Virtual Event Lingo: 23 Terms to Know

Event and meeting planners joke – for a good reason — about the unique lingo that’s second nature for our industry.






But the rise in virtual events and meetings has brought about a whole new vocab. Whether you’re new to the industry or are a seasoned planner, there’s likely a word or two you haven’t heard before.

We’ve designed a glossary for many popular terms that come up when it comes to planning virtual events and meetings.

Application Programming Interface (API, aka as Advanced Programming Interface)
A computing interface that allows one service to communicate or interact with another service.

A two- or three-dimensional visual representation of an attendee used in online events.

A measurement of how much data is delivered over time for a network or Internet connection. Bandwidth is measured in bits and Bytes, most often in Megabits per Second (Mbps).

Conversion Rate
The percentage of visitors who complete a specific goal. For virtual events and meetings, there are typically two types of conversion rates: visits to registrants; and registrants to attendees.

Translates video/audio to a digital format for transmission over the Internet.

There are many ways attendees can interact – or engage – with your content, including polls, surveys, live chats, and question submissions.

Hybrid Event
A mixture of a physical event with elements of a virtual event to connect in-person and remote participants from multiple locations, usually running simultaneously.

Refers to the ability to share data between two different platforms.

Live Simulated (aka Simulive)
Sometimes also known as a scheduled replay, these kinds of events broadcast pre-recorded activities/sessions at a specific time and usually include a live post-presentation Q&A. Pre-recording provides more control while the live Q&A enhances opportunities for interactivity.

Live Stream
Transmitting or receiving live video and audio coverage of an event over the Internet.

Learn how to plan an effective live stream for your meetings and events.

Attendees access these kinds of events and sessions on their schedule. Many times, planners record a live keynote or session, and then make the recording available to watch anytime.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Information, like name, address, social security number, etc., that can be used to identify a specific, individual person. There are sensitive and non-sensitive forms of PII.

The platform is where you host your event and store data.

Self-Service Platforms
Many platforms these days offer DIY tools, meaning a planner can set everything up on their own. While this gives planners control and flexibility, the learning curve and lack of technical support can be a turn- off for more complex virtual events.

Creates multiple video sizes and resolutions to optimize playback for participants’ different devices and Internet speeds.

Videoconferencing                                                                                                                                                         Two-way, interactive audio and video communication. Platforms range from free or low-cost solutions like Zoom or Skype to high-end to platforms that use HD video cameras and displays.

Virtual Conferences
Much like in-person conferences, virtual conferences are built around a live, complex agenda that includes keynotes, sessions, breakouts, audience engagement tools and more.

Virtual Event
Virtual events use technology to deliver an entirely online experience, which may include keynote and small breakout session webinars and webcasts as well as other elements like virtual lobbies, hosted Q&A or audience interactivity.

Virtual Trade Show Environment
A web-based platform designed to visually replicate a physical trade show environment. Virtual attendees can watch live or on-demand presentations and can also communicate with exhibitors through web chats. Vendors showcase their products and services at 3D virtual booths. These types of environments are usually accessed via a browser and don’t require downloads.

Virtual World
Unlike a virtual environment, virtual worlds often require software downloads. Attendees generally create their avatars and move through the environment, visiting virtual equivalents of auditoriums, convention spaces, and more.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Allows for voice transmission over the Internet that doesn’t require participants to call in for the audio portion (think of “Joining by Computer Audio” in an online meeting platforms like WebEx or GoToMeeting).

A broadcast of a presentation or event – either audio-only or video and audio – over the web, with a TV-studio like quality for events like town halls, conferences, panel discussions, product launches and more.

Like a webinar, it can either be live or pre-recorded. Webcasts generally are designed to reach large audiences and tend to focus on speakers and panel discussions instead of visual aids like PowerPoint.

Sometimes used interchangeably with webcast, a webinar is typically a 45 to 80-minute online presentation, session, or seminar, often using PowerPoint, a webcam or screenshare with accompanying audio. A webinar may or may not have additional elements to foster interactivity with remote participants.

What other words have you come across that are unique to virtual event planning? Share your suggestion below!

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