by a hotel to a third party that reimburses for services and comes out of the hotel sleeping room rate, but is not disclosed to the guests or the event organizer.

Blue Laws

In the United States, state or local laws that regulate the types of businesses that must be closed, or the types of products that may not be sold on Sundays.


Final proof copy for client’s approval before printing. Also referred to as a proof.


Broadcast Music Incorporated. A music licensing organization that represents individuals who hold the copyrights to music written in the United States. It grants licensing agreements for the performance of music.


A room set permanently in a conference configuration, generally with a fixed table and executive seating.

Boardroom Set-Up

Seating arrangement in which rectangle or oval shaped tables are set up with chairs on both sides and ends. Often confused with HOLLOW SQUARE SET-UP.

Bonded Warehouse

A warehouse authorized by customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.


The purchase, for a premium, of a guarantee of protection for a supplier or a customer. In the hospitality industry, certain bonding programs are mandatory.


Storage area where equipment is stored during an exhibition. This area may be located within the exhibition hall in an unused portion of the floor.

Booking Policy

Guidelines by which a convention center (or other venue) prioritizes reservations; may correspond to hotel rooms the event will use in the area.


Specific exhibit display area assigned by show management to an exhibitor under contractual agreement. Internationally, the term STAND is used. See STAND.


Group sessions in which all participants contribute creative ideas which are not initially judged for merit.


Short interval between sessions at which time coffee, tea and/or other refreshments are served.

Break-Even Point

The point at which revenues are equal to expenses.

Break-Out Rooms

Small function rooms set up for a group within an event as opposed to a plenary or general session.

Break-Out Sessions

Small group sessions, panels, workshops or presentations, offered concurrently within an event.  Break-Out Sessions occur apart from the general session.


A non-asset based transportation provider that sells transportation services for commercial shippers. Brokers commonly use freight forwarders.


A statement of estimated revenues and expenditures for a specified period of time; divided into subject categories and arranged by principal areas of revenue and expense.

Budget Philosophy

Financial goal of the event (break even, profit or lose money).


Assortment of foods, offered on a table, self-served.

Butler Service

1) Servers offer a variety of both hot and cold hors d’oeuvres on platters to guests at receptions.

2) A style of table service where guests serve themselves from platters presented by the server.

3) Specialized in-room service offered by a hotel.

Buying Agent

An agent who purchases goods on behalf of a company or agency.

Buzz Session

Method to increase audience participation by dividing all participants in discussion groups each of which reports the group’s findings and opinions during a following plenary session.

By the Bottle

Liquor served and charged for by the full bottle.

By the Drink

Liquor served and charged for by the number of drinks served.

By the Person

A fixed price per attendee; covers all consumption of food and beverage at a function, within a given time frame; usually includes beverages, snacks or hors d’oeuvres. In some cases, beverages are purchased by the person, while food is ordered by the piece.

By the Piece

Food purchased by the individual piece, usually for a reception.


Cost and Freight. A pricing term indicating that these costs are included in the quoted price.


Cost and Insurance.  A pricing term indicating that these costs are included in the quoted price.


Room adjacent to pool area, with or without sleeping facilities.

Cabaret Set-up

Room arrangement with cocktail tables with chairs and a stage.

Cabaret Table

Small round table, 15- 30 inches in diameter (38-76 centimeters) used for cocktail type parties. Also Called COCKTAIL TABLE.


Computer Assisted Drawing/Computer Assisted Manufacturing.


Computer Aided Design and Drafting.


Certified Association Executive.

Cafeteria Service

A food service operation in which customers carry their own trays and select food from a display counter or counters. It is similar to a buffet, but food is served by attendants.

Call Brand

Brand of liquor, distinguished from HOUSE BRAND, selected by a customer according to personal preference. Usually a higher quality than house brands.

Call for Papers

1) An invitation to submit topic ideas for the conference program.

2) Document containing detailed instructions for submission of papers for assessment and selection by a review committee; often referred to as “Abstract Forms.” Also known as “Call for Presentations”.

Campus Housing

Dormitory or other university/college sleeping accommodations.

Canadian Customs Invoice

Document required by Canadian Customs identifying shipper, seller, consignee, terms, date of shipment, material being sold/shipped, classification code, quantity, unit and total prices. Additional information required on the invoice depends on shipper and consignee arrangements.

Cancellation Clause

Provision in a contract which outlines damages to be paid to the non-canceling party if cancellation occurs, due the canceling party’s breach of the contract.

Cancellation or Interruption Insurance

Insurance that protects a event organizer against financial loss or expenses incurred when contractually specified perils necessitate canceling or relocating a event, or cause a reduction in attendance.

Cancellation/No-Show Percentage

A factor included in WASHThe number or percentage of reserved rooms that do not actualize into occupied rooms due to guest cancelations or no-shows.

Cancelled Business

Business that was confirmed definite by contract and was later cancelled.


Person in charge of banquet service at food functions; supervisor of the servers.

Carbon Neutral

Carbon neutral is the point at which enough carbon is offset or sequestered to cover a specific amount of carbon generated by a manufacturing process, transportation method, product usage, building or individual.

Cargo Insurance

Additional coverage protecting the owner of goods for loss or damage while goods are in a carrier’s possession. Recommended for all international shipments.


(car-NAY) A customs document permitting the holder to carry or send merchandise temporarily into certain foreign countries (for display, demonstration or similar purposes) without paying duties or posting bonds.


1) Fee charged for transporting freight between destinations.

2) Short distance hauling of exhibit properties.

Cash Accounting

A system in which revenue and expenses are counted as they are actually received.

Cash Bar

Private room bar set up where guests pay for drinks individually.

Cash Based Accounting

An accounting method that enters income and expenses into the books at the time when payment is received or expenses incurred.

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.

Casualty Insurance

A type of insurance that is primarily concerned with the legal liability for losses caused by injury to persons or damage to the property of others.

Category Cable

(Unshielded Twisted Pair Cable or UTP) Usually referred to as Cat followed by a numeral between and 1 and 7. Cat 5 or Cat 5e cabling, required for Fast Ethernet, is the most commonly available. See BACKBONE.

Catering Sales Manager

Staff person responsible for selling and servicing group and local food and beverage functions.


Certified Destination Marketing Executive. A certification of the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).


Continuing Education Credit. Requirement of many professional groups by which members must certify participation in formal educational programs designed to maintain their level of ability beyond their original certification date.  See CONTINUING EDUCATION UNIT (CEU).

Ceiling Height

Maximum height of ceiling of an exhibition hall or event room.


Center for Exhibition Industry Research.

Century Weight

CWT. A measurement for exhibit freight equal to 100 pounds. Also known as “hundred-weight”.

Certificate of Insurance

A document provided by an insurance company as proof that a policy has been issued and coverage is in effect.

Certificate of Origin

A document, required by certain countries for tariff purposes, certifying as to the country of origin of specified goods.

Certification in Meeting Management

CMM. A certification offered by Meeting Professionals International.

Certified Association Executive

CAE. A certification offered by the American Society of Association Executives.

Certified Destination Marketing Executive

CDME. A certification offered by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI).

Certified Exhibition Manager

CEM. A certification offered by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).

Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive

CHME. A certification offered by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI).

Certified Hospitality Sales Professional

CHSP. A certification offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

Certified Hotel Administrator

CHA. A certification offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

Certified Incentive Travel Executive

CITE. A certification offered by the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE).

Certified Manager of Exhibits

CME. A certification offered by the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA).

Certified Meeting Professional

CMP. A certification offered by the Convention Industry Council (CIC).

Certified Speaking Professional

CSP. A certification offered by the National Speakers Association (NSA).

Certified Special Events Professional

CSEP. A certification offered by the International Special Event Society (ISES).

Certified Weight

An official weight issued from a Certified Weight Master. This individual certifies a shipment’s weight as the only acceptable weight for transportation and drayage at a tradeshow.


Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives.




Certified Hotel Administrator. A certification offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

Change Order

Facility form to advise departments of changes in reservations or functions.

Chart of Accounts

A detailed list of the individual line items that make up the revenue and expense categories in a budget. A numbering system used to identify every line item in a budget, so income and expenses are posted to the correct accounts.


1) Exclusive use of all or some space on an airplane, bus, ship, or other vehicle for a special period of time and for a specific itinerary.

2) To create a new association, organization or chapter of an association or organization.

Check-In Time

Time at which hotel guests may check in and occupy sleeping rooms.

Check-Out Time

Time by which hotel guests are required to vacate sleeping rooms.

Cherry Picker

Equipment capable of lifting a person or persons to a given height.

Chevron Set-Up

Seating arrangement in which chairs /or chairs or tables are arranged in rows slanted in a V shape and separated by a center aisle. They face the head table or speaker.


Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive. A certification offered by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI).


Convention Industry Council. A federation of national and international organizations representing individuals, firms or properties involved in the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industries.


Cost, Insurance, Freight. A pricing term indicating that these costs are included in the quoted price.


Cost, Insurance, Freight, and Commission. A pricing term indicating that these costs are included in the quoted price.


Cost, Insurance, Freight, and Exchange. A pricing term indicating that these costs are included in the quoted price.


Certified Incentive Travel Executive. A designation offered by the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE).

Citywide Event

An event that requires the use of a convention center or event complex, as well as multiple hotels in the host city.


Commodity tariff used to classify shipments. Shipments are evaluated by their density, sensitivity, packaging and other criteria. Rates are assessed on a shipment after a commodity classification is established.

Classroom Set-Up

Seating arrangement in which rows of tables with chairs face the front of a room and each person has a space for writing. Also Called SCHOOLROOM SET-UP.

Classroom Table

Rectangular table, often narrower than regular tables and 30-inches high. Can be 6′ or 8′ long and 18- or 24-inches wide.

Clean Bill of Lading

A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were received in apparent good order and condition, without damages or other irregularities.  See FOUL BILL OF LADING.

Clean Draft

A draft to which no documents have been attached.

Clear Date/Time

Generally the last point in time at which an exhibitor-appointed carrier must be in line or at the dock in order to be loaded after the close of the show.

Climate Neutral

Climate Neutral products or services reduce and offset the greenhouse gases generated at each stage of their life-cycle on a cradle-to-cradle basis: the sourcing of their materials, their manufacturing or production, their distribution, use, and ultimate end-of-life disposition.


Workshop-type educational experience where participants learn by doing.

Closed-Ended Incentive Programs

The number of winners are limited by a predetermined amount to be spent on the incentive program.

Closing Ceremony

Final activities at an event which occur during the closing or last session.

Closing Session

The final session of an event in which the subjects which have been discussed are summarized and possible conclusions reached and announced.


To hold two related events at the same time and in the same place.

Cocktail Table

Small round table, 15- 30 inches in diameter (38-76 centimeters) used for cocktail type parties. Also Called CABARET TABLE.


Compression/Decompression or Coder/Decoder. Videoconferencing standard, included in hardware and/or software, used to compress or code video, audio, and data signals for transmission and decompress or decode the signal at the other end of the transmission.


1) Assets that can be pledged to guarantee a loan.

2) The promotional material used by the salespeople to support or corroborate the features and benefits of the item being sold.

3) Collective term for material distributed to attendees at registration, including badges, lanyards, tote bags, agenda and other materials.

Collection and Consolidation Service

Service performed for a shipper in which a number of smaller shipments are picked up or received and forwarded as one truckload shipment.


An informal meeting for the purpose of discussion; usually of an academic or research nature and in order to ascertain areas of mutual interest through exchange of ideas. Conducted as and when convenient, but with little regularity.


A payment made to an individual or organization for bringing business to another individual or organization.

Commissionable Rate Commitment

A contract in which the room rate to be charged to attendees includes a commission to be paid to either the sponsoring group or a third party such as a travel agent or independent event planning or site selection organization.


A group of people appointed for a specific purpose.

Common Carrier

Transportation company which handles crated materials; an agency or business that is available to the public for transportation of persons, goods, or messages; usually referring to freight transportation on regularly scheduled trucks or airplanes.

Complete Meeting Package

CMP. An all-inclusive plan offered by conference centers; includes lodging, all meals and support services.

Complimentary Ratio

The number of rooms provided at no cost based on the number of occupied rooms.


1) Merchandise or refreshments sold on site, to individuals, in conjunction with an event.

2) Contractual agreement where one party provides something of value to the other party in exchange for something else, pending certain conditions.


Gathering of a group with shared or special interests. Traditionally refers to meetings of a confidential or secret nature with restricted or limited participation. From the Latin for “with key”, referring to a historical practice of sequestering participants.

Concurrent Sessions

Multiple sessions scheduled at the same time.  Programs on different themes or subjects offered simultaneously.


1) Participatory meeting designed for discussion, fact-finding, problem solving and consultation.

2) An event used by any organization to meet and exchange views, convey a message, open a debate or give publicity to some area of opinion on a specific issue. No tradition, continuity or timing is required to convene a conference. Conferences are usually of short duration with specific objectives, and are generally on a smaller scale than congresses or conventions.

Conference Center

A facility that provides a dedicated environment for events, especially small events. May be certified by the International Association of Conference Centers.

Conference Officer/Organizer

Title generally conferred upon the chief administrator of the entire event.

Conference Service Manager

Primary contact person assigned to an event in a convention center. Also referred to as EVENTS MANAGER.

Conference Set-Up

Seating arrangement in which rectangular or oval tables are set up with chairs placed around all sides.

Confirmed Letter of Credit

A letter of credit, issued by a foreign bank, whose validity has been confirmed by an American bank. An exporter whose payment terms are a confirmed letter of credit is assured of payment even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank defaults. See LETTER OF CREDIT.


1) The regular coming together of large groups of individuals, generally to discuss a particular subject. A congress will often last several days and have several simultaneous sessions. The length of time between congresses is usually annual, although some are on a less frequent basis. Most international or world congresses are latter type; national congresses are more frequently held annually.

2) European term for convention.

Connecting Rooms

In a hotel, a configuration of two or more guest rooms with private connecting doors permitting access between rooms without exiting into a public corridor.

Consecutive Interpretation

Oral translation of several phrases or entire speeches from one language to another. Speaker pauses between phrases to allow for interpretation.


The inducement to a contract. The cause, motive, price, or impelling influence which induces a contracting party to enter a contract.


Recipient. The person, people, or organization to whom something is delivered or addressed. Compare with CONSIGNOR.


A person who sends freight. Compare with CONSIGNEE.

Consular Declaration

A formal statement, made to the consul of a country, describing goods to be shipped.

Consular Invoice

A document, required by some countries, describing a shipment of goods and showing information such as the consignor, consignee, and value of the shipment. Certified by a consular official of the foreign country, it is used by that country’s customs officials to verify the value, quantity, and nature of the shipment.

Consumer Show

Exhibition that is open to the public, usually requiring an entrance fee.

Container Detention

A charge that is assessed when the container is removed from the carrier’s control but is not returned within the allowable free time.

Continental Breakfast

Light morning meal consisting of pastries, juices, and hot beverages. Usually served buffet style.

Continental Plan

A room rate that includes a continental breakfast.

Continuing Education

Structured educational and training experiences for personal or professional development.

Continuing Education Unit

CEU. Non-academic credit unit conferred by professional organizations for formal educational programs for members who must maintain their level of professionalism.


An agreement between two or more parties that creates in each party a duty to do or not do something and a right to performance of the other’s duty or a remedy for the breach of the other’s duty.

Contract Carrier

Trucking company that enters into a specific contract with a shipper to transport goods for an agreed-upon price. Contained within the contract are all the terms and conditions, liability, transit times, etc.


An individual or organization providing services to a meeting or trade show and/or its exhibitors. May be Official (appointed by show management) or Independent (appointed by exhibitor). Typically refers to either a general service contractor or specialty contractor.

Controversy Panel

To stimulate interest and debate, arrange for two or three views of a controversial issue to be presented.


Member of committee in charge of convening participants.


Gathering of delegates, representatives, and members of a membership or industry organization convened for a common purpose.  Common features include educational sessions, committee meetings, social functions, and meetings to conduct the governance business of the organization.  Conventions are typically recurring events with specific, established timing.

Convention and Visitors Bureau

CVB. A not-for-profit organization, defined and recognized by it’s incorporated local government entity as the representative organization responsible for promoting the economic development of their community through travel and tourism. CVBs assist planners by providing information on local resources and services, including site selection, pre-conference and post-convention services.

Convention Center

Facility whose purpose it is to host trade shows, public shows, conventions, and other large functions and that combines exhibition space with a substantial number of smaller meeting and event spaces. A convention center may be purpose-built or converted and municipally or privately owned.

Convention Services Manager

CSM. Professional at a hotel, convention center or convention bureau who is responsible for event operations management on all levels.


Laws that allow for the ownership of intellectual property ( such as writings, art, music). Copy-written material cannot be used without the owner’s permission or the payment of royalty fees.


A charge placed on beer, liquor, and wine brought into a facility but purchased elsewhere.

Corner Booth/Stand

An exhibit space with exposure on at least two aisles, often sold by show managers at a premiums rate.

Corporate Rate

Special rate for sleeping rooms or other goods and services that is made available to business travelers. These rates may vary by corporation, depending on the negotiated agreement.

Corporate Travel

The market segment comprised of groups or individuals that work for a given company and are traveling for business reasons at the company’s expense.

Countervailing Duty

An extra duty imposed by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to offset export grants, bounties, or subsidies paid to foreign suppliers in certain countries by the governments of those countries as an incentive to exports.

Country of Origin

A person’s country of natural birth or citizenship; an item’s country of manufacture, production, or agricultural growth.


1) European term for a travel professional who supervises arrival details and escorts tours.

2) A messenger or messenger service.


1) Table setting for one person.

2) Actual number of meals, or servings, served at a food function.

3) Dome placed over a plate, used to keep food warm/cold.


Actual number of meals served at a catered meal function or in a restaurant.


Certified Professional Catering Executive. A certification offered by the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE).

Credentials Committee

Committee formed to verify that individuals have the necessary qualifications to attend a meeting, cast votes at a meeting, or become a member of an association.

