For estimating the maximum seating capacity per square foot of a room, use the following formulas:
For Banquet Seating
With oblong (banquet) tables, divide the room area in square feet by 8 With round tables, divide the room area in square feet by 10 For more comfortable seating (if space is available), allow an additional 2 sq ft per person.
For Classroom Seating
Divide seating area in square feet by 8
For Theatre or Cathedral Style Seating (in rows)
Divide spectator seating area in square feet by 6 36" distance between rows of chairs should suffice for aisle comfort The above calculations are meant to be used for a quick, general approximation and do not allow for problems caused by service doors, unique room shapes, locations of columns and wide traffic aisles. Seating capacity of a room will also vary depending upon type of table service and type of event.
When dancing and entertainment is included in an event, rarely is everyone on the dance floor at one time. Figure 2-4 sq ft per person on the dance floor and approx 100 sq ft for the DJ/Band area. Most floors come in 3 ft x 3 ft sections. Using an average of 3 sq ft for each person on the dance floor, you can use the following as a guide:
Dance Floor Size
12ft x 18ft
15ft x 18ft
15ft x 24ft
15ft x 30ft
28ft x 28ft
Table Seating Space Requirements
Aside from main traffic aisles, allow the following:
A - 54" between round tables for chair and service space B - 60" between oblong tables where seating is back-to-back C - 24" between ends of oblong tables with no seating D - 42" between end of oblong table with no seating and side of oblong table with seating Where food service is not required and seating is on one side of the table, allow 36" between tables.
Seating Capacity Per Table
Round Tables - 3 ft (36") diameter
2 - 4
Round Tables - 4 ft (48") diameter
Round Tables - 5 ft (60") diameter
8 - 10
Round Tables - 6 ft (72") diameter
10 - 12
Oblong Tables - 6 ft (30" x 72")
6 - 8
Oblong Tables - 8 ft (30" x 96")
8 - 10
*For cocktail parties with limited seating.
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