It’s used in churches of worship but can also be found in lecture halls and performing arts centers. It may be something you have seen at a seminar, university, church, or even a planned event. What is the exact meaning of the church seating arrangement? And why is it used for events other than churches? You can read our guide to find out why the church seating arrangement may be right for your next event. You’ll find best practices and real-world examples here.
How do you arrange the seating in a church?
There are many variations of this seating arrangement, but the most common is the straight row layout for churches. This layout is similar to theater seating.
There will be at least one aisleway in the middle of the seating block, or two separate the three sections. Designers can arrange their seating blocks to match the curve of a round stage. If the venue allows it, you could place multiple sections around the circle of the stage to create a theater-in-the-round effect.
You can be flexible with the church seating arrangement, especially with individual chairs. You can increase the number of available seats by adding rows to the back or placing extra folding chairs along each aisleway.
Tip: Make sure there are at least two seats per row. This will reduce the chance of event-goers getting separated from their friends.
The advantages and disadvantages of church seating arrangements:
A church seating arrangement creates unity and a sense of community when many people come together to achieve a common goal. Because of its casual nature, church seating layouts make socializing easy, regardless of whether it is for business, religion, celebration, or any other purpose. The simple layout of a church seating arrangement allows guests to easily reach out and make small talk with one another while still paying attention to the speaker or presentation.
You may have to consider spacing issues if you use benches. People will want space to spread out and not feel isolated. Wood benches and traditional church pews aren’t ideal for long gatherings.
You may find that guests are tempted to move or alter the arrangement of the chairs if you use them. While you can assign seating, using traditional methods like tape to make an “X” shape above the seat can be distracting from an otherwise Instagram-worthy event design.
Find 6 best church seating arrangements:
While measurements are essential for church seating arrangements, there’s still plenty of space to be creative with your furniture and seating plans.
Accurate capacity calculation.
You can only have 15 people using benches or pews if you plan to use them. Allow at least 6 inches between each attendee’s shoulders. One person can fit comfortably in a theater or auditorium space for every 6-8 square feet of available space.
Draw a seating plan.
Our event diagramming tools allow you to create a 3D model of your event and its seating options. Drag and drop decorations and furniture to create staging areas. To add exact dimensions, use the custom measurements feature. You can also assign seating for VIPs, guests speakers, or attendees.
Be mindful of your measurements.
For safety and wheelchair accessibility, aisleways must be at least 32 inches. Remember that wheelchair rows need additional space. This comprehensive guide by the ADA National Network explains how to make temporarily accessible events for people with disabilities.
Another important point to be aware of: Church Plaza states that “The International Building Code recommends that 7 feet per person is allowed in spaces with unfixed seats.” This can be factored into your social tables layout design in just a few steps.
- Create a rule in the diagram to ensure each attendee gets a specific amount of space.
- You can run a Diagram Check to check your design. The rule will use your preferences and visually represent how many people you can fit while still adhering to your guidelines.
Find creative seating.
When you choose creative seating that is in keeping with the event’s theme, the church seating arrangement works well for outdoor ceremonies, concerts, and weddings. A farmhouse-style event can look fantastic with hay bales covered with flannel blankets. You can add cushions to traditional churches with benches for additional support and backrest.
Check flip chairs.
You must walk through the space and check out each seat if it has flip-chairs already attached to the ground.
Flip the chairs down first. Is it easy or difficult to swing the chair? Next, take a seat on the chair. Next, sit on the chair. Is it a bit lose, lumpy, or dipping? Please take a look at your layout app to note all the details and share them with your venue. Keep an eye out to avoid fabric stains or rips!