Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How many people will that room hold? – Revisited!

Back in July, I posted a piece talking about how to roughly calculate how many people a room could hold. (Click here to read the original post.) Given the popularity of that particular post, I decided to do this follow up – and include a free cheat sheet (link at end of post) for quick reference. This one page document gives me an easy way to know ahead of time how much space a particular event is likely to need.

Once again, here are the approximations I most frequently use:

Banquets (60” or 72” rounds): 15 square feet/person
Classroom (18” tables): 15 square feet/person
Classroom (30” tables): 20 square feet/person
Theater or Reception: 10 square feet/person
Hollow Square: 40 square feet/person

If you use my numbers and compare them to most space calculators, you will find that the calculators will usually give you more people in the same square footage than my estimates. This is because most calculators do not take into account audio-visual equipment – mine do. I also try to make sure that my attendees have enough space to be comfortable, instead of squished together as tightly as possible. My approximations take this “comfort factor” into account as well.

Please note that, if you have extensive audio-visual requirements or elaborate sets, you will need significantly more space. As always a property’s Convention Services Manager will be able to help you determine the best fit for your event in the spaces they have.

- Karl Baur, CMP • Project Director, RDL enterprises

Download Cheat Sheet (PDF)