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8 Headaches You Avoid When You Design Your Event Floor Plan First

November 20, 2015

With great event planning comes great responsibility, and to pull off an event that will have all the tongues wagging (in a good way), you need to plan like a pro.

An event floor plans is the blueprints to your event’s success. To make sure participants are able to move freely among all the activities and amenities you need to consider crowd dynamics, space, and capacity. Tackling this sticky wicket first will make the rest of your event planning go a lot more smoothly. Here are the headaches you’ll avoid when you put the floor plan first.

1. Not Enough Room

Not only do you need to accommodate all the attendees you expect, but you need to make sure there’s plenty of room for eating, socializing, networking, speaking, dancing, and any other activity that will be part of your event. Mapping out your desired event floor plan in advance will save you from a nasty surprise when you start setting up and realize there’s nowhere for the DJ to stand.

2. No Access to Power

Most modern-day events require some kind of technology. Whether it’s a sound system, a video presentation, or something interactive, nearly everything we use needs power. When you determine the floor plan early you can make sure to keep access to outlets and other power sources free and clear.

3. Crazy Aunt Marge Seated Next to Angry Uncle Harry

Seating charts are the key to a happy, harmonious gathering. Whether it’s a wedding or a corporate training it’s important to seat the right people together and keep those with active grudges far apart. Include a detailed seating chart as part of your event floor plan to make it easy to avoid awkward silences and angry confrontations.

4. Poor Lighting

If you wait until the last minute to decide where the stage will be you can end up with a speaker who has to regale the audience from a black hole. Lighting is crucial for ambiance and highlighting the right things. When you know exactly where everything should go you’ll be able to plan lighting accordingly and won’t have to worry about leaving anyone in the dark.

5. Traffic Jams

You’ll be hosting a lot of people, and the last thing you want is everyone clogged up outside the bathrooms or in front of the registration table. Be mindful of the flow of foot traffic when designing your floor plan and make sure everyone is able to easily get from one area to another without getting hung up or trampled.

6. Fish Instead of Beef

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Nothing’s worse than ordering the beef and being served the fish instead (or vice versa). Protect your event participants from these kinds of mix-ups by including meal choices in your seating chart and floor plan. This is a simple way to keep everyone happy and make life easy for the catering and serving staff.

7. Uncomfortable Mix-ups

Make sure your attendees, presenters, staff and volunteers don’t accidentally show up in the wrong place at the wrong time. A clear, well-planned event floor plan gives you the time to make sure every detail of your event has a home, making it easy to communicate what is happening where to everyone involved. You’ll avoid a pileup of unnecessary confusion by making the floor plan your first priority.

8. Lack of Accessibility

You need to make sure all attendees have access to every part of your event. Planning things in advance gives you the chance to address special needs for elderly participants, children, and those with disabilities. Your floor plan should include alternatives to stairs, wide enough rows to accommodate wheelchairs or crutches, and things like handrails for those who need some extra stability as well as keeping dangerous items out of little hands. The only way to make sure everything’s covered is to plan in advance.

When it comes to creating an event that people will remember, it’s great to consider the food and how to stock the bar, but the foundation to any successful gathering is an impeccable floor plan. A little extra time up-front will pay huge dividends when your event goes off without a hitch.

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