Whether you are hosting a corporate event, a charity gala or an engagement party, the seating is crucial. Get it right and your guests will feel relaxed; get it wrong and they will feel awkward and you might even lose business. Let’s take a look at the different styles of event seating.
Comprising round tables seating eight or ten people, this classic style encourages guest interaction. VIPs should be seated in the centre of the room.
Best for: award nights, wedding receptions, networking dinners and informal events.
This style – involving one long table, or tables in rows – looks stunning in large venues. It is good for photos and feels intimate.
Best for: banquets, wedding receptions and informal events.
This involves guests sitting at one side of round tables to see the presenter. Group work and presentations work well.
Best for: comedy nights, award nights, workshops and gala dinners.
In this style, rows of chairs face a podium or projector. Food consumption and note-taking are not possible.
Best for: performances, lectures and product launches.
Rectangular tables are arranged in classroom style, suiting computer use and note-taking. Participants don’t face each other, hindering interaction.
Best for: lectures, training sessions and seminars.
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This style – a single table seating up to 25 attendees – is ideal for brainstorming.
Best for: seminars and meetings.
Rectangular tables for up to 30 guests form a U-shape. A focal point or speaker at the open ‘U’ end stimulates interaction.
Best for: conferences, workshops and training sessions.
Hollow square-style seating
In this style, rectangular tables form a square for up to 30 attendees. The speakers are placed at the side or centre of the square.
Best for: training sessions and workshops.
This means standing room only. Guests can mingle and eat canapes.
Best for: cocktail parties, business mixers and social events.
Seating charts are a good idea for 50-plus people. They minimise confusion and conflicts and are generally preferred by guests who don’t want to go seat hunting. With assigned seating, staff can cater to special diets.