Everyone loves the idea of a round table. It seems like the best way for guests to interact, most conducive to conversation – right?
I’d like to say – wrong. Or at least not the best way to provide guest interaction.
Ever sat at a round table during a busy event? There are 200 other people in the room talking. There is a string quartet in the corner. The wait staff is yelling in the service hallway. And – you are seated at least 5′ away from the person across from you. The general din of the room causes you to raise your voice.
“Oh yeah – you’re son is killing chickens for porn?” (what they actually said was selling tickets for Korn, but close enough.)
Roman tables, banquet tables, family style tables all offer a better guest interactive experience. You are only seated 2.5 feet away from the people across from you and you have people on either side, so realistically you can visit with 5 people easily. Sitting at a round table puts you at least 5′ away from the person directly across from you and speaking around the people on either side of you.
Maybe you have gone to an event recently. You’re eating and talking while trying to pay attention to the person 5 (or 6) feet away from you. Eventually, concentrating and saying, ‘excuse me’ gets old and you may end up only speaking to the people on either side of you. And if one of them happens to be married to you – you might as well stay home and pretend to listen to them there.
A few things to keep in mind when selecting tables:
- you can fit more people into a space using banquet tables
- banquet tables have very little ‘dead’ space in the center of the table. round tables have at least 24″ of unused space in the center. it is often more cost effective to decorate banquet tables. however, if you want large mounded centerpieces with many levels, the round table will be a better fit.
- if you need to seat more people at a single table, banquet tables can be pushed together to make squares or roman style tables, allowing more flexibility for seating.
- overlay options will be more limited with banquet tables – runners will probably be the most widely available option.
- mixing and matching both styles of table is perfectly acceptable and becoming more popular. it contributes to the psychology of a party – creating variations for a more active guest.