Just like every industry, event planning uses a lot of acronyms and phrases that aren't familiar to everyone. Whether you're new to the industry or planning your first event, not knowing what people are discussing can leave you confused and feeling inexperienced. Here are some of the most commonly used acronyms and terms to know:
RFP - Request For Proposal. Document outlining the needs of the event, sent to venues and contractors that may be interested in bidding on providing services and/or space.
BEO - Banquet Event Order. Can also be called an EO - Event Order. This is the document created by the hotel or venue that outlines all of the timing, set-up, food & beverage, audio/visual, and other special needs including a cost breakdown. Even if the event isn't a "banquet" the document is still called a BEO. If it's not listed in the BEO, it won't be there on event day.
F&B - Food & Beverage. Anything being consumed by guests and will be listed in the BEO.
AV - Audio/Visual. Equipment used for guests to see and hear the program, including a video, live camera projection, PowerPoint presentation, music, microphone, etc.
CAD - Computer Aided Design. The design and layout of how the room will be set with tables, chairs, AV, F&B, etc.
CSM - Convention Services Manager. The venue employee assigned to work with the Event Planner and group.
Group Resume. Info for the venue's internal team to know more about who will be in attendance; including things like the type of group, why the event is being held, important demographics (will the group be comprised of 90% female? Consider reassigning one of the male restrooms to help decrease wait times for guests), billing, account signers, arrival and departure details, special accommodations, etc.
Pre-Con. The meeting that takes place between the event planning team and the venue, contractors, etc. prior to guests arriving - usually prior to the start of event set-up - to review the BEO, F&B, AV, and Group Resume. The meeting is typically hosted by the CSM and led by the CSM and Event Planner.
Post-Con. The meeting with the same group of people to discuss the successes and challenges after the event concludes. This can be held in person the day after the event or via phone usually within a week.
Room Night. The number of nights a single hotel room is being occupied by a guest. A guest checking-in on Thursday night and checking-out on Sunday morning uses the same single room, but consumes 3 room nights.
Crescent Rounds, Banquet Rounds, Classroom, Theater, Chevron, Hollow Square, U-Shape, Boardroom. These are all different styles of seating for an event, each with their own benefits.
Pick-up. The report outlining the number of room nights booked by guests compared to the number of room nights contracted.
Site Visit. A trip to the event venue to check out the space, typically done prior to signing a contract and depending on when the the contract is signed, also done a year, six months, or one month prior to the event date.
Low, Shoulder, and High Seasons. The different times of year that a hotel bases their room rates, depending on the hotel's historical occupancy. Low season = lowest rates. Shoulder season = average rates. High season = highest rates. If it's a busy time of the year for a hotel (e.g. think of when a ski resort or beach property has the most visitors) the group will have to pay a higher rate, with little concessions offered.
Fam. Trip - Familiarization Trip. A trip hosted by a specific city or Convention & Visitors Bureau for Event Planners and potential clients to learn more about the area, hotels, and services a destination has to offer groups that may be considering to book their event.
Never be afraid to ask questions to the professionals working with you - it helps to build relationships and CMPs love talking shop...
...until we meet again.