1. Reception Style
Oval tables and chairs are placed throughout the room, allowing guests to move about freely. Rectangular tables may be set up for buffet-style foods, drinks and registration materials. Reception-style setup provides the greatest opportunity for guests to mingle.
2. Banquet Style
Guests are seated at rectangular or oval tables. Rectangular table banquet setup allows for a greater variety of table arrangements within the space and is especially suited to larger events. Oval table banquet setup provides a greater opportunity for local interaction and is suitable for more intimate groups. Additional rectangular tables are set for food self-service. A platform or staging may be needed if there is a head table or if a program is provided during mealtime.
3. Exhibit Space
Exhibit space setup facilitates vending of goods and services or information to guests. Depending on the type of booth utilized, appropriate space is allocated to each vendor. Poster board displays generally require a 3-foot-by-8-foot space while larger tabletop exhibits may require a 6-foot-by-8-foot space. For a full-size booth, a 10-foot-by-10-foot space is allocated. Elaborate, custom-build displays may require larger areas. Generally, one 8-foot rectangular table and two chairs are provided with each space. Exhibit space layout is designed to create a smooth flow of guests through the display area.
4. Theater Style
Chairs are lined up in rows (straight, semicircular or angled) so that the audience is facing the presentation area. The setup may require a small stage or platform. Theater-style setup achieves the maximum seating capacity of the room and is good for large audiences that do not require worktables or group interaction.
5. Classroom Style
Rectangular tables are positioned in front of rows of chairs facing the presentation area. Depending on the preference of the presenting speaker and the size of the audience, the setup may require a small stage or platform. Classroom-style setup facilitates note-taking and computer usage and is the most comfortable set up for very long sessions. Classroom-style is good for audiences that do not require group interaction.
6. Conference Style
Conferees are seated on all sides around the perimeter of a table. Several rectangular tables may be combined to create a solid shape. For larger meetings, the tables may be arranged in a multisided shape with the center being empty (generally referred to as hollow-square setup). Either conference-style setup facilitates interaction between participants and is often used for board and committee meetings.
7. U Shape
Also used for board meetings, committee meetings, and breakout sessions, the U-shape setup is good for audio/visual presentations. Rectangular tables are positioned to form a "U" with seating on the outside. This U-shape setup enables all attendees to see the audio-visual when the presentation is at the open end.
Return to Plan Your Event