Formal Event (photo by Gary Payne/URCM)

"Please take your seat."

Seating is an important part of an event, especially when special guests are present. Seating assignments need to be carefully considered and planned.

For formal events, a seating chart should be prepared in advance and reviewed by the executive officer(s) and the president. The president should be seated with the most important guests. Other honored guests should be seated at adjacent tables. Trustees, executive officers, and other university staff members (e.g. deans, chairs and advancement officers) may be asked in advance to host a table. The president’s table should be placed in a prime location.

Two seating lists should be prepared: one in alphabetical order and one by table number. For on-campus events, the seating chart should also be provided for banquet, catering, and all other event staff. Having the seating chart allows for catering staff to recognize important guests and serve them first (where appropriate), locate special meal orders, and locate the events coordinator if necessary. As an extra precaution, the event coordinator may also provide his/her cell phone number for the lead catering staff member in case of emergency during the event.

For less formal events, faculty, staff, and/or students may be placed at each table to encourage conversation about the event, the host department, and the honored program or College.

Don't forget to include accessibility accommodations in your seating plan.