The overall success of an event or meeting can be dictated by the size and layout of a room. This may seem like a very obvious statement to many meeting and event planners, however, it’s a detail that can be easily overlooked when addressing the multitude of other items associated with event planning. If a space isn’t large enough or set up appropriately, it can cause problems with everything from the cost of the food and beverage to the comfort of the attendees. When selecting a room, ask yourself this simple question: What purpose does the meeting or event serve?
Movement is Critical
Corporate meetings can be set up in many different ways. If a meeting is presentation-based, a classroom or theater style set up should be utilized. However, if the meeting’s focus is interactive, small clusters or a U-shape might be incorporated. The most important aspect of setting these types of meetings up, though, is making sure that there is enough space for the attendees to move around comfortably. One rule-of-thumb is that a standard 20 by 20 inch chair should be placed two- to three-feet apart in order to allow attendees enough room to scoot back. Additionally, there should be about 48-inches between rows of chairs to allow people enough room to walk down an aisle.
Dining in the Round
If dinner is being served at your event, using round tables allows participants to talk with each other and creates a comfortable atmosphere. Standard banquets should be set up in rounds of 10, however, if you need more seats, 12 is acceptable. If you’re looking to fill up space, rounds of eight are suitable.
Bottoms Up, Where’s the Bar?
Avoiding bottlenecks at your event is key. Two of the prime areas for bottlenecks to occur are near the main entrance and the bathrooms. With this in mind, consider setting the bar up in the back of the room as far away from these two areas as possible. Another benefit of a bar in the back of the room is that it brings people further into the room, thus avoiding the tendency of people gathering near the main entrance.