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How the layout of a room impacts your event at Savoy Place

Making sure the way a venue space is laid out can help make your guests feel relaxed and will also encourage engagement. The wrong room layout can often lead to the opposite and leave your guests feeling unengaged, frustrated or with a sore neck.

In this blog we will explain the various room layout options and provide the pros and cons for each, which will hopefully allow you to decide which layout will work well with your event or meeting.

Before we look at the different types of room layouts, as an event organiser you need to understand what you want to gain from your event, be it a team meeting or a multi-day conference.

It is always a good idea to ask yourself the following

  • How many people will be attending?
  • Will the event be in person, or will it be a hybrid event with guests attending virtually?
  • Will you need catering?
  • Will you need exhibitors? If so, this will reduce the amount of room.
  • What AV will be needed for the event – are you filming, if so that may reduce the amount of room, are you putting the event on a live stream, will there be presentations, Q&A sessions, or breakouts?
  • Will some level of social distancing still be required as a precaution?

Once you have these questions answered and chosen the right venue, then you can talk to the venue’s meeting and events coordinators to discuss the room and layout options available.

Theatre style

Theatre-style room layouts are ideal for events with larger audiences. It is popular for conferences, lectures, seminars, award ceremonies and product launches. Due to the layout of theatre-style type events, food consumption may be restricted so it is essential to have additional rooms for catering – see reception style.

Pros:

  • All seats face forwards so it makes for a great presentation layout.
  • Maximum seated capacity can be achieved.

Cons:

  • Difficult for the audience to interact amongst themselves as they’re not facing each other.

At Savoy Place, we have two bespoke lecture theatres with state-of-the-art AV facilities.

Kelvin Lecture Theatre

The Kelvin Lecture Theatre can host up to 451 people in tiered seating, the lecture theatre comes with 391 ground level seats and a further 30 on each of the two balconies, also accommodating up to nine speakers on stage.

Turing Lecture Theatre

The Turing Lecture Theatre can host up to 175 guests in tiered seating and is ideal for sharing ideas and information with an audience in a contemporary venue.

Banquet style

Banquet style is a classic room layout whereby you typically have clothed, round tables of 8-12 guests so that they can easily interact with each other. VIP guests, or wedding couples, would be more likely to be seated in the centre of the room so they will be right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the event.

This style of seating is usually used for weddings, dinners, awards evenings, and other formal dining or business events.

Pros:

  • Audience can fully interact with each other.

Cons:

  • If there is an award ceremony, entertainment, or a presentation a large number of people will need to turn their chairs to see.

At Savoy Place, we have several venue spaces that can be used with the banqueting style depending on the number of guests. We have two premier rooms that offer iconic event spaces.

Riverside Room

The Riverside Room offers outstanding AV facilities and ample room to host up to 300 guests, with views overlooking the River Thames both from inside and from a large private balcony.

The 4K video walls are so effective that your branding can be seen from the other side of Waterloo Bridge as you’re coming towards Savoy Place.

Johnson Roof Terrace

The stunning Johnson Roof Terrace is also available to hire in conjunction with the Riverside Room as a showstopping breakout area with views of the city catering for 200 guests.

Maxwell Library

The Maxwell Library is steeped in heritage and natural daylight, this atmospheric flat-floor event space sits within a functioning Library that contains some wonderful examples of historic engineering publications produced by the Institution.

Just outside in the library lobby, guests are invited to explore the IET’s in-house exhibition – 100 ideas that changed the world. A must-see when visiting Savoy Place, it is an impressive display of inanimate objects, vehicles, engineering concepts and even microscopic technologies that have changed the way we live.

Boardroom style

Boardroom style layout is ideal for guests who want to have discussions, brainstorming, training or listen to a speaker.

Typically, there will be a long table with seats around it and you would expect there to be TV screens on the wall to present to the room. Often these rooms have video conferencing facilities to allow others to dial in.

Pros:

  • All audience members facing inwards which encourages discussion.
  • Easily interchangeable with hybrid events

Cons:

  • Not practical when it comes to presentations as someone will always have their back to it.

At Savoy Place, we have several rooms that can be used with the boardroom style depending on the number of guests however we have three recommended rooms for boardroom and training style meetings.

Wedmore Boardroom

The Wedmore Boardroom is a modern, high-tech purpose-built London boardroom providing an air-conditioned, premium executive meeting room on the first floor for private or corporate events and senior/CEO level meetings.

Up to 26 guests can meet comfortably in the state-of-the-art boardroom with natural daylight, spectacular views over the Thames and cutting-edge audio-visual equipment. With screens positioned on the walls this room is ideal for allowing full participation if presentations are required or for hybrid events with guests attending the meeting remotely.

Siemens Boardroom

Up to 30 guests can meet comfortably in a boardroom or training style.

Blumlein Rooms

The Blumlein Rooms are a series of three highly flexible meeting spaces that are available to hire as a single, double or triple space with moveable partitioning walls.