Crescent-Round Set-Up

Seating at round tables with chairs placed at two thirds to three quarters of the table and no seating with backs to the speaker. Used for banquet-to-meeting or meeting-to-banquet quick set.

Cross Aisle

A smaller aisle perpendicular to a larger main aisle.


Certified Special Event Professional. A designation offered by the International Special Events Society (ISES).


Certified Speaking Professional. A designation offered by the National Speakers Association (NSA).


The governmental authorities designated to collect duties levied by a country on imports and exports. The term also applies to the procedures involved in such collection.

Customs Broker

An individual or company which provides customs clearing services to shippers of goods to and from another country.

Customs House

An individual or firm licensed to enter and clear goods through customs.

Cut-Off Date

Designated date when a hotel will release any unsold sleeping rooms in a group block and make them available to the general public.   The date is typically three to four weeks before the event. See RESERVATION REVIEW DATE.

Cut-Off Time

A specific point in time at which the exhibition contractor will cease (for the day) all unloading or loading activities. In transportation environment this refers to the specific time a shipment must be tendered to a carrier in order to receive service that day. For example, a flight that departs at 10:00 p.m. may have a cargo cut-off time of 7:00 p.m.


Convention & Visitors Authority.


Convention and Visitors Bureau. CVBs are not-for-profit organizations representing a specific destination and promoting the economic development of communities through travel and tourism. CVBs assist planners by providing information and services, and encourage business travelers and visitors alike to visit local historic, cultural and recreational sites.


Raised platform usually above the floor of a hall or large room.

Damage Clause

Part of a contract dealing with procedures, penalties, and rights of the party causing damages.

Data Projector

A self-contained unit with a LCD panel, light source and lens that projects video output from a computer onto a projection screen or other surface. See LCD PROJECTOR.


A discussion which takes place within a meeting, a public or private sitting or in one of the various types of assembly or meeting.

Declared Value

Shipper’s stated value of entire shipment in terms of dollars.


Props, lighting, or other decorative elements used to create a theme, ambiance or mood at a function or special event.


An individual or company providing installation & dismantle and booth/stand and hall dressing services for a trade show and/or its exhibitors.  Decorator services may be provided by carpenters, sign painters or others depending upon union jurisdiction.  Term applies to both contractor and skilled craftsperson. See GENERAL SERVICE CONTRACTOR.

Definite Booking

Space reservations confirmed in writing.

Delegate rate

Outside of North America, a general term for registered meeting participant. In some instances a voting representative at a meeting.


A rate inclusive of breakfast and dinner, in addition to the room. In the U.S. and Canada it is called Modified American Plan (MAP), which means breakfast and one other meal (usually dinner).

Desktop Publishing

Using a personal computer to prepare materials for printing.

destination management company

Complimentary items provided by a hotel in sleeping rooms such as toiletries, writing supplies, bathrobes, fruit baskets, and shoe shine mitts.

Destination Management  Company

DMC. A professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics.

Destination Marketing Organization

DMO. A not-for-profit organization, defined and recognized by it’s incorporated local government entity as the representative organization responsible for promoting the economic development of their community through travel and tourism. DMOs assist planners by providing information on local resources and services, including site selection, pre-conference and post-convention services.

Dine Around

Use of a number of restaurants in a destination with reservations and billing arrangements to one particular client.

Direct Spending

All expenditures associated with an event that flow into the host destination’s local economy. Direct spending includes attendee spending, exhibitor spending and event organizer spending.

Discussion Group

A group of participants in a separate debate within some types of meetings. Similar to a working group but with no expectation of reports or papers.

Display Rules & Regulations

A set of specifications for exhibit construction endorsed by all major exhibit industry associations. Also refers to the individual additional rules which may be adopted by event management. Guidelines are provided by the International Association of Exhibition Executives.

Distance Learning

A type of education where learners can communicate with faculty and other learners via email, electronic forums, chat, webconferencing and other forms of online communication.  Includes correspondence courses, audio, video and internet delivery. Meeting and event Web sites can facilitate distance learning by offering online educational programs.


Destination Marketing Association International.


Destination Management Company.

DMC Consortium

National and/or international alliances of destination management companies who form select communities for the purpose of sharing collective efforts for business sharing, education, ethics and destination management industry monitoring.


Destination Management Certified Professional. A certification offered by the Association of Destination Management Executives (ADME).

Dock Receipt

A receipt issued by an ocean carrier to acknowledge receipt of a shipment at the carrier’s dock or warehouse facilities. See WAREHOUSE RECEIPT.

Double Booking

1) Reserving space for two groups to use the same space at the same time and neither can be fully accommodated as contracted.

2) An organization reserving space in more than one venue for the same event.

3) Two or more reservations made for the same traveler for the same dates.

Double Cloth

Use of two tablecloths on a banquet table for decorative purposes, to muffle sound, or to attach to skirting.  Usually two different colors are used.  See OVERLAY.

Double Room

A hotel guest room that may be occupied by two persons.

Double Room Rate

The price per person for a double-occupancy hotel guest room.

Double-Double Room

A hotel guest room with two double beds.


Front of the stage, closest to the audience.

Dram Shop Laws

In the United States, a term for laws covering the liability of people serving alcoholic beverages. Under dram shop laws, a party injured by an intoxicated person can sue establishments contributing to that person’s intoxication.

Draped Booth/Stand

A booth/stand where the back and side walls are constructed using pipe and drape (typically provided by management).


Outdated term for MATERIAL HANDLING

Drayage Contractor

Outdated term for company responsible for handling exhibit materials. See MATERIAL HANDLING.

Dress Code

Required or suggested acceptable manner or style of dress for an occasion or event.

Dressing the Exhibit

Placing graphics, plants, literature and applying any finishing touches to the display.

Duoserve Property

A hotel property in which logistics are handled by the convention services manager (CSM), with catering handled by a separate manager.


Fee levied on imported and exported goods. Duties are generally based on the value of the goods (ad valorem duties), some other factors such as weight or quantity (specific duties), or a combination of value and other factors (compound duties). See AD VALOREM TAX.

Early Arrival

1) To reach your destination before the appointed date or time.

2) When a hotel guest with a confirmed reservation requests to check in to his/her room prior to the scheduled date and/or check-in time.

3) Arrival prior to arrival of the majority of the group.

Early Registration

Registration received before a pre-defined date, usually offering a lower fee.


A guest who checks out of a hotel one or more days earlier than the scheduled departure date.

Economic Impact (Total)

The total value of an event, including secondary spending (indirect and induced) on the host destination’s local economy over and above the original direct spending. These secondary impacts, when combined with the original direct spending, result in the total economic impact of an event.

Economic Multiplier

Total economic impact divided by direct spending.

Ellipsoidal Spotlight

Type of adjustable spotlight formerly known as a klieg light. It is used to light lecterns, signs and areas that need a tightly focused pool of light. See LEKO.

Emergency Action Plan

Procedures about how to react and respond to an emergency situation, such as medical emergencies, fire and bomb threats.

Empty Sticker

The tag indicating a crate may be moved into storage. The sticker identifies the exhibitor and the return location for the crate.

End Cap

An exhibit space with aisles on three sides. See PENINSULA.

English Breakfast

A large, hearty breakfast that includes juice, fruit, hot and cold cereal, eggs, meat (often fish), pastries with jellies and preserves, and made to order foods such as omelets and crepes, and hot beverages.

English Service

Food is brought to the table on a tray, presented to the host, who either cuts the food him/herself or chooses to have it done by the server away from the table. Vegetables are placed in bowls on the table for guests to serve themselves. See FAMILY-STYLE SERVICE.


Activity performed for the amusement and enjoyment of others.

Environmentally Preferred Provider

gsf or gsm.

1) Total amount of available function space in exhibit hall or other facility.

2) Total amount of space used for a specific show or event. See NET SQUARE FEET/METERS.

Errors and Omissions Insurance

Often referred to as E&O insurance. A form of insurance that indemnifies the insured for any loss sustained because of an error or oversight on his part.


Exhibition Services & Contractors Association.


1) A person, usually employed or subcontracted (or independently contracted) by a DMC, who accompanies a tour from departure to return, as a guide.

2) A person who performs such functions only at the destination.

Escorted Tour

1) A prearranged travel program, usually for a group. In a fully conducted tour, escort and/or guide service is provided throughout.

2) A sightseeing program conducted by a guide (e.g. a city tour).



European Plan

EP. A room rate that does not include meals.


1) Critiquing and rating the overall success of an event.

2) Developing an event profile from accurate event statistics.

3) A systematic process to determine the value of an activity.


An organized occasion such as a meeting, convention, exhibition, special event, gala dinner, etc. An event is often composed of several different yet related FUNCTIONS.

Event Organizer

Person whose job it is to oversee and arrange every aspect of an event. Person can be an employee or hired ad hoc to plan, organize, implement, and control meetings, conventions, and other events.

Event Site

Premises where an event will be held. See SITE.

Event Specifications Guide

ESG. The preferred term for a comprehensive document that outlines the complete requirements and instructions for an event. This document is typically authored by the event planner and is shared with all appropriate vendors as a vehicle to communicate the expectations of services for a project. The industry accepted practice is to use the APEX Event Specifications Guide, which can be found at the Convention Industry Council web site. Sometimes called Staging Guide, Resume.

Event Technology

Any technical and technology needs to support meetings or events. Includes items such as audio-visual, computers, software, power, networking and connectivity.

Event-Contracted Block

ECB. The rooms that are contracted for by an event organizer with a hotel(s) or housing facility(s) for a particular event.


Any agreement which limits who may provide specific products or services under certain conditions to only one party. No other contractor is allowed to provide the same services or products in that facility.

Exclusive Contract

Contract between a facility and a service provider designating that provider as the only source of a specific service or product within that facility.

Exclusive Contractor

Contractor appointed by event or building management as the sole agent to provide specific services or products.

Executive Conference Center

ECC. A first class conference facility that caters to executive level events.

Exhibit Booth/Stand

Individual display area constructed to showcase products or convey a message, or to sell products or services.

Exhibit Hall

Area within a facility where an exhibition is located; usually designed specifically for large shows.

Exhibit House

Company that fabricates and manages display properties for trade show exhibitors.

Exhibit Manager

1) Person in charge of individual exhibit booth/stand.

2) Event management staff member in charge of all or part of the exhibit floor.


An event at which products, services or promotional materials are displayed to attendees visiting exhibits on the show floor. These events focus primarily on business-to-business (B2B) relationships.

Exhibition Manager

Preferred term for the specific person responsible for all aspects of planning, promoting, and producing an exhibition. Also Called SHOW MANAGER, SHOW ORGANIZER. See SHOW MANAGEMENT, SHOW PRODUCER


1) Person or firm that displays its products or services at an event.

2) Event attendee whose primary purpose for attending the event is to staff a booth/stand.

Exhibitor Advisory Committee

Representatives of an event’s exhibiting companies who act as advisors to show management on procedures, the needs of exhibitors, and provide feedback for marketing and growing the show.

Exhibitor Appointed Contractor

EAC. Any company other than the designated “official” contractor providing a service to an exhibitor. Can refer to an Install & Dismantle Company (I&D House), photographer, florist or any other type of contractor.

Exhibitor Kit


Exhibitor Manual

Manual or kit, usually developed by the general service contractor for an event, containing general event information, labor/service order forms, rules and regulations and other information pertinent to an exhibitor’s participation in an exhibition. Also called EXHIBITOR SERVICE KIT.

Exhibitor Move-In/Move-out

The time period allowed for exhibitors to prepare their exhibit space for show opening. The time allowed for exhibitors to dismantle and remove their exhibit following show closing.

Exhibitor Prospectus

Promotional materials sent to current and prospective exhibitors to encourage participation. It promotes the value of exhibiting in a specific show and contains information about technical points, cost of exhibition space, a floor plan of the exhibition and an application for participation.

Exhibitor Service Kit


Export Declaration

Required for shipments valued at more than $2500; used by the U.S. government to monitor the dollar volume of export shipments.

Export License

A government document which permits the “licensee” to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.


An individual who guides discussion and/or decision making.


A structure that is built, installed or established to serve a particular purpose.

Facility Manager

The manager of a convention center, exhibition hall, arena, auditorium or other venue or assembly.


1) Event principally devoted to the exhibition of agricultural products or industrial products. Fairs may also provide entertainment activities.

2) Exhibition of products or services in a specific area of activity held with the objective of promoting business.

Fair Trade

A market initiative to insure that small farmers in developing countries are paid a fair market price that encourages independence and sustainability. Agricultural products may be Fair Trade certified.

Familiarization Trip

Fam Trip. A program designed to acquaint potential buyers with specific destinations or services and to stimulate the booking of an event. Often offered in groups, but sometimes on an individual basis.

Family Name

Preferred term for use on event housing and registration forms to indicate the name by which all immediate family members are known. Same as LAST NAME, SURNAME. Compare with GIVEN NAME.

Family-Style Service

Platters and bowls of foods are set on the dining tables, from which guests serve themselves.  Usually involves guests passing the containers to each other. See ENGLISH SERVICE.


Full American Plan. See AMERICAN PLAN (AP).

Fast Fold Screen

Brand name for a large screen with a frame which folds down into a small case for storage. The legs of this screen are attached at the sides of the screen, or the screen may be flown from above.


Financial and Insurance Conference Planners

Final Program

Document containing the definitive conference and social program, circulated immediately prior to a conference or distributed at the commencement of the event.

Fire Exit

Door or passageway, clear of obstructions, designed by local authorities for egress from a building or structure.

Fire Marshal

In the United States, Fire Marshals’ responsibilities vary from state to state, but they are generally responsible for fire safety code enforcement, fire and arson investigation, fire incident data reporting and analysis, public education and advising legislatures on fire protection.

First Announcement

Initial notification of an event, generally outlining the basic framework of a meeting; a widely circulated document. Also Called PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT.

First Name

Name given to identify individual family members. See GIVEN NAME (preferred).

First Option



Holder with microphone often used in Q & A (question and answer) sessions.

Fixed Assets

Usually non-liquid assets that are integral to the enterprise’s day-to-day business operations (e.g. factories, equipment, furniture and real estate).

Fixed Costs

The day-to-day cost of doing business that is pre-committed, such as salaries, insurance, lease expenses, utilities, etc.

Fixed Expense

Expense incurred regardless of the number of event attendees.

Flash Box

Smoke-producing device for special effects.

Flat Rate

Flat rate for which a hotel agrees to offer any of its available sleeping rooms (with the exception of suites) to a group. Final assignment of rooms is at the discretion of the hotel. See RUN-OF-THE-HOUSE RATE.

Floor Load

Maximum amount of weight per square foot/meter a floor can support.

Floor Manager

Person retained by event management to supervise the installation, dismantling and operation of the exhibit area.

Floor Marking

The process of marking the floor of an empty exhibit hall to indicate the locations where individual booths/stands will be set.

Floor Order

Order for exhibitor services placed on-site after exhibit set up begins. Usually more expensive than an ADVANCE ORDER.

Floor Plan

1) Scale drawing indicating the placement of exhibit booths and all other features in an exhibit hall.

2) Scale drawing of the floor area of a hotel’s event space.

3) Scale drawing of a function room with specific set-up requirements (tables, chairs, etc.) drawn to scale.


Objects, scenery or audio-visual equipment mounted from above.

Focus Group

Method of doing research using a small group led by a facilitator.

Follow Spot

Manually movable spotlight (a brilliant light projected onto a particular area).

Force Majeure

An event (e.g. war, labor strike, extreme weather, or other disruptive circumstances) or effect that cannot be reasonably anticipated or avoided.

Force Majeure Clause

A clause in an agreement that excuses performance in the event that a FORCE MAJEURE makes the performance impracticable or impossible.

Forced Freight

Forced freight is generally removed from the hall at a specified time and held by the general contractor or official common carrier or until payment is made for forwarding.

Forcing the Floor

Removal of freight from the event floor after the event close that was not picked up by an exhibitor’s carrier, or shipments left behind at the booth/stand at the close of the event without a bill of lading.

Foreign Exchange Currency Risk

Risk that an organization takes when dealing with foreign currency due to exchange rates fluctuating over time.

Foreign Sales Agent

An individual or firm that serves as an international representative of, and seeks sales abroad for, a domestic company.

Foreign Trade Zone

An area within a country where imported goods can be stored or processed without being subject to import duty.


Open discussion with audience, panel, and moderator. A meeting or part of a meeting set aside for an open discussion by recognized participants on subjects of public interest.

Forward Contract

An agreement guaranteeing a specific price for a product or service at a given future date. May also guarantee a specific rate of exchange when foreign currency is used.

Foul Bill of Lading

A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received. See CLEAN BILL OF LADING.

Four Hour Call

Minimum work period for which union labor must be paid in special circumstances (generally, a minimum call is one hour.). Not to be confused with minimum charges to exhibitors applied by contractors that service events.


Properties, products, and other materials that are shipped.

Freight Forwarder

A third-party logistics provider which handles export shipments for customers using common carriers.

Freight on Board

FOB. When something is purchased and paid for with terms ‘FOB origin’ it means the responsibility of the seller stops when the ‘goods’ are delivered to the transporting company at the point of origin. It is the responsibility of the buyer to pay for transportation.

French Service – Banquet Style

A style of food service. In this pattern of service platters of food are composed in the kitchen. Each food item is then served from the guest’s left by the server from the platters to individual plates. See FRENCH SERVICE – CART STYLE.

French Service – Cart Style

A style of food service. This pattern of service involves the use of serving pieces (usually silver); heating and garnishing of food table-side by a captain; and the serving of food on a heated plate, which is then served to the guest by a server. Plated entrees are usually served from the right, bread and butter and salad from the left and beverages from the right. All are removed from the right. See FRENCH SERVICE – BANQUET STYLE.

Fresnel Lens

Lens which produces a soft edged beam of light. Theatrical fixture with adjustable lens 150 W through 1500 W.

