Meetings & Events

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Trade show

A tradeshow or trade show is the exhibit of products and services that are targeted to a specific clientele and are not open to the public. A marketing activity that provides the exhibiting company the opportunity to do market research, talk to customers, and promote products and/or services. Trade shows are business to business (B2B) activities. Trade shows are usually held in convention centers but may be held in convention hotels, armories, arenas, or other venues. Some trade shows also offer educational sessions.

Trade show organizer

The individual, who plans a trade show, reserves the space, markets to exhibitors, and promotes attendance by buyers. Several different people may actually accomplish these activities but one person would have overall responsibility for the success of the event. The organizer must create a business plan for the event that includes goals and objectives, operational plans, and evaluation methods. Somebody must negotiate contracts with a variety of suppliers.

Third party meeting & event planners


A third party planner can be described in a couple of ways:

An independent meeting or event professional provides event or meeting services for a third party, meaning a corporation, a non profit, a educational institution or an association, as an outsourced vendor.

Or, another definition created by a group of meeting industry peers describes the broader business perspective of third party planners:

Staging guide

A ‘compilation of all function sheets, scripts, instructions, room setup diagrams, directory of key personnel, forms, and other material relating to the event’ is the definition of a Staging Guide provided by the Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) Terminology Panel.

Special markets

Special or niche markets have always had a prominent place in the meetings industry. These markets consist of two primary categories Government and Social, Military, Education, Religious, and Fraternal (SMERF) meetings. When combined with the two most prominent market segments corporate and association they make up the total mix of the meetings industry. For clarification, Market Segments is the ‘categorization of people, organizations or businesses by professional discipline or primary areas of interest for the purposes of sales analysis or assignment’ (APEX Industry Glossary, 2008).

Special events management

The special events management field is an exciting, growing industry throughout the world. It attracts professionals who possess creative talents as well as organizational skills. As long as there have been groups of people, there have probably been special events. Events celebrate human triumphs and milestones. Events celebrate past, present, and future lives and all of the accomplishments and bittersweet moments that accent life’s journey.


An individual of interest or stature who can speak to the theme of the event who presents a session on a specific topic or topics, including a convention keynote address; a general session or seminar leader who is a topic specialist; a trainer or workshop leader who facilitates for group participation and interaction; a change of pace speaker such as a humorist, entertainer or sports figure, industry insider, educational, and interactive.

Site selection

First the destination is chosen, and then a facility in that destination can be selected. The destination for a meeting must be carefully considered, looking at factors including geographic regions, accessibility, affordability, urban or suburban, resort destination, and gaming destination. It is important to prepare the meeting specifications prior to opening discussions with prospective destinations. Meeting specifications include requirements for space, dates, rates, and services.

Site inspection

Site inspections are personal, careful investigation of a property, facility, or area. A site inspection allows the planner to assess everything from the general condition of the hotel and meeting facilities to the attitudes of the service personnel who manage them. Site inspections should be done at least a year or two in advance for large meetings, although many associations book as far as 10 years in advance of their annual conventions.

Room setups

The organized design of tables, chairs, audio visual equipment, food and beverage stations, other furniture and equipment in a room that allows for the favorable environment of an event. There are a number of room setup standards in the industry including theatre or auditorium style, schoolroom or classroom, reception, banquet, boardroom, hollow square, u shape, and variations of these styles. The different room setups are appropriate for different types of events. Additionally, events with different types of objectives or desired outcomes may require different room sets.