A Refresher on Meeting Room Set Up Styles

When considering options for function room setups, the most important factor is to understand the meeting’s objectives. The design is crucial to making sure goals are met.   With goals and objectives at the forefront, next look at audiovisual requirements, speaker needs and traffic flow, taking into consideration participant safety, comfort and accommodation for people with disabilities.

Here are the standard meeting room set-ups to consider for your next function:

Theater Style
This is the best setup for a large group where writing is not necessary and food is not served. Chairs are set in rows facing the speaker, stage or focal point of the room.

Classroom Style
This setup is best for meetings where attendees need to write or use a computer. It allows for minimal interaction between attendees and is best used for lectures and training meetings. Chairs are set at 6-foot or 8-foot tables facing the presenter.

Conference Style
This format is ideal for smaller groups where attendee interaction is a main objective. Seated around tables, participants have a direct view of their colleagues to facilitate discussions. Specify what type of table arrangements you need based on the objectives of your meeting:

Boardroom: One solid, rectangular table that can be an existing table in a hotel meeting room or created by putting together 30-inch-wide tables. This setup is best for a board of directors meeting with heavy discussions as participants are in closest reach to each other.

U-Shape: Tables are arranged in a horseshoe, which is ideal for meetings that need to facilitate discussion between attendees but also include an audiovisual presentation set at the opening of the “U.”

T-Shape: Best for a panel, presenters or lead management that needs to sit at the top of the “T” and direct the discussion down the length of the tables.

Hollow Square: Best for meetings that do not require an audiovisual presentation. If the hotel has serpentine tables, request a rounded hollow square setup to maximize seating on the ends. If these are not available, straight tables can be placed at an angle creating an angled hollow square setup.

Multi-Sided Shapes: Multi-sided shapes such as a diamond or octagonal are best for larger groups of 20 or more. They comfortably seat nearly every attendee at the end of a table and provide direct sight and voice communication to

Banquet Style
This setup works best for meetings that require food and beverage service and where participants are asked to break out into small groups. Setup includes 60-, 66- or 72-inch round tables with chairs around the entire table or only on one side.

Have you used another type of set-up, how did it work for you?  Please share your ideas in the comments.