Front Projection

Projection of an image onto the front surface of a light reflecting screen from a projector placed within or behind the audience.

Full American Plan



Any of a group of related organized occasions that contribute to a larger event.

Function Book

Diary or log used to control and document the assignment of function space within a facility.

Function Sheet


Gala Dinner

Primary social function of an event, usually in the evening, including entertainment or speeches after a formal meal.

Ganging Menus

When two or more groups in facility have the same menu.

Gate Show

Exhibition open to the public usually requiring an entrance fee.


Theatrical color filter used in conjunction with theatrical projection fixtures and spotlights.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

Also GATT. A multilateral treaty aimed at reducing trade barriers between the signatory countries and promoting trade through tariff concessions.

General Assembly

General and formal meeting of an organization or company attended by a specified proportion at least of its members for the purpose of deciding legislative direction, policy matters, the election of internal committees and approval of financial matters. An assembly generally observes certain fixed rules of procedure.

General Liability Insurance

An insurance policy that provides protection against claims involving bodily injury and property damage to third parties.

General Service Contractor

GSC. An organization that provides event management and exhibitors with a wide range of services, sometimes including, but not limited to, Distributing the exhibitor manual, installation & Dismantle, creating and hanging signage and banners, laying carpet, drayage, and providing booth/stand furniture. Also called OFFICIAL SERVICE CONTRACTOR. See DECORATOR.

General Session

A meeting open to all those in attendance at a event.  See PLENARY SESSION.

Given Name

Preferred form for international registration documents in place of first name. Same as FIRST NAME. Compare to FAMILY NAME, SURNAME

Glass Beaded Screen

Screen whose surface is covered with tiny glass beads which reflect a bright image back toward the audience, but have a narrow viewing angle.


Green Meetings Industry Council


Greenwich Mean Time.


A pre-cut, etched pattern fabricated from metal or glass that fits in a lighting instrument to form projected light into a shape (logo, graphic, scenery, etc).

Goods and Services Tax

GST. Fee imposed on the sale of goods and services.

Gooseneck Light

Small (75 to 150 watt) spot light with flexible stem.


A payment to signify good service.

Gray Water

Non-drinkable water, not potable.

Green Room

Room, stocked with refreshments, for artists, featured speakers and entourage to meet guests and media representatives.

Greenwich Mean Time

GMT. Time on the line of longitude that passes through Greenwich, England used as a basis for calculating time throughout the world. See ZULU TIME, UTC

Gross Weight

The full weight of a shipment, including goods and packaging. See TARE WEIGHT, ACTUAL WEIGHT

Group Rate

Confirmed rate extended to attendees booking their sleeping room accommodations as part of a group room block.


A promise of commitment to provide a minimum amount of sleeping rooms, F&B, or other revenues. Usually there is financial liability if the commitment is not met.

Guaranteed Reservation

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.

Guest Program

Educational and/or social events or tours planned for spouses and guests of official event participants.


Food prepared according to Islamic dietary laws.

Half Moon Set-Up

A seating arrangement in which 60-, 66- or 72-inch (152-, 168- and 183-centimeter) diameter rounds have seats on two-thirds to three-quarters of the table and no seats with their backs to the speaker. Used for banquet-to-meeting or meeting-to-banquet quick set. See CRESCENT-ROUND SET-UP.

Hand Carry

Items that an exhibitor is allowed to carry unaided into a event facility without being charged.

Hand Service

One server is assigned for each two guests.  Servers wear white gloves.  When serving, they stand behind their guests holding two composed plates.  When the signal is given, all guests are served at the same time.


Healthcare Convention and Exhibitors Association.

Head Count

Actual number of people attending a function.


Facility, as the center of operations, where registration, general sessions, and conference staff office are located.

Herringbone Set-Up

Seating arrangement in which chairs are arranged in rows slanted in a V shape and separated by a center aisle. They face the head table or speaker.

High Season

Period when the demand for a supplier’s product or service is highest. Prices generally increase in high season. Also Called PEAK SEASON. Compare With LOW SEASON.

Hold Harmless

An indemnity clause that provides that both parties agree to defend and/or compensate the other party for asserted claims against, or liability damages incurred by, the other party due to the acts or omissions of the first party.

Hollow Circle Set-Up

Seating arrangement of tables and/or chairs all facing each other in a single circle.

Hollow Square Set-Up

Seating arrangement of tables set in a square (or rectangle) with chairs placed around the outside of the table. Center (inside) table is hollow.


Voluntary payment made for services where no fee is legally required.

Horseshoe Set-Up

Tables set up in rounded U shape with chairs placed outside. Chairs inside if needed. See U-SHAPE SET-UP.

Hospitality Suite

1) Room or suite of rooms used to entertain guests.

2) An event in the United States usually separate from the exhibit, in which refreshments are served and exhibitor personnel and visitors socialize.

Host Bar

Private room bar set up where guests do not pay for drinks.

Host Committee

A group of people bringing specific expertise of the locality and facilities of a given area to the Organizing Committee in planning the event program.

Hotel Accommodation

Sleeping Room(s) at a hotel and rooming arrangements; usually specifying the hotel classification in terms of its amenities, facilities, level of service and cost.

Hotel Reservation

An agreement between the hotel to provide a guest room on certain dates and rate and the guest who agrees to use the hotel on the specified dates at the agreed upon rate (and any other terms). Normally, a deposit of one night’s stay is required to hold the reservation.

House Brand

Brand of wine or distilled spirits selected by a hotel or restaurant as their standard when no specific brand is specified.

House Count

Number of guests or sleeping rooms actually occupied on a particular night.

House Lights

Lighting of room separate from stage lighting.


Service-staff member who handles function-room set up and tear down. See BANQUET SET-UP.

Housing Bureau

Organization that provides reservation services for a group and its attendees.

Housing Report

Document detailing housing utilization (reservations, pickup, etc.).


Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International.


International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.


International Association of Conference Centers.


International Association for Continuing Education and Training.


International Association for Exhibitions and Events.


International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals


International Association for Medical Assistance for Travelers.


International Association of Professional Congress Organisers


International Association of Speakers Bureaus.


(Pronounced ‘eye’-AH-ta’.) International Air Transport Association.


Identification (or membership) number of travel agents who receive commission.


International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees.


International Association of Venue Managers.


International Congress and Convention Association

Image Magnification

Technology by which presenter’s image is projected onto a large screen, allowing large audiences to see details from the stage. Also called I-Mag.

In Conjunction With

ICW. An event or function that occurs because of another event.


An adjective used to define services which are performed within the company or organization, rather than being subcontracted.

In-House Contractor

Contractor retained by a facility to be on-site and provide services as needed, sometimes on an exclusive basis. In some cases, Planners are not required to use their services, but may be charged a surcharge or facility fee for bringing in an outside contractor for the same service. See EXCLUSIVE CONTRACTOR.


Expenses other than room and tax, billed to a guest’s account (e.g. phone, room service, etc.).


Price charged clients that includes all applicable gratuities and consumption taxes.

Inclusive Rate

1) For lodging and accommodations, the amount charged for a room, usually including breakfast (or other meals), taxes and service charge.

2) For food and beverage or catering, a rate that includes taxes, gratuities and/or service charges.

Indemnification Clause

A contract clause in which one party agrees to pay damages or claims that the other party may be required to pay to another. For example, if a hotel is sued by an attendee that is injured at an event due to the fault of the group, an indemnification clause might require the group to pay back the hotel. Some times the law requires one party to indemnify another even without a specific clause. Generally, the terms of the clause will be followed over the state law. See HOLD HARMLESS.

Independent Show Management Company

1) A contractor hired by an exhibitor to perform event services independent of event management-appointed contractors. See EXHIBITOR APPOINTED CONTRACTOR (EAC).

2) Any individual or company hired to perform event services on a contract basis.

Indirect Costs

Also called overhead or administrative costs, these are expenses not directly related to the event. They can include salaries, rent, and building and equipment maintenance.

Induced Spending

Occurs when employees in a host destination’s travel industry and its suppliers spend their wages in the local economy. This chain of buying and selling among businesses and employees continues until the original direct spending leaks out of the local economy.

Informal Meeting

Informal gathering, not necessarily social.


Use of floor space outside exclusive booth/stand area.

Inherently Flame Resistant

Material that is permanently flame resistant without chemical treatment.

Injection Molding

Method of protecting exhibit properties.

Inland Bill of Lading

A Bill of Lading used in transporting goods overland to the exporter’s international carrier. Although a bill of lading can sometimes be used, it is usually necessary to prepare both an inland bill of lading and an ocean bill of lading for export shipments.

Inline Booth/Stand

Exhibit space with exhibit booths on either side and back. See INSIDE BOOTH/STAND.

Inside Booth/Stand

Exhibit space with exhibit booths/stands on both sides and back. See INLINE BOOTH/STAND.

Inspection Trip



Setting up exhibit booth/stand and materials according to instructions and drawings.

Installation & Dismantle


1) The set-up and teardown of exhibits.

2) Firm that does I&D work. See ERECTION.


Skilled labor used to set up displays at events. The union affiliation of the installer will vary based upon the locale and the facility in question.


In-depth instructional meeting providing intensive education on a particular subject.

Integrated Marketing

Marketing activities with a common focus on the marketplace or a customer segment. The execution of each individual piece of the integrated marketing plan is consistent with, and supportive of, each of the other pieces of the plan.

Intelligent Lighting

Lighting instruments that can be computer controlled to move light around the room, and project color and patterns on screens, scenery, walls or floor.

Interactive Exhibits

Exhibits that engage visitors through direct interaction with display components, working models, simulations, or multi-sensory or multi-media elements.

Interactive Learning

Learning activities that involve hands-on, direct experience activity by the learners, and interaction between learners.

Interactive Response

A system which enables the audience to respond to prepared questions by means of a multifunction keypad, text messaging or other electronic systems. Responses are collected and tabulated by software and can be shared or displayed graphically.

Interactive Video

Video programming which allows the viewer to be involved in an active way with the information to be presented.

International Event

1) An event that draws a national and international audience. Typically 15% or more of attendees reside outside of the host country.

2) An event that draws an audience from 3 or more countries.

International Freight Forwarder

A third-party logistics provider which handles export shipments for customers using common carriers.

Internet Service Provider

ISP. A service that provides access to the Internet.

Interpretation in Relay

Oral translation utilizing two interpreters. Because the first interpreter is not master of the second language, another makes the final interpretation to the audience. See CONSECUTIVE INTERPRETATION, INTERPRETATION, SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETATION, TRANSLATION, WHISPERED INTERPRETATION, WIRELESS INFRARED INTERPRETING SYSTEM.

Interpreter’s Booth/Stand

A soundproof cubicle in which the interpreter works.

Invitation Program

A provisional program sometimes incorporating a call for papers. The program gives details of venue, participants, agenda, accommodations, etc.

Invited Paper

Paper or speech on a specific subject submitted or presented at the request of an event’s organizers.

Invited Speaker

A person who is invited to deliver a speech during the conference. Costs of travel, housing and appropriate appearance fees usually are provided for in the conference budget.

IP Address

Internet Protocol Address. A numeric value unique to an individual computer or electronic device that identifies it on a network. The IP address is assigned by a network administrator, Internet Service Provider (ISP), or other network hardware.


Individual Pays Own.


International Special Events Society.

Island Booth/Stand

Booth/stand space with aisles on all four sides.

Island Exhibit

A display space that is exposed to aisles on all sides.


Special dividers, sectioning and protective padding inside exhibit crates.

Job Foreman

One who is in charge of specific projects.

Joint Agreement

Union contract covering more than one employer and a union, more than one union and an employer, or a number of employees and a number of unions.


Joint Photographic Experts Group. A graphic file format that has a sophisticated technique for compressing full-color bitmapped graphics, such as photographs. JPEG is most commonly mentioned as a format for image files.

Junction Box

A distribution point for electrical power.

Junior Suite

A hotel room that features a separate living-sitting area (although not a separate room), in addition to the bedroom. Also called a MINI-SUITE.


1) The jobs that may be performed by a specific labor union.

2) The locality where a contractual dispute is decided.

3) In law, the ability of a court to hear and decide a matter brought before it.

Jurisdictional Dispute

Conflict between unions concerning the right to control certain jobs in a particular trade or industry.


A session that opens or highlights the show, meeting, or event.

Keynote Address

Opening remarks or presentation at a meeting that sets the tone or theme of the event and motivates attendees.

Keynote Speaker

Speaker whose presentation establishes the theme or tone of the event.

Keystone Effect

Distortion of a projected image whereby the image is wider on top and narrower on bottom. Keystone effect is caused when an image source is not perpendicular to the center point of the screen or projection surface.

King-Size Bed

Large bed usually measuring 76-by-80 inches (190-by-200 centimeters). A long king-size bed measures 76-by-84 inches (190-by-213 centimeters).


1) Free-standing pavilion or light structure, often inside a facility, where printed or electronic information is available.

2) A small enclosure for ticket sales, information, etc.

Knock Down

KD. Exhibit or display components requiring on-site assembly.


A light fixture that is installed from catwalks, ceilings, or truss systems, and can easily light up a 10×20 booth/stand space. It cannot be installed on the exhibit itself due to the temperature at which it burns.


Food prepared according to Jewish dietary laws and restrictions.


Document issued by a bank per instructions from a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms. See LETTER OF CREDIT.


Letter of Authority.


Patio or balcony overlooking a garden or water.

Last Name

Name by which all immediate family members are known. Women usually (but not always) adopt their husband’s surname upon marriage. Same as SURNAME, FAMILY NAME (preferred). Compare With GIVEN NAME.

LCD Projector

A self-contained unit with a LCD (liquid crystal display) panel, light source and lens that works with both PC and Mac computers and duplicates the image being shown on the monitor without any need for special software or complex setting up. See DATA PROJECTOR.

Lead Retrieval

The process whereby exhibitors receive a potential customer’s contact information in a standardized manner. A system for capturing and following-up on leads generated at an exhibition.

Lead Tracking

A manual or automated system used to conduct follow-up activities for sales prospects resulting from an event.

Learning Environment

The physiological, psychological, physiological social/cultural, industry, nutritional, technological, physical, service, personnel, and evaluation factors surrounding the learning experience.


A stand upon which a speaker may rest notes or books. May be “standing,” which rests on the floor, or “table-top” which is placed on a table. Often confused with PODIUM.


Informative and instructional speech.


Type of adjustable spotlight used to light lecterns, signs and areas that need a tightly focused pool of light.

Lenticular Screen

Screen finish with a characteristic silver-colored finish which has brighter reflective characteristics than a matte screen but with a wider viewing angle than a beaded screen.

Less Than Truckload

LTL. Rates applicable when the quantity of freight is less than the volume of truckload minimum weight.

Letter of Agreement

Contract. Document outlining proposed services, space, or products which becomes binding upon signature by authorized representatives of both parties. It lists services, foods, beverages, and so forth.

Letter of Credit

L/C. A document issued by a bank per instructions from a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms. See CONFIRMED LETTER OF CREDIT.

Liability Clause

Part of a contract outlining conditions of liability.

Liability Disclaimer

Legal statement releasing the organization from responsibility for any arrangements made by attendees with services listed by the organization (e.g., child care).

Licensing Agreement

A right or permission granted by the owner of a property (tangible or intangible) to engage in some business or occupation or engage in some transaction, which would be unlawful without such right, or permission. A business arrangement in which the manufacturer of a product (or a firm with proprietary rights over certain technology, trademarks, etc.) grants permission to some other group or individual to manufacture that product (or make use of that proprietary material) in return for specified royalties or other payment. Many convention center agreements are written as license agreements.

Light Bar

A bar with a light that hangs behind a header.

Light Box

Enclosure with lighting and translucent face of plastic or glass.


1) Service offered by electrical contractor for illumination.

2) Booth/stand or hall illumination.

3) Existing light provided by the venue for functionality and safety.

4) Controlled application of the art of lighting to impact sales, achieve atmosphere and otherwise enhance the experience of the event.

Lighting Control Console

Desk-type housing, used to contain the controls required for adjusting production lighting. Also MASTER CONTROL

Lighting Director

Person who designs the lighting, directs placement of lighting equipment, and calls lighting cues on-site.

Lighting Grid

Structures used to support lights and electrical outlets.

Lighting Plot

A print showing the location and type of all lights used in a booth/stand, or in a meeting environment.

Lighting Truss

A construction of tubular steel or aluminum alloy onto which lighting instruments are hung and which is in turn suspended above the stage or exhibit.

Likert Scale

Common question format, which uses standardized response options.

Line of Sight

A line of vision from an observer’s eye (such as an audience member) to a distant point (such as a stage).

Linear Display

Also “IN-LINE DISPLAY”. Exhibit space that shares one or more borders with neighboring exhibits.


Using hypertext, a link is a selectable connection from one word, picture or information object to another. From a Web site, a link points to content.

Liquid Crystal Display

LCD. Display composed of mobile crystals in liquid suspension which align themselves and polarize light in response to a small electric change. The crystals are manufactured in pockets within the display which correspond to areas of dark on light background.

Load In/Out

Scheduled times for crew to load and unload equipment.

Loading Dock

Area on premises where goods are received.  Usually a raised area that back loading trucks can back up to and offload freight easily.


Storage area which can be locked.


1) Refusal by a facility to allow guests access to their guest rooms.

2) Labor action where employers refuse access to the facility by employees.


1) Closed electric circuit.

2) A continuously repeated segment of music, dialogue, or images.

Loop Fabric

Fabric to which Velcro®  fastener fabric will adhere.

Loss Leader

Item offered by a retailer at cost or less than cost to attract customers.  Also referred to as a price leader.

Low Season

Period when the demand for a supplier’s product or service is lowest. Prices generally decrease in low season. Also Called VALUE SEASON. Compare With HIGH SEASON.

Low Voltage

Term applied to currents of 24 volts or less. Must be transformed from normal 110 volt input. Useful in animation, lighted model, etc.

Low-Key Lighting

Lighting in which picture intensity produces limited bright areas.


