April 19, 2018

If you have a training event or conference coming up and you are wondering about how to set the room up then you have come to the right place. The way that a room is set up can have more impact than some people take into consideration. A bad room set-up can make communication difficult and lead to lower levels of engagement. So putting the right amount of planning in place will help you to make sure that your conference room is ready to facilitate whatever it is you are doing.

Here at Best Western - whether you are looking for meeting rooms in Nottingham and beyond or simply looking for advice - we have come up with some great ideas for your conference room set-up:

Training Sessions – U Shape

If you are using a conference room to deliver a training course that is theory and discussion based then a U shaped room is generally considered the most conducive towards learning. Place the presenter at the front of the U and any TV screen/writing boards in a place that all delegates are facing towards. The U shape ensures that all delegates can see the board clearly and opens up the room to enable better discussions, as everybody in the session can see each other when they are talking. It even makes non-verbal communication a lot easier, so communication is improved on many levels, improving the ability to learn.

Large Audience (Presentation) – Theatre Style

The best way to get a large audience into a conference room to receive a presentation is to set up in theatre style, where you have rows of chairs all facing the front with a good view of the speaker/stage/screen. This style enables you to accommodate larger numbers of attendees than other setups allow. The only downside is that it is not great if you require interaction between attendees or for questions from the audience, etc. This is generally used for sessions where you have a couple of hours of presentations, not a full day as it can be a bit difficult for an audience to stay engaged in this setup for longer periods of time.

Large Audience (Interactive) – Clusters of Tables

If you are delivering an event that involves a presentation but you also require sessions where the audience is expected to participate in activities, then clusters of tables seating up to about 8 people each will work better. It also means that they can turn to watch speakers/videos in between interactive sessions. This type of set-up is better for long events such as employee engagement events that typically last a half or full day. It also works well if you are incorporating a sit-down meal into the event, as there will be plenty of room for delegates to dine. Dining arrangements for other set-ups may require a standing buffet, as they won’t have the room to sit and eat at tables.


For strategy-planning type sessions or important meetings, the boardroom style consisting of a large rectangular or oval table with chairs evenly spread around the circumference is the most appropriate set-up style. This allows for easy communication between the attendees and is generally best for attendees of up to about 25 people. This is the type of set-up favoured for executive team meetings, AGMs, committee meetings, etc.

Whichever type of room setup you choose should be dictated by the purpose of the event and the structure of your sessions. Once you have decided the full agenda of the event, you should then be able to make the decisions around the room setups and any changes that are required throughout the day to ensure your event is a great success.

There are many reasons why you should book your conference with Best Western; if you wish to book meeting rooms in the Nottingham and Derbyshire area for your corporate event, visit us online or give our team a call on 0115 946 0000 today.

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