Understanding Event Production Terms: A Glossary for Event Planners
LEARNING YOUR EVENT PRODUCTION TERMS
Planning an event can be a daunting task, especially when you’re not familiar with the jargon used in the event production industry. With so many technical terms and acronyms thrown around, it can be easy to get lost in the conversation. To help you navigate this world of event production, we’ve put together a glossary of common terms and acronyms that every event planner should know.
Audio Visual (AV) – This term refers to any type of audio or visual equipment used for an event. This can include sound systems, projectors, screens, lighting equipment, and more.
Backline – Refers to the equipment behind the performers on stage, such as drums, guitar amps, and keyboards.
Bandwidth – Bandwidth pertains to the amount of data that can be transmitted through an internet connection, such as WiFi or hardwired Ethernet. High-quality bandwidth is necessary for event planners, especially when streaming high-quality video and audio content to virtual audiences.
Event Production – The planning and execution of an event, including audio, lighting, staging, and other technical aspects.
Floor Plan – A ‘floor plan’ is the design or arrangement of a room or exhibition hall, which incorporates electrical outlets, doors, windows, pillars, and other facilities, as well as how the event will be organized within the area.
Front of House (FOH) – The area in the venue where the audience is located. This can refer to seating, sound systems, lighting, and more.
Front Stage / Back Stage – Front Stage and Back Stage are terms used to describe the areas in a performance or event space. The Front Stage is the area of the performance space that is visible to the audience. This is where the performers or speakers are located during the event. The Back Stage is the area behind the Front Stage where the performers or speakers can prepare and make any necessary adjustments before or during the event.
Gobos – Gobos are tools that modify the output of lights by changing the color, shape, and intensity of the light and shadows.
Green Room – A private area for performers or VIP guests to prepare before an event. This area often includes amenities such as comfortable seating, mirrors, and refreshments.
House Lights -House lights refer to the lights in the audience area, which are often dimmed during the performance to draw focus to the stage.
Load In/Out (Strike) – The process of bringing equipment into and out of the event space. This can include loading and unloading trucks, moving equipment to the stage, and setting up equipment.
Load Rating – Load rating refers to the weight limit that a rigging point or piece of equipment can support.
PA System – A PA system is an abbreviation for ‘Public Address System,’ which amplifies sound in a single large space or across multiple rooms using speakers to enable message sharing.
Production Manager – The person responsible for overseeing the entire production process, from planning to execution.
Projection Mapping – The process of using projectors to create dynamic visual displays on various surfaces, including buildings, stages, and walls.
Rider – A document outlining the technical requirements and preferences of a performer or production team. This can include information on sound and lighting equipment, dressing rooms, and other amenities.
Rigging – Rigging is the process of setting up equipment, such as lights, sound, and AV, in a way that it is secure and safe. It includes using trusses, cables, motors, and other equipment to hang or suspend equipment from ceilings, walls, or floors.
Run of Show – The run of show is a document that outlines the order of events and the timing of each element in the event.
Site Inspection – refers to a visit to the event venue by the production team to evaluate the space and determine any potential logistical issues that may need to be addressed prior to the event. This can include assessing the size of the room, available power sources, lighting, sound, and other production needs.
Stage Left / Right – Stage Left and Stage Right are terms used to describe the two sides of the stage from the perspective of the performer facing the audience. Stage Left is the area to the performer’s left side as they face the audience, and Stage Right is the area to their right side. These terms are commonly used in theatrical productions and live events to indicate where performers should enter and exit, as well as for directing lighting, sound, and visual effects.
Stage Plot – A stage plot is a visual representation of the layout of the stage and the placement of equipment, performers, and other elements.
Technical Director (TD) – The person responsible for overseeing the technical aspects of an event, including sound, lighting, and staging.
Tech Rehearsal – A tech rehearsal is a rehearsal that focuses on the technical aspects of the performance, such as lighting, sound, and AV cues.
Throw Distance – Throw distance, also known as projection distance, is the measurement from a video projector to the projection screen. It is a critical factor in determining the screen size and resolution of the projected image.
XLR – A type of connector used for audio equipment, typically used for microphones and speakers.
Zero-Latency – Refers to equipment that has no delay in transmitting signals, which is important for live events to ensure that everything stays in sync.
Hopefully, this glossary helps you better understand the technical language used in event production. By knowing these common terms, you can better communicate with your event production team and ensure that your event is a success. Remember, communication is key, and being on the same page with your production team will help ensure that your event runs smoothly and is a memorable experience for all.