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Event seating matters and can have a big impact on the look and feel of your event. Banish boring and uninspiring furniture choices and get inspired with quirky chair options.
Your event seating choices need to be comfortable, stylish and functional or perhaps even make a statement. You want your event seating to stand out and reflect you and your event, rather than being memorable for looking outdated or being uncomfortable.
Different events have different seating needs and you need to consider:
- Event Type – Is your seating befitting of your event? Is it a formal or casual event? Is the focus on learning?
- Length Of Sitting – The longer you require your attendees to sit, the more comfortable you need them to be. Make sure they are paying attention to the event rather than thinking how uncomfortable they are, impacting the overall experience.
- Venue – Is the furniture going to be in a busy area that needs to accommodate many guests in a small space? What is the color and decor of the room? These factors may affect the size and style of your preferred seating?
- Logistics – If you are renting furniture you will need to consider the logistics. When will it be delivered and collected and what are the unloading instructions for the venue. You may need the furniture to be stored and so details need to be checked with the venue. Likewise if you are renting furniture it is likely to be your responsibility to set it out, unless otherwise agreed with the venue.
- The Budget – How much are you willing to spend? What furniture is included from the venue? If the venue furniture is outdated is it worthwhile covering with chair covers to transform it instead or renting furniture?
These 17 seating examples will allow you stand out and distance yourself from traditional or boring furniture options.
1. Backless Benches
These simple but elegant benches can fit a lot of guests into a small area and allow families and kids to easily sit together. The downside is that without backs they provide little support so aren’t suitable for long periods. You can dress these benches up with cushions, florals or even fabric covers if you choose.
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Credit: Plush Catering
For a laid back or lounge vibe, these velvet chairs let attendees sit back and relax and would be a good alternative to provide relaxation and comfort! Be warned, you may not get attendees back up again if your event has a transition and they are too comfortable.
Credit: Granger Hertzog Ltd
Cardboard furniture can be a fun alternative that is not only perfect for trade shows and exhibitions where you need something quick and mobile but it is also budget friendly too! These would fit well at sustainability focused events for eco-friendly attendees and they can be easily recycled or re-used.
Credit: Fold Life
Give your attendees a break with a nap pod at your event. Particularly for long trade shows, exhibitions or multi-day events, nap pod seats could give some quick rejuvenating shut eye to your guests before getting back to the matter at hand. Just make sure your guest limit their nap to 15 or 20 minutes maximum, overwise instead of feeling rejuvenated they will feel worse!
If you are looking for virtually free event planning ideas then this is a seating option for you that can make do with a variety of different cushions, blankets or old rugs to be placed on the floor.
Particularly useful for utilising dead space such as corners or with round tables, curved sofas can create a cosy networking space and look elegant and inviting.
Credit: Crest Events
Incorporate tech into your seating by having “smart” benches or chairs that could have things such as WiFi hotspots or charging ports as an excellent trade show idea. Having these options near or around your booth would encourage more traffic and would be enticing as part of a trade show sponsorship package.
Credit: Igor Salopek
For meetings you are looking to provide comfort and practicality to encourage getting down to work. Choosing ergonomic chairs shows that guest comfort is considered, along with their working capacity, which can encourage productivity. Plus meeting chairs with wheels allow for a lot of movement without much need for standing (and they are more fun too!)
Credit: Corporate Design Interiors
If you are looking for a more relaxed corporate environment that not only allows for conversations and negotiating but comfort over longer periods of time these leather loungers mean business. They look smart and business-like but have the extra comfort that could be required for lengthy meetings or deals.
Credit: Mugwump Productions
A surprisingly comfortable and quirky alternative are deck chairs or foldable beach chairs that give off a sense of relaxation so when put in a business, corporate or trade show environment they stand out. They also have fantastic branding and signage possibilities as seen in this example.
These modern chair options house a small platform for holding a tablet, screen or to take notes. This could make them a space saving alternative at conferences rather than having seating and tables for attendees.
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Credit: Furniture Options
Short cube stools can be an informal seating choice that can save more space in lounge areas but these take things one step further by introducing LED lighting glowing inside. Due to the nature of the design they don’t get hot but can be displayed in a variety of different colours and can even match other furniture such as this table.
Credit: Daniel Lay Event Services
A low-cost, rustic and fun idea that can be easily spruced up to suit your event are hay bales. They can be fabric draped and can be easily manoeuvred to suit your event and amount of attendees. The only downside is that they tend to break apart so are not reusable, but they can be donated to local farms or animal shelters once you are done!
Bean bags are a fun seating option and can be used to create lounge areas that are extremely comfortable, indoors and out. You can also opt for larger bean bags that envelop attendees and could even create nap areas at your event so would suit multi-day events with low budgets.
Modular or wedge seats can be another fantastic option to utilize excess space and in many cases are more adaptable for attendees as they can be pushed together to form circles for better conversations and networking opportunities.
If you are looking for flexibility and a chance to show off your creativity you could make seating options specifically to suit your event using these giant blocks. As part of the entertainment or networking you could even set attendee challenges to make their own furniture in teams for preparation for a talk or stage portion. Either way these would add some nostalgia and amusement to your event.
Add an element of fun to your serious event by introducing indoor swings that can be both entertaining and create a buzz.
Credit: Four Corners Interiors Ltd
It is important to remember to pick the right seating for your event and your attendees but don’t be afraid to do something different. For many attendees, quirky seating is likely to offer a memorable experience and enhance their overall take on the event. Don’t limit your furniture choices to what is offered by your venue, get creative and make a statement!