Soft seating in the round

Choosing the Right Seating Options for Your General Session

When organizing a general session, one of the critical decisions you’ll face is choosing the right seating arrangement. The seating style you select can significantly impact the atmosphere, engagement levels, and overall success of your event. Let’s explore the three primary seating options and their suitability for different types of gatherings:

1. Banquet Seating:

Banquet seating offers a social and interactive environment, making it ideal for events focused on networking, group discussions, or seated mealtimes. There are two main styles within banquet seating: full rounds and crescent rounds.

USF Banquet setting

Full Rounds: These circular tables, typically 60-72 inches in diameter, can accommodate up to 10 individuals per table. While they promote conversation and camaraderie, some attendees may have their backs to the stage, which may not be ideal for events with a lot of programing on the stage and/or presentation content.

Crescent round table setting

Crescent Rounds: These cabaret-style tables provide a compromise between seating capacity and stage visibility. While sacrificing some seating capacity compared to full rounds, crescent rounds ensure that no attendee has their back entirely to the stage, making them suitable for events requiring a balance between networking and presentations or content from the stage.

USF Centerpiece

Regardless of the style chosen, banquet seating offers ample opportunities for branding through individual takeaway items, tablecloths and centerpieces, allowing you to reinforce your event’s theme or corporate identity.

2. Classroom Style:
Classroom seating maximizes space efficiency while providing attendees with individual work areas. With tables typically measuring two feet deep and six feet long, each table can accommodate three people comfortably.
· Classroom seating facilitates a focused environment, making it ideal for events requiring note-taking or laptop use, such as workshops or training sessions.
· Offering power outlets at each table ensures attendees can stay connected throughout the event, eliminating disruptions caused by drained devices.
· Consider providing branded notebooks, pens or table tents with Wi-Fi information to enhance your attendee’s experience and incorporate your event theme or highlight a partner or sponsor.
Classroom Seating

Moreover, classroom seating can seamlessly transition into a setup for keynote during mealtimes, enabling attendees to dine while remaining engaged with the speaker.

3. Theater Seating:

For events prioritizing space optimization or requiring maximum capacity and audience focus on a central stage or presentation area, theater seating is the go-to option. It offers a traditional auditorium-style arrangement with rows of seats facing the stage.
· To maximize comfort and encourage front-row attendance, consider incorporating cushioned seating in the first few rows, or all seats if your budget allows.
· Chevron style theatre set can give the room additional dimensions with chairs set at angles, while also allowing for additional aisleways to be incorporated.
When opting for theater seating, ensure compliance with fire safety regulations and consider creating multiple aisles to optimize accessibility and flow within the venue.

Soft Seat theater seating
Utilize Multiple Styles

If the space and your programming allow, incorporating a comprehensive range of seating styles can significantly enhance the attendee experience.
Tiered seating arrangements offer an effective means of maximizing space utilization while providing optimal sightlines for all attendees. By integrating soft seats, crescent rounds, and high boys within these tiers, organizers can cater to diverse preferences, ensuring comfort and functionality throughout the event. This thoughtful combination not only fosters a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere but also adds visual interest and sophistication to the overall design of the space.

Let us help!
Selecting the appropriate seating option for your general session involves considering factors such as event objectives, attendee and speaker preferences, and venue constraints. Whether you prioritize room capacity, networking, productivity, or audience engagement, there’s a seating style tailored to meet your needs.
At DCE Productions, we understand that every event is unique. As your partner, we’re committed to helping you choose the perfect seating arrangement to ensure a successful and memorable gathering. Feel free to reach out to our team for personalized guidance and assistance tailored to your event requirements.