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.
Registration for an event prior to the start; AKA pre-registration
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.
The features and facilities of a live venue
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.
Event visitors who are not involved in producing the event
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%.
An immersive technology that uses digital elements to enhance the appearance of the physical world
Audio and video content like pre-recorded video or music, as well as the equipment to play them
An online representation of a virtual or hybrid event attendee; may be represented in two or three dimensions, depending on the event and platform
An acronym that stands for “business to business,” in events referring to trade and corporate and events
An acronym that stands for “business to consumer,” in events referring to ones where attendees are individual consumers and members of the public
Illumination that originates behind the subject or stage; usually something you want to avoid when arranging lighting for online speakers
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.
A pre-launch phase in which the elements of a virtual event are tested to make sure the user experience works as intended
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.
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.
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
A private or public online space designated for real-time text or speech-based communication
Two or more sessions that run simultaneously
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.
A collection of information for conference attendees, including a schedule of events, info about tracks, and other essential details
An individual or organization contracted to provide services, such as electrical or A/V services
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Software or hardware that converts livestream video content into various formats for consumption on different platforms or devices
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.
Promotional activities involving organizations and their customers
A document issued to a live event venue that provides a timeline and instructions for how the event should run
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 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.
An event with exhibits that display services or products
An information packet for exhibitors. Kits typically include rules and regulations for exhibitors, plus any forms exhibitors must complete.
For a live event, the blueprint or layout of a room or venue, indicating fixtures such as doors and windows, electrical outlets, and pillars
A room or space at a live venue where events can be held
Interactive, game-like elements that encourage online attendees to be active participants in the event, helping to boost engagement
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.
A session, such as a panel or speaker, that all event attendees can attend
A physical or virtual private room for event VIPs to prepare for the event, meet with the media, or relax
A speaker, presenter, or other person who is involved in creating event content but is not part of the event production team
A microphone that can be held in the hand. Wireless versions are available, which can be useful for audience Q&A sessions.
A fee paid to a guest
An event that takes place both at a live venue and online, with a mixture of live and virtual content or activities
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.
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.
The opening address at an event that sets its theme or topic of the event
The person who gives the keynote address at an event. This speaker is typically a notable industry figure.
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.
A skilled worker who provides services at a venue such as an exhibition hall
Wireless mic that can be affixed to a speaker’s lapel; AKA lavalier microphone
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
The amount, type, and quality of light in a room or venue, including both natural and artificial light
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
An event that happens solely in the physical world, with attendees visiting a live venue in person
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.
- The person who runs a panel discussion or roundtable
- Someone who moderates a chat or Q&A session at an online event
A presentation that combines two or more types of audio/visual experiences
A guest who doesn’t attend the event and doesn’t cancel their reservation or ticket
Website or event content that’s available for attendees to view any time
When attendees complete the registration process at the venue
Audio content made available online, either live or pre-recorded
A small platform for a speaker, situated higher than surrounding floor space or in a highly visible location
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
A document that summarizes the event, including attendance figures, no-shows, total cost per person, revenue, profit, and other details
A meeting for event planners and facility personnel to review the event schedule
Event content that is recorded prior to broadcasting. It can be made available as simulive content or on-demand.
Event registration prior to the first day of the event
Information for distribution to the press, including a press release and other relevant material
An article written for media distribution to announce news about a company, individual, or product
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.
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
The process of signing in to an event before it starts
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
A microphone that can be brought to audience members for questions or comments during a session
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.
A feature that can be used for online events that allows a speaker or presenter to display their computer screen to viewers
- On-premises security are the security services provided by a venue.
- Private security are security services hired by an event planner or other party.
- For online events, this refers to the security of an online event platform and the security of user data.
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
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
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.
“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
The requirements for a meeting, conference, or other event
The person who manages what happens on the event stage
A microphone affixed to a stand, typically intended to remain in the same location throughout a presentation or other session
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.
A service provider, such as Vimeo or ReCast, that provides livestreaming services
Stuff We All Get/giveaway; the items given by exhibitors as sales incentives and promotional items
A wired microphone that can sit on a table; useful for panel and roundtable discussions if there are more panelists than lapel mics available
An individual or organization hired to work at an event
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.
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.
A device that projects script copy for a speaker so that they can maintain eye contact with the audience while speaking
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.
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.
An industry exhibition in which companies showcase new products and services
The movement of attendees or guests through an event space, including 3D virtual environments as well as live event venues
An individual or organization contracted to provide goods or services at an event; for instance, caterers or photographers
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.
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.
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.
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.
An event that happens entirely online, with attendees logging into the event via a website or virtual event platform
Technology that uses digital equipment to place the user into an immersive simulated environment
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
- Inspection of a live venue setup prior to the event
- A guide or tutorial designed to help someone use a software application or troubleshoot a problem
A conference or meeting held online in real time
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.
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.
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.
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.
Additional event content that occurs before or after the main event