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Avoid The Cheap Seats At Your Next Event
Shhh..... Can I please have your attention?
Yes, we've all unfortunately heard those dreaded words from the MC while they try and wrangle a room of guests absorbed in conversation and their attention focused anywhere but towards the stage. Of course, there are many reasons why attention is lost or never gained in the first place such as dreadful MC's, poor audio, lack of live to screen camera shots and poor atmosphere. However, there is one solution to ensuring your guests are at least always facing the on-stage action - get rid of the "cheap seats".
The dreaded cheap seats
Cheap Seats force guests to turn their seats to see the stage. Every event with activity on the stage has the potential for the dreaded ‘cheap seats’ – you know the two seats at a table of 10 that leave your guest with no choice but to sit sideways on their chair and strain their neck to see what is happening on stage. The ticket price is always the same for the cheap seats. These events could have a perfectly comfortable chair with a nice padded back, it may even be dressed to the nines with a lovely chair cover but there’s always the guest who either came later than everyone else, wasn’t paying attention to where the stage was or ‘drew the short straw’ and ended up in these seats. The rest of the evening will be spent swinging sideways then back towards the table, feeling the pressure to engage with people at the table but doing the awkward spin when something happens on stage. Let us not forget one of the highlights of the event…the food. If you are sitting in this seat you just hope they stop all formalities when food arrives so you can actually enjoy it versus the internal struggle of whether to pay attention to what is happening on stage or enjoy the asparagus wrapped in bacon.
Make space for cabaret
Removing the cheap seats allows all guests to easily see the stage and presenter Oh you thought someone forgot to set two chairs at the table? No – that space is left there by design so everyone at the table can see the stage. The Cabaret seating layout is ideal for almost all events from Conferences to Gala Awards. After all, isn’t that why everyone is gathered together – even if bacon-wrapped asparagus is pretty amazing – you didn’t spend months planning this event for 20% of the guests at the table to miss part of it. The other benefit of a table of 8 is it ensures everyone is facing the front of the room. A large event and even smaller events can have many moving parts occurring around the room and with your guests all facing forward – often you can avoid them seeing or focusing on the function of the event and focus on the event. The single barrier to Cabaret seating is space vs guest numbers. By removing 2 seats at every table of 10 there is obviously a reduction in seating capacity. So if you can afford the space with your guest numbers aim for Cabaret seating for the comfort of 1/5 th of your attending audience.
If you can't Remove 2 seats can you add 2 screens?
If you can't afford to lose two seats at every table it is worth the exercise to see if you can afford to add two projection screens instead. The next best solution is to ensure you have screens not only at the front of the room but also at the sides or rear of the room. If budget allows also try to at least have one camera for image magnification of the on stage presentations. Guests may not have their attention focused on stage during the entire night's proceedings but they will at least have the comfort of not having to twist uncomfortably around for the duration of the event. This solution ensures that every guest has a comfortable view of the stage even if they are unlucky enough to be placed in the cheap seats.