The Virtual Event Glossary

There are dozens of different virtual event terms relating to every aspect of virtual and hybrid events. Use our virtual event glossary as a guide when you come across one you’re unfamiliar with.

A

Advance Registration
Registration for an event prior to the start; AKA pre-registration

Agent
A representative of a party like an entertainer or a keynote speaker

Application Programming Interface (API)
The part of a website or app that interacts with other external sites and apps. APIs allow different apps and websites to communicate and exchange data. For instance, when you embed a Google Maps location on a website, you’re using a Google API that lets your website retrieve Maps data from Google servers.

Amenities
The features and facilities of a live venue

Analytics
Analysis of online data for the purpose of understanding consumer behavior and increasing conversion rates. Analytics data is also useful for proving event ROI to exhibitors, sponsors, and other parties.

Attendees
Event visitors who are not involved in producing the event

Attrition Rate
The percentage of registrants who don’t attend the event. Attrition rate is the number of no-shows divided by the total number of registrants, multiplied by 100 to express as a percentage.

For instance, if 200 people register for an event and there are 22 no-shows, the attrition rate is 24/200 x 100 = 12%.

Augmented Reality
An immersive technology that uses digital elements to enhance the appearance of the physical world

A/V
Audio and video content like pre-recorded video or music, as well as the equipment to play them

Avatar
An online representation of a virtual or hybrid event attendee; may be represented in two or three dimensions, depending on the event and platform

B

B2B
An acronym that stands for “business to business,” in events referring to trade and corporate and events

B2C
An acronym that stands for “business to consumer,” in events referring to ones where attendees are individual consumers and members of the public

Backlight
Illumination that originates behind the subject or stage; usually something you want to avoid when arranging lighting for online speakers

Bandwidth
The maximum amount of data that can be transmitted over an internet connection, most often represented in megabytes or gigabytes per second. The more online attendees you have, the greater your bandwidth needs.

Beta Test
A pre-launch phase in which the elements of a virtual event are tested to make sure the user experience works as intended

Breakout Room
One or multiple small spaces or rooms used when a large group divides into smaller groups. These can be physical spaces at a live venue or virtual spaces within a virtual event platform.

Broadcasting
The process of transmitting content to viewers or listeners. Content can be video or audio, live or prerecorded. Examples include radio and TV, podcasts, and livestreaming.

C

Call to Action
An online prompt designed to encourage a viewer to perform a specific action; generally used for marketing purposes, to encourage users to click an ad, buy a product, subscribe to an email list, or provide contact information

Chat Room
A private or public online space designated for real-time text or speech-based communication

Concurrent Sessions
Two or more sessions that run simultaneously

Conference
A formal meeting for people in a specific industry or industry niche. It may include people from different organizations in an industry or from a single company.

Conference Pack
A collection of information for conference attendees, including a schedule of events, info about tracks, and other essential details

Contractor
An individual or organization contracted to provide services, such as electrical or A/V services

Contingency Plan
A document outlining actions to take if an emergency or crisis happens during the event or if the scheduled event plan changes for any reason

Conversion
Conversion occurs when an internet user responds in the desired way to a call to action. Conversion rates are one metric used to determine the success of online marketing strategies.

Corporate Event
An event organized or sponsored by a company with attendees who are either employees or current or potential customers or clients of the company. Examples of corporate events include conferences, employee team-building or training events, or trade shows.

Count
The number of guests or attendees present at an event at any time

Critical Time Plan
An event management plan that outlines tasks to be completed, when they must be completed by, and who is responsible for them

D

Day Delegate Rate
Per-attendee, per-day fee charged by a live event venue for a full-day event. Inclusions like food and beverages or equipment depend on the event and the venue. For virtual and hybrid events, there may be a day-rate or a fee-per-view rate.

Downloadable Assets
Documentation that virtual exhibitors can offer in online trade show booths. Attendees can download information as a PDF or other common format to read at their leisure.

E

Embeds
Content such as video, audio, or social media feeds that are embedded into a website or event platform. Embedding is achieved with the use of APIs that retrieve information from other websites and apps. For instance, if you embed a Twitter feed on your website, you’re using a Twitter API that retrieves content from Twitter’s own servers to display on your site.

Encoder
Software or hardware that converts livestream video content into various formats for consumption on different platforms or devices

Engagement
A metric that gauges how interested and focused an audience is. Engagement is particularly important for virtual and hybrid events, and many event platforms integrate features designed to boost engagement.

Event Marketing
Promotional activities involving organizations and their customers

Event Order
A document issued to a live event venue that provides a timeline and instructions for how the event should run

Event Platform
A software application designed to host and manage online events and event content; typically used in reference to a virtual event or hybrid event

Events Industry Council
A council of 33 member organizations that represents firms and individuals involved in the events industry

Exclusive Contractor
Exclusive contractors are the sole providers of their services at any given event; for instance, an exclusive caterer would be the only vendor providing food and drink at an event.

Exhibition
An event with exhibits that display services or products

Exhibitor Kit
An information packet for exhibitors. Kits typically include rules and regulations for exhibitors, plus any forms exhibitors must complete.

