As a busy conference centre, we are often approached by event planners and event managers looking to hold meetings and events of varying sizes and styles. Whether it be an exclusive use, multi-day conference, a banquet, a gala awards night, or a 1-day meeting for 12 people. One of the most asked questions we hear is what room layout we would recommend or can offer in each of our rooms.
It’s such an important question because the way a room is laid out can have a huge impact on the success of your event. The right style of seating at an event can help your guests feel relaxed, comfortable and ready to listen and participate. The wrong style layout can lead to unengaged delegates, lack of participation and people feeling frustrated.
Theatre style room layouts are ideal for events with larger audiences. It is popular for conferences, lectures, seminars, live performances and launches. Usually this style does not tend to work for food consumption.
At Rothamsted Conference Centre, our purpose-built Auditorium can seat up to 300 delegates in tiered theatre style, has state-of-the-art AV technology with a purpose-built AV room, adjustable lighting, a hearing loop, as well as mics and a lectern.
This space can be used with our Plaza area, perfect for networking, lunches, drinks receptions, exhibitions, before or after your auditorium event.
Alternatively, Rothamsted Manor’s Great Drawing Room can be laid out in this style for performances, conferences and other events.
Banquet style is a classic room layout whereby you typically have clothed tables of 8-10 guests so that they can easily interact with each other. VIP guests, or wedding couples, would be more likely to be seated in the centre of the room so they will be right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the event.
It’s important to choose any centrepieces with care, so as not to cause an obstruction or to stop the flow of conversation between guests.
This style of seating is usually used for wedding breakfasts, dinners, awards evenings, and other informal dining or business events.
Boardroom style layout is ideal for delegates who want to have discussions, brainstorming or listen to a speaker.
Typically, you would have a long table with seats around it and would expect there to be TV screens on the wall in order to present to the room. Often these rooms have video conferencing facilities to allow others to dial in.
At Rothamsted, we can offer boardroom style seating in several of our rooms.
The Glynne or the Warington Suites work well for up to 18 guests, or for larger board meetings we can open out the space to create one large suite for up to 30 delegates in boardroom style.
Classroom style layout is where rectangular tables are set out in the style of a classroom environment, which lends itself to lectures, training sessions, seminars, examinations, or meetings that might require everyone to use a laptop. It makes note-taking easy too.
Delegates don’t face each other so is usually better for events which do not require delegate interaction.
At Rothamsted, we have a variety of rooms that can be laid out in classroom style.
The Hive seats up to 40 in classroom style and has scholar chairs, which give users a movable desk surface as well as an under-seat storage area and a coffee cup holder. Alternatively, for a smaller event, our Bailey Suite can seat up to 14 in this layout.
U-shape style layout is where rectangular tables are laid in a U shape. It is great for delegate interaction and makes it easy to focus on the presenter. It usually works well for groups of up to 30.
It’s commonly used in meetings, training sessions and workshops.
At Rothamsted Conference Centre, the Pirie Suite works well for U-shape layout, or for a larger meeting, the Glynne and Warington Suites adjoined are ideal.
Cabaret style seating is where guests are seated on two thirds of the table all facing forward, so all delegates have a good view of the front of the room and the presenter.
It is especially useful if you want to have team activity or do group work. It is great for business events, workshops, award ceremonies and some working lunches with speakers.
At Rothamsted, the Hive and the Brenchley Suite are commonly used for cabaret layout for up to 48 delegates, and if you are looking for a larger space, the Fowden Hall can accommodate up to 70 cabaret style.
Reception style has no seating but is for standing only.
This style makes the most efficient use of floor space, with guests free to mingle and socialise. This is popular for parties and social events. Rothamsted commonly offer reception style in the Restaurant, Fowden and Plaza.
Get in touch with our team and we’d be delighted to help you plan your next event.