Ballroom seating plans – the do’s and don’ts.

caberet 2

August 2016

Calling all venue sales and operational staff and their clients.  Do you ever walk into the room when the set up is complete and look at it from a delegate or dinner guest’s point of view? With cabaret style seating everyone should have a clear view of the stage and speaker/performer.  Isn’t this why we choose cabaret style seating?

How many guests in this picture have their back to the stage?

How often do you see rooms set up like this?  Instead of angling (feathering) the tables towards the stage so that no delegate has their back to it all too often the tables are placed in straight lines pointed towards the front of the room.  This means at least 4 delegates on most tables  have to move their chairs so they can see the stage and speaker.

Whether you’re using a round or oval table in cabaret style every delegate should have in their sight line the speaker and a screen if it’s being used.  Oval tables make this easier to achieve and is always the best choice to maximize interaction between guests but not all venues, unfortunately, offer this option.  Optimal sight lines can still be achieved with round top tables if some thought is given to the layout of the room.

Is ‘near enough’ really good enough?  Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean we’re doing a great job.  It’s time to focus on every element of an event and experience it from a participant’s point of view.  Room layout is as good a place as anywhere to start.