The Ultimate Guide to U-Shaped Seating

Looking to design a visually pleasing event floor plan that allows people to work together during presentations? U-shaped seating arrangements are a good choice. This seating arrangement type is what you need and how to make the most of it.

What is U-shaped seating?

You guessed it. U-shaped seating is also known as horseshoe or horseshoe seating. Its seating is designed in the form of the letter U. It’s most often used in classroom settings, but there are many ways to make this seating arrangement work for you.

How to get the best out of U-shaped seating

You can get the most from U-shaped seating by thinking about how you will strategically use the space or room in which the arrangement is placed. You could place product or technology demonstrations at the center of the table. If you plan to serve lunch, make use of the wall space and arrange buffet tables against it. This will allow attendees to eat without interrupting the presentation.

You can also support the creation of relationships or introduce attendees one to another by creating a seating chart that places VIPs in the middle.

Round the edges

Adrian Segar, the author of the conferences that work blog, states, “Circles enable everyone to see each other and minimize status differences because of seating position.” This sets the tone for connection and visually puts everyone on the same level. To get the best of both the U-shaped and the U-shaped seating arrangements, you can round the edges.

Add rows

It would be best to make the U-shaped seating arrangement tall enough to accommodate one or two more straight rows. Depending on how much space you have, add chairs, couches, and loveseats. Help with sightlines by placing chairs so that everyone can see the presentation.

Assign seats based on role

To create a seating plan for your U-shaped arrangement, use the head-of-the-table effect (American Psychological Association). By placing them at the bottom of the U-shape, you can draw attention to one or more people (such as the Bride and Groom at a wedding or the Head Of the Board at a corporate meeting) by placing them at the bottom of the U-shape. Next, place the second-most important attendees (potential business partners or VIP clients and bridal party members) on either end. From there, you can work your way to the top.

Define your focal point

For presentations, use a projector screen or whiteboard as the focal point. You can add a microphone, podium, or decorative background (think welcome signs, flower arrangements, etc.) to direct attention. U-shaped seating arrangements are great for directing attention inwardly or towards the opening. The event will have one focal point that all attendees can focus on. This gives them an idea of which seat to choose and what they can expect throughout the event.

Include L-shapes

You need to be able to accommodate a larger group. You can use two L-shaped arrangements instead of the U-shaped one. Allow attendees to access the inner one by leaving a gap between the rows.

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