Engineering | Event Planning Guide

Location

Selecting a Location

Now that you have the basic information for the event you can check out the location. Do this as soon as you can, especially if you are planning an event on campus. Meeting space at ASU can be booked two years in advance and is often completely booked six months in advance.

Location Basics

Ask what are you getting with the space?  Does the room have tables, chairs, a podium, a white board, a screen, linen, etc.? Every event has a different room setup and not all locations are appropriate for all events, which is why these items are so important for planning the perfect event. When looking at space keep in mind the size of the group and the seating arrangement.

When reserving a location, have the following information in mind:

  • The date of the event and a list of backup dates.
  • The time of the event and whether you will need early access.
  • Number of persons in attendance.
  • Setup and audio/visual equipment needs.
  • Food/beverage needs.
  • Does the location have a preferred caterer you are forced to use?
  • What is on the floor? (walking on a cement flooring will be noisy while carpet softens most sounds)
  • Does the room have the right acoustics to accommodate your needs?
  • Is the building open during the event time or is it only accessible with a key card after certain hours of the day?
  • Check when your suppliers can access the area for delivery and pickup.
  • Do you have to do the room setup (arrange the tables and chairs) or is that service included?
  • Is the location easily accessible by car? If you are providing transport, such as a coach or minibus, ensure that this is accessible too.
  • Consider carefully the arrangements for car parking and dropping off passengers at the venue.
  • If outside: Will it be lit up enough at night? Is the space shaded? Do you have access to restrooms close by? Do you need heaters or cooling fans? What is your rainy day backup plan? Check to see if you need to have sprinklers turned off for your event.
Room Size Estimates

For a rough estimate of the size of the room needed, multiply the number of people by the appropriate square footage per person from the formulas below. To determine if a certain meeting room can accommodate a desired setup, divide the room’s total square footage by the appropriate square footage per person from the formulas below. This is only a rough estimate. Room configurations always depend on the shape of the room, what is already in the room that cannot be moved, the amount of décor and other variables.

Theater Seating

  • 12 square feet per person for groups of 60 people or less – allows room for a normal size stage and aisles.
  • 11 square feet per person for groups of 60 to 300 people – allows room for a normal size stage and aisles.
  • 10 square feet per person for groups of more than 300 people – allows room for a normal size stage and aisles.

Classroom Seating

  • 22 square feet per person for groups of 60 people or less.
  • 20 square feet per person for groups of 60 to 300 people.
  • 18 square feet per person for groups of more than 300 people.

Banquet Seating

  • 20 square feet per person – allows room for bars, buffets, a dance floor and a stage.
  • 15 square feet per person, sit down dinner – allows room for table seating only.

Reception Seating

  • 10-12 square feet per person.

Hollow Square

  • 30 square feet per person.

U-Shape

  • 35 square feet per person.
Seating Arrangements
  • Theater Seating – rows of chairs without tables.
  • Classroom Seating – rows of chairs with tables. Tables are usually six to eight feet long.
  • Banquet Seating – Round tables with chairs. See equipment for table sizes.
  • Reception Seating – combination of high cocktail tables and round tables with chairs.
  • Hollow Square – setup up of six or eight foot tables; used for conferences and meetings.
  • U-Shape – setup up of six or eight foot tables; used for conferences and meetings.