When you need to rent tables and chairs for your event, how do you choose which table sizes and shapes, as well as which types of chairs, will be best? Considering your event’s seating arrangements and the needs of your guests can help you choose the most suitable rental options for a comfortable, enjoyable event.
Why Good Seating Arrangements Are Essential
Good seating is a key part of any event and will keep your guests comfortable and engaged. Poor seating can feel isolating and may make guests less willing to participate, and if the seating is bad enough, guests may prefer to leave before the event’s end because of a poorly designed layout. More comfortable, suitable seating, however, can help guests feel welcome and included in the event, and keep them enjoying the entire schedule of activities.
About Your Seating Arrangements
There are many different factors to consider when planning seating arrangements and renting the appropriate tables and chairs for your event. Whether you need to provide seating for a business luncheon, professional workshop, wedding reception, garden party, retirement gala, family reunion, or any other type of event, take note of these factors first…
- Number of Guests By necessity, you will need a seat available for every guest at your event. It is best to include a few extra seats as well for any unexpected guests who may accompany invited individuals, or who may have forgotten to RSVP or reserve their space but still want to attend.
- Guest List If your guest list may include some tactical seating, such as keeping unfriendly guests apart or keeping parents with their children, you need to take that into account as you plan your seating arrangements. For an event comprised largely of couples, smaller tables may work best, but if large families are part of the group, larger tables may be necessary.
- Guest Spacing Provide adequate elbow and leg room for guests in your seating arrangements to ensure everyone is comfortable. The type of event will affect seat spacing, however, and should also be taken into account. Guests at a simple lecture need less personal room than attendees at an interactive workshop.
- Table Space The tables you rent should be able to accommodate any space your guests need for surface area. For a dining event, there must be adequate space for table settings so guests aren’t inadvertently nudging one another’s plates. For a business presentation, consider whether guests will need space for laptops or other equipment.
- View While your guests are seated, where will they be looking? If there is one area to be watched, such as a speaker’s podium or viewscreen, the seating should be arranged to all guests have a clear view. A less formal dinner, however, could use more compact seating with guests looking in different directions.
- Conversation If your guests will be interacting with one another, such as forming discussion groups or just chatting over a meal, the seating should be designed to allow for easy conversation. Smaller, more intimate tables will be more effective at encouraging guests to talk to one another.
- Floor Space All your rental seating must fit within floorspace of the event venue, but don’t forget to account for other, non-seating room if necessary, such as an aisle, buffet table, dance floor, gift table, or other needs. There should also be enough room for guests to pass between adjacent seats and tables as they move about during the event.
- Changing Space Will the space in your venue change throughout the event? For example, will part of the space convert from dining to a dance floor later in the evening? Choose the proper tables and best seating to make that transition easy when the time comes.
- Special Needs If any of your guests have special seating needs, they must be taken into account when renting the tables and chairs for your event. Will you need to accommodate booster seats, wheelchairs, or other special seating? Discuss options with your rental coordinator to be sure all your guests feel comfortable and are easily seated.
- Event Length If your event is just a short presentation and guests won’t be seated for long, you may be able to cut some corners or make some compromises with seating. For longer events when guests will be seated for extensive periods, however, more comfortable chairs and thoughtful seating arrangements will be necessary.
- Accessories While the accessories you use with your seating, such as table linens or chair bows, won’t necessary affect the seating arrangement, you should still consider those accessories when choosing which types of tables and chairs to rent. This will ensure that the accessories you want to use will fit well with the rental equipment.
While considering all these factors for your seating arrangements can help you choose which tables and chairs to rent, don’t forget to ask your rental company for any tips or recommendations they may have. Their rental coordinators will have seen hundreds of different events of all types, and they may have insights into unique or unexpected seating arrangements that can work well for your event.
Don’t Forget Your Budget
It is important to keep your budget in mind when planning your seating arrangements and arranging table and chair rentals. Consulting with your rental coordinator may help you discover more budget-friendly options or ways to trim your needs to meet your budget without sacrificing your seating arrangements. Making your rental reservations early or renting additional equipment through the same company – china and dishes, audio/visual equipment, heaters, tents, etc. – can also help you find great discounts.
By carefully considering your seating arrangements and planning a seating layout suitable for your event before you rent tables and chairs, you’ll be better able to rent exactly what you need so your event is a comfortable one for everyone who attends.