Last week at the conference I was at, I finally ran into the correct way to have seating in a banquet hall! Normally when there are round tables, the chairs are seated around the entire table.
The problem with this is if there’s a show or presentation, one to three people have their backs to the stage. Commons sense thinking for event planners is “people will just turn the chairs“. Unfortunately the reality is that most people don’t turn the chairs. They start watching with their bodies contorted in the chair to watch the show. This gets very uncomfortable and even if you engage them the entire time, it’s still hard for them to enjoy the show.
The simple solution to this is to ask people to turn their chairs. What always amazes me is that this never gets 100% compliance. You’ll get maybe 25%-75% of the people to turn their chairs.
The banquet room I was at last week had the chairs arranged like this:
All of the chairs are facing forward and there’s no chair at the front of the table. That’s how you get good value from whoever you hire for a show!
Let’s hope this trend continues (it won’t)