Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (2024)

Seating arrangements have the power to make or break deals, relationships, and even event goals. “Much of getting what you want comes down to where (event attendees) sit,” says Brian Lee, Chief of Product Management at Lifehack. And where people sit depends on the type of seating arrangement that’s chosen for the event, meeting, conference, etc.

Read on to discover 8 must-know types of seating arrangements, along with expert advice from professional event planners. Plus, learn how the psychology of seating arrangements can help planners make the best possible choices when creating their event diagrams and floor plans.

How do you choose a seating arrangement type?

Choose the type of seating arrangement based on what activities you have planned for the event as well as how long the event will be and any specific needs attendees may have. For example, a week-long conference with lots of lectures won’t work with pod seating for every major agenda item, but a single-day creative workshop for a small team will.

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Discover 8 types of seating arrangements all event professionals need to know:

Keep in mind that the type of seating arrangement you choose depends on the space you have available, your goals for the event, and what furniture you have at your disposal.

1. Chevron

Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (1)

Chevron style seating offers two columns of short, angled rows with an aisleway down the middle. A successful strategy of many planners who use this seating arrangement style is to create a clear focal point front and center to direct attention towards a speaker, then strategically seat participants you’d like to group together for discussions.


  • Everyone can view the speaker and work in small groups as needed
  • Maximizes space using angled rows
  • Best of both worlds for presentations


  • Not ideal for large group discussions
  • Attendees may have sightline issues if seats aren’t staggered

Best for:

  • Trainings
  • Presentations with audience participation
  • Conferences

2. Auditorium

Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (2)

An auditorium style seating arrangement involves built-in seats or rows of chairs that face a single point of focus, which is typically a professional stage or a podium. Take advantage of stage space and set up a background that will be attractive for photos such as textured fabrics or logo prints.


  • Great for large groups, lectures or speaker series, and ceremonies


  • Sound can often be an issue
  • Audience participation or group breakout sessions can be uncomfortable

Best for:

  • Award shows
  • Press conferences
  • Product demonstrations

3. Banquet

Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (3)

Banquet seating means using round tables evenly spread out throughout the space. Keep in mind that tables in banquet seating arrangements usually accommodate between 8-10 people. For best results, group together people who are familiar with each other, such as family members or co-workers. Otherwise, seat people according to shared interests such as hobbies or project goals to encourage natural conversation.


  • Socializing is easy and comfortable
  • Ideal for networking and relaxing


  • Each table becomes an island, making it difficult to interact with other tables unless prompted to do so

Best for:

  • Weddings
  • Parties
  • Award shows
  • Banquets
  • Charity events

4. Boardroom

Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (4)

Boardroom and conference seating offers one long, rectangular table for guests to sit facing each other. Keep the following principles of conference seating psychology in mind when creating your seating chart:

  • The VIP should sit at the head of the table
  • The VIPs’ closest advisors should flank them
  • People in the middle or towards the opposite end will spend most of their time listening
  • Anyone sitting opposite the VIP will likely feel inclined to disagree with them, but if not, they should be a verbal supporter so that others take note


  • Facilitates discussion
  • Directs focus to one person
  • Offers strategic placement for business meetings


  • Not ideal for long visual presentations
  • Can lead to group disagreements if the VIP and the person sitting opposite don’t see eye to eye

Best for:

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Small team meetings
  • Strategic mergers
  • Influencing those seated in the middle to agree with the VIP

5. Cabaret

Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (5)

Research from Cornell University found that physically sitting (or standing) closer to someone makes you feel emotionally closer to them too, which may explain why cabaret style seating at events helps build relationships. Whether you choose co*cktail tables for your entire space or mix them in with other seating types, make sure to place the chairs in a U-shape around them with an opening that faces a chosen focal point.


  • Socializing is encouraged yet guests can remain focused on performances or presentations
  • Has a laidback and organic feel to it


  • Doesn’t maximize space

Best for:

  • Award shows
  • Passive training presentations
  • Live entertainment

6. Classroom

Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (6)

A study published in the Social Psychology of Education proved that “teachers need to be informed about the possibly preventive and intervening effects of a seating arrangement on students’ academic and social behaviors.” This means event planners should also pay special attention to the type of seating arrangement they choose, since it has a direct impact on participant aptitude and actions in a learning environment. For best results, limit small tables to four attendees and leave at least three feet of space between each seat at long tables.


  • Focuses attention to the front of the room
  • Naturally primes attendees for learning
  • Ideal for note-taking


  • Tends to feel overcrowded if attendees aren’t properly spaced out
  • Can feel too nostalgic for a professional setting

Best for:

  • Group trainings
  • In-person certifications
  • Product information workshops

7. Hollow square

Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (7)

Similar to both banquet and U-shaped style seating, the hollow square style looks exactly how it sounds. Everyone can see each other while maintaining a comfortable distance, which makes it ideal for eating meals or working on laptops. Use this seating arrangement type for groups that would be too crowded at a regular banquet table and to give those sitting on each end some extra elbow room.


