When you’re planning a cabaret-style event, the seating plan is key. You want to create an atmosphere that encourages guests to mix and mingle, and a cabaret-style seating plan is the perfect way to do just that. So, how do you go about creating the perfect cabaret-style seating plan? Read on for our tips!
What is cabaret style seating?
Cabaret is commonly used when attendees must listen to a presenter for a portion of the day before breaking into smaller groups for workshop-style sessions.
A number of round (or oval) tables with 6-8 chairs around each are used in the setup. There is a space available in the section of the table closest to the presenter so that everyone can see the presenter without turning around.
The pros and cons of cabaret-style seating plan
Guests can quickly pay attention to a focal point while socializing and working together with cabaret-style seating. Event organizers can assign seating by team or ticket group. In this flexible arrangement, they can also allow guests to mix and mingle as they please.
The most significant disadvantage of cabaret seating is that it takes up a lot of floor space. While you can avoid this if you use event diagramming tools to maximize your area, it’s worth noting if you’re at maximum capacity.
Also, keep an eye out for audience visibility in this seating arrangement. Before finalizing your layout, double-check all critical sightlines.
Tips for planning a cabaret-style seating wedding
1. Use pyramid shapes
Begin with an extended front row. Then, place the next row of cabaret tables in the spaces between the previous row. Continue backward until your entire guest list is seated. This is not only simple to plan, but it also provides everyone with the best possible view if they are all on the same level.
2. Align chair backs
By arranging all chairs so that they face the front of the room before the event, you can avoid the temptation to pull chairs around the table to fill the signature cabaret-style gap. Make your focal point stand out with a podium, archway, or presentation equipment so that guests can see why this arrangement was chosen.
3. Add screens
Install a screen in the front and centre of the room to display presentation materials and supplemental videos or to live-cast the speaker so that everyone can see them better. If your space is unusually large or shaped, place smaller screens on either side of the main screen. This is also an excellent solution for awkwardly placed poles or columns.
4. Use table runners
By using a statement table runner, you can stylishly indicate which side guests should not sit on. Drape a contrasting colour over the third of the table surface closest to the front. This will not only discourage participants from moving seats, but it will also provide decor without obstructing anyone’s view.
5. Hang ceiling decor
Using the air space above tables, you can keep sightlines clear and add stunning visual elements to any conference, meeting, or performance. Lightweight and temporary decors such as LED clouds, upside-down bouquets, or themed items such as clusters of beach balls can be used to highlight them. Check with your venue first, but keep in mind that many sturdy yet temporary ceiling hook options are available.
6. Use mismatched centrepieces
Keep centrepieces as short as possible so that anyone sitting behind them can still see the stage or speaker. Bring together all of your mismatched centrepieces with a common theme, such as fall florals or vintage typewriters.
When selecting a centrepiece, keep the venue’s colours in mind. Also, try to select items that complement the established theme and colour palette.
7. Bring in risers
Avoid the dangers of same-level seating by using risers to elevate your audience or speakers. To give guests a better view, add levels to the back of the venue and place your tables on top.
Follow ADA guidelines and install railings on three sides. If there isn’t a built-in stage, place a layer of risers up front to elevate speakers above the audience’s line of sight.
8. Add high tops
High-top tables can be made in the cabaret style if the chairs in the front are removed. To give the audience better visibility, place a few rows of taller tables toward the back of the venue.
Alternatively, provide a landing zone for speakers by positioning a high-top table off to the side and out of the spotlight. This allows them to see the rest of the event without having to slide into an already-occupied table.
9. Make aisleways obvious
Cabaret seating can quickly become visually cluttered, so make sure your floor plan includes clean aisleways. Add one down the centre of the stage in front of the audience, so they don’t have to crane their necks to see.
If you have more than ten tables, consider adding another aisle down the centre that runs parallel to the stage. This allows guests to enter and exit as needed without interfering with the presentation.
10. Match the chairs
Using the same exact colour and style of the chair throughout your cabaret tables and seating is one of the best ways to visually tie all of your cabaret tables and seating together. This not only unites the group but also adds a sense of balance to any cabaret-style seating arrangement housed within an otherwise lopsided or uneven venue.
Match the presenters’ chairs to further connect them with the audience. Alternatively, if you want to emphasize their importance or prestige, give them a chair with a dramatic shape (such as a wingback) or use a contrasting colour in the same style.
If you follow these simple steps, you should be able to create a perfect cabaret-style seating plan. This will allow your guests to have the best possible experience and ensure that everyone is comfortable. If you need any help with planning your event, our team of experts would be happy to assist you. Contact Designa today to get started!