How To Create & Design a Seating Map

The Problem of Seating Arrangement

Seating Arrangement can be a problem in every place, if there are people and chairs. From a wedding to a simple job interview, the chair that you choose or is assigned to you, is going to be your place in the next moments or hours. During these hours we will probably have to talk to the people next to you and be careful, because you can choose the wrong chair and stay sit with the sun shining in your eyes.

I decided to divide this hub by different topics/occasions when you have to choose a seat or you have to do the seating arrangement of an event. It is also important to consider there can exist one table, or several.

- Job Interview - Should I choose the first chair next to the door or other?

- Very Small Events (Up to 10 Seats) - Should the seats be arranged? Separate Men and Women or Get the couples together.

- Small Events (Up to 40 Seats) - Should I separate the people in tables, or just one big table for everyone.

- Medium Event (Up to 100 Seats) - Am I sure I can organize everyone, or should I let the people choose their one seats.

- Big Event (Up to 200 Seats) - Should I just throw some papers in the air and see where they fall.

- Other Events - Wedding with 400 attendants or not considered before, like a buffet dinner at home.


Simple meeting room where you can find yourself in an interview
Simple meeting room where you can find yourself in an interview

Job Interview

So you are at a job interview and you are told to take a seat. Which seat are you taking? Do you think your choice will be noticed?

The seat taken may influence the interview, you never know if the interview will take that into account, but there are other details you have to be aware, like if the chair you choose is the best one available or if there are other chairs available near, these details may be nothing or may be essential.

For example, if you choose the best seat, you are probably choosing the seat that the interviewer was thinking in taking. If you choose a chair and there are no chairs near, where do you think the interviewer will take his seat, probably he will not be very happy to move a chair to next to you.

Choosing the right seat

Depending on the room you will have the interview the best seat may differ. In my opinion you should choose a chair next to the door, with another chair near for the interviewer and preferably leave something between the two, like a table, if it is necessary to write down something.

Planning the seats using papers

Example of planning seats, using papers
Example of planning seats, using papers

Very Small Events

When you are doing an event with less than 10 people it can be quite easy to distribute the seats by the invited. However there are several ideas that can across your mind, and make things a little bit harder.

In these events you probably do not need to plan with any help, thinking will be enough. If you are having a party or a simple dinner at home you can simply choose if you as the Host want to be at the middle or at the top of the table, and then you can separate people in couples or men and women. Since it is a very small event, you can just let people sit where they want and feel comfortable.

If you have different types of food and drink, people can tend to sit next to what they like more, that will benefit people since they are where it smells good (specially if cheese is involved) and they have their drinks.

Small Events

A small event can easily be arranged without much to worry, however, if the event takes place in several tables, you may have to be careful to decide who do you put next to.

You have to consider that couples should be together, some people may want to avoid each other. One option to better manage the seating is to have small papers and arrange them on a table or on the floor, that way you can easily see the "Big Picture".

The place will also be essential on how you can arrange the seating plan. If you can join everyone in one big table, it may be easier to do it, however if you have lots of tables you and it is guaranteed you have to separate people in small groups, it can be hard to reach the best options.

Medium Events

Events up to 100 can still be managed easily in a manual way. You can benefit of joining people in groups, that makes your life easier and while the event lasts no one is standing in a table without anyone they know.

If you were one of the invited it is easier when seats are assigned, if not there may be a little confusion when everyone tries to find seats for them and their friends.

If you are the host or the organizer, it is harder to do but you should assign the seat. If up to 100 and you can arrange by groups you can use papers to help you, or simple software that you can have for free.

Some additional tips

Big Events

If you are organizing a big event, you may find useful to use a Planner software.

If you want to plan it in a manual way you should probably see people as "groups", so instead of having 400 chairs to 400 people, you can arrange and have groups of people and chairs. After that you can re-arrange and instead of 250 groups of people to 300 groups of chairs you can try to have 150 groups of people to the number of tables you have available.

When you reach a "nice" number of people groups and seat groups, you can consider it as a "medium" or even a "small" event when it concerns to seat arrangement.

Another option is to let it flow, if you fell comfortable with that decision just let people seat where they want.If you are the one finding the best table, it is an advantage to be one of the first to choose the seats, since if you are one of the last to choose, many of the seats are distributed in "strange" ways.

Other Events

Other events you just have to adapt the situation. When there are big numbers involved you may want to use software, if you feel it is really important to have people correctly assigned, or you can see what happens.

It also depends on the event, some of them are more formal than others, and other don't even need a fixed place to seat..

One option that can work easily is to put more seats than people, and after everyone is sat, the staff can remove the extra chairs. That way even the last one will have several options and it won't be difficult to have everyone happy with less work.

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