Individual rooms can host about 8 guests boardroom style or as a combined room can host up to 30 guests.

Classroom style

Classroom style layout is where rectangular tables are set out in the style of a classroom environment, which lends itself to lectures, training sessions, seminars, examinations, or meetings that might require everyone to use a laptop. It makes note-taking easy too.

Guests don’t face each other so is usually better for events that do not require quest interaction.

Pros:

  • All seats face forward.
  • This is good for focussed learning events
  • The tables allow for note-taking along with the consumption of food and drink.

Cons:

  • Seating capacity is reduced from that of theatre-style due to the space required for the tables.

At Savoy Place, we have several venue spaces that can be used with the classroom style depending on the number of guests however we have three recommended rooms for classroom-style meetings.

Maxwell Library

The Maxwell Library is steeped in heritage and natural daylight, this atmospheric flat-floor event space sits within a functioning Library that contains some wonderful examples of historic engineering publications produced by the Institution.

Up to 99 guests can meet comfortably in a classroom style.

Haslett Room

The Haslett Room is one of our medium-sized event spaces for up to 120 people, boasting enviable views over the River Thames and lots of natural daylight.

Up to 36 guests can meet comfortably in a classroom style.

Watson-Watt Room

The Watson-Watt Room is a versatile room with natural daylight, a large projection screen and a lectern with a microphone.

Up to 45 guests can meet comfortably in a classroom style.

U-shape style

U-shape style layout is where rectangular tables are laid in a U shape. It is great for delegate interaction and makes it easy to focus on the presenter.

It’s commonly used in meetings, training sessions and workshops.

Pros:

  • Presenter can interact and engage with all audience members.
  • Audience can interact with each other.

Cons:

  • Unproductive use of floor space with an empty middle section.
  • Majority of the audience are sat side-on to the presentation area.

At Savoy Place, we have several venue spaces that can be used with the U-shape style, but three we would particularly recommend.

Mountbatten Exhibition Room

The Mountbatten Exhibition Room is a versatile room that can be used for large, collaborative meetings and presentations.

Up to 36 guests can meet comfortably in a U-shape style.

Marconi Room

The Marconi Room boasts lots of natural daylight and is constructed with two walls of tall windows, facing views of either the River Thames or of the Embankment Gardens which provide a perfect spot for delegates to take a break and get some fresh air.

Up to 30 guests can meet comfortably in a U-shape style.

Flowers Room

The Flowers Room on the ground floor is a versatile event space, boasting views over the River Thames and lots of natural daylight.

Up to 34 guests can meet comfortably in a U-shape style.

Cabaret style

Cabaret style seating is where guests are seated on two-thirds of the table all facing forward, so all delegates have a good view of the front of the room and the presenter.

It is especially useful if you want to have team activity or do group work. It is great for business events, workshops, award ceremonies and some working lunches with speakers.

Pros:

  • The open end allows the audience to see presentations.
  • At Savoy Place we use 6 foot half moon tables to minimise wasted floor space

Cons:

  • Inefficient use of floor space, seating capacity is reduced.

At Savoy Place, we have several venue spaces that can be used with the cabaret-style depending on the number of guests.

Watson-Watt Room

The Watson-Watt Room is a versatile room with natural daylight, a large projection screen and a lectern with a microphone, which can be set up to accommodate a variety of events for up to 100 guests.

Up to 48 guests can meet comfortably in a cabaret-style.

Marconi Room

The Marconi Room boasts lots of natural daylight and is constructed with two walls of tall windows, facing views of either the River Thames or of the Embankment Gardens which provide a perfect spot for delegates to take a break and get some fresh air.

Up to 36 guests can meet comfortably in a cabaret-style.

Reception style

Reception style has no seating but is for standing only.

This style makes the most efficient use of floor space, with guests free to mingle and socialise. This is popular for parties and social events.

Pros:

  • Audience can network freely mingling and roaming.
  • It offers the maximum room capacity and most efficient use of space.

Cons:

  • Standing only - no opportunity to sit or rest.
  • Not suitable for formal dining but ideal for bowl food, canapes and drinks

We have two premier rooms that offer iconic event spaces for receptions of 190 to 330 guests and smaller rooms that can cater for up to 120 guests.

Riverside Room

The Riverside Room offers the versatility of a large open plan room and AV facilities to host up to 330 guests. The additional option of the Johnson Roof Terrace provides a showstopping breakout area with views of the city catering for 200 guests.

Haslett Room

The Haslett Room on our ground floor is one of our medium-sized event spaces for up to 120 people, boasting enviable views over the River Thames and lots of natural daylight.

Up to 120 guests can meet comfortably in a reception style.

Flowers Room

The Flowers Room on the ground floor is a versatile event space for up to 120 people, boasting views over the River Thames and lots of natural daylight.

Up to 120 guests can meet comfortably in a reception style.