Creating an event that is fun and functional can sometimes be extremely challenging.
How you arrange your seating and where you want each guest to be seated plays a huge role in the intimacy, movement, and way your guests interact. Whether you’re seating guests for a formal affair or a business meeting, keep in mind that the longer someone sits, the less chance they have of participating in whatever else is planned away from the table.
The formal event, with a plated meal, requires seating for everyone. In this scenario, place cards are a must. It’s always uncomfortable for a guest to search for a seat. Tables should all be the same height and, if the budget allows, it’s fun to mix up the shapes. Rounds and squares are both perfect for conversation and require standard size table linens that are easily accessible to any banquet manager.
Add several high-top cocktail tables to create conversation points by the bars for guests to stand up and mingle.
Cocktail parties and strolling “food station” events are on the rise. No need for assigned seating—your guests will be on the go all night.
Be creative. Communal high tops are currently trending. They are available in many finishes, such as metal, acrylic, and wood in a variety of shades. You can stand at these tables or add stools. Soft seating, including couches, chairs, and coffee tables, can be mixed in to create a few intimate spots to converse.
Seventy percent “social seating” and 30 percent “standard seating” is a typical ratio for an event that requires interaction and movement. The standard seating should include reserved seats for any guests that you know would need, and appreciate, a seat.
You can have an event that is a combination of both seating styles. Provide assigned seating for all your guests and offer soft seating around the dance floor and communal high tops near the bars and dessert area. This option lends itself to a nice balance and adds dimension to the look and feel of your party
When choosing the right way to seat your guests, it’s important to take into consideration everything else you have planned for your guests. If hors d’oeuvres are in a separate space, don’t forget to add high tops and low cocktail tables to this area as well.
The goal is to make sure that your guests have a great experience and that they go home with something good to talk about— your event!
Jennifer Ajlouny (Jen@startrax.com) is an event manager with Star Trax Events in Ferndale.