Making sure you have enough space for your guests to be happy and comfortable isn’t as simple as making sure your area is big enough. Without a doubt, your tent or banquet hall seems enormous when it is empty. However, once you start filling it up with tables, chairs, staging, and whatever else you may need, you will find space disappearing before your eyes.

Give ‘Em Some Space

While arranging your tables and chairs, one of the worst mistakes one can make is to not correctly consider how much space your guests and service staff require to move around freely. The last thing you want to do is make your company feel crowded and squished.

Aside from main traffic areas, the list below contains information on how much space you need to keep guests and staff comfortable.

Essential spacing to keep in mind:

  • Space between table and chair: 18 inches
  • Space for service aisles: 30 inches
  • Space between two chairs without a service aisle: 16 inches
  • Space between the back of a seat to the wall: 30 inches (48” total with 18” for a chair)
  • Space for diagonal style square tables, corner to corner: 24 inches

Rectangle tables with chairs and service aisle.
Leave 66” between rectangle tables. That allows for 2×18” for chairs and 30” for service.

Rectangle tables with chairs, no service aisle.
Leave 52” between rectangle tables. That allows for 2×18” for chairs and 16” between the chairs.

Round tables with chairs and service aisle.
Leave 60” between round tables. That allows for 2×18” and 24” for service.

Oblong tables
Leave 60” between round tables. That allows for 2×18” and 24” for service.

Unique table layout: corner to corner
Leave 24” between corners of square tables.