A type of truck that can be adapted for picking up loads at ground level.


Magnetic Stripe. A lead retrieval system using a magnetic strip on either the back of a paper badge or on plastic badges similar to credit cards.

Magnetic Key Systems

Means by which doors in hotels or other facilities are locked or unlocked.  Usually, these are cards as opposed to actual keys.  The system permits security staff members to know what key was used to enter the room and at what time.

Make Work Practices

Union practices for spreading work by limiting production or by requiring employment of more workers than necessary for a particular job.


Final official listing of all passengers and/or cargo aboard a transportation vehicle or vessel.

Marine Insurance

Broadly, insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance will typically compensate the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, piracy, and various other causes, but excludes losses which can be legally recovered from the carrier.


Taped or chalked symbol on studio or stage floors designating exact placement of props and actors.

Market Segments

Categorization of people, organizations or businesses by professional discipline or primary areas of interest for the purposes of sales analysis or assignment.

Market Share

The percentage of the total sales (from all sources) of a service or product represented by the sales made by an enterprise. i.e.  sales divided by total sales.


Difference between the cost and the selling price of a given product. Difference between the net rate charged by a tour operator, hotel, or other supplier and the retail-selling price of the service. Generally a percentage of the net rate rather than a fixed amount, as in a 20 percent markup on the net.

Marshalling Yard

A holding area where trucks or buses check in and wait for instructions before delivering or picking up freight or passengers.


1) Scenic drape used to obscure undesirable view from the audience or to protect or cover.

2) An item used or worn to hide the face.

3) Covering an item with masking tape.


1) Scenic draping to obscure undesirable items, such as equipment storage, or unused areas from view. Also used for security purposes.

2)Sound applied to an environment to provide privacy in open areas. The term “masking” refers to the so-called “cocktail-party effect” where certain conversations are hard to pick out because similar sounds mask them. The ear-brain can be fooled into not hearing certain sounds if other sounds at lower volume but sufficient complexity are simultaneously present. Pink noise is most often used to cause intentional masking; its spectrum is shaped or filtered and fed to loudspeakers hidden above an acoustical tile ceiling.

Masking Drapes

Drapes used to cover storage and other unsightly areas, unused areas or for security.


Original copy of something, such as an audio or video recording or filmed production.

Master Account

A record of transactions during an event where the resulting balance is paid directly by the group. May include room, tax, incidentals, food and beverage, audiovisual equipment, decor, etc. Also called MASTER BILL.

Master Bill


Master Control


Master Key

One key that will open function and guest rooms.

Master Monitor

Video monitor which shows only the picture being aired.

Master of Ceremonies

Person who presides over the program Also called MC, EMCEE

Material Handling

Services performed by GENERAL SERVICE CONTRACTOR that includes delivery of exhibit materials from the dock to assigned space, removing empty crates, returning crates at the end of the event for re-crating, and delivering materials back to the dock for carrier loading. It is a two-way charge, incoming and outgoing. Sometimes referred to as DRAYAGE, Material Handling is the preferred term.


Lusterless surface.

Matte Screen

Screen having a flat or matte white finish which does not reflect as effectively as a glass-bead screen, but can be viewed from virtually all front angles.

Matte White

Type of non-shiny screen surface used for front projection. It is the least expensive type of screen.

Maximum Pick-Up Number

Every week leading up to an event, the event organizer should receive a room pick-up report from each hotel involved in the event. One of those weeks will have a very high number (which is the maximum pick-up number). This information is important to include in a POST EVENT REPORT.


Megabits (millions of bits) per second. A rate of data transmission over a computer network.


(em-see)  See MASTER OF CEREMONIES. Also called EMCEE.

Media Kit

Packet of information that is supplied to the media; contains all the details of an event that are required to attract media attention and attendees.


Dispute resolution process in which the parties use a third party to assist them in reaching a compromise. The mediator may work with both sides together, or may act as “go between” in an attempt to move the sides toward agreement. The mediator may act informally, or be appointed by a judge or by agreement of the parties through an alternative dispute resolution organization like the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service (JAMS). Unlike arbitration, a mediator is not empowered to impose a decision on the parties.

Meet and Greet

Service for meeting and greeting persons upon arrival in a city, usually at the airport, pier or rail station and assisting them with entrance formalities, collecting baggage and obtaining transportation.


An event where the primary activity of the participants is to attend educational sessions, participate in discussions, social functions, or attend other organized events. There is no exhibit component . Compare With CONVENTION, EXHIBITION, TRADE SHOW, CONSUMER SHOW.

Meeting Management Company

A company, representing another organization, handling site selection, negotiations and turnkey support for an event.

Meeting Manager


Meeting Profile

A written report outlining statistics of previous events, anticipated use of all services, profile of attendees, hotel occupancy patterns, etc.

Metric System

A system of weights and measures, based on decimals, used throughout most of the world. Basic units are the gram for weight and the meter for length.




Meeting, Incentive, Conference/Congress, & Exhibition. An internationally used term for the events industry.


Instrument which converts sound into electrical signals for transmitting or recording sound.

Microphone, Omnidirectional

MICROPHONE that picks up sound from all directions.

Microphone, PZM

Pressure Zone Microphone. Also called a Boundary Microphone. This type of microphones can be placed on a large surface such as a table, floor, wall, or lectern. It picks up sound from entire room and is often recommended for conferences, group discussions, interviews, lectures, and recordings.

Microphone, Unidirectional

MICROPHONE that picks up sound primarily from the direction in which it is pointed.



Minimum Call

Agreed upon minimum number of hours of work to be done by a worker under the labor agreement. In cases where the work to be done is shorter than the minimum call, the worker is guaranteed payment for the full minimum.


Meeting Industry Network (formerly CINET or Convention Industry Network). On-line information network tracking historical and future site/booking information. MINT is provided by DMAI to its members.


1) Visual repetitive and/or alternating projection of two different slides on the screen used to add emphasis.

2) (Sound) adjustment of each microphone for volume and sound quality.


1) Audio unit by which sound signals from all sources feed into one system; allows for dissimilar inputs (microphone and line) to be combined and controlled into one output. See SOUND BOARD.

2) An informal get together to give members of a group an opportunity to meet one another.


Combining audio or audio sources.

Mixing Board



A full-scale model of a proposed structure.


Manager on Duty. Person at a facility in charge of operations and/or guest relations for a certain period of time.


1) An object made in miniature representing something to be constructed.

2) A person stationed in an exhibit to demonstrate a product, provide attraction to booth/stand or greet visitors. See TALENT.


Modulator-demodulator. Computer component that enables a computer to send and receive data over telephone or cable lines.


Person who presides over panel discussions and forums.

Modified American Plan

MAP. A type of room rate that includes breakfast and one other meal (usually dinner).

Modular Exhibit

An exhibit that uses standardized components (e.g., panels, frames) that can be assembled and reassembled in different configurations for different needs.

Modular Panels

Partition units (walls, doorframes, etc.) in standard sizes, used for building booths/stands in the sizes desired in that context.


1) Video or audio device used to maintain a reference on the sound or video that is being sent out to the audience. Audio feeds given to performers are also referred to as monitors but do not necessarily represent the sound sent to the audience. See CUE CHANNEL.

2) Event staff who observe sessions, report on problems and count attendance. Also called SESSION MONITOR.




Images reproduced on a black and white television system.


Sound from one source, such as a single loudspeaker or earphone. In most concert performances, this is the type of sound provided to the audience. See PA SYSTEM.


1) Composite made by combining several separate pictures.

2) Rapid succession of images to illustrate an association of ideas.


Formal proposal to be discussed and voted on in a meeting.


Memorandum of Understanding


Dates set for installation. See SET-UP.

Move-In/Move-Out Dates

Dates set for installation/dismantling of an exhibition, a meeting, or other event.


Dates set for dismantling. Also Called TEAR DOWN.

Moving Décor

Staff or actors in costume appropriate to a theme.


Meeting Professionals International.


Marketing promotional opportunities. Sponsorship of logoed items (e.g. tote bags).


With two or more communication bands (receivers).

Multi-Management Firm

A company that offers complete turnkey organizational support for an event, including administrative and event management services.


The use of two or more screens at the same time. Also called MULTIVISION.

Multi-Track Conference

A conference with parallel program sessions where participants have the choice to follow one or the other track or to jump from one track to the other during the duration of the event.


Use of two or more audiovisual media in one presentation.



Music License

Control of the performance of musical compositions by the composers and authors through granting of a license to perform. Controlled by the copyright laws. See ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

Music Licensing

The right granted by one party to let a another party use live or recorded music through special agreements and fee structures, often conducted with organizations that represent artists, such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. See ASCAP, BMI, SESAC.


Trade name for polyester sheeting, usually clear or decorative metallic reflective finish.


National Association of Catering Executives.


National Association of Consumer Shows.


National Business Travel Association.


National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners.

Net Rate

Non-commissionable rate.

Net Square Feet/Meters

Also “NSF”. Actual amount of salable space used by exhibit booths/stands which excludes aisles, lounges, registration areas, etc. See GROSS SQUARE FEET/METERS (GSF OR GSM).

Net Weight

Weight of goods without the shipping container.


Two or more computers or peripherals that are linked together for the purpose of sharing data.

News Release



1) Reservation made, but not kept.

2) Any person, group or exhibitor who fails to appear to claim a meal reservation, exhibit space or ordered service.

3) Participant did not attend, nor cancel according to cancellation guidelines — an exhibitor a hotel guest , a meeting attendee or a speaker/entertainer.


To neglect to carry out an agreement.


An organization whose members may not benefit financially from its net proceeds.


National Restaurant Association.


National Speakers Association.


Formalized statement of outcomes to be anticipated as a result of the educational process.

Obstructed View

View of stage, from audience seating, which is blocked.

Occupancy Rate

1) In hotel/motel industry, the percentage of total number of available sleeping rooms actually occupied. Derived by dividing the total number of rooms occupied during a given time period (night, week, year) by the total number of rooms available for occupancy during that same period.

2) Measurement of building use, usually expressed as an annual percentage rate comparing potential facility capacity to actual usage.

Off Premise Catering

Foods usually prepared in a central kitchen and transported for service to an off-site location.


1) Non-route airline ticketing service.

2) Computer application performed while not connected to a computer network.




A term that describes any function or activity that occurs away from the primary event facility. Examples of its use include “Off-Site Food & Beverage,” “Off-Site Venue,” etc. See OFF PREMISE CATERING.


A promise, proposal or other expression of willingness to make and carry out a contract under proposed terms with another party which has the ability to accept it upon receiving it. Space and rent proposal from a facility. It may be in the form of a contract or license agreement.

Official Contractor

Organization appointed by show management to provide services such as set-up and tear-down of exhibit booths and to oversee labor, material handling and loading dock procedures. Also known as GENERAL SERVICE CONTRACTOR.


Not in view of the audience.

On Consumption

A term used in food and beverage that refers to the purchasing option based on the amount utilized by the group. The organization pays for the food and beverage based on the actual food and beverage served.


Refers to measurement of space from center of a solid object (such as a COLUMN) to another point.


1) The opposite of real-time.

2) Audio and/or video programming available on a Web site after the completion of an event, providing this content so Web site visitors can listen or view at their discretion.


A term that describes any function or activity that occurs at the primary event facility.

On-Site Management

Details that the event manager must supervise at the site of the event.

On-Site Registration

Process of signing up for an event on the day of, or at the site of, the event.

One Ten/Sixty

Common term describing normally available current in North American Continent. The full expression is 110 volt/60 cycle.  Many European and South American areas have 220 volt/50 cycle power only.


A one-sheet piece of printed advertising. Often promoting a speaker’s product or services.


1) Connected to a computer network, such as the Internet.

2) Accessible via a computer or computer network.

Online Registration

Registration made via the Web.

Open Bar

Private room bar set up where guests do not pay for drinks.

Open Seating

1) Guests can sit anywhere.

2) Extra banquet tables are placed, but not fully set; these can be prepared quickly if there are more guests than expected.

Open Space Session

Sessions where topics for conversation emerge from the group. People who want to lead a conversation post discussion topics during a news gathering. Then, participants split up and go to the topic area for which they have the most passion and interest . The underlying assumption is that whoever shows up to the topic are the right people to be there. No assignments are made. Each group takes notes, so that they can share back or publish their ideas. Some people may decide to move from group to group. If no one shows up it means that there is no interest in that topic.

Open-Ended Incentive Program

Incentive program where the possible number of winners are not predetermined.

Opening Address

Formal speech given at the commencement of a meeting to welcome participants; usually given by an eminent person. See KEYNOTE.

Opening Ceremony

The formal general session at the beginning of a congress or convention.

Opening Hours

Hours during which an exhibition, event registration or business is open.

Opening Session

Meeting or meetings of a predetermined period of time, which begin a congress or convention and in which the principal items on the agenda are usually introduced.  Usually a general or plenary session.


Performing the practical work of operating a program. Usually involves the in-house control and handling of all phases of the services, both with suppliers and with clients.

Operations Manager

Individual in charge of performing the practical and detailed work of a program. See OPERATIONS.


A loose term that may mean Destination Management Company (DMC).

Opt-In Marketing

An email marketing campaign that only sends messages to users who have requested (or opted-in) to receive specific types of information. Email conference reminders and newsletters are examples of opt-in email marketing campaigns based upon permission marketing. See PERMISSION MARKETING.

Optical Sound

Sound that is recorded by photographic means on film. sound recorded on and subsequently played back from an optical or photographic soundtrack, as opposed to a magnetic soundtrack.


1) Space which is reserved but not yet contracted for an event. The right of first refusal to confirm a tentative space reservation if there is demand from another group. See TENTATIVE HOLD.

2) Options – Activities other than those included in the formal agenda which are optional and often require the payment of an additional participation fee done at the guest’s discretion.

Option Date

A prearranged date by which a hotel or facility will no longer hold tentative arrangements for a group.

Optional Tour

A TOUR or side trip offered at a designated date, time and price, and is not included in the formal agenda.

Oral Presentation

Contribution or address made verbally to an audience.

Orchestra Pit

Sunken area in front of the stage used to accommodate the orchestra.

Order of Precedence

A system which ranks dignitaries according to international protocol for purposes of seating, honors or ceremonies.


The entity or individual that produces an event.

Organizing Committee

A group of people who carry out the strategies and policies established for the organization of an event held in their geographic area.

Organizing Secretariat

Staff providing administrative services to the organizer.

Original Language

Initial language in which a document is drafted or a speech is delivered.


Occupational Safety and Health Administration


1) Overtime.

2) On Truck or Railway.

OT Labor

Work performed on overtime, billed at either time-and-one-half or twice the published labor rates.


Over the Road. Freight that moves on the road, typically shipped directly to the convention center.

Out Take

Taped or filmed scenes not used in the final production.

Outbound Operator

A company that takes groups from a given city or country to another city or country.

Outbound Tour

Any tour that takes groups outside a given city or country to another city or country.


1) Restaurants, lounges or retail stores within a facility.

2) Electrical outlets.

Outside Exhibit

Booth/stand located outdoors.

Outside Line

Telephone line from in-house phone to the outside (off-property) phone, obtained through the in-house operator.

Outside Vendor

Supplier who is not directly associated with the facility.


To subcontract a task or responsibility to a supplier to handle some aspect of an event, instead of using in-house staff.


Number of covers set over the guarantee.  Paid for by the client only if actually consumed.


Surplus, excess, or extra.


Situation in which more rooms or seats are sold than are available.


Attendees booked into other facilities after headquarters facilities are full.

Overhead Projector

Equipment which projects an image on a screen by passing light through a transparent slide or other transparency.


1) Clear acetate film used to separate different components of art work.

2) Tissue sheet over artwork on which corrections or alterations are indicated.

3) A panel mounted to another surface.

4) A second, smaller tablecloth used for decorative purposes at banquets. See DOUBLE CLOTH.

Overnight Service

A type of airfreight service. Overnight does not necessarily mean 24-hour delivery as carriers deal in business days (usually, Monday – Friday). In addition, a shipment might not move until the following day, depending on the time of day it is picked up or loaded.

Overnight Stays

The total nights spent by an attendee at a housing facility before, during, and after an event.


A commission over and above the normal base commission percentage.


Condition where the number of confirmed reservations exceeds the number of seats on an aircraft or sleeping rooms in a hotel. See OVERBOOKED.


A guest who stays at a housing facility (hotel, motel, etc.) one or more days longer than his or her scheduled departure date. Also Called STAY OVER, UNDER DEPART. Compare With UNEXPECTED DEPARTURE.


Time worked by an employee outside of, or in addition to, regular working time or beyond the standard forty-hour workweek.

PA System

Facility’s in-house public-address system.


1) A rate of activity such as the presentation of a meal or tour itinerary.

2) The scheduling of activities within an itinerary or meeting program to make for a realistic balance of travel time, educational programming, social events, tours, free time and rest.


1) Hotel, conference center, or tour arrangement components combined and sold at a single all-inclusive price.

2) A single-fee booth/stand package offered by event management which might include booth/stand space, one electrical outlet, and basic furnishings.

Package Plan

1) Preassembled assortment of goods and services offered to the exhibitor at a single, fixed price.

2) In catering, refers to purchasing liquor and/or food at a set price per person.

3) Package offered by a hotel or conference center that includes lodging, food and beverages, and services at a set price.

Package Tour

A travel offering which provides, at an inclusive price, several travel components that a traveler would otherwise purchase separately.


1) An individual or organization that coordinates and promotes the development of a package tour and establishes operating procedures and guidelines for that tour.

2) Company that organizes speakers’ demo tapes, press kits, etc. for a fee.


The unit of data sent across a packet-switching network. It contains a destination address.

Packing List

A list showing the number and kinds of items being shipped, as well as other information needed for transportation purposes.


1) To apply attenuation to a signal (e.g. line level to mic level pad.) A very commonly overlooked problem in audio when interfacing VCRs etc. to mic level inputs in ballrooms, event rooms, etc. A pad can be applied most often by using a ‘filter direct box’.

