With Awards Dinner season well under way and Christmas parties on the horizon, many event planners often spend hours or even days tearing their hair out over the perfect seating plan. Here are out top tips in creating the perfect seating plan:
1 – Think about the presenters and award winners first
If you have presenters or awards winners who need to walk up and down to the stage, seat them in a strategic place. The most obvious thing to do would be to put all the winners at the front however this may be painfully obvious to all your other nominees. Put them in an area of the room that has a clear walkway to the stage.
2 – Then seat the people who concern you
Any internal conflicts, previous affairs or personal problems in the company? Place those people on your plan and work the rest out after. 3 – Don’t put a winner next to another nominee This is just a kick in the teeth, say no more.
3 – Ask the venue what tables will be the best on the night for your VIPS
Having delivered many events before, the venue should be able to tell you which tables will be served first and which tables will have the best view in the house.
4– Recruit the extroverts as hosts
Recruit a host from your company for each table, ensure they are an extrovert who is going to entertain the guests and give your company or department a great image.
5 – Ensure the catering team are not disrupting the tables nearer the kitchen
They often have the door open for service, but no guest like’s to hear the scraping of clearing plates. Make sure the doors are closed, especially in speeches.
6 – Give your guest’s room to move around
Make sure there are clear walkways between every table, ensuring guests can move round the room and no one gets an elbow in the back from the waiting staff.
7 – Let’s not go elbow to elbow
Don’t seat too many people on one table, 5ft round takes up to 10 guests, 6ft round takes up to 12 guests. This will make sure everyone’s comfortable.
8 – Forget place names for the Christmas party
One of the less strategic events of the year, the Christmas party can be a little more relaxed. Understood you still may need to seat teams together, just give people a table number and not an actual place name and leave them to decide who they sit next to, it’s their time to enjoy themselves.
9 – Always print your seating plans for display with surname first
50% of our clients will create a beautiful seating plan which does indeed looking wonderful on an easel. Then a queue of 100 people appears because it’s taking the average person 15 seconds to find themselves on the seating plan. Always remember list format, surname first. It will cut that queue in no time.
This blog was written by Emma Greenfield on Monday 20th October 2014. Connect with Emma on Linked in.