Etiquette for Event Managers - Seating Plan (part 3)

In these miniseries, Etiquette for event-managers, you will learn everything you need to know about etiquette, as an organizer. Expert Vincent Vermeulen explains today how to draw up a seating-plan.

13-05-2019 -  by Kevin Van der Straeten

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Transcript

In these miniseries, Etiquette for event-managers, you will learn everything you need to know about etiquette, as an organizer. Expert Vincent Vermeulen explains today how to draw up a seating-plan.

 

Hi Vincent, welcome back to our studio.

 

Thank you.

 

Today we are going to talk about who sits where. Actually, the seating-plan.

 

Yes, the seating-plan. It's always a bit of a daunting exercise for, for example, brides or CEO's. Who are we going to put where?

 

A stressful moment.

 

It is, it is. Now, what we first have to discuss is the placement of the tables itself. Do we really have to have the vice-president's table next to the one of the CEO, et cetera, et cetera. Well, we don't if we don't need to. Because the ambiance of the table is actually at the table itself. We would rarely talk to somebody, you know, at the table next to us.

 

Except when we start walking around.

 

Yes.
For example, the CEO would get up or the bride would get up. Go from table to table and then say hello to everyone. So, that's taken care of.
Nevertheless, the table itself, we could have two possible solutions. The first one is the French table. The other one is the English table. If you look at, let's say, a rectangular table, we would have at the French table the host and hostess in front of each other, at the long side of the table. The English table would be the same, but they would on the short side. So, farther away from each other. Whatever the table is, on the right side of the hostess, should be the guest of honour. To the right side of the host, should be the partner of the guest of honour. Regardless of the gender.
Because that's what I get a lot: do we have to put male-female, male-female? Well, these days, that's not a certainty anymore. You could do it. But the most important thing is, let's say, the conversation at the table. So, you could easily put together people who have the same topic interest. Such as people in the banking world or maybe in the sports world. So, it's actually the ambiance of the evening, which has the priority. Not so much who sits where. Of course, if you go to really formal events, that's something else. If you look at, you know, state banquets, something else.
But, we can never lose sight of the aspect, during an event, that it could be, also, a commercial endeavour. So, you could strategically place people as well.

 

Yes, and especially on weddings. There's always an uncle who can't talk to another one.

 

Yes, exactly. Because they have a history together. Let's put it that way.

 

Yes, indeed.
We're talking, now, about long tables. But on events we see a lot of round tables.

 

Yes, so like King Arthur. He always said: who's sitting at the head of the Round Table? Well, no-one. Everyone was equal. But what I would advise there, is: if you have a round table, to put the host facing the door. In front of him, on the other side of the table, would be the hostess. And then again, we would respect the fact, that we have the guest of honour to the right of the hostess. And the partner of the guest of honour to the right of the host.

 

And then you just follow the circle.

 

And then you follow, exactly.

 

Okay Vincent, thank you very much.

 

My pleasure.

 

Looking forward to the next episodes.

 

Thank you, so do I.

 

And you at home, thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next week.

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