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Jul 01, 2013

Spatially Speaking

I recently took a multiple intelligence test, where I learned that I’m both spatial and logical and scored lower in literary intelligence.  I suppose this makes sense as you read my less than eloquent entries.

What I learned by taking this test is that everyone has their own best way to digest information.  I wish that I considered this over the past decade while I provided folks with the best event solutions.  Since everyone has a different set of talents, strengths, weaknesses and interests, it’s unfair for me to burden my hurried New York clients with techy-talk details when they just want a tent. There are times, of course, to show off your knowledge, but determining the appropriate time to have those conversations is a whole other skill.  I don’t think now is the time.

I am often commissioned to assist my clients with both infrastructure and populating an event space. If you are fortunate enough to have a field and lots of space, you are in luck.  There are super easy ways to estimate how much space you need to accommodate event attendees.  Dinner & dancing (18 sq ft per person) Cocktails (5-8 sq ft per person).  There are a bunch of different theories for populating the space, but in general, you want to make sure the whole room can see the stage or focal point, make sure guests don’t have to travel too far for food or beverage and always make sure emergency exits are marked and accessible. You’ve got yourself happy guests while fulfilling the event safety requirements.

If you are not so lucky and are considering bunk beds for seating, I can offer a few general event tips. When it comes to small spaces and tents (especially for events in New York), there is not much of a decision to make – you go with what fits.  My team is great at helping out with that.  Your decisions will be about the type of seating and the flow of traffic. Since I’m sensitive to the back of house operation, I like to consider the staff access to their storage/prep area. Well stocked bars and food means happy guests. I’m also not a fan of a bar too close to the entrance of an event.  Event planners know that folks tend to stop and linger and it becomes crowded.  Once you have placed that, you’ll want to consider seating.  I love a lounge area, and think they work great in many applications, but it eats up space. The footprint of one sofa that seats 3-4 people is the same as a table that can seat 10 people.  Also, round tables typically use more space than long tables.

There are plenty of other rules out there and some very gifted event planners that can coach you through the process.  Happy planning!

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