Engaging room layouts for corporate events
When hosting a corporate event, organizers can optimize every element of the experience to engage their attendees – including the floor plan. Rather than settling for the simplest option when it comes to setting up rooms, event planners can employ strategies that keep their guests focused on the program being presented.
“A well-designed room layout helps keep inertia from setting in.”
Maximizing attention and eliminating confusion is especially important in today’s connected world. When attendees feel bored or confused about where they should go next or what to do, they can easily pull out a smartphone and your event engagement suffers. A well-designed room layout helps keep this inertia from setting in, as well as channels attendees from place to place seamlessly.
Mix up meeting room seating
There are a few classic seating arrangements for event planners to pick from when setting up meeting rooms and presentation spaces. Event Manager Blog lists theater, classroom and boardroom configurations among these popular picks. When planners take all available information about conference objectives and guest preferences into account, however, they may find they are better off going beyond the basics.
The source indicated that layouts doing away with some pieces of furniture, such as conference tables, are good ways to encourage openness and communication within sessions. Instead of using a U-shaped table or a boardroom setup, an organizer can create a horseshoe of chairs with a presenter speaking from the open end or a circle of seats that prompts attendees to speak to one another.
Whatever the final decision on the shape of the layout, it’s important for presenters to know what they’re getting into. Event Manager Blog recommended briefing all speakers and guests of honor about the details of the rooms they’ll use. This heads up will help them maximize their presentations for the space provided and avoid mix-ups where some elements are unusable.
Right-size the room
In addition to arranging chairs in ways that suit a conference’s objectives, event planners can implement designs that change to accommodate the number of guests expected. BizBash indicated a few ways to make larger venues suitable for smaller groups of attendees. Being in a space that’s too large for a gathering can disappoint guests or weaken their connection to the event, so this is an important step, especially when organizers draw a smaller crowd than they’d expected.
The ways to solve the size mismatch can be simple, including using installed furniture and display units to turn part of a room into a correctly sized gathering area. Lightning design can also indicate what part of a room is important. BizBash noted that illuminating a presentation area and leaving unused parts of the room dark creates a clear hierarchy of focus.
Rooms should be set up with an accurate crowd size in mind.
Working in a unique venue
Sometimes, a conference’s unique character goes beyond the setup of the rooms. Business Travel News explained that according to recent research, companies have started to express a preference for unconventional spaces that suit their brands and needs. Indoor and outdoor arenas could take the place of standard convention centers, provided organizers anticipate that they might not get the same convenience out of these venues as they would in more purpose-built settings.
Engagement in an interesting and unexpected setting could increase due to the novelty of the location. It’s still incumbent on event planners to create strong floor plans within these spaces, however, or else they risk losing attendees’ focus.
Planning an #event in a remote location? @onewestevents suggests to ‘Dream Like a Designer, Pack Like a Lumberjack’. Read their experience: https://t.co/hi0Sr6OLJz #EventProfs pic.twitter.com/3Fhquau3CU
— FMAV (@FMAVCanada) November 14, 2017
Organizers today also have to ensure that no matter what type of location they’ve selected, they have the right technology to deliver smooth presentations and the trained staff to keep it running. Good audio-visual setups have become expected, and distractions are many and varied. AV solutions that work in a given setting are one of the keys to a memorable event.