Standard banqueting chairs included in your venue rental may be cost effective and functional, but is that the vibe you want to bring to your next event? If you are looking to experiment here are 18 fun seating ideas to consider instead.
Seating needs to be in keeping with the event purpose and themes but also provide comfort and functionality that works with the spaces available. This can be a difficult balance to find, particularly if you are looking for something different to make an impact without a huge budget to spend or wanting to create too many logistical headaches to overcome. We have a variety of different examples that can be adapted to many event types so you can have a little seating flair without compromising on functionality.
This giant inflatable chair could fit several guests or you could opt for something smaller and individual for your attendees. These would be perfect for beach or outdoor events if you have a lot of guests but are unable to transport large, heavy furniture, so long as you have the air to inflate them. Simply, let them down, box them up and carry them away afterwards.
Credit: Lyndise Anne
Rose Wire Stools
These stools are stylish and light with low backs which are perfect for short meetings or exchanges without taking too much space. The rose colour can complement many colour schemes and the metal frame creates a more modern feel.
Credit: Picobello Renting
Technically not seating but opting for standing meetings or layouts can be beneficial to your event. For meetings it encourages short bursts of information exchange that are relevant, easier to digest and avoid going over time, while for open larger layouts, standing (also known as cocktail style) are better to facilitate networking and allow greater capacity in your venue.
Credit: Howe Furniture
Perfect for some outdoor event camouflage, or providing a quirky effect indoors, these grass covered chairs can be comfortable, fun and a great photo opportunity. Like in this example you can opt to keep it small and simple with singular chairs or go larger with sofas. You can even create a “green” carpet to compliment sustainability or green themed event.
Add a sense of royalty and regal elegance to an event with high back and extravagant chairs such as this. The golden cushions and lining compliment the theme and will make attendees feel more important!
Credit: Designs By Javy
You can create diverse seating areas in lounges or parts of your venue by adding a selection of different types of seating. For example, here the combination of sofas, stools and benches give attendees a range and choice while making use of all of the space.
These stunning stools and ottomans create unique low-level seating ideas that would be great for meetings and brainstorming as well as lounge areas. The hexagon pattern helps to push them together closer to extend the seating and utilize all of the venue space. Plus, they are easy to move around for adaptable seating.
Credit: Valiant, Philip Carr Events
While traditional in a church, pews can be turned into fun seating ideas when taken outside like in this example or used in chevron style floor plans. As they have backs to them they can be more comfortable than benches and if you are expecting prolonged sitting periods then you can add cushions or chair covers.
Credit: Handpicked Crop
Clear or crystal seating can create interesting effects and is useful because it goes with everything and can be reused for multiple events. From winter themes to this garden party idea, transparent seating is an upcoming furniture trend to keep an eye on.
Credit: Zalmo Wedding Rental
Hammocks can be fun and interesting seating options, particularly for corporate retreats, lounge or relaxation areas at your event which can also encourage brainstorming. They can be freestanding or use existing trees to be put up so they can be used at a variety of venues, plus you can get giant versions that seat multiple people which are more fun.
Bar stools are a great idea if you are looking to complement small tables and avoid taking up too much venue space but they are also excellent for conferences. When you have a temporary or small stage such as this one, bar stools can raise speakers or panellists above the seated floor guests to improve the view and avoid cluttering up the stage with larger furniture.
Credit: Waridi Events
Trees stumps and cut-down logs can be turned into interesting seating with a variety of different sizes and shapes. The different effects will depend on the tree and size of the trunk but you can cut out a full seat from larger pieces or like this example turn them into simple stools. Adding fabric draping, cushions and staining them for protection will make them last longer and more comfortable for guests.
Old barrels can be used as seats in a variety of ways for rustic or outdoor events because they are naturally sturdy and have a flat top. You could either cut them down like in this example to create shorter stools, build a more elaborate chair or alternatively dig a full-sized barrel partly into the ground for stability and use that for attendees. As seen here, you can also provide more comfort as the rims can dig into the back of your legs by adding cushions or padding.
Credit: Abbas Marquees
These are perfect for outdoor events, particularly if you require tables along with seating as it is a combined alternative. Although they can be bulky to move and transport, there are lighter, foldable options that could be temporary solutions for some events. Others prefer the use of these sturdy alternatives to accommodate group seating clusters.
Credit: Event Rents AZ
Turn benches, existing features or natural elements into seating with the addition of pillows, to not only outline the seating area, but provide more comfort. They can be used with floor and blanket options for those who are sitting for a long time or they can be added to sofas, benches or existing seating and be branded for marketing or sponsorship opportunities.
Credit: Work The Room Productions
Short stools take up minimal space, are easy to manoeuvre for networking and groups and are also quite comfortable. They are perfect for utilizing extra space in the room, especially if you can’t fit any more larger pieces of furniture and can also facilitate odd number of guests.
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For the frugal event planner, pallet furniture and seating can be a fun alternative to make that doesn’t cost much. You can opt for easier stools and benches, like in this example, or something more elaborate such as sofas and arm chairs. Either way it’s a great way to keep furniture in budget.
Credit: Corvid Events
Sofas are popular for event lounges due to their comfort but turn them quirky by changing the setting they are in, like with these lined up sofas and small coffee tables for this conference layout. This is particularly useful if you are expecting a longer speaker presentation as attendees will be comfortable to give them their full attention.
Credit: In Events Malaga
It’s important to remember that taking seating out of its usual format at events can turn something traditional into a quirky alternative which creates unique effects and enhances the user experience. Seating doesn’t have to be boring, just ensure you select the right type for your event purpose and the spaces you are working with.