When working with venues and vendors, there are several common terms that you'll hear tossed around during site visits, pre-event meetings, and written all throughout contracts and documents. These are all terms that are really important for you to know! I love coaching event planners on how to become experts and leaders, and my first piece of advice is to show that you know your stuff—yes, that includes all of the industry terms! Read on to learn more about hotel and banquet terms and acronyms that will make working with venues easy and help you show up as the expert planner that you are!
1. F&B AKA Food & Beverage
Most hotels and venues have a required minimum spend on food and beverage. This required minimum spend is referred to as a food and beverage minimum, or F&B minimum. This amount is generally the required spend before tax and service fees are applied. In many cases, the cost to rent a space is based partly or entirely on your F&B spend. For example, a venue may have a $8,000 food and beverage minimum for a room that has a minimum guest count of 100 guests, meaning you need to spend an average of $80 per person, before tax and gratuity. Another venue may have a $2000 room rental + $5000 food and beverage minimum.
2. RFP AKA Request for Proposal
As a planner, you can send requests for proposals to vendors and venues to respond to so that you can compare options, and select the best option for you. This request is called an RFP or Request for Proposal. The RFP lists your requirements such as the number of guests to accommodate, budget, dates, and other needs for the event, and the vendor responds with their proposal. This is most frequently used for hotels and corporate events.
3. BEO AKA Banquet Event Order
This is the final order to the venue’s banquet team listing all room diagrams and rental times, food and beverage, and other requests to the hotel. Most venues will require that this document be signed by the client and returned within 2 weeks of the event to finalize your requests to the venue’s banquet team. This is what the hotel staff will be following when servicing your event, so check it twice before signing off! In many cases, someone other than the sales representative that you planned the event with will be overseeing the setup, so it's critical that this is accurate to ensure that you get what you are looking for.
4. ROS AKA Run of Show
This is your detailed day of schedule with start and end times for each agenda item, arrival and departure times for vendors, and assignments for team members. Also sometimes called wedding/event timeline. The run of the show is the core document that your entire vendor team will work from to produce the event.
Plating is the act of placing and styling food on a plate according to a pre-set menu. A plated dinner is an alternative serving style to a buffet or family-style dinner, where pre-plated food is served to guests at their seats.
The "++" means that the final price will include local state tax and a service charge/gratuity (usually 18-24%) on top of the price listed. For instance, a menu option that is $100pp++ will usually come out to $125-$137 per person after all of the fees are applied. It’s important to incorporate and calculate this when budgeting for your event to avoid major surprises later on.
The percentage of rooms that you are financially responsible for when booking a room block. This is usually 80%. This means that if fewer than 80% of rooms are booked by your attendees, the host will be billed for the difference. For example, a hotel block of 25 rooms per night for 2 nights, has a total of 50 room nights. This means that the host is liable to encourage guests to book at least 40 rooms between those two nights to avoid attrition fees. For hotel blocks with no attrition clause, or where attrition is waived, there is no financial responsibility on the host for unbooked rooms.
8. Loading Dock
The area of the venue where trucks can load into to unload catering, floral, and decor materials for the event. This is usually not suitable for regular cars as the dock is raised for large trucks.
9. Prefunction Space
This is the space where guests gather prior to the event to queue in line, register, or have a pre-event reception. This can be a specific room, or in some cases is a foyer or hallway.
10. To Scale
This refers to considering the actual size of the items in the room relative to the size of the room. This term is most commonly used when creating floor plans using software that shows the relative size of tables, columns, and equipment in the room accurately so that you can realistically see how it fits in the room.
I hope that you learned something new from this list and that you feel more equipped to tackle your world of weddings and events! If you’d like to access a complete list of 25 acronyms and terms that we share with our community, you can click here to download it for free. I’m excited to see you get out there and continue to show up as the leader that you are!
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