Proper space planning is necessary for conducting a successful business meeting. Uncomfortable furniture layout can cause delays in presentations or serve as a distraction to meeting attendees. Plan your conference room layout to suit the size of the group and the activities scheduled to take place during the meeting. Use small tables that can rearranged to accommodate a variety of meeting needs.
When you have a designated speaker or presenter for your meeting, you can arrange your tables in the shape of a "U" with the presenter stationed at a podium at the opening in the tables. The base of the "U" shape should be closest to the door where possible, so that early guests can fill in closest to the speaker, while late guests can file in to the seats nearest to the door without causing a disturbance. This layout allows the speaker to interact with guests and use the floor in the center of the room if he prefers to move about while speaking.
At major conferences and key note addresses, speakers may direct guests to participate in topical breakout sessions. A breakout session consists of series of small groups discussing assigned topics together. If participants are seated at one table together, conversations may run together between groups, causing the noise level to rise unnecessarily as participants struggle to hear group members. Arrange tables scattered about the conference room so that guests can talk comfortably among themselves .
The classroom-style room conference room layout is suitable for note taking and for meetings requiring multiple handouts or use of tools such as laptop computers. In a classroom layout, rows of narrow conference tables with chairs face the front of a room. Each table provides writing space for each person.This is a comfortable arrangement for long sessions, as refreshments can be placed within reach of each attendee. This setup works best when minimal interaction between the presenter and audience is expected to take place, such as when participants are taking a test or studying reference material.
- Heights Libraries: Cleveland Heights -- University Heights
- "The Complete Guide to Successful Event Planning"; Shannon Kilkenny; 2006
- University of Winsconsin: Welcome Center Floor Plan, Capacities, and Layouts
- Photo Credit Ryouchin/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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