F

Floor Plan
For a live event, the blueprint or layout of a room or venue, indicating fixtures such as doors and windows, electrical outlets, and pillars

Function Space
A room or space at a live venue where events can be held

G

Gamification
Interactive, game-like elements that encourage online attendees to be active participants in the event, helping to boost engagement

Gated Content
Web content that isn’t available to view until the user performs a specific action, such as providing contact information

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Data protection laws may apply to online content, depending on the location of the event and attendees. This includes EU countries, the UK, Japan, certain countries in Asia and South America, and the state of California.

General Session
A session, such as a panel or speaker, that all event attendees can attend

Green Room
A physical or virtual private room for event VIPs to prepare for the event, meet with the media, or relax

Guest
A speaker, presenter, or other person who is involved in creating event content but is not part of the event production team

H

Handheld Microphone
A microphone that can be held in the hand. Wireless versions are available, which can be useful for audience Q&A sessions.

Honorarium
A fee paid to a guest

Hybrid Event
An event that takes place both at a live venue and online, with a mixture of live and virtual content or activities

I

Immersion
The degree to which an online user can be fully engaged by the event experience. The more immersive an experience is, the more engaging it is. Examples of immersive technology include virtual reality and augmented reality.

Integration
The capacity of a virtual event platform to share information with other platforms, apps, and websites. For instance, a virtual event platform with Zoom integration would allow users to access Zoom while logged into the event, from within the event interface.

K

Keynote
The opening address at an event that sets its theme or topic of the event

Keynote Speaker
The person who gives the keynote address at an event. This speaker is typically a notable industry figure.

Kick-off Call
An initial discussion with event speakers, where you confirm their role in the event and their place in the schedule. This can be completed one-on-one or as a group for a roundtable or panel discussion.

L

Laborer
A skilled worker who provides services at a venue such as an exhibition hall

Lapel Microphone
Wireless mic that can be affixed to a speaker’s lapel; AKA lavalier microphone

Latency
The amount of time it takes for data to transfer between its source and its destination; for instance, the time between clicking a website link and loading the content of the link is latency. High latency generally causes frustration for attendees.

Lead Generation/Retrieval Tools
Event platform features that an exhibitor can use to obtain information about attendees who visit their booth

Lighting
The amount, type, and quality of light in a room or venue, including both natural and artificial light

Livestream
Content that is filmed and broadcast live over the internet as it happens. Livestreaming can be as simple as using a mobile phone to stream on Facebook or can be a full-scale production with multiple cameras streamed to viewers on a virtual event platform

Live Event
An event that happens solely in the physical world, with attendees visiting a live venue in person

M

Master of Ceremonies (MC/Emcee)
The person who hosts an event program. They’re often tasked with interacting with the audience to keep them interested and engaged with event content.

Moderator

  1. The person who runs a panel discussion or roundtable
  2. Someone who moderates a chat or Q&A session at an online event

Multimedia
A presentation that combines two or more types of audio/visual experiences

N

No-Show
A guest who doesn’t attend the event and doesn’t cancel their reservation or ticket

O

On Demand
Website or event content that’s available for attendees to view any time

On-Site Registration
When attendees complete the registration process at the venue

P

Podcast
Audio content made available online, either live or pre-recorded

Podium
A small platform for a speaker, situated higher than surrounding floor space or in a highly visible location

Poll
Audience interaction format in which questions are put to the audience to gauge audience opinion and help keep engagement levels high; often used in virtual and hybrid events

Post-Event Report
A document that summarizes the event, including attendance figures, no-shows, total cost per person, revenue, profit, and other details

Pre-Event Briefing
A meeting for event planners and facility personnel to review the event schedule

Pre-Recorded Content
Event content that is recorded prior to broadcasting. It can be made available as simulive content or on-demand.

Pre-Registration
Event registration prior to the first day of the event

Press Kit
Information for distribution to the press, including a press release and other relevant material

Press Release
An article written for media distribution to announce news about a company, individual, or product

Q

Q&A
A Q&A can comprise an entire session or may come at the end of a speaker’s presentation. A Q&A is a popular tool for encouraging audience interaction and boosting engagement levels.

R

Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP)
An application used for livestream media transmission

Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)
Another livestreaming application, capable of transmitting data faster than RTMP

Registration
The process of signing in to an event before it starts

Registration Kit
A packet of information and materials provided to attendees at an event

Request for Proposal (RFP)
A formal request, including a detailed list of specifications and requirements, asking potential vendors for bids on a job

Roving Microphone
A microphone that can be brought to audience members for questions or comments during a session

Roundtable
A moderated discussion, typically with around 6 to 12 people, that may be held privately or take place in front of an audience

Run of Show
A brief guideline for how an event will proceed, issued to everyone involved in event production, including speakers and other guests. It includes details such as timestamps and runtimes, verbal cues for speakers, and personnel involved in each segment of an event.

