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Meetings Meeting Planner Guide Meeting Room Setup

Meeting Room Setup

An effective meeting is most effective in a well-configured meeting room. Here are some configuration options and benefits for each:

  • Clusters Setup
  • Groups of interconnected rectangular tables. Also known as pods or team tables.

    Benefits: Groups of three rectangular tables, configured to maximize working sessions, collaboration and group participation with the facilitator(s). Tables are set at angles so that no back is facing the main speaker. Fosters creativity and team building.

    Optimal seating capacity: 11-61+

    Best meeting uses: teaching and training, lecture presentation, team building, discussions/negotiations, seminar, workshop, conference/exchange, brainstorming

    Best technology uses: projection presentation, individual computers, white boards/flip charts, sound/music, video conference

  • Rounds Setup
  • Round tables arranged to maximize seating requirements for a variety of purposes.

    Benefits: Ideal setup for meal-centered meetings and banquets encouraging business and socialization for any size group. Typically 6, 8 or 10 people are seated per table. Sometimes configured as crescents, where no back is facing the speaker. Less elbow room than a Cluster.

    Optimal seating capacity: 1-61+

    Best meeting uses: meeting with meal

    Best technology uses: white boards/flip charts, sound/music

  • Chevron Setup
  • Chairs are arranged in rows slanted in a V shape and separated by a center aisle. They face the head table or speaker.

    Benefits: A more productive large-group setup than the classroom style with the speaker as the focal point. More eye contact between the group and the speaker than the classroom setup, forming unity and more effective participation.

    Optimal seating capacity: 11-61

    Best meeting uses: teaching/training, lecture/ presentation, discussions/negotiations, executive presentation, seminar, conference/exchange

    Best technology uses: projection presentation, individual computers, white boards/flip charts, sound/music, video conference, teleconference

  • Theater Setup
  • Seats are in rows facing the stage area, no tables.

    Benefits: Perfect for shorter presentations, seminars, lectures and Q&As that require the attendee to focus on looking and listening. Best suited for presentations that require more elaborate audiovisual technology without needing note taking or laptop usage.

    Optimal seating capacity: 11-61+

    Best meeting uses: teaching/training, lecture/presentation, team building, executive presentation, seminar, workshop

    Best technology uses: projection, white boards, sound/music, video conference

  • Bedroom Setup
  • Rectangle or oval-shaped tables are set up with chairs on both sides and ends.

    Benefits: A formal executive level setup designed for meeting with one primary facilitator. Good space for a comfortable working session, as well as food and beverages. Ample room for teleconferencing and visual presentations

    Optimal seating capacity: 1-40

    Best meeting uses: lecture/presentation, board meeting, discussions/negotiations, executive presentations, conference/exchange, brainstorming

    Best technology uses: projection presentation, individual computers, white boards/flip charts, sound/music, video conference, teleconference

  • U-Shape Setup
  • Series of tables set up in the shape of the letter U with chairs set all around on one or both sides.

    Benefits: Ideal setup to promote an open forum for smaller groups of up to 40 people. All participants are able to make direct eye contact with one another enabling a lively discussion of ideas in this structured setting.

    Optimal seating capacity: 1-40

    Best meeting uses: teaching and training, meeting w/meal, discussions/negotiations, team building, conference/exchange, brainstorming

    Best technology uses: projection presentation, individual computers, white boards/flip charts, sound/music, video conferencing, teleconference

  • Double U-Setup
  • Two U-shaped tables are set up with chairs.

    Benefits: Many of the same benefits as a U-Shape setup, but can accommodate more people. Participants can face one another enabling a lively discussion of ideas in this structured setting.

    Optimal seating capacity: 26-61+

    Best meeting uses: teaching/ training, team building, discussion/ negotiations,conference/exchange.

    Best technology uses: projection, individual computers, white boards, sound/music, video conference, teleconference

  • Circle of Chairs Setup
  • Chairs aligned in a circular pattern without any tables in between.

    Benefits: A highly informal setting that facilitates lively discussion, interactive presentations and brainstorming between smaller groups of participants for brief intervals. Focus is on discussion with no work space or many technology requirements.

    Optimal seating capacity: 1-40

    Best meeting uses: team building, discussion/negotiations, workshop, brainstorming

    Best technology uses: white boards, sound/music

  • Hollow-Square Setup
  • Tables set in a square (or rectangle) with chairs placed around the outside of the table. Center (inside) table is hollow.

    Benefits: Facilitates group discussions and brainstorming, but can also accommodate the agendas of multiple speakers. This organized layout works for both small and mid-size groups utilizing various technologies.

    Optimal seating capacity: 1-40

    Best meeting uses: board meeting, team building, discussions/negotiations, workshop, conference/exchange, brainstorming

    Best technology uses: individual computers, white boards/flip charts, sound/music, teleconference

  • Amphitheater Setup
  • Seats are in rows facing the stage area, no tables.

    Benefits: Perfect for shorter presentations, seminars, lectures and Q&As that require the attendee to focus on looking and listening. Best suited for presentations that require more elaborate audiovisual technology without needing note taking or laptop usage.

    Optimal seating capacity: 26-61+

    Best meeting uses: teaching/training, lecture/presentation, seminar, executive presentation

    Best technology uses: projection presentation, individual computers, white boards/flip charts, sound/music, video conference, teleconference

  • Conference Setup
  • Rectangular or oval tables are set up with chairs placed around all sides.

    Benefits: Best for smaller meetings where the focus is on the participants themselves as in team building, product development or discussion groups. Layout encourages a communicative and professional setting. Ample room for teleconferencing and visual presentations.

    Optimal seating capacity: 1-25

    Best meeting uses: board meeting, discussions/negotiations, workshop, conference/exchange, brainstorming

    Best technology uses: individual computers, white boards/flip charts, sound/music, teleconference

  • Open-Room Setup
  • Empty room allows free-form meeting environment.

    Benefits: An open-space setting that promotes a free flowing and creative meeting environment for small or large groups. Mostly for purposes of team building and brainstorming. Open Room can be complimented with various props and meeting aids.

    Optimal seating capacity: 1-61+

    Best meeting uses: team building, brainstorming

    Best technology uses: projection, white boards/flip charts, sound/music

  • Classroom Setup
  • Rows of tables with chairs face the front of a room and each person has a space for writing or using a computer.

    Benefits: A classical approach for both large and small seminars and training programs where attendees need work space for notes and laptops. This setup lends itself to a Q&A session with the facilitator rather than interactive discussion between participants.

    Optimal seating capacity: 11-61

    Best meeting uses: teaching/training, lecture/presentation, executive presentation, seminar

    Best technology uses: projection presentation, individual computers, white boards/flip charts, sound/music, video conference, teleconference