Size Matters

Working out how much space is needed for an event isn’t quite as challenging as you think it is. In this article we are sharing helpful tools that will make figuring out how much space is needed a breeze. Our tips will aid in preparing a venue RFP, and help you in figuring out if the venue you want to use can actually host your function.

A variety of seating configurations are commonplace at events.

Traditionally, guests are seated at round tables of 60” or 72”, with 8 to 10 seats per table. Some planners will squeeze up to 12 seats at some tables. Non-traditional configurations such as long and serpentine tables take perhaps a bit more planning and space. A half moon set-up of 6 to 7 seats on mostly one side of a 60” table facing the stage is regularly used at conference events. 

Space needs:
A 60” banquet round with 8 chairs requires no less than 100 square feet of space.
A 72” banquet round with 10 chairs requires approximately 150 square feet of space.

Rows of chairs are lined up facing a stage or podium. Depending on the length of the row and number of rows, isles may cross through the seating area.

Space needs:
Using traditional banquet chairs, about 9 square feet per attendee/chair is required. 

In this set up, attendees are seated at long tables of 18” or 30” wide. Seats are placed at one side of the table facing a stage or podium.

Space needs:
Seating attendees at 18” wide tables requires about 15 square feet per attendee. 30” wide tables require between 17 to 18 square feet per attendee.

Chevron seating, which places the tables at an angle, requires about 20 square feet per attendee.

This type of event requires attendees to stand and mingle. Some high tables may be spread throughout the room. Traditionally no seating is provided.

Space needs:
Planners will need to account for approximately 9.5 square feet per attendee.

Average tradeshow booths are 8’ x 10’ to 10’ x 10’.  Planners should account 200 square feet per booth.

A hollow square set-up is best suited for smaller events. It entails a large rectangular table set-up with chairs on the outside, guests all facing each other. Planners need to account for about 40 square feet per attendee. 

Eventinterface Event Room Setup Diagram


The information in this post is meant to be a guideline.  The maximum number of guests that could be accommodated in a space is dependent on the shape of the room, support columns, local fire codes, exits and service entry points. Insure that you account for these as you review your event set-up.