Room Layouts suitable for group training
So you are having a training session or meeting – have you considered what layout would be best for you?
Have you ever had a meeting in a room that was in a different configuration from your usual format?
Was the meeting more or less effective than normal?
This guide can be used when you ‘book’ or hire a training or meeting room. Remember to state the layout and the number of participants required.
Importance of effective room layout
Room layout should not just be set by the number of people required, but by the purpose of the event.
Key factors: –Where is the centre of attention –Do people need to interact with each other? –Do you want people in groups without moving people around?
Lecture Theatre – room layout
Advantages – If room is well designed, excellent visibility
Disadvantages – Poor trainer/ participant contact, Back rows should be elevated, University like
U Shape – room layout
Advantages – Business Like, Trainer can walk into U
Disadvantages – Formal, Front participants having to look at an angle
Seminar/ Amphitheatre – room layout
Advantages and disadvantages as Lecture theatre
Herring Bone – room layout
Advantages – Space effective for large numbers, All participants are at a good angle to the front, Trainer can walk down spine
Disadvantages – Several participants hidden by others, Reminiscent of school, Encourages dysfunctioning groups, Relatively poor contact
BoardRoom – room layout
Advantages - Good for small groups, can see/ interact with others, can share resources, creates equality
Disadvantages – Difficult for some to ‘see the front’,
Circle or ’round’ room layout
Advantages - Creates Equality, Good for small groups, can see/ interact with others, can share resources
Disadvantages – Formal, participants having to look at an angle
Cabaret, Gala or Bistro – room layout
Advantages – Good for larger numbers, Good for group work, Encourages mixing, Trainer can circulate
Disadvantages – Some participants will have poor visibility, May encourage lack of attention, Needs multimadia (PA & mic for best effect)
When you run your meeting or training event, its not just room layout that is important, its about matching the room layout with the trainers style, the material to be covered and the required outcomes. The room shape and design can make or break an event.