Ask The Expert – How much room should I plan for tables and chairs?

That’s a great question.  This is critical so you have enough space to comfortably accommodate your guests and waitstaff.  When configuring your layout, the distance between tables and chairs depends on the style of the room layout.  – More-

Banquet style round tables: 5’ between tables, and allow for 2 chairs (one for each table) and an ample aisle for wait staff and guest circulation.

Theater style chair set up: State fire codes require a certain minimum between seats, but we recommend 18” – 24” to allows easy movement through the row.  Typically there should be no more than 15 chairs in a row so a guest is no more than seven seats from an aisle. If you need more seats per row, leave more rooms between the rows.  Now that’s for stationary chairs.  In theaters for example, there are more than 15 chairs in a row because the seats flip up  to create more aisle space.  Lastly, ifyour chairs are narrow, space them several inches apart for guest comfort.

Conference or Classroom style: Allow a minimum of 24” of table space (and preferably 30”) for each attendee. That gives them room for a notebook, laptop and within easy reach of refreshments.  If the conference tables are set up in a U-configuration, keep the number of people to less than 25.

And don’t forget to leave space between the edges of the chairs/tables and surrounding walls.  You’ll need space to allow for waitstaff and guests to walk around.

Get a free nine-page primer on how to set up your room – the pros, cons and considerations for five styles of set up: banquet, classroom, conference, u-shaped and theater. Click here

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