Hi Guy! Welcome to today’s lectures on the 24Rentz Academy. Hope you’re doing great?
Today’s lecture aims to help you learn everything you need to know about floor plans, and also of how to make them great. I’d be giving you 10 pro tips for event floor plan design.
Note that these tips have been used by 24Rentz staff and a host of other professional event planners. Trust me, you’d really love these tips.
That said and done, let’s move
10 professional tips for designing Event floor plans
- Get the Correct Floor Measurement
- Confirm the guest list
- Make it Intuitive
- Measure the sound
- Create Enough space for Movement
- Plan traffic routes
- Consider Persons with Disability
- Keep Safety in Mind
- Use software or Mapping
- Test Run
Remember, “Guests don’t notice a good floor plan. They just easily fit into the event and begin to network, dance and enjoy themselves. Guests however notice a bad floor plan cause it’s inconveniencing, tough to navigate, depressing and stressful. Most times, they try to rearrange their seats themselves.”
I’d explain each part of this subheadings in detail:
1. Get the Correct Floor Measurement
Always ensure that you have the correct floor measurement before creating a floor plan. A lot of event planners make the mistake of not doing this.
For venues booked from 24Rentz, we give the correct measurement right on the venue page. However, if you book outside or physically, do well to go to the venue and measure it yourself.
The correct measurement includes checking the:
- Car Park Size
- Hall floor perimeter
- Hall height (distance from floor to ceiling)
- Measurement of the waiting room, backstage, stage(if built), doors.
The measurements are the benchmark of your floor plan. If you don’t get them right, your floor plan gets sour.
Pro Tip: go physically with measuring tools and get this done. Keep the measurements safe, for future purposes. (If you’re not booking from 24Rentz)
2. Confirm the Guest List
Like I said in previous lectures, the guest list is very important. By this, I mean the total number of expected guests.
I know this can be tricky in Africa, but depending on your client’s network, event type and his maximum size, make an assumption. Don’t be limited in this assumption. Plan for a maximum number of persons, and even for an overflow.
The expected number of guests would determine the floor plan, and influence choice of venue as well as type of tables used. Get it right
3. Make it Intuitive
Many African event planners totally ignore this law when planning their event. They don’t design their floor plan to be intuitive.
“An intuitive floor plan is one where the guests naturally know how to navigate, without being led”
Key features of an intuitive floor plan include but are not limited to:
- Everyone can see the action from their seat
- Every guest naturally knows where to seat
- There’re enough natural signs to guide a guest to the restroom or a speaker to the stage.
- Guests feel like they already know the place.
- Servers can easily know where they have served
When your event is not intuitive, you’d have people sitting at the wrong tables and extra work for your staff. You’d also have to deal with people having to stand up to see the stage.
4. Measure The Sound
It is very crucial that you measure the sound. You don’t just do this because of you want to be a professional, you do it for ethical reasons.
Every city has their sound measurement rules, and their permitted noise levels. Within the event, there’s also a permitted volume at each stage of the event.
If you have a good DJ or sound rental vendor, you can easily get this measured. However, you need to learn how to do this, just in case the vendor can’t. Here’s a resource to help you.
Apart from using computer or even smartphone software to measure sound, optimal sound of an event should allow people seating on the same table to hear themselves, perfectly well.
In your floorplan, give an estimate of number of speakers which you feel can cover the hall. I usually assume a measurement of 4-feet, two woofer speakers per 50 Square metres.
5. Create Enough Space for Movement
Have you ever attended an event where it was virtually impossible to go out? You had to literally push chairs and tables to get to greet a friend or network. That’s a symptom of a poor event floor plan.
You have to design enough space into your floorplan, so as to ensure that guests, ushers and even vehicles have enough space.
You don’t want to be announcing to vehicles to move so others can park. Neither do you want it to be stuffing to sit down or move around.
6. Plan Traffic Routes
By this, I mean have a plan for locations that would have high traffic within the hall.
Places like the door, walkway, stage all need to have enough space. Don’t start setting chairs from the door, give enough waiting space. Let the walkway to the stage be well spaced, and also in between tables.
Event planning is like town planning. Your roadmap should take into cognisance the amount of traffic that passes through each session, and the size of people passing through. Don’t create an in-table space that can contain kids, when the guests are obese adults.
When you have a good traffic plan, evacuation of the hall would be very easy.
7. Consider Person’s with Disability
It is ethical for you to consider persons with disability. Though this rule is flaunted in many developing countries, it is compulsory in the US.
The ADA(Association of Disabled Americans) have their rules regarding this which can be applied to any event.
Create pathways in your plans for them, add spacing within their tables and a path for them to move. Put a podium for a sign translator and aids for blind persons.
However, if the guest list doesn’t have any of these persons coming, there’s no need to go to that extreme.
Pro Tip: Everyone has a disability, one way or the other. If the guests are elderly, then you should consider that. Be sympathetic to the guests.
8. Keep Safety in Mind
You have to keep safety in mind when designing your event floor plan. This entails the following:
- Space for extinguishers
- Security exit pathways
- Security protocol
When planning your floor plan, bear this in mind.
9. Use Software or Mapping
There are a lot of quality software on the web that can be of help.
Use them to create 3D event floor plans, simulations, CAD or even sketches.
If you feel they’re too expensive, use a cardboard to create maps. Create aerial views, draw 3D or use architectural designs. Try to be as visual as possible.
10. Test Run
If you’re using an event floor plan software, run a simulation of the plan. It would help you know places to tweak.
Many of these software are used in America, and have realistic templates of venues within the U.S. Feel free to download the one for your venue(if in the US) or that suits your venue (outside).
Software simulation should not replace a physical walkthrough. Run a physical test of your plan with your staff. Test security protocols, evacuation, sight line, etc. Make sure it’s realistic and that movement of even food and drinks can happen in record time.
So, we have come to the end of today’s lecture. I have given you Ten tips for event floor plan designs. By now, you should be searching for event floor plan software and creating quality event floor plan layout.
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Best of Luck!