S

Screenshare
A feature that can be used for online events that allows a speaker or presenter to display their computer screen to viewers

Security

  1. On-premises security are the security services provided by a venue.
  2. Private security are security services hired by an event planner or other party.
  3. For online events, this refers to the security of an online event platform and the security of user data.

Seminar
An education-style event where a group of people attend to learn more about a topic or to learn about new concepts or advances in an industry

Session
A meeting such as a presentation, roundtable, or panel discussion that is part of a series of meetings at an event

Session-Initiation Protocol (SIP)
A media transmission protocol most often used in conjunction with video conferencing apps such as Zoom

Show Producer
An individual or organization that manages trade shows. The producer must lease a venue, hire service providers, promote the show, and do a range of other tasks.

Simulive
“Simulated live” content is content that is pre-recorded and scheduled to run online. While the content itself is pre-recorded, the broadcast has a live host or moderator to interact with the audience in real time and boost engagement.

Social Media Integration
An event platform that allows users to access social media from within the platform itself

Specifications
The requirements for a meeting, conference, or other event

Stage Manager
The person who manages what happens on the event stage

Standing Microphone
A microphone affixed to a stand, typically intended to remain in the same location throughout a presentation or other session

Streaming
A method of continuous data transmission over the internet. Almost all online video content is viewed this way; for instance, when you watch Netflix or YouTube, the data that comprises the video is loaded while you watch, rather than stored on your device.

Streaming Provider
A service provider, such as Vimeo or ReCast, that provides livestreaming services

SWAG
Stuff We All Get/giveaway; the items given by exhibitors as sales incentives and promotional items

T

Table Microphone
A wired microphone that can sit on a table; useful for panel and roundtable discussions if there are more panelists than lapel mics available

Talent
An individual or organization hired to work at an event

Tech Stack
Your tech stack is all the different tech tools, apps, and other pieces of software you use to put on a virtual or hybrid event. For instance, a tech stack might include a virtual events platform, video conferencing app, email platform, analytics software, and social media.

Technical Rehearsal
A pre-event rehearsal to check sound, lights, and any other practical effects or equipment. For a virtual or hybrid event, this can include sound and video checks with presenters who are at other physical locations.

Teleprompter
A device that projects script copy for a speaker so that they can maintain eye contact with the audience while speaking

Theme
The main idea that guides the content of an event; for instance, at a convention or conference, the theme is a specific industry-related question, concept, or topic.

Track
A way of organizing the attendee event experience. For events that include lots of sessions, grouping different kinds of sessions into tracks is a way of helping attendees find relevant content. For instance, tracks might include sales-focused content, new product training sessions, or content of interest to people in managerial roles.

Trade Show
An industry exhibition in which companies showcase new products and services

Traffic Flow
The movement of attendees or guests through an event space, including 3D virtual environments as well as live event venues

V

Vendor
An individual or organization contracted to provide goods or services at an event; for instance, caterers or photographers

Venue
The location where an event is held, such as a convention center, auditorium, or hotel function room. For a virtual or hybrid event, the venue may be a website or online event platform.

Video Conferencing
A real-time online meeting between multiple people, with both audio and video. Common video conferencing apps include Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Teams.

Video on Demand (VOD)
Video content that the viewer can watch on their own schedule. VOD content is pre-recorded and doesn’t typically have any interactive components.

Virtual Booth
An online version of a trade show exhibitor or sponsor booth. Virtual booths can be web-based or part of a 3D virtual environment, depending on the event platform it’s hosted on.

Virtual Environment
A virtual event platform that’s designed to mimic a live event environment. Often used for virtual and hybrid trade shows, these environments allow attendees to explore a three-dimensional online world and visit 3D virtual trade show booths.

Virtual Event
An event that happens entirely online, with attendees logging into the event via a website or virtual event platform

Virtual Reality
Technology that uses digital equipment to place the user into an immersive simulated environment

Virtual Studio
A digital environment into which real people can be inserted to create a 3D digital scene that’s more visually interesting and engaging than a standard event environment

Voice Over Internet Protocol
VoIP converts analog voice signals into digital ones and is the main technology used to transmit voice over the internet

W

Walkthrough

  1. Inspection of a live venue setup prior to the event
  2. A guide or tutorial designed to help someone use a software application or troubleshoot a problem

Web Conference
A conference or meeting held online in real time

Webcam
An internet-enabled camera set up for use with a laptop or desktop PC. Most laptops have built-in webcams, but stand-alone monitors don’t commonly have an integrated webcam.

Webcast
Live or pre-recorded content that is streamed on the internet as part of an event. The term webcast typically refers to the back-end production aspects of the content as well as the method of transmission, and the end-product.

Webinar
An interactive presentation that takes place online, typically for a relatively small audience. Webinars tend to involve lots of audience participation and collaboration compared to other online content formats. In most cases, a webinar is a standalone presentation rather than part of a larger virtual or hybrid event.

Wired Internet
Internet connection provided via a hardline cable. This is the preferred option for producing online content for virtual and hybrid events, as the connection is more consistent than Wi-Fi.

Wrap-Around Event
Additional event content that occurs before or after the main event

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