Your conference’s layout is every bit as important as what you’re hosting it for. An event with a terrible floor plan is extremely likely to end in disaster. For that reason, you need to make sure your conference uses its space as efficiently and effectively as possible.
That’s what we’re going to discuss in today’s piece – how can you determine the best floor plan for your conference?
Figure Out How Much Space You Actually Need
First and foremost…how much space are you actually going to require for your event? How many attendees are you expecting to show up, and how many exhibitors will be there? Are you going to be hosting a ton of keynotes? If so, how many people are going to be present for each one. What about meetings and round-tables?
You should draw up your exact needs first – before you even think about seeking out a venue.
Look At What You’ve Got To Work With
The first thing you’ll want to do is take a look at the venue you’re hosting with. How much space does it provide? Is there a selection of ‘default’ plans you can choose from, or are you more or less on your own as far as that’s concerned? Work with whoever’s responsible for managing your venue on this – they’ll be more than happy to assist you.
Understand How People Move
A few months back, I wrote up a piece on the connection between Event Management and Bar Science. One thing I concluded in that piece was that most of the venues featured on the show Bar Rescue had horrendous floor plans – the people who ran them had no idea how their staff and customers moved. You cannot afford to make the same mistakes they did.
Here are a few tips to that end:
- Know the most highly-trafficked areas of your event, and plan around them.
- Understand Crowd Dynamics, or how people tend to move when part of a large group.
- Keep aware tendency of prospective customers to stop and examine exhibitors and vendors.
- Practice the idea that simpler is better.
Examine A Few Of The Most Common (And Most Successful) Layouts
When designing your conference floor, there’s really no need to invent the wheel. Have a look at a few of the most common, most popular, and most successful layouts used by similar events, and incorporate them into your own. You’ll save yourself a whole lot of time and effort in the process.
Use An App
Some form of interactive floor planning tool is included in most event management applications. Make use of them, and use the tool to visualize how your event’s going to be laid out. It’ll help – trust me.
Even the best-planned event can turn into an utter circus if things aren’t properly laid out. A proper understanding of crowd dynamics, space, and capacity are vital where layout is concerned – if you lack even one, there’s a good chance your conference is going to wind up saddled with an inefficient floor plan. Don’t let that happen.