A Glossary Of Essential Event Planning Terms

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A Glossary Of Essential Event Planning Terms

For the purpose of smooth functioning, every industry has its own language and terms. These words and phrases help quicken communication and maintain accuracy on paper. However, these terms can be confusing for anyone who is not part of the daily operations of a specific industry, and the event planning business is no exception.

To help you understand the concepts, acronyms, and phrases regularly used when planning an event, Houston Event Planning has created this insightful reference guide. Here you’ll find valuable information allowing you to comprehend and communicate your event planning needs effectively.

This is a reduction in guest numbers from what the client or planner promised the venue or meeting facility. The numbers include the guest rooms and food and beverage meals from which the venue forecasts its needs. This is also called slippage or drop-off.

Audio-visual (A/V)
This refers to equipment and resources devoted to helping attendees hear and see the event.

Consumption bar
A consumption bar means to charge only for the beverages consumed. The client or planner may be able to specify a minimum amount (either of physical items or a monetary amount) to have available for guests. Quantities exceeding the minimum amount specified are charged accordingly.

Front of house
This is the area of the venue or meeting facility that the public uses. It is the opposite of the back of the house, which refers to the staff-only area of the venue.

A gobo is a stencil or template placed inside or in front of a light source. Typically it is used with stage lighting instruments to manipulate the shape of the light cast over a space or object—for example, to produce a pattern of leaves on a stage floor.

Pipe and drape
This is the tubing covered with draped fabric to either make up the rails or back wall of a tradeshow or to serve as a partition, backdrop, or decoration. Fabric comes in various textures, colors, and patterns, allowing them to produce different effects according to the theme of an event.

Plus, Plus (++)
This is the tax and gratuity rate added on to the total bill or additions requested by the client or planner from a hotel, venue, caterer, or restaurant.

Request for proposal (RFP)
This is an outline of all pertinent event details and specifications. It is usually sent to multiple bidders by clients or planners to secure estimates for services.

Service charge 
This is a mandatory charge added to a service. For example, hotels and venues often charge a flat or percentage service charge for food and beverage and audio-visual services.

Hotels or meeting facilities that typically charge for parking may be able to cover the cost of parking by validating guest or vendor parking. Validation is typically issued as a sticker to place on parking slips or tickets.

If you’d like to learn more about the essentials of event planning, reach out to us at Houston Event Planning. We are leading professional event planners in Houston, TX, and we cater to a wide variety of event needs. We’ve been helping people plan and execute their special moments since 2003 and have pulled off several occasions and events across Houston and the entire country. As your event planning guides, we aim to spare no detail and ensure that you get what you want within a comfortable budget.

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