How to arrange tables for a social event all depends on what type of event you are planning. Banquets, receptions, award ceremonies, and meetings will all require a little bit of a different type of table set up. There are all sorts of table arrangement options out there but here are a few ideas that should get you started setting up for the perfect social event.
o Banquets: The type of banquet you’re hosting will influence your table set up. If you’re hosting a more informal set up then go for moderately sized tables seating 6-8 people. This is the prefect size to seat pairs together or larger groups with common interests. You can cluster the tables in different groups to promote interaction between different guest groups. Another option is to go with long banquet tables. This is normally reserved for more formal dinners honoring the proverbial head of the table.
o Receptions: A reception will have more clustered seating like the informal banquet. For receptions though you’ll want to have kid friendly options. The typical kids table though can be a bit off putting to your teen guests. A couple options are to set up a few tables for your youngest guests. Provide some coloring books and little games and toys to keep them occupied and happy. Your teenage guests probably won’t want to socialize too much with the adults so give them their own table with others close to their own age.
o Awards Ceremonies: An award ceremony is going to combine the reception and banquet elements. You’ll want a long table at the front of the room for the honorees. If available place this table up on a raised dais to draw attention to it. Putting round tables in the guest area presents a challenge. You’ll have to cut back on the number of seats per table. You don’t want guests with their backs to the honorees. So instead arrange the guests around just the half of the table facing the stage.
o Meetings: For an informal meeting why not use a large round table like King Arthur. It sounds a bit medieval. But going with a round table can help deemphasize rank. This type of arrangement will promote brainstorming among colleagues. You can hash out new product strategies and promotional ideas over lunch. For a formal meeting you’ll go with a head table like at an award ceremony but instead of having round tables you’ll want to arrange rectangular tables all facing towards the stage. This set up is reserved for speaking to a group instead of interaction among the guests, or in this case employees or business partners.
How to arrange tables for a social event is all about bringing focus to the right group of people. For informal gatherings you want to promote conversation between people and have a great time. For more formal and structured events you need to put the focus on the speaker or honoree. Just use the rule of thumb – rectangular for regulated circular for social.