2) A tablet of paper placed on the table for classroom or conference seating.

Pad Wrap

Wrap needed for protection of goods that are shipped without additional crating. See PADDING.

Padded Van Shipment

Shipment, by moving van, of crated or uncrated goods such as large pieces of furniture or display material.


1) Usually blanket protection for uncrated material.

2) Additional material for comfort installed under carpeting in an exhibit booth.

Paid Out

In-house facility form authorizing a cash disbursement to be charged to a master account or individual guest.

Paid-in-Advance Registration

1) Full payment for anticipated room and tax charges at registration; credit for incidentals is not extended.

2) Full payment for meetings, conventions, and trade shows. See CASH REGISTRATION.


Wooden platform used to carry goods. See SKID.

Pallet Wrap

Process of wrapping loose items on pallet with a transparent plastic wrapping.


Panorama. Sideways movement of a camera to film a wide scene.

Panel Discussion

Instructional technique using a group of people chosen to discuss a topic in the presence of an audience, or for a virtual event, such as a Webinar.

Panel Dolly

L-shaped dolly with wheels on both the vertical and horizontal sides. Used for moving display panels.

Panel System

A prefabricated exhibit composed of connected panels of various sizes and shapes.

Paper Ticket

A physical ticket that is issued and presented to an airline in exchange for a boarding pass, or to an event organizer for admission.

Par Lamp

A lamp shaped like an automobile headlight that consists of a tungsten source housed in an enclosed lens, which produces a rectangular beam.

Parabolic Screen

Type of front projection screen surface which is rigid and allows only narrow angle viewing.


An apparent change in the direction of an object, caused by a change in observational position, that provides a new line of sight.

Parallel Session

Session which has some correspondence or similarity of subject, and is simultaneous to another session.


A 150 watt to 1000 watt lighting instrument that acts like a floodlight providing an even light over a specific area; frequently seen in polished aluminum version, hanging in large groups from a ground support or flying truss system.


Room, usually equipped with sofas that make into beds, connected to a suite bedroom.

Parlor Suite

Hotel living room, usually with a hide-a-bed sofa, connected to an adjoining sleeping room.

Participatory Learning

Occurs when the participants share knowledge, experience and work together to learn.



Party Planner

A person or organization that works with clients to design and implement private parties and other social events.


The unit of pressure or stress in the International System of Units (SI). In the United States, PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) is used instead. See PSI.

Pastry Cart

Selection of desserts on a rolling serving cart.


1) To temporarily join wires or slides by overlapping.

2) Plug-in connection between two lines.

Patch Bay


Patch Panel

Plug and jack assembly permitting studio outlets to be temporarily connected to dimmer outlet circuits; also found in studio sound systems. Also Called PATCH BAY.

Pattern of Event Dates

The dates during which an event can be conducted. May be designated by specific dates, months, or seasons (Spring, Fall, etc.).


1) A designated area within the event highlighting a special product category for marketing and exposure.

2) A group presentation of different entities (such as within a single a country) for the purpose of generating collective impact.


Abbreviation for passengers.

Payment Order

Written authorization for payment to be made.

PBX Operator

Switchboard operator.


Professional Convention Management Association.


Professional Congress Organizer. Companies or individuals specialized in organizing events on behalf of a client organization. Not to be confused with Destination Management Company (DMC)

Peak Night

Referring to the night during an event when most rooms are occupied by those in attendance.

Peak Season



Chart or list of AV equipment usage shown as daily totals throughout the duration of an event.


A floor support for an exhibit component.


The fee imposed by an airline to change or cancel flights once the ticket (usually a discounted advance purchase) has been issued.

Pending Registration

Incomplete registration where the fees, full payment or forms have not been received. Also Called PROVISIONAL REGISTRATION.


Two or more exhibit spaces back to back with an aisle on three sides. Also Called END CAP.

Peninsula Booth/Stand

An exhibit with aisles on three sides.

Penthouse Suite

Guest rooms and connecting parlors located on the top floors of a facility.

Per Diem

Per day. Daily allowance for food, lodging, and incidental expenses.

Per Person

Goods or services priced and/or purchased according to the number of guests expected to attend the event.

Percent of the Gross

Type of payment involving a fixed percent of the gross income for that service. This type of agreement is often used by facilities as the rental.

Percent of the Net

Type of payment involving a fixed percent of the net income after costs of providing that service. This type of payment is often used in services provided by exclusive contractors within a facility.

Percentage of Change Formula

Formula used to establish the variability in cost for future facility services.

Performing Rights Societies

Societies whose purpose is to provide collective licensing for copyrighted music. Examples include ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

Perimeter Booth/Stand

Exhibit space located on an outside wall. See BACKWALL BOOTH/STAND.

Perimeter Seating

Seating arrangement in which chairs are placed around the walls of a room. The chairs are often meant for spectators to observe an activity or event in the center of the room.

Peripheral Block

A group of rooms reserved by a party outside of the Event Contracted Block (ECB) but is present in the city as a result of the Main Event (for example, some international tour groups). A Peripheral Block’s consumed room nights should be credited to the Main Event’s total room nights for historical tracking purposes. A Peripheral Block may be used to help offset attrition charges against the ECB A Peripheral Block usually negotiates its own terms.


Payment, benefit, or privilege received in addition to regular income or salary.

Permanent Exhibit

A product display held on a long-term basis, i.e., museum exhibit, office exhibit, mart, showroom, etc.

Permanent Import

In case of sales, with payment of duties and value added tax (VAT), or in case of free distribution, disposable or consumables usually exempted from payment of duties and VAT depending on each country. Quantity and value exempted at discretion of customs authorities.

Permission Marketing

An email marketing campaign that only sends messages to users who have requested (or opted-in) to receive specific types of information. Email conference reminders and newsletters are examples of opt-in email marketing campaigns based upon permission marketing. See OPT-IN.

Permit Card

Card granting temporary employment rights to a non-union member, issued by a union having a closed contract with an employer.

Personal Manager

Manager of individual artist or group of artists.

Piano Types

Pianos vary in size and quality: concert grand, baby grand, spinet, and upright.


Unit to measure type line length. Approximately 1/6 inch (.43 centimeter).


Number of facility guest rooms actually used out of a room block.


A rectangular column that usually projects about a third of its width from the wall to which it is attached.

Pillow Gift

An in-room amenity left in the evening while an event is underway, that the attendee will discover upon returning to the room. Can be gifts from sponsors, etc.

Pink Noise

Filtered white noise that exhibits a constant power in any band of frequencies of the same span percentage. Generated to test loudspeakers in a room as well as to “tune” a room for best audio reproduction. See WHITE NOISE.

Pipe & Drape

Light-weight aluminum tubing and drapery used to separate exhibit booths/stands, staging areas, and other similar locations.

Place Card

Card placed on the banquet table, inscribed with the name of the person designated to sit at that place.

Place Setting

Another name for cover (a combination of flatware, glassware, china and napery).


Person whose job it is to oversee and arrange every aspect of an event. Person can be an employee of or hired ad hoc by companies, associations and other organizations to plan, organize, implement, and control meetings, conventions, and other events.

Planning Matrix

A grid used to plan meeting formats and finalize subject areas, topics and assignments.


The use of trees and plants to enhance the appearance of an exhibit or a stage.

Plastic Laminate

Any one of several of the melamine plastics bonded to paneling for durability and appearance.

Often used in exhibit construction.

Plated Buffet

Selection of preplated foods and entrees set on a buffet table. Can also be set on a roll-in cart.

Plated Service

Foods arranged on individual plates in the kitchen and then served to guests seated at a table. See AMERICAN SERVICE.

Plenary Session

General assembly for all participants.


A trade name for acrylic plastic material in common use.


An additional piece of software that extends the capabilities of a web browser or other program by allowing the display of multimedia files or performance of additional functions.

Plus Plus

Addition of taxes and service charges to a price when not included, designated by ++.


Any component of a package tour that is not included in the package price, but may be purchased as an added feature or to extend the length of the package. Tour options are purchased at additional cost.


Passenger Name Record. A record created in a CRS / GDS when a reservation is made for a traveler. A PNR includes a set of identifying code letters and numbers unique to a single reservation, and contains information about a traveler’s itinerary The PNR forms the basic unit of information from which travel management reports are compiled.

Pocket Program

A shortened version of the event program giving basic information in a way which is easy to refer to and convenient to carry.


Raised platform where a speaker stands when delivering his or her remarks. Often confused with LECTERN.


1) Measurement of type size. Twelve points equal one pica—approximately 1/6 inch (.43 centimeter).

2) A city, town, village, or other community or area which is treated as a unit for the application of freight rates.

Point Source

Sound originating from a single source, or as if from a single source, and filling an entire space. This type of sound system is most often seen in a concert configuration, where the stage and sound system is at one end of the room and no additional sources of sound are used.


Display to show product, where sales can be made.

Point-to-Multipoint  Videoconference

A videoconference of more than two sites.

Pop-Up Exhibit

Lightweight display normally shipped in molded plastic crates. See PORTABLE EXHIBIT.

Port of Entry

Destination providing customs and immigration services.

Portable Exhibit

An exhibit that “pops-up” or a self-contained exhibit that is lightweight and easily set up.


1) Entry, doorway.

2) A Web site or service that offers a broad array of resources and services, such as email, forums, search engines, and online shopping malls to attract and retain a large audience.


1) Staff who carry luggage for guests using trains, planes, and hotels.

2) Staff who perform cleaning duties.

Post As

Instructions to a facility indicated the exact way a specific function should be listed on the facility’s reader board.

Post Conference

Any event which is arranged for the period immediately following the conference proper.

Post Convention Report


Post-Con Meeting

Post-Conference Meeting at the primary facility at which an event occurred just after it has ended. Attendees generally include the primary event organizer, representatives of the event organizer/host organization, department heads at the facility, other facility staff as appropriate, and contractors. The agenda focuses on evaluating the implementation of the event and collecting data needed to completing an APEX Post-Event Report. It often includes a final review of bills with accounts payable. Compare With PRE-CON MEETING.

Post-Conference Registration

Registration for an activity or function which follows an event.

Post-Conference Reservation

Guest room space following a conference.

Post-Consumer Material

An end product that has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and would otherwise have been disposed of as a solid waste. Post-consumer materials include recyclables collected in recycling programs, such as office paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastics and metals.

Post-Event Report

PER. The industry preferred term for a report of the details and activities of an event. A collection of post event reports over time will provide a comprehensive history for an event. The industry accepted practice is to use the APEX Post-Event Report format, which can be found at the Convention Industry Council web site.


Visual presentation of a specified size, presented on a flat sheet of paper or card, with details of a specific topic.

Poster Board

Soft or cork board panel, used for displaying copy and/or graphics. See ABSTRACT BOARD.

Poster Exhibition

Area with display of posters.

Poster Presentations

Informal sessions near poster exhibition to present and discuss contents of posters.

Poster Session

1) Display of reports and papers, usually scientific, accompanied by authors or researchers.

2) A session dedicated to the discussion of the posters shown inside the meeting area. When this discussion is not held in a special session, it can take place directly between the person presenting the poster and interested delegate(s).

Postgraduate Refresher Course

Continuing education courses often provided for professional accreditation purposes, and designed to enhance professional knowledge, or reinforce information originally taught as part of a degree program.


Privately Owned Vehicle. A vehicle, such as a passenger car, van or small company vehicle, as distinguished from tracks, tractor-trailers and other over the road vehicles.

POV Line

Privately Owned Vehicle Line. Special loading dock reserved for POVs where material is unloaded at prevailing material handling rates.

Power Bandwidth

Frequency range over which a power amplifier can produce at least half power (-3dB). This important specification is the actual indication of an amplifier’s true power output capability, since many amplifiers are capable of much higher power outputs if frequency extremes such as those produced by music are ignored.

Power of Attorney

An instrument in writing whereby one person, as principal, appoints another as his/her agent and confers authority to perform certain specified acts or kinds of acts on behalf of the principal.

Power Response

Measure of a loudspeaker’s output with reference to its electrical input. Power response includes the total sound energy radiated into the acoustic space around the loudspeaker rather than just on-axis. Flat power response would indicate that a loudspeaker is radiating equal energy into all angles at all frequencies.

Pre- or Post-Event Tour

Organized outing taking place before (Pre-) or after (Post-) an event for both attendees and accompanying persons.


Assigning a specific guest room prior to the arrival of the guest.

Pre-Con Meeting

A Pre-Conference Meeting at the primary facility at which an event will take place just prior to the event beginning. Attendees generally include the primary event organizer, representatives of the event organizer/host organization, department heads at the facility, other facility staff as appropriate, and contractors. The agenda focuses on reviewing the purpose and details of the event and making final adjustments as needed. Compare With POST-CON MEETING.

Pre-Function Space

Area adjacent to the main event location. Often used for receptions prior to a meal or coffee breaks during an event. See FOYER.


Period of time before a property’s soft opening.


Material permanently pleated, ready for installation.


To automatically supply a data field on a form with information.


1) Registering in advance to attend an event. See ADVANCE REGISTRATION.

2) At a facility, pre-assigned sleeping rooms available for occupancy.

Pre-Registration List

Computer generated list of names pre-registered with a group.


Items such as books, tapes, videos, etc. sold to a client in advance of an event versus items sold in the back of room after an event.

Pre-Set Service

Placing plated foods on banquet tables prior to seating guests.


Pre-built exhibit ready for installation.

Preferred Carrier

Carriers that have alliances with exposition service firms and general service contractors. They receive preferential treatment, and some discounts may be obtained by using these carriers.

Preliminary Draft

First draft. The first version of a paper or document which is subject to further amendment.

Preliminary Program

The first public draft of an event’s schedule including information on program structure and key speakers, giving details of ancillary activities and usually containing the event registration form.

Preliminary  Announcement

The first announcement that an event will take place, giving the dates, location and theme.

Premium Beer

Brands of domestic or imported beer sold at a higher price point than other brands.

Premium Brand

Brands of spirits (hard liquor), beer and wine sold at a higher price point than other brands.

Premium Pay

Extra pay over the regular wage rate for work performed outside or beyond the regular working hours, for work on Saturday, Sunday or holidays, for night shift work, for hazardous, dirty or unpleasant work, and for production in excess of established standards.

Prep Area

Space used for food production and service not visible to guests.

Preplated Items

Food placed on plates in the kitchen prior to being served.


Person explaining a given topic in an informational session.

Press Clipping/Cutting

Article cut from a printed publication.

Press Conference

Event held to communicate information to media representatives.

Press Kit

A collection of publicity items that includes: 1) pertinent data on the meeting, such as agenda, historical data, guest speakers, special events, ; the meeting property, such as descriptions of public space, etc. 2) information relative to a sponsor or exhibitor’s products or services.

Press Office

Agency that collects and distributes information to the news media.

Press Officer

The chief public relations contact with the press/media for an organization.

Press Release

1) A prepared statement released to the news media.

2) An article intended for use by the media about a company, product, service, individual, or show. Also Called NEWS RELEASE.

Press Room

A room where members of the media may obtain exhibitor press kits, conduct interviews, or relax. Larger press rooms offer computers, Internet access, and office equipment for use by the press in filing their stories.

Priority Point System

System of assigning points to exhibiting companies to determine the order in which firms will be allowed to select booth/stand space first for the next event.

Pro Forma

Financial forms (invoices, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, etc.) based on future expectations; provided or made in advance to describe items or projections.

Pro Forma Invoice

1) An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value, and important specifications (weight, size, etc.)

2) A packing list on which a shipper describes what is being shipped including the quantity, the value, the weight, and dimensions.

Pro Number

Shipment number designated by the common carrier to a single shipment, used in all cases where the shipment must be referenced.


Published volume transcribing the full conference sessions, which may or may not include details of the discussion.


Group of individuals moving in an orderly, often ceremonial manner.


Person or company responsible for the production of something; usually used in reference to a theatrical producer, event producer or an exhibit producer. See ORGANIZER.

Production Company

A company that presents special effects and theatrical acts. This type of company may contract to put on an entire event or only parts of one. They sometimes hire speakers as part of their contract.

Productivity Tickets

Complimentary tickets awarded by the official airline after the event according to the number of attendees who used the airline.

Professional Association

Group of persons who practice a particular professional activity.

Professional Congress Organizer

PCO. Companies or individuals specialized in organizing events on behalf of a client organization. Not to be confused with DMC (Destination Management Company).

Professional Speaker

A speaker who is paid a fee for performances and makes a living from presenting information to various organizations.


Detailed information about a traveler and/or company kept on file by a travel management company.


Schedule of events, giving details of times and places.

Program Book

Printed schedule of events, location of function rooms, and other pertinent information.

Program Design

Structure of event program elements to achieve specific goals and objectives.

Program Development

Planning that takes place before an event regarding its specific content and fabric.

Prohibited Cargo

Goods restricted by international convention. Also refers to drugs, weapons and ammunitions.

Projection Booth

Platform or area from which audiovisual presentations are controlled.

Projection Distance

Measurement from the projector to the screen.

Projection Screen

Surface on which images are displayed.


An apparatus for projecting an image on a screen. Whether the device is an overhead projector, data (LCD) projector, slide projector, or a film projector, it is usually referred to as simply a projector.


Person or organization whose role is to market an event, maximizing media coverage and income.


1) Publicizing an event. See PUBLICITY.

2) An advancement in rank or position.

Promotional Fares

Reduced fares for travel to particular cities. The number of seats sold at the reduced fare is limited and, therefore, early booking is critical. These tickets also carry many restrictions.


1) Final copy for approval before printing. See BLUELINE

2) To correct before final printing.

3) Standard measure of alcoholic strength; e.g., 100 proof = 50 percent alcohol content.

Proof of Citizenship

1) A document, necessary for obtaining a passport.

2) A passport or other document that establishes ones’ nationality to the satisfaction of a foreign government.


Checking preliminary printed materials for errors before the final printing.


