Skip to main content

In this week’s episode of Event Brew, we’re going down the rabbit hole of event terms. Because let’s face it, every industry has its fair share of jargon, lingo, and acronyms. And the events industry just so happens to have more than enough to go around! No matter how long you’ve been in the industry, you’ve probably been confused a couple of times. Someone uses a term, someone uses another…and all of a sudden, you’re completely lost. We get you!

New call-to-action

This is why today we’re tackling the topic of event terms head-first. Our lovely hosts Thuy Diep, Dustin Westling, and Will Curran share their thoughts on all of the jargon and lingo in the industry. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something you never knew before. So press that play button and let’s get brewing!

Click here for the full audio transcription.

event termsEvent Terms: What’s Your Favorite?

Starting things off on a positive note, our hosts share their favorite acronym to use. Thuy is a fan of COI or a Certificate of Insurance. “I use it maybe like every week asking for supplier partners to send their COIs additionally insured to us”, she explains. Dustin, on the other hand, is more of a fan of “lots of really bad ones”, he says. “PITA’s good, we like to throw that one around in the office a lot if somebody is being a pain in the ass”, he adds. “We say just give him some PITA tax”.

Will is more into something along the lines of the AV world. “Whenever you’re onsite and someone’s working a show for the first time. At some point in the show, someone will tell you that they need a cable stretcher. You have to go find the cable stretcher. And you do it usually when you’re like the cable barely reaches somewhere. But then basically do, just send the person off to go find the cable stretcher”, he explains. “However long you can make that person search for the cable stretcher before they realize that some imaginary item the better. So whenever you hear the term cable stretcher from an AV person, they’re basically telling you to go on an endless merry chase”.

What Don’t You Like?

When it comes to their least favorite amongst the event terms, Dustin says that “I least like when there’s excessive use of designation or acronyms after people’s names. I think I know what they all are but I have to think long and hard about what they all are. When there’s too many of them or they’re in like a weird place, I’m always like, why do you have so many of those?”.

“I would say for me, PAX”, says Thuy. “I don’t know why I use it every single day. PAX as a passenger. But when I say when we use PAX, I feel like every day it’s more for the guest count. So like 30 PAX. But I’m not referring it to transportation, I’m referring it to events or activities. Especially, what we’re calling guests now, it’s participants”.

Event Terms: When Is It Too Much?

“Here’s a good example of excessive use of acronyms. Associations”, says Will. “Every association just loves to acronymize its name. So we have all these channels in Slack for every one of our clients. Well, what ends up happening is we had to stop using acronyms. Because literally, I can’t tell you how many channels we have that are one letter difference”.

Dustin agrees. “I think that so often you hear people talk about their associations or associations they’re working for. They rarely ever use the long name unless you stop them and say, “Hey, what’s that?” Often you’re like, I don’t really want to ask what that is because it seems like I should obviously know what that is. Yeah, there is excessive use of acronyms in the association world”.

What Was That?

“I feel like it’s coming from more of a place of helping someone else understand versus to be understood in a lot of ways”, says Will. “A lot of times I feel like AV companies make things confusing with long acronyms and jargon. The more you can make it confusing and whatever it is, the fewer people really can understand it. But I feel like everything can be understood very, very simply”. Don’t use too many acronyms, people!

“I agree”, says Thuy. !I’m about efficiency and I think if the intentions are all it depends also who you’re talking to. So if it’s someone not in the industry or I do it all the time if I’m speaking to like a young professional. So if you don’t understand, let me take a step back and explain what that means. I think that’s funny but if you’re doing that to a client or you are doing it to show off. Your intentions are ill in that sense. But if you’re doing it just because in our industry there are so many of them and it’s more for if it’s adding value to people’s lives. If it’s like we don’t have enough time or the email is too long. When we’re having these meetings and conferences and we’re saying all these acronyms. Everyone in that industry, that’s actual official industry terms then I’m for that. But not for something to make me feel silly”.

event termsIt’s Been A Journey

Dustin brings up the way language is evolving, and Thuy adds that “actually thinking about it, yes. The way that we speak to each other now. Absolutely, especially with the internet. BRB, LOL, all that, I feel like definitely there’s been a shift in the way we articulate. Everything is really fast or what you were saying, the characters. So we have to limit ourselves, which is why we’re being shorter or not being as expressive in our vocabulary”. Will also brings up that “we’re using keyboards less and less. We’re doing acronyms. People want to shorten things as much as possible.  Fit things inside of a tweet, fit inside of a text. Rather than a long communicate message”.

