Wednesday, February 17, 2010

10 Common Acronyms in the Meeting Planning Industry

(that are not associations or industry groups)

All industries have their own lingo, and the meeting planning industry is no exception. I’ve chosen ten of the acronyms that pop up frequently in the course of my work and given short explanations or thoughts for each one. Hopefully, you find these helpful…

ADR – Average Daily Rate
This is a measure of how much money a hotel is earning on a given night per room in the hotel and has become more common in a hotel’s evaluation of different pieces of business. Meeting planners: a hotel may not bid on your group’s business because the rate you want (or are willing) to pay would reduce their ADR to a point where it is not profitable for them to do so.

AV – Audio-Visual
This covers all of the equipment and teaching aides used for presentations. When discussing AV needs with a hotel, the conversation will also include staffing needs and other “support” items.

BEO – Banquet Event Order
Sometimes called a Function Sheet. BEOs detail out your event in a form that all departments at your host venue use to ensure that you get the goods and services you are paying for at the times requested. Check out my previous post for more details about BEOs.

CMP – Certified Meeting Professional
This is an industry certification that requires, among other things, a minimum of three years’ experience in the industry. It certifies competency in multiple areas of meeting planning through an application and examination process.

CSM – Convention Services Manager
Essentially the hotel’s meeting planner. This person will work with you on your event once you have signed the contract (and Sales passes off your group’s information to them).

CVB – Convention and Visitors Bureau
May have other names, such as Convention and Visitors Authority (CVA) or Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB), but these are all essentially the same thing. This is an agency whose purpose is to bring business to their city and/or region. They are a great (free!) resource for meeting planners as well as visitors to the area.

F&B – Food and Beverage
This encompasses all meals, breaks, receptions, and other food functions that you are providing for your event.

IPO – Individual Pays Own
This is a billing notation for the hotel. Some attendees have expenses covered by the group (through Master Billing) while others are on their own for some or all charges. This acronym, when used in conjunction with a reservation, allows the front desk and accounting to know that the individual is responsible for all charges incurred for their guest room (typically: room, tax, and incidentals).

MOD – Manager on Duty
For me, as a meeting planner, this is one of the “go to” people at a hotel during off hours and weekends for things that line staff cannot handle. From a hotel’s perspective, the MOD “is a point of contact for the guests if they have a challenge or if they would like to pass on compliments regarding the staff or facility. They can be a manager of any department within the hotel but act as a supplemental support to the line level staff.” [Thanks to Megan Chappell at the Doubletree Sacramento for providing the hotel’s perspective!]

RFP – Request for Proposal
Sometimes called a Request for Quote (RFQ), though I usually see a RFP as including more information about the proposer and their services than a RFQ, which I typically see as focused more on the price for the service being offered.

- Karl Baur, CMP • Project Director, RDL enterprises