The meeting seating plan as a factor in the success of events
Tables, chairs and countless options: a meeting or conference can easily last for several hours. During this time the participants should always be comfortable so as to keep them open to what is happening on the stage or lectern. For this to happen, it is important that the participants are not sitting or standing in cramped conditions. They need to have enough leg room and, depending on the content of the meeting or conference, they should be able to talk amongst themselves or see the speaker from wherever they are sitting. A binding number of participants is necessary before the seating plan can be organised in detail.
How much space does each individual require in a conference room?
There are some guideline values for available space that have also proven useful in Pullman hotels. For example, every user should have at least one square metre of space around their seat at the table. For rows of chairs or standing tables, one square metre can accommodate two visitors. At exhibitions, one square metre of space per person can be used as a rule of thumb when selecting the right location. The most spacious variant, the U-shaped seating plan, features three square metres per person.
The right meeting seating plan for various occasions
The parliamentary seating plan, U-shape, E-shape and rows of chairs are often used for meetings. However, we would like to present other attractive variants for conference rooms:
- The fish bone variant
In this variant, square tables are positioned in curves facing the lectern. The chairs are arranged on one side of each table to provide the participants with an unimpeded view of the speaker. The advantage of the fish bone variant: Each participant has their own workspace and sufficient leg room. Drinks can even be served during the event without any fuss as every seat is easily accessible. The fish bone variant is ideal for product launches, seminars and press conferences.
- The banquet seating plan
This variant consists of chairs at round tables arranged in rows or staggered across the room. This allows the guests to sit together in small groups of up to eight or ten depending on the diameter of the table. The participants can make direct eye contact with one another and, depending on the volume of noise in the room, speak with other people at the same table. When organising the seating plan, you should ensure that all of your guests are seated with compatible people with whom they will be able to enjoy a conversation. Traditionally, the banquet seating plan was designed for people to eat together at the same table, making it ideal for charity events, business lunches or weddings. This variant proves to have a slight disadvantage when there is a stage programme or a speaker: some of the guests at the round tables will then be forced to turn around to get a good view.
- Carré variant
The Carré variant is similar to a traditional block table. The crucial difference is that the tables are arranged in such a way that there is an open square in the middle. This variant provides the participants with more leg room than the block table. The Carré variant is the ideal seating plan for a small meeting where the guests require a large working area. This seating plan is also excellent for business lunches, company parties and weddings. It requires a relatively large conference room in order for the guests and service staff to be able to move freely behind the tables too.