  • Supports eating and working
  • All attendees are visible to one another and can have comfortable discussions


  • Doesn’t work well with presentations
  • No clear leadership seat or focal point
  • Doesn’t maximize floor space

Best for:

  • Collaborative meetings with fewer than 30 guests
  • Working lunches
  • Workshops

8. U-shaped

Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (8)

U-shaped or horseshoe seating features a group of tables in the shape of a box with a hollow center and one open end. Make up for the loss of floor space by placing decorative or presentation materials on the walls. Use this type of seating arrangement for attendees who have worked together before or are planning to do so in the near future to facilitate relationship-building.


  • Ideal for both presentations and group collaboration
  • Everyone can see each other at all times
  • Audience can comfortably interact with speakers


  • Requires a facilitator or designated leader to help keep the dialogue going
  • Not suitable for large groups over 30 participants

Best for:

  • Team meetings
  • Presentations

Create the perfect seating arrangement for every event!

Now that you know about some of the main types of seating arrangements, what they look like, and the pros and cons of each, it’s time to check out some seating tips and trends from accomplished planners for even more inspiration.

Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options (2024)


Types of Seating Arrangements: 8 Must-Know Options? ›

There are five common types of seating arrangement questions. They are rectangular, linear, circular, double row and complex row arrangements.

How to answer seating arrangement questions? ›

Tip # 3: Candidates need to keep the following points in mind while solving the seating arrangement based questions.
  1. When A is second to the left of B: A – B.
  2. When A is second to right of B: B – A.
  3. When A is 2 places away from B: A/B – – B/A.
  4. When A is two places to the right of B or B is two places to the left of A: B – A.
Jul 27, 2023

What are the different types of seating arrangement questions? ›

There are five common types of seating arrangement questions. They are rectangular, linear, circular, double row and complex row arrangements.

What are the three types of seating arrangement? ›

The Most Popular Event Seating Arrangements
  • Banquet Style Seating. Round tables with 8 or 10 guests per table. ...
  • Family Style Seating. ...
  • Cabaret Style Seating. ...
  • Auditorium / Theatre Style Seating. ...
  • Classroom Style Seating. ...
  • Conference / Boardroom Style Seating. ...
  • U-shape / Horse Shoe Style Seating. ...
  • Hollow Square Style Seating.
Jun 26, 2024

How to solve seating arrangement puzzle quickly? ›

If it is written that A is sitting next to B, then it means that A and B are sitting together. B may be to the right or left of A. Further if it is given that B is sitting to the right/left of A, then it does not mean that B is sitting immediate right/left of A. There may be some other persons sitting between A and B.

What is the most effective seating arrangement? ›

Previous studies have shown that students sitting in the front rows of a traditional, rectangular row arrangement tend to be more attentive, answer more questions, and have more interaction with the teacher than those in the back.

What is seating arrangement with an example? ›

Examples Based On Cluster Seating Arrangement

Eight girls A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H are sitting around a square table facing the center. A sits 6th to the left of B who sits third to the right of F. E sits second to the left of F. G sits between A and B she sits immediately left to F.

What are the basic of sitting arrangement? ›

For a rectangle or circular based arrangement, the group of people can be either be sitting facing towards the circle or opposite of the circle. If they are looking away from the centre than their left hand will be in the anticlockwise direction and the right-hand side will be in the clockwise direction.

What is the seating rule? ›

This Suitable Seating Law requires that California employers provide suitable seating to all workers whose jobs reasonably require the use of a seat.

What are the three types of seats? ›

Airline Seat Comparison Charts
  • Economy Class.
  • Premium Economy Class.
  • Business Class.
  • First Class.

What is the best puzzle strategy? ›

Our Top 7 Tricks To Complete Puzzles Like The Pros
  • Turn all the pieces up the right way. ...
  • Start with the borders. ...
  • Sort the pieces into similar colours and build from there. ...
  • Work on smaller images within the bigger image. ...
  • Sort pieces into the same shapes (especially if you're struggling at the end with one block of colour)
Aug 20, 2021

What is the difference between seating arrangement and puzzles? ›

Seating arrangement questions involve arranging, grouping, or clustering a group of people, objects, or anything to fit specific conditions. On the other hand, puzzles can affect almost anything under the sun. It could involve word jumbles, shapes, blood relation, logical statements, patterns, and you name it.

What is the trick to solving puzzles? ›

Sort your pieces by color and pattern. These are the most easily-distinguished features and they offer a way to break the puzzle into a series of manageable sub-tasks. Also, set aside corner and edge pieces. Optional tip: Divide your piles into smaller collections of pieces based on their number of tabs and blanks.

What is the best seating arrangement for a conversation? ›

Arranging a conversation area is all about making it easy and comfortable for people. Chairs should face inwards, ideally around a circular coffee table, and should be close enough that people can easily hear each other, but with enough of a gap between them so that they can move about the room comfortably.

How to calculate seating arrangement? ›

So it is better if you know who is who and then start with the seating arrangement. To do this, read all conditions in the question carefully from the beginning and ignore all statement about who is sitting where. Find starting points: Starting Points help in identifying the position of specific persons.

What could be the reason behind the unique seating arrangement answer? ›

The unique seating arrangement with the spectators sitting inside the tent and the circus going on outside could be because the gravitational force in the tents was artificially maintained according to the earth's gravitational force which helped the spectators to remain in one place without bouncing around and ...

What does 2 places to the left mean? ›

Here, “Second to the left” means you should start where you are and count two places left of that place. This does not mean that there should be two place between P and Q.

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