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You should not just use a meeting room for your event just because it is available. There are many things you should consider. Let's focus here on the meeting room layout.
How tables and chairs should be arranged in a meeting room depends on how the content will be delivered to participants. Different set-ups allow for different types of learning and audience participation or interactions. Choose a room that will help you achieve your objectives for your event.
Following is a description of various set up options.
Rows of tables with 2 or 3 chairs at each one, with tables arranged to face the front of the room. Appropriate when the conference is an informational type presentation. The presenters are providing the information, with some dialogue with the audience.
Rows of chairs facing the front of the room, usually divided by center and/or side aisles. Maximizes meeting room space utilization. Theater works well when the audience needs to take minimal notes and/or the presentation is 2 hours or less in length.
Six-foot or eight-foot conference tables clustered in the center of the room to form one solid surface. Chairs are placed around the perimeter of the tables. Small "brainstorming" sessions when the group does not have a designated presenter/leader. They provide plenty of workspace for each person and good communication/visual lines for each participant.
Six- or eight-foot conference tables placed end to end in the room to form the shape of a U. Chairs are placed around the outside of the U. Small groups that require conversations between the presenter and audience, as well as conversations between the participants.
Six- or eight-foot conference tables placed in a rectangular outline with open space in the middle. Chairs are placed around the perimeter of the square. Small "brainstorming" sessions when the group does not have a designated presenter/leader. They provide plenty of workspace for each person and good communication/visual lines for each participant.
Used for food functions, standard round tables of either 60 or 72 inches in diameter are used to seat 8 to 12 people.
Half Moon Rounds
Seating around half of the table so all are facing towards the front with no one’s back to the presenter.
|Chevron or "V" Shape
The chevron arrangement allows discussion among small groups of participants during or immediately after a larger group activity. Chevron creates a more enclosed type of feel for the presenter and audience.
Appropriate when the meeting is an informational type presentation. The presenter is providing the information, with some dialogue with the audience. Herringbone creates a more enclosed type of feel for the presenter and audience.
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