Decoding Event Industry Jargon: THE PEOPLE
Do you feel like a flibbertigibbet when you get bumfuzzled listening to your AV and Production team? Don’t worry, they’re just discussing the details of your event during the morning kaffeeklatsch.
I’m fairly confident you’ll unravel that sentence with Google. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
My point is, in the corporate events industry, having a strong command of AV and Production jargon can do wonders for understanding event planning conversations and quotes.
So why is this so important? For one, we’re going to decode words that may have left you feeling like a nerd that stumbled upon a Klingon conversation between your event partners. I’m here to help you steer clear of those smirks from the AV techs that may consider your questions – well, basic.
I DO NOT SMIRK...BUT IF I DID, THIS WOULD BE A GOOD OCCASION.
– LT. COMMANDER WORF
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Oh and hey thanks for bearing with me and my Trekkie theme. I am unapologetically a Trekkie nerd.
Whether a seasoned event pro or just starting out, it’s time for you to dive head-first into corporate event lingo! From technical terms related to audiovisual to event production lingo, understanding the various terms and phrases is essential for effective communication and successful event planning.
Eventionary (noun): \ i-ˌven(t)-shə-ˈner-ē \:
A comprehensive compendium, providing concise and authoritative definitions of terms, phrases, and acronyms in the realm of event planning and production.
Sorry, Merriam-Webster – I made that word up. Maybe it’ll stick.
There’s something in my brain that craves organization, so I can’t resist the urge to break this Eventionary into tidy categories:
- PEOPLE: Staff and Labor
- TECHNOLOGY: High and Low Tech, Stage, and Equipment
- GENERAL TERMS: General Assortment of Event-Related Terms
Given that our PEOPLE are our most valuable resource, we will dedicate the first one of the three categories specifically to them. Our next two blogs will address the remaining two categories!
Audio Engineer/Audio 1 System Engineer
Also called the A1, this is the primary audio engineer, responsible for the technical design of the sound system (PA, mics, wireless and more) as well as the live sound mixing for the show. The role of the A1 is critical to a live event production.
Audio 2 System Engineer
Also known as the A2 or Audio Tech 2, this person assists the A1 in the technical aspects of handling audio equipment backstage. The A2 handles microphones, microphone cables, lavalier mics, speakers, and various other audio equipment backstage, making sure that all is working properly and effectively.
Labor & Production Rates
A “Day” in AV for corporate events is ten hours, with half-hour meal breaks on-site after five hours. Production positions will fall under a flat fee for the entire show, or they may be quoted as a particular rate per day.
Read more about labor and production rates in our blog “Navigating Your AV and Production Quote”. Link to https://theb2g.com/navigating-your-av-and-production-quote/
L1 Lighting Engineer
The L1 Lighting Engineers oversee the setup and teardown of the event’s lighting system.
They handle things like directing fixture placement, assigning dimmer patches, power/signal distribution, console programming and the final focus/operation of the lighting console.
L2 Lighting Tech
The L2 Lighting Tech or Lighting Assist plays a crucial role in supporting the Lighting Engineer (L1) throughout the setup and teardown of a complete lighting system. Responsibilities encompass truss building, fixture placement, power/signal distribution and precise focusing.
The MC, or “Master of Chaos” (just kidding, it’s “Master of Ceremonies”) is the official host or moderator that presides over your (live or digital) corporate event’s program. They are in large part responsible for the success of your conference and are typically an officer of the company or a key employee.
They can also be a third-party professional or celebrity – these charismatic hosts have the power to inject an extra dose of entertainment and captivate your audience, taking your event to new heights.
Lurking behind the scenes is the Playback Operator following cues with impeccable timing. They are prompted by the Show Caller as the show flow is being followed. Therefore, they have organized the files for quick retrieval on the audio playback/editing computer prior to the event.
The Show Caller is specific to the day of the event, providing direction, communication, and control of the show. Armed with a headset, laptop and show flow document, they tackle the event and diffuse potential crisis while sipping a latte and rocking a look that says, “Talk to me like there’s a short character limit on your sentences.” They must be able to communicate to every key player of the event for the duration, from the back of house personnel to the technical team, event presenters and production team.
Show Callers don’t create, manage, or produce the event. As the shot caller for the event, the primary responsibility of a Show Caller is to ensure the seamless execution of all aspects. A good Show Caller can arrive to an event, be briefed on it, handed the show flow, and then deliver. They call out the cues and manage the run of the event, start to finish.
Show management typically includes staff such as the Event Producer/Director/Senior Producer/Executive Director, On-Site Lead, Account Manager and/or Project Manager. They are typically positioned at the production desk with the Show Caller. Their role involves acting as intermediaries between the client and the crew, and assuming the responsibility of troubleshooting any issues that may arise during the event. They are typically adept at making on-the-spot decisions about matters that deviate from the initial scope.
Technical Director – Pre-show and On-site
A strong, experienced, and composed Technical Director is crucial to the success of your event! Do not cut corners here when it comes to this key position, they are the event’s superheroes.
Pre-show: Prior to the event, the Technical Director will attend the site visit. They will work closely with production, bridging the gap between ideation and execution, collaborating with the production project manager to identify scope and deliverables. They build the technical production budget and create CAD drawings for the event designs and layout. They develop rigging plans, IT requirements, power needs, and AV logistics. They identify equipment and technical staff that will be required for the event.
On-Site: During the event, the Technical Director is the highest position on the technical side of the event and serves as the advanced technical point of contact for your production director. They represent your production company’s interests while balancing their skills in technology management, team management, project management and troubleshooting. They direct the technical team, oversee the stage construction/installation, lighting, sound, visual production and so on.
VOG – Voice of God
This is an announcement, on mic and out of sight, where an announcer with a professional and authoritative voice commands attention over the ambient noise in the meeting room. For example: “Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please? Our program will begin in five minutes. We kindly suggest that you find your seats and prepare to settle in for the upcoming session.”
The VOG can be live, or it can be pre-recorded by a voice actor and played on cue by the Show Caller.
In the vast expanse of event planning, understanding the jargon for corporate events is your ticket to “boldly go where no planner has gone before”!
Knowing the jargon as it relates to the people such as the staff, labor and vendors, will help you connect more easily, and communicate more effectively so that you can make informed decisions that contribute to the overall success of your events.