1) Establishment such as a hotel, motel, inn, resort, conference center, or event facility.

2) Something (e.g. an interest, money, or land) that is owned or possessed.


1) Plan put forth for consideration or acceptance.

2) Communication sent by a supplier to a potential customer detailing the supplier’s offerings and prices.


1) Stage furniture, set dressing.

2) Articles used by actors, entertainers, or speakers.

Proscenium Arch

The visible opening that frames a stage (usually theatrical).


A potential attendee, guest, buyer or exhibitor.


The document (printed or online) that promotes the chief features and benefits of a product or service to prospects.


1) Customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence, and etiquette.

2) A formal description of message formats and the rules two computers must follow to exchange messages.


Pounds per Square Inch. A measurement of pressure. Pressure is force per unit area. The standard unit for pressure outside of the United States is the Pascal (which is one Newton per square meter), which is the unit of pressure or stress in the International System of Units (SI). See PASCAL.


Passenger Service Manager/ Supervisor.

Public Accommodation

A private entity that owns, rents or leases a public facility.

Public Address System

Audio and/or visual system to convey messages to participants during an event. See PA SYSTEM.

Public Relations

Presentation of an event via the media or other outlets, stressing the benefits and desirability of such event.

Public Seminar

A seminar that is open to the public. Usually, tickets are sold to individuals.

Public Show

Exhibition that is open to the public, usually requiring an entrance fee.

Public Space

Space in a facility that is available for rent.


A media campaign, normally consisting of a series of public notices and advertising activities, aimed at ensuring maximum attendance by focusing attention on an event. See PROMOTION.


Question-and-answer period after a speaker or presentation at a meeting.

Quad Box

Four electrical outlets in one box, which should be grounded.


1) Four-channel audio tape recording system.

2) Room with two or more beds for four persons.


The act of determining a person’s authority or financial ability to purchase a product or service or perform a specific function.

Qualitative Data

Descriptive information that is a record of what is observed, presented in narrative by the respondent. Also referred to as “soft data.”

Quality Profits

Profits that can be sustained year to year over a prolonged period of time.

Quantitative Data

Information that is represented numerically so you can assign ranks or scores, or determine averages and frequencies. Also Called HARD DATA.


Wedge shaped table with one rounded edge.


Survey; a set of questions used to gather information.

Quick Set

Function room set-up that saves room turnover time, limits the number of event rooms required, and avoids additional charges for changing room set-ups.

Quick-Change Booth

Enclosed or draped area, close to the stage, for costume changes.

Rack Rate

Facility’s standard, pre-established guest room rates.


Low drape divider between exhibit booths/stands, also known as a SIDE RAIL.

Rain Date

An alternate event date contracted to use in case of inclement weather.


Gathering to promote enthusiasm and excitement.

Ramp Session

Session added on to the end of the day’s program, usually after dinner, to accommodate extra papers or an extra papers of an extra plenary lecture.

Random Sample

A sample in which the probability of selection for each element in the population is known prior to the sample selection.

Rank and File

The membership of an organization, other than officers and officials.

Rap Sessions

Informal sessions with no specific agenda.


Person appointed to note and record the proceedings of sessions and to write summaries of the paper(s) presented for a final summation session. See REPORTER.

Rate of Exchange

The rate of currency exchange established daily as the buying rate of foreign currency by the Federal Reserve Bank. The daily rate is used only when it varies by more than 5 per cent from the quarterly rate. When applicable, the daily rate is the rate certified on the day of exportation.

Raw Film

Condition of motion picture film after printing process but before surface has been treated.


Religious Conference Management Association.

Reader Board

At a facility, a listing, either printed or on a video screen, of the day’s events including times and locations.


Nonunion, temporary labor hired from a personnel agency.


When online activities take place at a designated time, they are referred to as real-time events. A Webcast of a keynote presenter that can be watched live over the Internet is an example of a real-time event.

Rear Projection

Video or image presentation where the screen is between the viewer and the projector.

Reasonable Accommodation

Any provision that aids the participation of a person with a disability, as long as it does not create a hazard to others, a major disruption in business or an undue financial or administrative burden.

Receiving Fee

Arbitrary fees sometimes imposed by a host government to officially recognize an event.

Receiving Line

Dignitaries, host, sponsor, and guest of honor lined up to greet guests.


Stand-up social function where beverages and light foods are served.  Foods may be presented on small buffet tables or passed by servers.  May precede a meal function.

Reception Desk/Registration Desk

1) Desk or defined area where guests are received at a hotel, motel, inn.

2) Desk or defined area where event attendees register for an event on-site or retrieve registration materials if they have pre-registered.

Record Locator

An identifying number for the Passenger Name Record (PNR) in a file or record.

Red Eye Flight

A scheduled flight that departs late at night and arrives in the morning.

Referral Child Care

When an event host organization publishes a list of child care service providers available. Attendees then make their own arrangements with these services.


Sound or light energy which returns from a surface when struck. The amount and angle of reflection depends on the type and size of the reflecting surface and the frequency (wavelength) of the energy.


The change of direction of a light ray passing from one medium to another of different density.


To clean function space after specific functions, or during break periods. Usually involves refilling water pitchers, removing soiled articles, changing glassware, and performing other light housekeeping chores.

Refreshment Break

Time between meeting sessions.  May include coffee, soft drinks, and/or food items.  Some are planned around a theme.


Items of food and drink consumed between main meals; usually taken during breaks between meetings. See BREAK.

Refundable Deposit

A deposit made to a venue or supplier that may be returned under certain conditions agreed to by the venue/supplier.

Regional Event

An event targeted to attendees from a specific geographical area. May be a stand-alone event, or a regional version of a national event. Typically 60% of attendees reside within a 400 mile (640 km) radius of the event city.

Regional Exclusivity

A speakers bureau’s/agency’s exclusivity is limited to a particular region or territory.

Regional Security Officer

RSO. Consular official charged with the security of his/her country’s nationals while traveling in his region.


Individual who has submitted a registration form and attends an event.


Individual responsible for handling registrations.


1) Process by which an individual indicates his/her intent to attend a conference or stay at a property.

2) A method of booking and payment.

3) The process of recording data about an attendee (or exhibitor), sending a confirmation and creating a badge used on-site.

Registration Area

Designated area where event registration takes place.

Registration Card

Signature form used by facility when registering a guest.

Registration Data

Information about an attendee that is gathered as part of the registration process (occupation, fee category, etc).

Registration Fee

Amount payable for attendance at a conference; may vary according to level of participation or type of membership.

Registration Form

Form used by an event attendee to sign up to attend an event. It is used to collect important information about the attendee and his/her intended participation in the event.

Relay Interpreting

Oral translation whereby an interpreter does not translate directly, but interprets the translation of a colleague, usually because s/he is not qualified to work directly from the original language.


1) Signed form giving permission to use a person’s name, picture, or statement (often in an advertisement).

2) Form signed by presenter allowing recording of presentation.

3) Document provided by management to permit removal of goods from exhibition during event hours.

4) To release space, as in returning unsold air or hotel reservations to the supplier that originally allotted them.

Release Date

Date beyond which a facility is free to rent the unused sleeping rooms or function space to other groups.

Released Value

1) Limit of a carrier’s liability.

2) Stated value of a shipment when released to the carrier. If shipper declares a higher value than the per-pound limit, shipping costs will increase.

Rental Booth/Stand

Complete booth/stand package offered to exhibitors on a rental basis.

Rental Charges

Cost of hiring a piece of equipment or function space for a specified period of time.

Rental Contract

Contract stating terms and conditions for rental of exhibition venue or for individual booth/stand within a venue.

Repeat Engagement/Booking

When a speaker does a second or subsequent booking for the same client.


1) Person appointed to note and record the proceedings of sessions and to write summaries of the paper(s) presented for a final summation session.

2) Person who reports on an event for the media (TV, radio, print, Web sites, etc.).

Reporting Pay

Guaranteed payment to employees who report or show up ready for work at their usual time and find no work to do.

Request for Proposals

RFP. A document that stipulates what services the organization wants from an outside contractor and requests a bid to perform such services.


1) An arrangement to have a sleeping room (at a hotel or other housing facility) held for one’s use.

2) Process by which an individual or group secures space at a facility.

Reservation Center

Telephone or computerized reservation sales office.

Reservation Form

Form used by event organizer, housing bureau or lodging facility to register guests for sleeping rooms.

Reservation Method

Manner by which sleeping room reservations are to be made for attendees of a specific event (i.e., individually, via master list, etc.).

Reservation Request

A communication by which a guest indicates sleeping room requirements; these are forwarded to the hotel to secure a reservation.

Reservation Review Date

Designated day when the facility will release a block of sleeping rooms to the general public. See CUT-OFF DATE.


1) Ability of a projection system to distinguish and reproduce fine detail.

2) Motion put forward for a joint decision; usually has the force of a legislative decision.


1) Regions associated with recreation and leisure, such as the mountains, seashore, or natural or man-made attractions.

2) A resort hotel or motel offers or is located near facilities for sports and recreational activities such as tennis, swimming, sailing, etc.

Resort Casual

Attire for warm destinations,  including mid- to knee-length shorts; collarless or golf shirts; khakis and sandals. Women can wear linen sheaths, casual skirts or sundresses.

Resort Conference Center

A conference facility with at least one major amenity, such as golf or tennis.

Restricted Dialing

The ability to control telephone access often by excluding specific country or area codes and certain types of calls. This is often put in place for event rooms and show floor locations.



Retention Rate

1) The percentage of exhibitors or attendees that return to an event from one year to the next.

2) The percentage of an organization’s membership or company’s employees that remain with the organization or company from one year to another.

Return on Investment


1) Net Profit divided by Net Worth. A financial ratio indicating the degree of profitability.

2) Net benefits divided by the full loaded meeting costs.

Revenue Management System

A sophisticated computer based pricing system that vendors use to adjust prices based on anticipated demand. Also referred to as Yield Management.


Sound which appears to echo and re-echo in weaker and weaker levels. Also Called Reverb.

Reviewing Stands

Elevated platforms accommodating not more than 50 persons. Seating facilities, if provided, are normally in the nature of loose chairs. Reviewing stands accommodating more than 50 persons shall be regulated as grandstands.


Revenue Per Available Room. A performance measurement commonly used in the hotel industry. It is calculated by dividing a hotel’s net rooms revenue by the total number of available rooms, or by multiplying a hotel’s average daily room rate (ADR) by its occupancy.

RFP Distribution Date

The date a Request for Proposals (RFP) is to be passed along if an event organizer is using an intermediary to distribute the RFP [i.e., If an event organizer sends an RFP to a Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), and wants the CVB to send the RFP to member hotels on a certain date, that date is the RFP Distribution Date].

RFP Published Date

The date a Request for Proposals (RFP) is released from an event organizer and is made public.


Additional clause in a contract stipulating special requirements.


1) Person responsible for machinery uncrating, unskidding, positioning, leveling, and reskidding.

2) Skilled labor responsible for attaching signs, banners, truss, and other equipment to ceilings.


1) The process of attaching the cable on a crane to a piece of machinery or equipment.

2) The process for hanging materials or signs.

3) The structure to which hanging materials are attached.

Right of First Refusal

A courtesy a facility extends to a previously booked party to approve or disapprove a concurrent booking or to save uncontracted space for the previously booked party for program growth.

Right to Work State

Where joining a union is not a condition of employment.

Rights Only

Selling only the rights to a sponsorship, with the buyer incurring expenses for production, installation and dismantle.


Raised platform.

Risk Management

Recognizing the possibility of injury, damage or loss, and having a means to prevent it or provide insurance.

Risk Monies

Funds that an agency would not recoup should a tour not materialize, i.e., nonrefundable deposits to suppliers, promotional expenditures, printing expenses.




Return on Objectives. Measurement of the benefit received for participating at an event based on pre-set objectives for success.

Room Block

Total number of sleeping rooms that are utilized and attributable to one event.

Room Capacity

Number of people that can function safely and comfortably in a room.

Room Deposit

Money that must be paid in advance in order for a hotel to guarantee to hold a function or sleeping room.

Room Nights

Number of sleeping rooms blocked or occupied multiplied by number of nights each room is reserved or occupied.

Room Occupancy Pattern

Number of single, double, triple, etc. rooms used.

Room Pick Up

The number of sleeping rooms actually used by event attendees and exhibitors.

Room Rate

The amount charged for the occupancy of a room.

Room Service

1) Facility department which provides food and beverage service to guest rooms.

2) Food and beverage provided to guest rooms.

Room Set-Up

The physical arrangement of a room including the layout of tables, chairs, other furniture, and equipment.

Room Tax


Room Turnover

Amount of time needed to tear down and reset a function room.

Room-Based Videoconferencing

Land-based system for videoconferencing designed to manage communication between one group of people, usually in a conference room setting, with another group or groups in similar settings elsewhere.

Rooming List

A list, whether printed or electronic, by which an event organizer and/or their designates (e.g. a housing bureau) delivers multiple reservations to a hotel or other housing facility. Often the information contained in a rooming list is originally gathered through attendees’ completed Housing Forms.


Raised platform where a speaker stands when delivering his or her remarks.


Banquet table, usually 60 inches (152 centimeters) in diameter. Also available in 66- and 72-inch (168- and 183 centimeter) diameters. A “Round for 8” is a banquet table at which 8 place settings should be set. Another common configuration is a “Round for 10.” Commonly, a 60-inch (152 cm) round is used to seat 8, a 66-inch (168 cm) round seats 9, and a 72-inch (183 cm) round seats 10.

Round Robin

Contest or tournament in which each participant is matched with every other participant.

Rounded Hollow Square

A hollow square with corners replaced by serpentine or quarter round tables.


A group of experts who meet on an equal basis to review and discuss specialized, professional matters, either in closed session or, more frequently, before an audience.

Route Manager

The person responsible for managing motor coach flow, routes, drivers, etc.

Row Booth/Stand

The booth/stand within a row of similar booths/stands with the front opening onto an aisle and with other booths/stands on either side.


Room, Tax and Incidentals. An abbreviation often used in reference to charges at an hotel, motel, inn, bed and breakfast, etc.


1) Rooms given at random according to availability when the reservations are made.

2) Flat rate for which a hotel or motel agrees to offer any of its available rooms (with the exception of suites) to a group. Final assignment of rooms is at the discretion of the hotel. See ROH. See FLAT RATE.


A complete rehearsal including all elements of the event production, such as presentations, performances, music or entertainment, lighting, audio-visual and technical aspects.


1) Long narrow carpet in a hallway, aisle, or on stage.

2) Piece of portable or constructed staging that extends a main stage to form a runway.

3) Main cord extending from a microphone to an amplifier.


Platform which extends from a stage into the audience area, often used for events such as fashion shows.

Russian Service

1) Banquet Russian: The food is fully prepared in the kitchen. All courses are served either from platters or an Escoffier dish. Tureens are used for soup and special bowls for salad. The server places the proper plate in front of the guest. After the plates are placed, the server returns with a tray of food and, moving counter-clockwise around the table, serves the food from the guest’s left with the right hand. With this style of service, the server controls the amount served to each guest. See BUTLER SERVICE.

Saddle-Stitch Binding

Binding process using wire staples, thread, or wire.

Sales Coordinator/ Manager/Representative

Hotel staff person responsible for assisting salesperson in selling sleeping rooms and function space. Usually reports to Director of Sales (DOS).


The portion of a population selected for a study.


A research method based upon selecting a portion of a population for study.

Satellite Meeting


Scattered Arrivals

A pattern of group arrivals that are separate from the main arrivals.

Schoolroom Perpendicular Set-Up

Variation of schoolroom set-up in which tables are perpendicular to the head table, and chairs are placed on both sides of the tables.

Schoolroom Set-Up


Schoolroom V Set-Up

Seating arrangement where rows of tables and/or chairs are slanted in a V-shape facing a head table, stage or speaker. See CHEVRON SET-UP.

Scissor Lift

A mobile work platform that extends vertically on a scissor-like mechanism with no increase in the size of the machine’s footprint.

Screen Left and Right

Directions given from audience perspective.

Screen/Audience Distance

Distance between the projection screen and the front row of the audience. Rear most audience member should be no more than 8 times the width of the screen in use.


1) Translucent material used to diffuse or soften light.

2) Gauze-like theatrical curtains.


Period of time when the demand for a certain supplier’s product or service is high, low, or neither. See HIGH SEASON, LOW SEASON, SHOULDER SEASON.

Second Option

Second place on a waiting list. The organization holding the second option for specific dates at a facility, for example, may book those dates only if the organization holding the first option decides not to book within a certain period of time. See OPTION.

Second Tier City

A city where the space limitations of the convention center, the hotels, or the air lift, make the city more appropriate for smaller meetings and events.

Secondary Airport

An airport that is used as an alternative to a city’s primary airport.

Secure Digital Certificate

An encrypted file that authenticates the source of financial data, usually for an online credit card transaction.

Security Cage

Portable wire enclosure used to lock up materials for safe storage.

Security Contractor

Company hired by exhibit or event management to keep individual exhibits and the entire event floor safe using guards, closed circuit T.V., etc.

Security Service

Service providing security arrangements, such as checking delegates credentials, searching hand luggage, protecting equipment and patrolling congress and exhibition areas.


Transition between two audio passages or video segments.

Semi-Skilled Labor

Persons whose work is limited to a well-defined work routine; or work in which lapses of performance would not cause excessive damage to products or equipment.


1) Lecture and dialogue allowing participants to share experiences in a particular field under the guidance of an expert discussion leader.

2) A meeting or series of meetings of a small group of specialists who have different skills but have a specific common interest and come together for training or learning purposes.


Curved, S-shaped tables that when placed together make a snake form.

Serpentine Queue

Line formation of people going to the same area; line feeds off into several different service stations.

Service Bar

A counter from which alcoholic beverages are served that is located outside of a function room, usually in an area not visible to guests.

Service Charge

1) A mandatory and automatic amount added to food and beverage charges, usually used to defray the cost of labor and service equipment. Generally calculated as a percentage of charges.

