Planning a meeting or conference isn’t always an easy task. There are a lot of different things to take into consideration when it comes to the comfort and workability of the event attendees, and missing even a small detail can leave a negative impression on your guests.
The set up of an event’s room and work space plays a huge role in how comfortable your guests feel. How comfortable your guests are then in turn plays a huge role in their overall ability to concentrate. Better Mind cites being comfortable in the right environment as one of the main ways to boost concentration.
One of the easiest ways to make your guests feel comfortable starts with how you arrange the seating in a room. Check out these tips and tricks to learn how to maximize comfort and minimize frustration.
Arrangements to Avoid
One of the most important parts of knowing what to do starts with knowing what not to do. There are a few seating situations that should be avoided at all costs if you are able to.
First, try not to set up a circle of chairs. For some activities, it may be required, but for regular meetings or discussions, it can be uncomfortable to sit in this position for an extended period of time.
Women in skirts in dresses or people of size may struggle to sit in a way that feels modest and comfortable for them. If the meeting attendees must be in a circle, consider adding a round table and placing the chairs around the perimeter of the table. The circular shape will still evoke a feeling of unity, but attendees will have somewhere to place their belongings, lean on and write on when necessary.
Next, be sure to avoid stools or backless chairs if the attendees will be at the meeting for longer than an hour. Without lumbar support, guests will quickly grow uncomfortable, and their focus will begin to wander to other things beyond the meeting. If you are planning a dinner meeting, it is essential to have backed chairs because these meetings often extend far beyond the planned time as the attendees chat about topics beyond business.
While on the topic of choosing chairs, make sure you have a good chair-to-table height ratio. If the seats of your chairs come too close to the table, taller guests will feel trapped by their own seat and will struggle to get comfortable. If the seat is too far from the ground, shorter guests may feel excluded from the conversation or experience difficulty while writing notes. A good solution to this issue is utilizing office chairs with adjustable heights so that everyone may find a setting that’s comfortable for their body.
Go-To Seating Styles
While there are a few key seating arrangements that you should steer clear of, there are also a few that you can keep in your back pocket and pull out in a pinch. While every event or meeting should have a custom setup, these tricks can be tailored to meet the needs of every event.
If you’re looking for an easy way to boost attendee comfort and concentration, try an open seating concept. These seating arrangements give guests the power to choose how they’d like to sit, making their experience the most comfortable it can be on an individual level. Give attendees the option to choose from couches, easy chairs, floor pillows, classroom style seats, bar stools or standing tables, if some guests prefer to stand. Arrange these types of seating in groups and construct a single focal point in the middle or front of the room, allowing the event to still have focus while everyone is comfortable.
Listen for Feedback
As always, even the best of intentions may miss the mark. Don’t be afraid to ask event attendees about their experiences, so you can improve your strategy for future events. A great way to do this is by utilizing an event mobile app like Ventla, which transforms your guests into active event participants. They can answer survey questions and give valuable feedback and data to you, the event planner, which you can easily store and recall for future events.
When it comes to planning events, there’s always room to get creative with your seating arrangement. Remember to take this into serious consideration to help guests feel more comfortable and be able to concentrate better at your next event.