8 Event Room Layouts to Choose From for Your Next Event
To help you make an informed decision about how your next event will look, we’ve highlighted the eight most popular event room layouts and their benefits.
A theatre layout is great for presentations, conferences or events where extensive note-taking is not necessary for attendees. This seating style mimics the seating structure you find in a theatre, where chairs are lined up in rows to face the speaker along with aisles for easier access. There are a variety of ways the rows can be setup including straight-horizontal, herringbone or semi-circular.
Similar to theatre, a classroom layout involves creating aisles and rows that face the speaker but also includes the addition of tables. This type of room setting is great for longer meetings such as training meetings, breakout sessions, and lectures where attendees must refer to materials, take notes, or use their laptop.
A classic meeting room layout involving a larger, elongated conference table, where attendees are either seated on all four sides of the table or on only three sides when a presenter is required. This room layout is best for smaller, more intimate meetings where each participant needs to be able to see other participants for face-to-face discussion or collaboration purposes such as executive level board meetings, short presentations, team briefings, and group interviews.
As suggested by its name, this room layout involves configuring rectangular tables into the shape of the letter U with chairs positioned around the outside facing inwards to create a presentation area in the centre. With lots of space to move around the centre area, a presenter can easily engage participants. This seating is best used for events with relatively small groups where the attendees are expected to participate by interacting among themselves and/or with the presenter.
5. Crescent or “Half Moon” or “Half Round”
This room layout traditionally involves 60″ round tables where chairs are strategically removed on one side so all attendees face the same direction. This style seating is best used for events that involve a meal as well as a stage performance or presentation such as awards ceremonies and luncheons. By removing the seats along one side, all attendees are able to enjoy their meal while viewing the stage presentation without having to turn their chair around or strain their neck.
A banquet layout is great for more formal events such as weddings, galas or corporate holiday parties where attendees are mainly seated for dining purposes. This room layout is similar to a round dinner table, with guests seated around the circumference of the table facing inwards. As half the guests would have their back to a stage, it is best used when speakers are not the main focus of the event or have limited time on stage.
An imperial layout is another great option for dining and entertainment events. Rectangular tables are placed end to end to create a long communal table with chairs placed on each side. More and more couples are selecting this style of layout for their wedding reception because it results in a cleaner and sleeker look. It is also beneficial as a space saving configuration for larger events.
8. Reception or “Cocktail”
This type of setting is commonly used for networking or mingling events where the main focus is on guest interaction. This layout is typically less structured and the use of chairs is minimal to encourage guests to walk around and network. A standard reception set-up involves 30″ round tables that are 42″ tall called “high-top”, “cruiser” or “standing” tables. These are perching tables so chairs are not required, however bar stools can be added for additional seating if needed.
Things to Consider
- Keep in mind that the addition of tables will reduce the overall seating capacity of a room. Be sure to double check the size of tables your venue uses for a particular set-up because that affects the number of tables a room can accommodate.
- Know your attendees: for executives and VIPS, you may want to opt for more comfortable leather seats.
- Standard round tables come in two sizes. A 60″ round will accommodate 4 – 5 people on one side, while a 72″ round will accommodate 5 – 6 people on one side.
- Consider accessibility to seats. Avoid excessively long table set-ups and consider using table breaks to give attendees easier access to their seats.
- If you have extra space at your event, consider a lounge area with couches and ottomans for a more relaxed atmosphere. If space is limited, consider long rectangular bar height or standard height tables placed around the perimeter of the room.
- Space permitting, we always recommend seating less people at a table to give your guests more personal space. Brushing elbows with the individual next to you isn’t the most comfortable experience unless it’s a bar mitzvah or wedding.
- Consider staggering the chairs so attendees have a better opportunity to see the presenter.
- If food and beverage is required, having a small number of seated tables is a good idea so attendees are able to sit down and eat.
One last piece of advice, never be afraid to ask questions! Your venue manager is an expert on the intricacies of their event space so can give you guidance on what works best and what should be avoided. If you have any additional questions about event layout planning, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.