Horse-shoe layout is in a rounded-U shape. There are only chairs placed in the horse-shoe shape with no tables. It is usually used for bigger groups.
Oval seating arrangement.
Oval style is just like the horse-shoe, where there are only chairs but it is arranged in the shape of an oval.
This setting consists of two rows of tables, arranged in a V-like shape, if you are looking at it from the back of the room. There is a row of table on the left and a row of table on the right, with sufficient space for people to walk in between the two rows, to get to the front of the room. There is usually a speaker, presentation or program going on at the front of the room.
Herringbone setting is rows of tables and chairs but inverted inwards in the middle of the room. Imagine fish bones but without the centre bone. It is like classroom style except the rows of tables and chairs are placed like arrow shape, if you are looking at it from the front of the room.
Theatre style is where there are rows of chairs all facing towards the front of the room, where there is usually a stage area with speaker, presentation or performance going on. It is like the layout you see in the cinema or performance hall. There should be sufficient space for guests to slide in between the rows of chairs to get to their seat. There are walking spaces in between the columns containing rows of chairs.
Cocktail setting is where guests are all standing. Most of the time, cocktail tables (high tables) are placed at the event venue and sometimes, no tables and chairs at all. Guests can easily mingle and speak to other guests. Drinks are usually served and the type of food served for the guests’ convenience of eating would be cocktail-style food like finger food. It is advisable not to serve food that would require guests to use their fork and knife to cut as that would result in the rocking of the cocktail table.
7. Top table and sprigs
Top table and sprigs layout.
Top table and sprigs are commonly used in the western countries, especially in the United Kingdom. It is usually for more formal occassions. The table where it is referred to as “top table” is where the host and the important guests are seated. Sprig refers to the tables that are lined in front of the top table. The word ‘sprig’ means a small twig or stem with leaves or flowers on it. The line up of the tables and chairs resemble sprigs.
Some of the pictures on the seating arrangements above were created using AllSeated.com. There are many types of event layout that you can use for your event and you can even create your own layout. At the end of the day, what is important is that your layout allows your guests to move about and also be seated comfortably without getting blocked or knocked into. Imagine if you are standing and holding a drink while chatting with another guest at an event, then someone knocks into you because the tables were placed too close together and there is no place for guests to walk around. You would not like that.
Another example of layout not well thought of is tables and chairs placed too close together that when you are seated, the chair behind is touching your chair. Then when you want to get up and push your chair behind, you can knock the person sitting on the chair behind and have him cup his/her face into the soup bowl. Now, we would not want that to happen. So just use some common sense when it comes to creating your layout for your event.
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