How To Better Arrange Seating for Events

By Jorge Lopez | Tips For Your Event

Mar 22
Venue seating for corporate events

Arranging seats and setting up furniture for a event space is another concern for event coordinators. We are going to introduce ideas of efficient ways to help you orginze event decor and maximize your venue space. We plan to share helpful tips on seating arrangements and event decor layouts to ensure that guests will enjoy their evening in a free flowing atmosphere, eliminating wasted space and exemplifying the venue space

Guests will normally want to be engulfed within the most comfortable event decor as they absorb the real essence of the event or meeting. Seating arrangements can affect the overall event’s social effectiveness, style, and theme. So here are a few guidelines to create a more effective furniture set up for your next event.

How to Arrange Seats for The coming Social gathering

By choosing the most ideal seating arrangement for your event, you can positively produce an atmosphere appropriate to the occasion and purpose. For example, a wedding ceremony seating arrangement under a tree during a beautiful sunset could have a sense of awe when placed organically to match the space.

Seating arrangements in other scenarios like a lecture or trade show may need a more defined layout to better display screens or products.

Here are some of the important guidelines you need to know when it comes to furniture setups and seating arrangements suitable for events or social gatherings:

  • Before the event, be sure to consider how many people will attend. Taking into account the meeting goals as well as the level of interaction needed to be achieved.
  • Match the seats accordingly and allow enough space for each participant and vendor equipment such as heat lamps, speakers, cameras, or projectors that may need to sit within the audience's area. Be sure to note that none of the vendor equipment or event decor interferes with people's views
  • If applicable to your event and for high levels of interactions, group seating should be considered to reflect social interaction equality. Circular patterns work well here to enable high level of discussion.
  • Durning dinning, in business scenarios and sometimes in family interactions, assigned seating to maximize social networking might also want to be considered. Putting sales reps near perspective clients for example or that uncle who works for that high tech company near that cousin who just graduated from Harvard.
  • Positioning someone at the top or the head of the conference table could show authority or power, so unless it’s requested or by ceremonial purposes in family situations, it’s better to leave that section empty of chairs.
  • Round Table arrangements encourages equal contribution to the meeting. Be aware of round tables and points of interest at an event, some guest who sit at a round table may end up with their back to the screen or stage. Consider this when setting up tables during the event. Other ways around this issue would be to setup AV flat screens or projections on both sides of the rooms so everyone, regardless of what side of the round table they are on can view the presentation. People sitting with their back to a screen may decided to tune out, leave, or turn their chair around which may make them feel left out of the circle.
  • For trainings and lectures, the presenter should be visible by all the participants as clearly and unobstructed as possible. Openness is essential to any sharing of ideas.

For smaller guest count scenarios, one could set up the u-shape seating arrangement in order to help foster interaction and equality. Place the visuals and other materials right at the U’s opening to allow trainers to freely move while having social interaction with guest.

With agendas to keep, classroom styles or rectangular tables of rows of seating may be another option that event coordinators could adopt for an upcoming conference.

Classroom corporate conference style seating


Other Important Things to Consider

David Merrell, CEO/Creative Director at AOO Events says, “that the biggest external force guiding furniture placement and design at events has much do with the fact that everything is mobile these days.” And that the, “Convenience for the mobile world and connectivity is turning everything on its head. Plug-in lines are popping up everywhere, and the infrastructure to support this trend is changing everything, especially furniture.”

He also recommends to incorporate statement pieces, a few oversized, and some high impact pieces of furniture as well. Like lamps or mirrors will add a focal point or dimension to the space.

Think outside the box as far as venues to put event decor in. Parks, parking lots, art galleries, warehouse, and even garages can all become a great space to host an event with a little imagination, event decor, and styling. Using walls as projection screens or a mound of grass as a stage at the local park can change the way we begin to use the space.

In the end it allows us to use different furniture or table arrangement to really get the vibe and space ready for the event.

About the Author