You can even print this list out and carry it with you as you attend meetings and plan events so you always sound professional and experienced.
Air Wall Partitions: Movable walls that allow you to create smaller rooms within a larger space.
Banquet Captain: The person in charge of your servers and running the service.
Breakdown: The act of cleaning up after the event. Returning the venue to the state in which you found it.
Check In/Out: A table near the entrance of the venue where your guests check in and pick up any forms as they arrive.
Corkage: The price hotels and other venues charge for serving wine brought in by the customer.
Cue to Cue: A document that lays out every cue in the program.
Dance Floor: A movable floor that designates a space for dancing.
Entertainment: The evening’s entertainment offerings. Comedians, dancers, musicians, etc.
F&B: Short for Food and Beverage. The department at a hotel or venue responsible for catering and service.
Family Style: A method of serving food on large plates placed in the center of the table. A faster way of doing service.
Floorplan: The layout of the room including the stage and all tables and chairs.
GoBo: Metal plates that slide over the front of lights to project images onto the floor or wall. Must be custom made.
Green Room: The room your special guests or honorees wait in until they are needed on stage.
Handlers: People who make sure your award winner, guests, and honorees are where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there.
Honorarium: Includes any fees, travel expenses, and accommodations provided to your special guests or speakers.
Honoree: A member of the community chosen to be honored at your event for the work they do in the community.
Installation: The act of setting the event up prior to the day.
Keynote: A speech given at the beginning of the event. Generally focuses on a unifying theme and major accomplishments.
Livestream: Live video of the event, available to watch online both during and after the event.
Mic Check: A point, before the event begins, when everyone checks that their mics are working and set to the correct volume.
No-Show: A guest who RSVP’d but does not show up for the event.
Overhead Projector: Suspended above the room. Used to project images and presentations on to walls and screens.
Projection Screens: Either front or rear projection. Used to display presentations. I prefer rear projection because it is neater and you don’t need to worry about people walking in front of the screen.
Run of Show/Show Flow: A minute-by-minute schedule that includes all elements of the event, including cues and volunteer duties.
Service: The time during which food or drinks are served at an event.
Site Visit: The visit you and your team make to look at the venue before your event.
Staff Meal: The meal your staff is served at the event. This meal is separate from your event and served in a different room.
Stage Manager: The person who calls the show.
Stage Monitor: A speaker that points at the stage so the person speaking can hear themselves.
Tech Run: A practice run of the event with all technical elements working.
Teleprompter: The device that displays text for the person on stage to read.
FUnd-A-Need: An auction that invites everyone to make a donation without expectation of something tangible in return.
Venue: The location of your event.
Virtual Attendees: Attendees who watch your event live, or after the fact, over the internet and participate by making a donation.
Volunteers: Unpaid workers who donate their time to help organize, execute, and clean up after your event.
Waitlist: A list of guests who have RSVP’d but cannot fit inside the venue unless another guest no-shows.
X-Stands: Also called Service Stands or Jack Stands. These are for meal service at a large venue. Waiters use these to support their tray when serving a large number of entrees.
CharitY Auctioneer: A professional auctioneer hired to plan and call auction and run the Fund-A-Need.
Zoom Lens: Allows your videographer to vary the focal length of recorded video.
This list is far from comprehensive. As you continue to improve your fundraising skills and plan new events, you will naturally become familiar with the terminology.
Did I leave your favorite nonprofit fundraising event word off the list? Comment below and let me know.