2) A fee charged to a client by a travel agent in addition to the commissions paid to him or her by his or her principals.

Service Contractor

Outside company used by clients to provide specific products or services (e.g. pipe and drape, exhibitor manuals, floor plans, dance floors or flags).

Service Desk

Centralized on-site location for ordering or reconfirming services provided by general service contractor and specialty contractors.

Service Kit


Service/Product Mix

A business, while involving both service and product, where the quality of the service is often more important than the product received. Examples of this type of service would be: service contractors, catering, etc.


An organization similar to ASCAP and BMI that licenses the use of copyrighted music for various artists. Formerly called the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers.


1) Performance area including props, equipment, backdrops, etc.

2) Length of time band or orchestra plays between breaks.

3) Make preparations for a predetermined number of attendees.

4) To arrange type for printed materials.

Set Dressing

Props arranged to decorate the set. Also Called TRIM PROPS

Set For

The actual number of seats put in place (or to be put in place) for a function.

Set Light

Light which illuminates background behind the performers.


1) Way in which a function room is arranged.

2) Erecting displays, installation, or, articles in their assembled condition.

3) Mixers, fruit, and glassware accompanying a liquor order.

Set-Up Drawings

The plans from which the exhibit components are assembled.

Set-Up Personnel

Exhibit or function room equipment installers.


Society of Government Meeting Professionals.

Shell Folder

Brochure with preprinted illustrations to which varying text can be added.

Shell Scheme

European booth/stand system—usually includes raised floor, back and side walls, plus fascia.

Shimmer Curtain

Draping made of strips of colored material that catch and reflect the light.

Shipper’s Export Declaration

A form required for all shipments by the U.S. Treasury Department and prepared by a shipper, indicating the value, weight, destination, and other basic information about an export shipment.

Shipping Agent

Third-party hired to handle shipping goods to and from an event.  Also Called SHIPPER.

Shipping Manifest

An instrument in writing, signed by the captain of a ship that lists the individual shipments constituting the ship’s cargo.

Shirring the Drape

Gathering drape along the rods to even out the folds and give each panel of drape equal spacing.

Shop Steward

Person designated by the union within a shop or unit to represent employees.

Shore Excursion

Land tours, usually available at ports of call, sold by cruise lines or tour operators to cruise passengers.


The beginning and ending days of a room block when fewer rooms are contracted.

Shoulder Season

Period when the demand for a supplier’s product or service is neither high nor low.


1) Organized performance for entertainment.

2) An exhibition. See EXHIBITION.

Show Breaking

Time specified for the close of the exhibition and the start of dismantling.

Show Card

Material used for signs.

Show Daily

A newspaper published each day during the run of an event or conference. It includes articles about the exhibits and events and, often, advertising.

Show Directory

A listing, with booth/stand numbers, of all the exhibitors in an event and a map showing booth/stand locations.

Show Management

The company, group or organization that manages an exhibition.

Show Manager


Show Office

On-site event management office.

Show Organizer


Show Producer

Company or individual who is responsible for all aspects of planning, promoting and producing an event.

Show Rates

Rates established by event management, official service contractors and/or other official service providers, and published in the EXHIBITOR MANUAL.

Show Rules

The requirements and procedures prepared by event management for exhibitors and contractors at a given event.

Show Within a Show

An event with its own name and focus that takes place within a larger, related event. See IN CONJUNCTION WITH.


A vehicle, usually a bus, contracted to transport event attendees between facilities during a certain time period.

Shuttle Service

Transportation  for participants; usually by bus or van, provided on a continuous basis for a certain time period.

Side Chair

Armless chair.

Side Fills

Speakers on stage right and stage left to project amplified sound to full stage area.

Side Rail

A low divider panel (usually 3 ft. high’) used to separate an exhibit space from an adjacent area.

Sight Acts

Performers who must be watched to be appreciated, such as mimes, jugglers, dancers, and acrobats. See INCIDENTAL ENTERTAINMENT.


The actual or virtual lines in the venue or on paper layout that describe what parts of a set or decorative object are visible from a given audience or guest point of view; used to determine what must be decoratively treated or masked (hidden).

Signed Exception

Delivery receipt, signed by the carrier, noting a damage or shortage.

Simple Random Sample

Method of sampling in which each member of the population has an equal chance of being included in the sample.


Interactive instructional technique in which the learner has an opportunity to practice a new skill in a simulation, imitation or role-play of a real life situation.

Simultaneous Interpretation

Process of orally translating one language into another while the speaker is speaking.

Simultaneous Translation

Process of translating one language into another while the speaker is speaking. Same As SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETATION.


Sleeping room occupied by one person. The room may have one or more beds in it.


1) Venue, area, location, property or specific facility to be used for an event.

2) A particular platform or location for loading or unloading at a place.

Site (association)

Society of Incentive Travel Executives.

Site Inspection

In-person on-site review and evaluation of a venue or location for an event. See FAMILIARIZATION TRIP.

Site Selection

Choosing a venue for an event.

Six-by-Six Rule

Audiovisual guidelines by which no transparency of slide should contain more than six words per line of text and no more than six lines of text.


1) Pallet.

2) Wooden platform used to support machinery or a collection of objects for easier handling.

3) Thick wood blocks attached to crates which allow forklift access for easier handling.

4) Wood runners protecting the exterior of a shipping case.


Pleated or ruffled draping used around buffet, reception, head tables, and risers or stages to conceal the area underneath.


Service Level Agreement. Usually an adjunct document to a vendor contract.


1) A pre-made length of cable used for hanging exhibit materials or signs.

2) A pre-made length of cable or a heavy-duty nylon strap used for rigging machinery to cranes or forklifts.


Reduction in the number of rooms used from the original reserved block.

Small Group Learning Patterns

A learning activity that is dependent on the participation of a small group of people.

Smart Form

A Web-based form that can be designed to guide the user through the process of completing the form and can alert the user to errors.


Acronym for a category of event market segments including Social, Military, Educational, Religious and Fraternal groups.

Social Event

1) An event with the purpose of facilitating pleasant companionship among attendees.

2) Lifecycle celebration (e.g. a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, anniversary, birthday, etc.). See SOCIAL PROGRAM.

Social Program

Program of organized functions, not directly related to the main educational subject of an event. See SOCIAL EVENT.

Social/Cultural Factors

Factors related to interaction with other learners that affect the way a person learns.


A lowered portion of a ceiling.

Soft Currency

A currency that cannot be traded outside its native country.

Soft Opening

Time when a property is open for business, prior to the grand opening. All services/facilities may not be complete or available.

Sole Relay Interpreter

Pivot Interpreter; only interpreter in the team assigned to an event who is able to translate out of a lesser used language and functions as a “relay” for the rest of the team in relation to that language.


A wine steward, expected to have an extensive knowledge of wines and their suitability with various dishes.


Standard Operating Procedure (or Practice).

Sound Board

Console with separate channels to control volume and sound quality produced by each microphone.

Sound Check

Verification, often by the performer, that the sound system to be used for the performance is functioning satisfactorily. Usually this is one of the final steps of the move-in.

Sound Control Booth

Area from which technician operates sound system in a room.

Sound Effects

Artificially produced sounds for a theatrical effect.

Sound Mix

Procedure of combining independently recorded narration, music and/or sound effect to single master tape or film, while at the same time establishing tone, volume and balance between elements.

Sound Reinforcement

Use of electronic and electric equipment to amplify the natural sound produced by a performer or speaker.

Sound Wings

Risers on stage right and stage left for stacked sound equipment which allows storage space hidden from the audience’s view.


Atmosphere created with the use of music and sound effects.

Source Language

Language from which a speech or document is translated or interpreted.

Space Assignment

Booth/stand space assigned to exhibiting companies or meeting rooms assigned to event groups.

Space Draw/Selection

The process of assigning exhibit space for the next event based on the exhibitors’ active involvement in the process.

Space Rate

Cost per square foot/meter for exhibit space.

Space Requirements

Amount of stand/booth space required by individual exhibitors.

Space Reservation Form

Form or special request to utilize a particular space.


1) The presenter of a program. Types of speakers include keynote, general session, seminar leader, trainer, workshop leader, and “change of pace” speakers such as humorists and entertainers.

2) Device for sound output.

Speaker Platforms

Platforms on the right and left of stage used to elevate sound equipment.

Speaker Ready Room

Area set aside for speakers to meet, relax, test AV, or prepare prior to or between speeches.

Special Block

Small block within the event’s room block reserved for dignitaries or people with special needs.

Special Event

One time event staged for the purpose of celebration; a unique activity.

Special Event Tour

A TOUR designed around a particular event, e.g. the Kentucky Derby, Mardi Gras, or Rose Bowl Parade.

Special Events Company

A company that presents special effects and theatrical acts. This type of company may contract to put on an entire event or only parts of one. They sometimes hire speakers as part of their contract.

Special Handling

Applies to display shipments requiring extra labor, equipment, or time in delivery to booth/stand area.

Special Interest Tour

A TOUR designed to appeal to clients with a curiosity or a concern about a specific subject. Most special interest tours provide an expert tour guide and usually visit places and/or events of specific interest to the participants.

Special Needs

Any physical or mental consideration that requires special alternatives to ensure an event’s physical space, technologies, and food and beverage accommodates those individual needs. Special needs can include food allergies, wheelchair access, signing interpreters, etc. In the United States, see the Americans with Disabilities Act for specific guidelines.

Special-Interest Group

Group travel program designed for persons with common interests.

Specification Guide


Spike Mark

Tape or chalk marks on studio or stage floors designating exact placement of props and actors.

Split Folio

Billing arrangement where room, tax and other incidental charges can be allocated to two or more accounts. Most often used when room and tax are billed to a master account and the guest is responsible for all other charges.

Split Screen

Horizontally or vertically separated video pictures shown simultaneously.


A designated representative who has the authority, knowledge, and credibility to speak and be interviewed by the media.


1) Person(s) or company(s) underwriting all or part of the costs of an event. Sponsors may or may not participate in any of the profit from the event.

2) An individual who assumed all or part of the financial responsibility for an event.

3) A commercial sponsor that provides financial backing for an event, and, who in return, receives recognition, advertising, registrations, or other benefits.

Sponsored Bar

Private room bar set up where guests do not pay for drinks.


1) Donated financial or material support, usually in exchange for recognition.

2) Paid opportunity for entity or an exhibitor to increase its visibility at the event.

Spot Exchange

The exchange rate for foreign currency for immediate purchase/delivery.

Spot Time

Designated time for vehicle or staff to report to assignment.


Strong focused light thrown upon a particular person or object, such as on a stage.


Placement of equipment in exact location in booth by using a forklift.

Square Set-Up

Seating arrangement in which double- or triple-wide tables are set up with chairs placed around all sides.

Squirrel Cage

Revolving drum used for raffle tickets.

ST Labor

Straight Time. Labor performed and paid at standard rate for work during normal business hours as established by unions.


Buses assembled in one location convenient for passenger loading.


Facility usually designed for baseball or football as a primary function. May be domed or open-air. Sometimes difficult to distinguish from a large arena.


The portion of an auditorium or room that has been structured into a formal area for productions or presentations.

Stage Call

1) Designated time and/or number of crew members required  at stage for task assignments.

2) Asking a celebrity or speaker to return to the stage after completing the presentation.

Stage Directions

Instructions in the script concerning movements and arrangements on the stage.

Stage Left and Right

Directions from the perspective of a person on stage.

Stage Lighting

Illumination for the platform for performers, musicians, actors, or speakers.

Stage Manager

Person responsible for running the event on stage.

Stage Master

Person at a venue in charge of stage facilities.

Stage Plot

Diagram, drawn to scale, indicating placement on stage of equipment, props, microphones, etc.

Stage Right and Left

Directions from the perspective of a person on stage.


Union labor that handles spotlights, rigging, and scenery for theatrical productions. In some cities, they may also handle decorating tasks, such as hanging draperies at convention facilities.


1) Design and placement of elements for events.

2) Implementation of an event.

Staging Area

1) A place for demonstration.

2) In catering, an area for preparing service equipment and supplies.

3) A preparation area, usually on premises, where suppliers review orders and organize items before delivering them to exhibit booths/stands.

4) An area near the event site where buses wait to be dispatched.


Pointed pegs used to secure the guy ropes of a tent in the ground. Wooded stakes are used for grass-covered earth, steel stakes are required when the ground is extremely hard, rocky or paved.


European term for booth or exhibit. See BOOTH.

Standard Agreement

Contract suggested as a guide by a national or international union as a guide for adoption or use by its locals.

Standard Industrial Classification

SIC. A standard numerical code system used by the U.S. Government to classify products and services.

Star Rating

One or more ratings of the facility and services of lodging facilities and restaurants by travel publications, such as Mobil, Zagat, and Michelin.

State Travel Office

An official government agency or privately run, nonprofit organization responsible for travel development and promotion of a state (or territory). Often, an office responsible for travel development is part of another department or agency of a state government such as commerce and economic development. State travel offices vary in sizes of staffs and budgets.

State-Controlled Trading Company

In a country with a state trading monopoly, a trading entity empowered by the country’s government to conduct export business.

State/Province Event

An event that draws more than 80% of attendees from the state/province in which the event is held. Less than 20% of attendees reside outside a 50-mile (80 km) radius of event site. State/provincial audiences are less inclined to use air travel and local auto rental than regional audiences.

Statement of Account

Statement of income and expenses following the end of an event.


A banquet server’s assigned area.  Also refers to the individual buffet tables located throughout a reception area, with each table offering one food item or representing one theme.


Quantitative details of an event (number of attendees, sleeping rooms, etc.).

Stay Over

A guest who stays at a housing facility (hotel, motel, etc.) one or more days longer than his or her scheduled departure date. Also Called OVERSTAY. Compare With UNEXPECTED DEPARTURE.


A full time employee of a company or organization.

Steady Extra

The first extra banquet servers called when extra service help is required.

Steering Committee

Select group which sets policies and makes basic decisions relative to a group or an event.


A freelance guide who comes aboard a motorcoach to give an informed overview of the city or attraction to be toured.

Stock Exhibits

A predesigned unit adapted to particular use by identification, color, graphics and minor structural modifications.


An intentional interruption of the trip that either prevents a continuous through fare or is permitted by the carrier with a through fare.

Storage Area

Space at a show set aside for storage of crates or materials.


Series of sketches or pictures which outline the subject to be developed.

Straight Time

Labor performed and paid at standard rate for work during normal business hours as established by unions. See ST LABOR.

Strategic Plan

Long range plan of action for a company or organization.

Strategic Relationships

An agreement between two or more enterprises to conduct specified business processes in a joint manner. Usually related to technology development and/or marketing and distribution efforts.


The software that makes Webcasting work. These “stream” audio and video from a central source, or media server, to recipients on their personal computers.

Streaming Media

A method for delivering audio and video over the Web. Streaming refers to the ability of Web site visitors to access multimedia content without having to download an entire file first.


1) Dismantle exhibits.

2) To remove all scenery and props from the stage.

3) Union walkout.

Strobe Light

Rapidly blinking, high-intensity light.

Structured Question

Prepared questions, usually eight or ten per one hour presentation, to be distributed in advance of the session to selected attendees. Following each presentation, attendees ask questions from the list.


Room with a couch or couches that convert to beds.

Style Sheet

A list of special spellings, terms and style points to be used consistently in publications related to an event.


Any group of rooms that is classified or separated differently than the general attendee block within the Event-Contracted Block (ECB).


A group of people, frequently including one or more members of the main committee, meeting outside of the main committee, with responsibilities for specific items.


1) An individual or business, which contracts to perform part or all of the obligations of another’s contract.

2) Company retained by a contractor to provide services to exhibitors or event management; outsourcing.

Suburban Hotel

Hotel on the outskirts of a large city, which may or may not be near local attractions.


When a company tries to sell its product or service on the show floor without the permission or consent of the event’s management.


Combination of interconnecting rooms generally containing a sitting room with a half-bathroom and one or more sleeping rooms.

Suite Hotel

A hotel whose entire inventory of sleeping rooms have separate bedroom, bathroom, living room or parlor areas, and possibly a kitchenette or other special features.  Also called All Suite Hotel.


Technique of projecting two visual images on a screen at the same time.

Supplemental Liability Coverage

In a car rental agreement, additional coverage for injury and damage claims by third parties beyond the amount provided automatically under the contract terms.


Purveyor, provider, vendor, contractor offering facilities, products and/or services.

Support Staff

Part- or full-time personnel who provide services for tasks associated with programs, events, or conventions.


Charge over and above established rates, such as an energy surcharge.


Name by which all immediate family members are known. Women usually (but not always) adopt their husband’s surname upon marriage. Also called LAST NAME, FAMILY NAME (preferred). Compare With GIVEN NAME.


1) Solicitation of opinions regarding services;

2) questionnaire.

Suspended Elements

An attachment of devices to the frame work of an exhibition hall.


A combination of switches, dimmer plates and fuses for controlling light.


1) Engineer (technical director) who is switching from camera to camera.

2) Panel with rows of buttons that allows switching from one camera or sound source to another.


A meeting of a number of experts in a particular field, at which papers are presented and discussed by specialists on particular subjects with a view to making recommendations concerning the problems under discussion.


(Sync) Sound and picture recorded or played back at the same time.


Tax & Tip. Addition of taxes and gratuities to a price when not included, designated by ++.

T-1 Line

Transmitting data at speeds of up to 1.544 Mbps, operates at a much higher capacity than an ISDN line and can be split to accommodate several users at one time (known as a fractional T-1).

T-3 Line

Transmitting data at speeds of up to 44.184 Mbps, is faster than a T-1 line, allowing performance of more tasks simultaneously at a greater speed. See T-1 LINE.

T-Shape Set-Up

Series of tables set up in the shape of the block T with chairs set all around except at the head table.

Table Tent

A small sign used to identify the speaker or speakers.

Table-Top Display/Exhibit

Small portable display that can be set up on top of a table.

