Planning the meeting room set-up is an important part of pre-conference planning.  There are many options to choose from and the room layout will affect the overall outcome of the meeting.  The meeting planner will take into consideration:  attendee comfort, audio-visual needs, speaker’s suggestions, traffic patterns/possible conflicts, restroom accessibility, food/beverage service, etc.

Many planners find it helpful to work with a Function Sheet for the event.  The Function Sheet would include details, such as date, name and time of the function, room(s) where it will be held, expected attendance, AV, room hosts, etc.  Include scaled room setup-up diagrams for each meeting room you will be using.

The internet provides many resources to help with meeting room lay out.  A few of our favorites are:

Conference Table Set-Up Styles & Meeting Room Layouts
This website offers multiple set-up styles, explains what each is used for, provides set-up hints, and also points out the pros and cons of each.

Optimizing the Narrow Room Set-Up
Sometimes we have to work with rooms that are physically challenging.  This article provides a great alternative to the “bowling alley set up”:  the “J Shape Room Design”.

Be sure to check in with the speaker to learn their meeting room set up preferences.  Many times the speaker knows what will work best with the attendees based upon their experience with the presentation.

Think of the meeting room as an important part of the meeting and look beyond the standard room set-up to help ensure your meeting’s success!