Pro Tips!

Speaking of keyboards, Dustin and Will have a little tip for you. “If you’re an Apple user, you can go to the keyboard and you can use your text replacement. So you can create abbreviations in your phone that when you type a certain acronym, it will spell out the entire thing for you. Go to your text replacements and your keyboard under your general settings on your iPhone. You can make your texting and communicating life a whole lot easier. “, explains Dustin.

Will advises the Text Expander for desktop. “It does that but if you’re on your desktop. So, for example, I have ;EM as my email. On that end, obviously, like everyone would have their own acronyms at that point. But, for example, right now I changed my email address. So I typed in ;NEM for a new email. So every time I’m writing an email to someone, I know they need to have my new email address, I just type that”.

Event Terms Best Practices

“I think that you shouldn’t use an acronym unless the person uses the acronym to you”, says Will. “I’m thinking mainly like with the relationship with the client. So obviously, it’s been a lot of time client-facing portion. I think that you shouldn’t use it unless they use it to you. So you should always be speaking simply and then if they use BEO, then okay, we’re going to start using BEO to simplify this”.

Thuy loves acronyms, however, she says “I don’t excessively use them. I do them because it’s for me, time-saving. So to me, I use it all the time but not to the point where it’s extensive. It all depends I guess who I’m talking to too. If it’s people in my office, I’ll use those lingoes because they also understand what that means. But if I’m talking to a planner, an in-house planner for a corporate company, I adapt it”.

“Think about a legal contract”, says Dustin. “The very first thing on the top of a legal contract is it defines who it is that they’re talking about. It will always tell you what the acronym is or what the abbreviation is. Then what the full definition of that word is. So I kind of agree, I agree with both of you. I think there’s a time and a place to abbreviate. I think if you’re talking to somebody that you know is at the same speed and there’s no doubt in your mind that they know what you’re talking about, then it’s totally fine. But making people guess, is a little bit brutal”.

Breaking Down The Acronyms!

AACVB – Association of Australian Convention Visitor Bureaus

AACVB – Asian Association of Convention Visitors Bureaus

AIMM – Accredited In House Meeting Manager

BEO – Banquet of Event Order

CSM – Customer Support Manager

DDR – Day Delegate Rate

DMAI – Destination Marketing Association International

DMO – Destination Marketing Organization

DMC – Destination Management Company

ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival

ETD – Estimated Time of Departure

FNB – Food And Beverage

FOS – Free of Charge

DSN – Downstage Monitor

RFP – Request For Proposal

GFX – Graphics

TBC – To Be Continued

PSA – Public Service Announcement

Event Terms: Conclusions

And that’s a wrap on this week’s episode of Event Brew! Do you feel your brain spinning? Did you remember to grab some pen and paper to write all the acronyms and lingo down? Let us know what your favorite out of all the event terms is. And don’t forget to tune in again next week for another amazing episode of Event Brew!


Text Expander

Sh*t Event Planners Say – #EventIcons Episode 26

Sh!t Event Planners Say, Part II – #EventIcons Episode 77

Sh*t Event Planners Say, Part III – #EventIcons Episode 125

New call-to-action

Thuy Diep

Author Thuy Diep

Thuy's purpose in life is to positively impact our #eventprofs industry along with the participants involved by designing memorable experiences they’ll alter their thoughts on life. Outstanding multitasking, organizational skills with a can-do attitude, and ability to prioritize and work independently!

More posts by Thuy Diep
Share via
Send this to a friend