• Planner's Pocket Dictionary: Transportation & Accommodations

    FROM THE Summer 2014 ISSUE

TRAINS, PLANES, AUTOMOBILES-AND HOTELS (lots and lots of hotels). These places often become mobile offices for event planners, even as they’re developing itineraries for thousands of destination travelers year-round. Since travel can be such a large component to production, we spoke with Hanson Ansary, hospitality veteran and president and CEO of AlliedPRA Chicago, to map out some important key words for transportation and accommodations.

ALL-INCLUSIVE: travel plan that includes meals, gratuities, transportation and activities for a set price

ATTRITION: time-sensitive rate that destination managers can use to reduce a specific room block

BACK-TO-BACK: term used to describe tours that operate on a consistent basis

CONSOLIDATOR FARES: airfare rates negotiated and offered by brokers

CONVENTION CALENDAR: schedule of all conventions and trade shows taking place at a convention center and/or destination

DEMAND GENERATORS: strategies and programs developed by suppliers to generate destination demand

DESTINATION MANAGEMENT COMPANIES (DMC): companies with extensive knowledge of specific locations and the capabilities to produce high-quality experiences

DINE-AROUND PLAN: prepaid plan that allows guests to dine at a certain number of restaurants within the vicinity of a location

DIRECT BILL: hotel bill sent directly to a third party, such as a company (instead of individual guests), for settlement upon departure

FAM TRIP: complimentary familiarization trip that destination management companies provide to prospective buyers

FOLIO: final receipt of expenses incurred on a program at a hotel

FOREIGN INDEPENDENT TRAVELER (FIT): independent traveler registered in a group program, often comprised of other independents

GROUP MASTER ACCOUNT: bill including all charges incurred by a group staying at a hotel property

HIGHLIGHT TOUR: tour that is mapped to showcase the exciting highlights of a location or city

INBOUND TOUR AGENT: local native who receives travelers from another country

INCENTIVE PROGRAM: event or travel experience that utilizes a reward scheme used to motivate a group of employees

INCIDENTALS: items other than room rate and taxes that may appear on a hotel bill

LIQUIDATED DAMAGES: estimated loss of a hotel/venue in case of cancellation of a group contract

MANIFEST: final listing of all passengers and cargo aboard a transportation vehicle

MICE: (meetings, incentives, conference/conventions, exhibitions) tourism for large groups, organized for a specific purpose

MOTO-STAGING: gathering transportation vehicles in a specific area

OUTBOUND TOUR AGENT: representative who sends travelers from their home country to another country

PORTERAGE FEE: billed expense for carrying luggage upon a group arrival to a hotel

PRE-CON: on-site meeting of convention organizers and hotel staff prior to participants’ arrivals

RACK RATE: published rate for a travel component

REP FIRM: umbrella organization that markets groups of subsidiary destination management companies worldwide

ROOM BLOCK: contracted booking of multiple rooms within a particular hotel property

ROOMING LIST: list of participants in a program covered by a group contract

SHOULDER SEASON: moderate period in between a destination’s low and high seasons

TOUR OPERATOR: makes arrangements prior to a trip by preparing itinerary and routes, which generate a specific representation of the chosen location

TRAVEL AGENCY: private retailer that provides tourism-related services, typically communicating with airlines, car rental services, hotels and others to make arrangements for clients

TRAVEL DIRECTOR (TD): on-site lead who executes live activity under the remote supervision of an account/program manager

In 2020, Houston First Corp. (HFC) reported that the city was slated to host 252 meetings and 611,000 room nights. By March 14, the Bayou City had already hosted 115 conventions and 137,400 room nights. Then the pandemic hit, and meetings and events across the country came to a screeching halt.

We asked Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corp. (HFC) how the health crisis has influenced the organization’s business model moving forward.


Chances are, you won’t know you’re living through history until it’s too late. It’s already happening. A chain reaction has been set in motion and the ground has begun to slide beneath your feet.

This past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. As a global pandemic sent the world reeling, planners were left grasping for footholds as the event industry was brought to a standstill, and many of the most fundamental elements of live meetings and events were cast in a new light.


Choosing a career in the event industry is not for the faint of heart. Let’s face it: Event planning is stressful. The last-minute changes, demands from clients and surmounting urgency of a quickly approaching event can make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

As a new mother, I’m right there with you and need just as much help developing a healthy work-life balance. In my experiences working in events, I’ve found the following to be helpful ways to care for my mental health, despite being in a stressful profession: