This industry runs on jargon, and since meeting planning requires everyone to work at a rapid click, it’s best to get acquainted with it yourself.


They’re a dime a dozen in this industry, but here are the most frequent ones you’ll come across.

Certified Meeting Professional, a merit one receives from completing the Convention Industry Council’s certification program for professionals in the meeting, convention and exhibition industries. It’s considered the global “badge of excellence.”

Convention and Visitors Bureau
, a local organization that can help meeting planners conduct venue and vendor selection at no cost. A CVB publishes events calendars, news, and a directory of accommodations, for visitors, meeting planners and travel agents.

Destination Management Company
, a local company that has extensive knowledge about a specific destination and organizes the logistics of meetings and events in that specific location.

Convention Services Manager, a venue’s (usually a hotel) point person for coordinating major events and conventions

Director of Sales at a venue, usually who will be negotiating your contract with.

Fam. Trip
Familiarization Trip
, free or reduced-rate travel offered to meeting industry professionals to introduce them to an area, venues, attractions, vendors and suppliers.

Food & Beverage,  used when talking generally about providing, well food and beverages.


There is a lot of technical wording in contracts, most of which will be outlined in the contract, but there are a few important terms that you might want to negotiate before the contract is in hand.

A partial payment to secure a venue or service to be paid upfront; usually part of the larger sum of the venue; sometimes refundable, but read your agreement carefully.

Force Majeure Clause
A clause in a venue or vendor contract that limits the liability of the venue or vendor should an unexpected or uncontrollable event occur, such as a natural disaster.

The  confirmed number of meals or servings you will be paying for whether or not those resources are actually used at your event.  Venues typically require a 72-hour guarantee prior to the event.

Master Account
An account set up with the venue to which authorized charges incurred by a group or planner can be charged.

Plus Plus (++)
Reflect the level of tax and gratuities charged by a venue if not included in the price, always identified as a “++” on your orders.

An amendment to a contract, such as a new guarantee or an amendment to the room block


Every event involves food and beverage, so brush up on your lingo.

Banquet Captain
The lead person appointed by the venue and in charge of managing food service at an event.

Banquet Event Order (BEO)
A detailed document provides to a venue instructions and a timeline for how the banquet, meeting, or event will be run; also called a Function Sheet or Event Order.

The actual number of meals served, which may be higher or lower than the guarantee. Hopefully it’s right on the mark!

Host Bar
Known more colloquially as the open bar, where the host or sponsor of an event picks up the bar tab and guests drink for free.

In reference to F&B, this is referring to the minimum catering revenue set by the venue. If the minimum is not met, say hello to additional charges, including once waived fees or eliminated complimentary accommodations.

The number of meals or settings the venue will prepare over what you have guaranteed, which is usually 2% to 5% of your guarantee. Consider it hanger insurance.