For every space, there is a unique set of activities to which it caters to. Such can be seen for individual spaces as well as for public or gathering spaces. Within the typology of gathering spaces, a number of events are considered. For every different event, there is a different type of seating arrangement, as per the function which it hosts. Following are the 10 different types of banquets to consider catering to different typologies of events.
1. Banquet / Wedding Style
It is a simple seating arrangement dividing the total quantum of the crowd. Majorly used for wedding receptions, this arrangement allows the formation of smaller groups. Being an informal event, the circulation pattern is carved out within two designated tables in a most natural manner. The module consisting of an arrangement of a circular table and around 6-10 chairs set around it, is repeated on a grid pattern.
This layout can be termed as a derivative of the wedding layout. Similar to the previous layout, a module of the round table is used with seating around it, placed at the grid. However, the only difference is, the seatings are not placed throughout the full periphery of the table. Rather, the audience is allowed to be seated in an arc format, facing towards the main event to be held.
3. Board Meeting Style
It is one of the formal patterns used mostly in the corporate industry. For activities like meeting rooms and conference rooms, such arrangement is adopted. The arrangement consists of a linear central table being placed centrally and chairs arranged as either longitudinal sides of it. The shorter side consists of a seating generally, yet not mandatorily reserved for the head of the meeting. The main circulation is over the peripheral area of the main table, hence, making it necessary to leave enough space around it.
4. Herringbone or fish bone style
One of the most common layouts adopted for classrooms or lecture rooms. It helps in focusing the attention of the audience towards the main speaker. With the main table placed at the front of the room, the audience seating is placed at an angle aligning towards the main desk in row format. It forms an inward-looking layout. It consists of aisles centrally as well as on either side of it. This layout at times can also be arranged parallel to step levels to allow visual clarity for the seating till the last row. For each of the audience seating, an individual or shared desk is provided.
5. Hollow Square Style
Another one of the layouts used for formal discussions, but at a much larger scale. This layout consists of main desks arranged around a central open square space, and seatings towards the outer peripheral edge of it. The layouts’ opening out allows visual interaction amongst all the participants. Similar to the board meeting style, the circulation takes place at the peripheral edge of the seating, again making it mandatory to designate enough space for it.
6. Lecture Room – Classroom Style
As the name suggests, the layout is used for classrooms and lecture halls. The main desk is located at the front of the room and all the seatings are directed towards it in a straight row manner. In many cases, along with the main desk, a projector arrangement is set up as well, depending upon the nature of the event. It consists of aisles on either side of it, and centrally if required, depending upon the number of the audience expected for the event. For each of the audience seating, an individual or shared desk is provided.
7. Horseshoe/ U shaped style layout
As the name suggests, the layout consists of main tables arranged in a U shaped, opening up the central space in-between them. This allows for easy interaction among the participants. At the same time, the U format allows for serving to take place as one of the sides is open for the same. It is an inward-facing layout. Yet, said so huge amount of floor space needs to be left untouched for the circulation pattern.
8. Cocktail layout
It is a unique layout which offers no seatings as such, and is used for cocktails and parties. The layout consists of open floor space and the serving area placed at one edge of the room, hence, utilising the full space. This is a very informal layout that allows for small open discussions. One of the negatives of it is there is no opportunity for the audience to sit.
9. Theatre Style
It is one of the simplest layouts. As the name suggests, found commonly in theatres. It is a series of rows of seating arranged either at one single level or rising step format levels. All the seatings directly face towards the main screen or the main speaker/ presenter. It has aisles on either side of it, which at times may make it difficult for the audience to have any movement from their place to another end of the room. This seating format does not consist of desks for the audience.
10. T Shape – Style
It is an informal layout not much seen in daily use. It is one of the wedding banquet layouts, where a series of tables are arranged in a t shape, with seating on either side of it. It allows the serving to be made easy. The main circulation is at the outer peripheral edge of the seating.