Tactical Steps

Short-range actions to implement a long-range strategy.


1) Performer, entertainer.

2) Outside personnel stationed in an exhibit booth/stand to demonstrate a product, provide attraction to booth or greet visitors.  Includes magicians and similar attractions.

Tare Weight

The weight of a container and/or packing materials deducted from the total weight to determine the weight of the contents or load. See ACTUAL WEIGHT, GROSS WEIGHT.

Target Date

A date set by event management and/or general service contractor for the arrival of freight at a trade event. Usually shipments received before or after this date are assessed a penalty charge.

Target Language

Language into which a speech or document is translated or interpreted.


1) A schedule of duties imposed by a government on imported and exported goods.

2) Published list of fares or rates and conditions of service from a supplier.

Tax Exempt Certificate

Document needed from customer to verify tax exemption status in the locale where the event is held.

Team of Interpreters

A group of people responsible for interpreting simultaneously by utilizing equipment.

Tear Down



Promotional piece designed to build interest in an event.

Tech Check

Review of all technical aspects of the production.

Technical Director

Person who calls cues from the control room.

Technical Meeting

An event with attendees who are involved in research, applied sciences, engineering or technology or are suppliers to them.

Technical Rehearsal

Run-through of technical aspects of an event such as lighting, sound, special effects, etc.

Technical Writer

Someone hired by a speaker to prepare scripts, workbooks, audios, videos, or articles on contract.


Expert in particular craft or technique usually in relation to audiovisual, mechanical or electrical equipment or appliances.


Type of meeting which brings together three or more people in two or more locations through telecommunications.


Electronic device which allows display of script for speaker to read during presentation.

Temporary Import

Exhibition material whose temporary import status exempts payment of duties and taxes on arrival.

Temporary Import Bond

The surety covering articles imported into a country on a temporary basis, generally in lieu of paying import duties and/or taxes. The fee for the bond is non-refundable in most cases.

Tentative Agenda

A preliminary agenda for a program, that is subject to change.

Tentative Hold

A space temporarily held by a facility or venue for a specific date pending a definite booking. There are no consequences for cancellation. See OPTION.


Facility with fixed seats usually on a sloped floor with site lines focused on a permanent state. Typically a Stage Box is located behind the Proscenium which contains the performance area and the Fly Loft.

Theater Semicircular Set-Up

Seating arrangement in which seats are in semicircular rows facing the stage area, no tables.

Theater Set-Up

Seating arrangement in which seats are in rows facing the stage area, no tables. See AUDITORIUM SET-UP.

Theme Break

A break during formal program sessions with special food and beverages pertaining to a theme and often including decorations, costumes, and entertainment.

Theme Party

Event at which all foods, beverages, decorations, and entertainment relate to a single theme.

Think Tank

A group of specialists organized by a business enterprise, governmental body and commissions to undertake intensive study and research into specified problems.

Third Party

A person other than the principals.

Three Sheet

Bed made with a third sheet on top of the blanket. Also Called TRIPLE SHEET.

Through Bill of Lading

A single bill of lading (B/L) covering both the domestic and international carriage of an export shipment, a  air waybill, for instance, is essentially a through bill of lading used for air shipments. Ocean shipments, on the other hand, usually require two separate documents – an inland bill of lading for domestic carriage and an ocean bill of lading for  international carriage. Through bills of lading, therefore, cannot be used.

Ticket Exchange

Banquet-control procedure whereby guests exchange an event coupon from their registration packet for an actual event ticket and seat assignment.  Increases control.  Also tends to reduce the number of no shows to provide more accurate guarantees.


1) One or more rows arranged above each other.

2) Price levels of guest room rates.

Time Delay

Length of time between the production of live sound and when it is actually heard.

Time Lines

Includes each task to be accomplished and is the core of the program plan.


The sequential numbers assigned to each frame of video or film representing the passage of time in hours, minutes, seconds, and even tenths of seconds. Time codes are used for cataloging purposes and during editing.

Tour Broker

An individual licensed and bonded by the Interstate Commerce Commission to operate motor coach tours in the US and, in some cases, Canada.  See TOUR OPERATOR.

Tour Operator

A person or company that creates and/or markets inclusive tours and/or subcontracts their performance. Most tour operators sell through travel agents and/or directly to clients.

Tour Package

1) Prearranged combination of elements such as air, hotel, sightseeing and social events packaged together and sold as an all-inclusive package price, not sold by component parts.

2) To package, meaning to combine elements as above into an all-inclusive package product sold as such at a package price. See PACKAGE.

Tourist Information Board

Nonprofit organization supported by transient room taxes, government budget allocations, business improvement assessments, private memberships, or a combination of any of these funding mechanisms. A CVB (also referred to as DMO-Destination Marketing Organization) typically promotes tourism and encourages groups to hold events, conventions and trade shows in its destination. CVBs provide a wide range of services to assist planners in advance preparation, during, and post convention. See CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU (CVB).

Tourist Office

An organization which exists to promote a city, town, locality, or country to groups or individuals as a tourist destination.


Structure to which lighting instruments are attached.

Trade Association

Group of persons or businesses in a particular trade or industry. Generally these organizations are exempt from federal income tax. In the U. S., this is covered under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Trade Fair

An international term for an exhibition.

Trade Show

An exhibition of products and/or services held for members of a common or related industry. Not open to the general public. See EXHIBITION. Compare With GATE SHOW, PUBLIC SHOW, CONSUMER SHOW.


A type of barter. The exchange of  goods and services instead of using money.

Traffic Density

A way of calculating exhibition hall traffic, based on the number of attendees per 100 square feet of exhibits.

Traffic Flow

1) Movement of people through an area.

2) A supposed or directed path that attendees will take through an exhibition.


1) Process of moving equipment and/or people from one point to another.

2) Transportation between terminals and hotels.

3) To copy a picture or sound that is transmitted by one recorder to another, or to make a tape or digital copy from film.

Transformative Learning

Learning that occurs during the second half of life which is directed at attaining a new consciousness and self-understanding.


Momentary amplitude peak in program source. A pop from a switch or scratched record may form signal transients. Musical transients occur as a result of such things as percussion instruments, piano and guitar. Normal musical transients may have amplitude peaks as high as 40dB above the average program levels, requiring headroom in the circuits and equipment used to reproduce them.

Transient Occupancy Tax

TOT. Tax placed on hotel/motel room rentals. Generally part of this revenue is used to market the destination and may be used for financing the operation of convention facilities. Also Called BED TAX, ROOM TAX, HOTEL TAX.


Passenger changing planes without going through security and/or customs.

Transit and Exhibition Insurance

The insurance that covers loss or damage caused deliberately or accidentally by third parties during loading, unloading, transshipment, transport, and exhibition.

Transit Visa

Visa allowing holder to stop over in a country to make a travel connection or for a brief visit.


Method of consolidating shipments. Usually defines function of an LTL trucker grouping freight for shipment to a particular show.

Trim Props

Props arranged to decorate the set. Also Called SET DRESSING.

Triple Sheet

Bed made with a third sheet on top of the blanket. Also Called 3-SHEET.

Tripod Screen

Portable projection screen (usually not larger than 10-12 feet) with three folding legs and a pull-up surface supported by a rod on the back.

Truck Loaders

Union labor specifically responsible for unloading equipment.

Truckload Rates

Truckload rates apply where the tariff shows a truckload minimum weight. Charges will be at the truckload minimum weight unless weight is higher.


1) A frame to carry the room of a tent.

2) A structure of steel bars used to suspend lighting or other technical equipment over a stage.

3) To tie or bind something tightly.


Trade Show Exhibitors Association.

Tube Lights

A string of small, low voltage lights contained in a clear or transparent colored plastic tube, generally wired to be run by a three- or four-circuit sequencer (controller); used as a highlighter around signs, stages, or entrances. They can be bent and mounted on peg-board or other surfaces to form lighted words.

Turn-Around Time

1) The time it takes to return to your original point of departure during a continuous move.

2) Time it takes to breakdown and reset a room.

Turn-Down Service

Early evening service in which beds are prepared for sleeping. Usually includes replacement of bathroom linens, perhaps leaving the lights on, turning on a radio, or adding candy on the pillow.


An action required to break down and reset a room.

Turnkey Exhibit

A system whereby the exhibit manager turns responsibility of the display over to an exhibit house.  In essence, the exhibitor simply ‘turns the key’ upon arrival at the event and opens the booth/stand.

TV Monitor

A type of screen used to show a video image, which has denser pixels (for a sharper image) than a normal television screen.


Loudspeaker designed to reproduce high frequencies only. Tweeters are typically use at frequencies beyond the center of the audio spectrum which, if placed on a logarithmic scale like a piano keyboard, would be about 630 Hz.

Two-Tiered Set-Up

A seating arrangement with a row of seats on low risers around a BOARDROOM SET-UP. A very space-intensive set-up.


Professional/broadcast quality video format in which the tape is 3/4-inch wide and can be used to record and playback; not compatible with VHS or Beta formats. Sometimes called U-Matic.

U-Shape Set-Up

Series of tables set up in the shape of the letter U with chairs set around one or both sides.

UL 2305

Standard for safety for exhibition display units.

Ultraviolet Lamp

A black light used to make phosphorescent and fluorescent paints glow in the dark.

Underground Hospitality Suite

Hospitality suite that is not hosted by an official sponsoring organization (liability risk).


Plate used under bowl, glass, condiments, and so forth. See BASE PLATE.

Unexpected Departure

A guest who checks out of a housing facility (hotel, motel, etc.) one or more days earlier than his or her scheduled departure date. Also Called UNDER-STAY, EARLY-OUT. Compare With OVERSTAY.

Uniform Resource Locator

URL. A web site address.

Union Call

1) The number of union members hired to work for an event.

2) Additional servers obtained from a labor source shared by several hotels.

3) The minimum number of hours for which a union laborer must be paid, regardless of actual hours worked.

Union Jurisdiction

The limits or territory within which control may be exercised by a union may be of at least two kinds. One has to do with geographical limits; the other with trade or craft activity.

Union Shop

A unionized business in which the employer by agreement is free to hire nonmembers as well as members of the union. Newly-hired employees are required, as a condition of employment, to join the union within a specified time after employment. All employees must maintain good standing in the union as a condition of employment.

Uniserve Property

A hotel property in which the convention services manager (CSM) handles all aspects of the event, including catering.


The sending of video signals via microwave to an existing satellite for transmission to selected sites or anyone capable of satellite reception for that signal; used for teleconferencing or broad distribution of a message on a national or international basis.


The station used to transmit signals from Earth to a satellite (videoconferencing).


Part of the stage farthest from the audience or camera.


Uniform Resource Locator. Internet address for a web site. Starts with http:// (or https:// for secure sites).


A lesser standard of accessibility that does not meet ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG) minimum requirements, but that may be functionally usable by some people with disabilities.

Use Day

Term used as a base unit in calculating occupancies. Various facilities have developed different definitions; one of the most common is use of all or part of a facility by one client or tenant for all or part of one day for any purpose; includes event, move-in, move-out and hiatus days.


U. S. Travel Association


Coordinated Universal Time. UTC is the standard used for all timekeeping applications, and the reference time used for calculating all other time zones. In the United States, the national standard for time-of-day is UTC (NIST), the coordinated universal time maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Utility Box

Box in floor, wall, or column which houses electric outlets and other utility sources.

V-Shape Set-Up

Seating arrangement in which chairs or tables and chairs are arranged in rows slanted in a V shape and separated by a center aisle. They face the head table or speaker.


1) A trip or finish curtain, usually 12” deep with scalloped edge, used to give a tent a finished appearance.

2) A short overhead, decorative border normally used as a light baffle or screen.

Validated Export License

A document issued by the U.S. Government authorizing the export of commodities for which written export authorization is required by law.

Value Added Tax

VAT. A tax that is added to a product at each step of the manufacturing and marketing process reflecting value which has been added to the product by processing.

Value Season


Variable Costs or Expenses

Expenses that vary based upon various factors, such as the number of attendees.

Varietal Wine

Wines made mainly from one variety of grape. Such wines have the characteristics of the primary grape used. Popular varietals are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.




An individual who does not consume any animal products, including meat and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.


An individual who does not eat meat but may consume animal by-products such as dairy.


1) Site or destination of meeting, event or show.

2).  Location of performance such as hall, ballroom, auditorium, etc.

Verbatim Report

A full and exact word-for-word transcript, in writing, of all speeches, debates or discussions.

Vertical Show

An exhibition at which the products or services being displayed represent one element of an industry or profession. See EXHIBITION.

Vertical Union

Union with jurisdiction over all occupations, skilled and unskilled, in an entire industry.

Very Important Person

VIP. Person who has a special function at the event (speaker, dignitary, etc.) and should be treated with special care and attention.

VHS Format

Video Home System. Video tape recorder and player utilizing ½-inch (1.27 centimeter) tape. Not compatible with beta format.

Video Character Generator

A computer-assisted device used to generate and create letters, numbers and symbols electronically. In simple terms, it is a video image that can also be used to recap key points made by a speaker or supply basic information such as final credits.

Video Enhancement

The enlargement of a video image from the size of a typical consumer television screen to dimensions for large projection screens. Used when attempting to present a larger-than-life image to an audience. See VIDEO MAGNIFICATION.

Video Formats

Type and size of the recording format in which a video presentation is recorded or played back. These include VHS (the most common), Beta, U-Matic, 1 inch, ¾ inch and ½ inch.

Video Magnification



A meeting between two or more people or groups across a distance, including video, audio, and potentially other data, utilizing telecommunications or communications satellites for transmission of the signal. See TELECONFERENCE.


Array of video screens in a rectangular fashion on which images may be displayed individually on each screen or portions of the same image may be displayed in an enlarged format involving the whole or part of the array.


Wine made from a grape harvest of a specific year. A vintage wine is made using 95 percent of those grapes. Wines made from grapes harvested from several years are called nonvintage.


Very Important Person. Person who has a special function at the event (speaker, dignitary, etc.) and should be treated with special care and attention.

Virtual Conferencing

Any meeting where people at two or more distant locations are linked using video, audio and data for two-way communication via satellite communications or the Internet. Each party sees and hears the other through a TV screen or computer monitor and audio speakers.

Virtual Tour

Any tour where people at two or more distant locations are linked using video, audio and data for communications. Each party sees and hears the tour through a TV screen or computer monitor and audio speakers.

Virtual Trade Show

Exhibit of products or services that can be viewed over the internet.


Permit, recorded in a passport, to enter a country for a specific purpose and period of time.


A clear plastic sheeting used to protect booth carpeting during move-in and set-up of a trade show. Technically a brand name, it is applied generically in common usage.

Voice Over

Announcement or other narrative copy which is “voiced” over the top of film, video or musical programming.


Equalization of sounds produced by a system such as a piano or a loudspeaker so that the audio spectrum is produced evenly with all notes or frequencies at the same volume.

Waiter Parade

White gloved servers circle the room, usually with flaming dishes, before placing the food on the tables with a flourish.

Waiver of Subrogation

1) A release of rights to substitute one party for another party.

2) The release of an insurance company right to succeed to the insured’s rights to sue for damages against the tortfeasor, after the insurance company pays an insured’s claim of loss due to another’s tort.


Guest holding confirmed sleeping room reservation is denied accommodations at the hotel where the reservation is held upon their arrival, and is relocated to another hotel.

Walk Away Clause



1) Guest requesting accommodations without a prior reservation.

2) Event attendee who has not pre-registered.

Walk-In/Out Music

Music accompanying arriving and exiting guests at an event (processional, recessional).


Music played while a new presenter arrives on stage.


1) Review of event details.

2) Site inspection.

3) Inspection of function room prior to function.

4) Inspection of exhibit floor prior to opening of the event.


The difference between number of reservations at cut-off date and the number of final reservations at the end of an event. Can be positive or negative and be expressed as a number or percentage.

Wash Light

Colored light that softly illuminates an area.

Water Closet

WC. Sanitary convenience. Also Called TOILET, LAVATORY.

Way Bill

List of enclosed goods and shipping instructions, sent with material in transit.


A non-negotiable instrument of transport that serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listed therein and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the destination according to specified conditions.


An event that broadcasts the audio and/or video portion of a keynote presentation or other educational sessions over the Web in real-time or on-demand.


Web browser-based videoconferencing.

Well Brand



A charge assessed by a pier or dock owner for handling incoming or outgoing cargo.

Whispered Interpretation

Interpretation by an interpreter in a low voice to the audience usually while sitting next to the interpreter.

White Noise

Random noise whose various frequency components all share the same energy density characteristics, producing the same voltage at any particular discrete frequency over a period of time. This causes a frequency response trend that rises the same number of decibels as the percentage of frequency increase. See NOISE.

White Tie

Formal dress requiring white tie and tails for men and formal evening dress for women. See BLACK TIE.


A feature of videoconferencing systems which allows the placement of shared documents on an on-screen shared space or “whiteboard.” Participants can edit and mark up the document just as on a physical whiteboard.


Porous cover for microphones to block unwanted sounds.


Off-stage area out of audience sight lines.

Wireless Infrared Interpreting System

An interpreting system operated by radio waves and hence without wire or cable connections to audience headsets.

Work Rules

Jurisdictional regulations which govern union craftsperson’s working arrangement, include what work exhibitor may perform, when overtime begins, etc.


1) Meeting of several persons for intensive discussion. The workshop concept has been developed to compensate for diverging views in a particular discipline or on a particular subject.

2) Informal and public session of free discussion organized to take place between formal plenary sessions or commissions of a congress or of a conference, either on a subject chosen by the participants themselves or else on a special problem suggested by the organizers.

3) Training session in which participants, often through exercises, develop skills and knowledge in a given field.

Yield Management

Computer program that uses variable pricing models to maximize the return on a fixed (perishable) inventory, such as hotel rooms, based on supply-and-demand theory.

Zero-Based Budgeting

The process of building a budget without benefit of a previous year’s budget.

Zulu Time

Greenwich Mean Time, the world time standard.