Selecting Venues and Assessing Capacity

If you're like most people, you might have a little difficult imagining exactly how many people might fit in a particular space or knowing what size venue you should seek for a specific kind of activity or event. Whether you're planning a dance class, a baby shower, a fundraiser, or any other kind of activity, you want your guests to be comfortable and safe. Luckily, there are some simple guidelines that can make you like a lot easier!

Check out our fun little infographic -- The (Unofficial) Guide to Space and Capacity" -- about the many ways you can use 1,000 square feet and how the capacity changes depending on the type of activity or event. Also, feel free to use our handy dandy calculator to the right to do some quick calculations.

The most common layouts are...

"The Anniversary Party" (Banquet)

This layout is familiar to anyone who has ever been to a wedding, b'nai mitzvah, or political fundraiser. Your guests are seated around 6' or 8' tables. Estimate 14 square feet per person.

"The Seminar" (Classroom)

Teaching a class or a workshop? This layout is for any activity where guests are seated at tables or desks that are facing in one direction (toward the teacher/speaker). Estimate 24 square feet per person.

"The Talent Show" (Theater)

If you're planning to screen a movie or otherwise entertain people, this layout is probably suitable. Your guests are seated in rows of chairs facing one direction -- presumably, toward a stage. Estimate 13 square feet per person.

"The Yoga Class" (Fitness/Dance)

If you're teaching yoga, pilates, dance, or another type of class with lots of physical activity, you want to make sure your guests have plenty of room to move around. Estimate 40 square feet per person.

"The Cocktail Party" (Standing Reception)

Networking events and receptions generally discourage seating because the guests are supposed to meet and mingle! This layout has minimal furniture to get in the way and guests generally stand the entire time. Estimate 8 square feet per person.

"The Town Meeting" (Hollow Square)

If you're hosting a meeting or discussion group, your guests will likely be seated in way that enables them to see each other (a hollow square or circle, or around a large conference table). Estimate 30 square feet per person.

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