You’ve planned the perfect event, selected the perfect location and now you have to turn in your meeting room configurations to your site. How do you decide what is best and what do all of the configuration types mean? Here is a quick guide to the site lingo that should help you as you work on your details.
- Theater: Appropriate for large sessions and short lectures that do not require extensive note taking. This is a convenient setup to use before breaking into discussion groups because chairs can be moved.
- Classroom: A desirable setup for medium size lectures. This configuration requires a relatively large room. Tables provide attendees with space for spreading out materials and taking notes.
- U-shape: Appropriate for groups of fewer than 40 people. These are best for interaction with a leader seated at the head of the setup. Audiovisual equipment is usually set up at the open end of the seating.
- Rounds: Generally used for meals and sessions involving small group discussions. A five foot round table seats eight people comfortably. A six foot round table seats 10 people comfortably.
- Reception: Creating an environment for networking with others by leaving the room open typically with stations of food and beverage and seating for about a quarter of your attendees.
- Hollow Square or Conference: Appropriate for interactive discussions and note taking sessions for fewer than 25 people.
- Boardroom: A lot of facilities have special rooms for small board meetings with a single boardroom table comfortably seating 10-14 people typically equipped with full audiovisual capabilities, a writing board or flip chart.
Remember you might need to specify what you are thinking when you are making arrangements with your location site (as most sites will block space to accommodate the numbers you are requesting in a theater setup) to ensure you are getting the space needed to accommodate your event.
For our retreat I believe U-shape is the best. We will be very informal and want to promote interaction among the group. The only audio-visual we will need is a screen. We have our own projector.
We use Johnson Springs Conference Center and it works out well for us. We have the conference table with 6 chairs around it for our meetings. Everyone can hear each other and also see one another when discussion is going on.
I’ve always wondered how companies decide where to do their meetings. I think it’s interesting that so many different rooms can be used! It makes sense that you would want to do it in big rooms like these, especially since you tend to need to communicate with so many people at once.