Banquet halls have emerged as the perfect venue option for any event. Their names are getting synchronized with good food, accommodation, location, and a scintillating ambience that could not be evolved anywhere else. And why not? Advantages of Banquet halls can be easily seen as they are gaining popularity because of their ability to hold every kind of event whether it is your child’s birthday, your pre-wedding ceremony or a simple graduation party. The entire set up of sitting and dining at a banquet is very likable and people get the chance to socialize easily within such a jolly atmosphere.
Banquet halls provide the best site for organizing various events such as:
- Wedding Ceremony
- Pre or Post wedding ceremony
- Bachelorette party
- Graduation Ceremony
- Farewells or Welcome Ceremony
- Baby Shower
- Corporate events like Seminar, Workshop, Lectures, Training etc.
- Festive Event
So now you have the occasion at your hand and the perfect venue where it is to be hosted, but it is the layout and seating arrangement that is making you confused exceedingly. Let’s have a look at some of the seating arrangements that are suitable for different occasions. Consult your banquet room layout planner and decide on a required arrangement.
Banquet Style Seating
This is the usual style of seating arrangement where the guests are seated around a circular table. This gives them the perfect opportunity to interact with another and every person could see every other person clearly.
This kind of seating arrangement is popular for wedding reception, gala dinners, award ceremonies, Christmas or New Year parties and other informal events. The table is surrounded by 8-10 chairs usually.
Cabaret Style Seating
The arrangement is almost similar to banquet style but the chairs do not surround the table completely. They form an arc and the table is opened from one end. This type of arrangement compels the guests to look forward towards the stage. It is basically a reduction in the number of seats and an inefficient use of seating capacity per square foot. This could be more of a stylised seating arrangement for less number of guests. This type of arrangement goes well with events that include presentations, training, gala parties or workshops.
Stand Up Reception Arrangement
This is also an excellent style of arrangement that is flexible and movable enough. With the high-boy tables that are scattered around the venue, the guests can freely roam around the entire site without any need to look after their chair.
This type of arrangement is favoured during some dinner parties, cocktail parties, or any festive event followed with a dance session. The tables are high-rise and are covered with floor-length ties to give an ethereal appearance to the table settings.
Family Style Seating Arrangement
Also called as the cafeteria style, this is a long table seating arrangement (like the Royals used to setup) with several rows of chairs lining it. This type of arrangement is very pleasant and appealing when you have ample space to accommodate such long tables.
A wedding reception, a dinner party or any gala party for a huge family gathering could be applied to this type of arrangement. Moreover, these types of arrangements make way for more striking photos within such a cosy sitting setup.
Theatre Style Sitting
Highly suitable for lectures, performances or seminar, this is one the simplest style of seating arrangement where the chairs are aligned in rows one after other. This type of arrangement is not placed keeping the food distribution in mind. The seats are looking forward towards the front and the attendees face the stage.
This arrangement also uses the floor space efficiently, taking in more number of seats at an event. But, the drawbacks are enough to account for. The guests or the attendees have to push past the others to come out of their seats. No audience interaction takes place as they are not facing each other like the banquet style or stand up reception arrangement offers.
Classroom Type Seating Arrangement
As the name suggests, within this type of arrangement the chairs are placed in rows, one behind the other, with the tables in front of them. It is placed in such a manner that there is a walking aisle in between. This is an ideal setup for meetings, lectures, presentations or any formal or corporate event.
The participants have the access to put up their notepads, laptops or any required material on the table. They also have the advantage of having a platform to eat their food. All the chairs are facing forward towards a podium or the speaker. But like the theatre style arrangement, this also offers less interaction among the attendees.
The seating is in shape of “U” with the tables and chairs arranged in an open-ended manner, all of them facing forward towards the projector screen or podium. This type of arrangement allows the speaker to get into close proximity with the attendees and encourage them in participating and discussion.
Thus, U-shape is better when you need more interaction with your audience. But, the floor space is not used efficiently and the number of seats is reduced. Conferences, Seminars, workshops, and training are better synchronized with such arrangements.
Hollow Square Arrangement
The square table that is used for the setup has a hollow centre but unlike U-shape has no open end. Under this type of arrangement, the audience is facing each other.
This type of arrangement is basically used for discussions. Though there is space to have food or taking notes, it cannot be used when a speaker wants to address the occasion. It also reduces the seating capacity and only a few participants are allowed.
Boardroom Seating Style
This is somehow a constricted form of hollow square arrangement, where only a single elongated table is used and all the guests are facing inwards towards each other.
There is no option for a speaker or presentation if required. But, the audience can interact among themselves easily. These are basically used for meetings, discussions, interviews, team briefings etc. This style is also known as conference seating style. A maximum of 25-30 members can attend the event.
This is one of the arrangements that make the best use of the floor space where the guests are free to roam around without any restriction in the movement like that in theatre style seating and classroom-style seating arrangement. Often used for Christmas, New Year or any exhibition, these arrangements create an open space atmosphere, unlike the other seated ones.
Though this type of seating arrangement provides the audience with an enhanced opportunity for interaction, there is a minimal facility for taking rest and eating food.
This style is similar to the classroom seating arrangement but the rows of chairs and tables are inclined inwards. All these seats are facing towards the podium or the speaker.
Moreover, the facilities are apt for taking notes and even consumption. But, the drawback remains in the movement of the audience as it makes the entry or exit pretty difficult. This arrangement consists of an aisle creating an easy motion for the orator.
This type of arrangement is best suited for conference, lectures, seminars or any formal event that would not require much interaction among the attendees.
Horse Shoe Shaped Arrangement
This is just like U-shaped seating style but there are no tables accompanying the chairs. The chairs are arranged in some open-ended configuration where the audience is facing inwards facing the focal point of the event.
This type of arrangement goes well when you are organising some discussions, team briefings, presentations etc. The absence or tables indicate that there is no possibility of taking notes or consumption. But, this is not an efficient use of floor space and thus the number of seats are greatly reduced. The speaker is on an advantage as he could discuss and address the audience personally.
It seems that you are well aware of the types of seating arrangements you could have for your event. But, keep the following things in mind before putting down the layout.
- Decide on the shape of the table that are to be used. Whether it is going to be an oval for the banquet style or rectangular for a family-style setting, it entirely depends on you. Make sure you have ample chair to accommodate a maximum number of guests.
- If you want to have a separate section for your close friends and family members, set up your tables accordingly. You can mix the cabaret arrangement with your traditional banquet style tables to acknowledge the presence of your dear ones.
- Take into account the floor plan while creating your wedding seating or corporate seating chart. With more number of guests arriving for your presentation, you cannot have a Horseshoe seating arrangement for the function!
- If your guests are going to overpower the number of seats, then make sure that there is Stand-up reception arrangement as well.
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