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Words and Phrases You’ll Only Know if You Work in Events


The events industry can almost feel like a world away from real life - with so many technical terms and phrases, starting fresh can feel like you’re trying to learn a new language. With almost 10 years of experience in events, we’ve picked up a thing or two and would consider ourselves ‘fluent’ in the industry.

We’ve put together some of the most common words and phrases used by those in the events industry, and provided comprehensive explanations for you - read on to learn the lingo!

1. A/V

A/V - also known as audiovisual, refers to sound, lighting and projection used at an event.

2. Airwalls

This is a formal term that is only used very occasionally. Essentially they are portable panels used to divide rooms into smaller private sections but are more commonly known as a partition.

3. Attrition Rate

This is the number of people who did not turn up to the event on the day, divided by the number of people who registered to attend the event.

4. Back of House

Back of house refers to areas that event attendees do not see at the event - usually staff only areas.

5. BEO / PEO

The Banquet Event Order or Programme Execution Order are documents that outline event instructions and logistics, and all information necessary for the event to run.

6. Blackout Dates

These are dates throughout the year that are usually sold out at venues, such as hotels, due to high demand. Usually blackout dates are around and during holiday seasons.

7. Change Order

This is a document provided by event planners to venues and suppliers that outlines any changes to existing agreements in regards to an event.

8. Contingency Plan

A contingency plan is also known as ‘the backup plan!’. This is designed by event planners in advance to put processes in place should the original event plan be altered or changed.

9. Critical Path / Critical Time Plan

A critical path or time plan is the play-by-play of an event. It details all tasks to be done, who by and when by to execute the event.

10. DDR

The day delegate rate is the event venue’s cost for an attendee per day for an event.

11. Familiarisation Trip

Also known as a ‘fam trip’ - this is a visit to a site for industry professionals to familiarise themselves with the venue, vendors and suppliers.

12. I&D

I&D or 'installation and dismantle’ refers to the setup and take down of event equipment.

13. Load In / Load Out

Load-in refers to the event install time period, and load-out refers to the time period of taking down the event and equipment.

14. RFP

Request for proposal is what an event planner would share with event suppliers, outlining their specifications and requirements for the event from which the supplier can decide whether or not they will be able to fulfill them.

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