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Picking the right meeting room layout can be challenging. However, if you want your event to meet its objectives, the layout can be a crucial metric for success. The good news is we’ve done the hard work for you by narrowing down all the available options to help you find the best layout for your next meeting.

Conference Style

The chances are that this will be the default room layout, sitting around a large table. It’s certainly a tried and trusted way to create a formal atmosphere that sets the tone for decision making.

This classic layout has been featured in countless films and TV series and is great for agenda focused meetings. Typically accommodating up to 25 people, it’s also worth considering if you’ll be conducting some focus group sessions with open discussion.

The Circle or Hollow Square

As humans, we naturally gravitate to layouts that emphasise equality — remember the Knights of the Round Table? A circle highlights a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. So if you want to foster collaboration at your event, this is the layout to choose.

A circle or hollow square is also great for breakout sessions, allowing the central moderator to navigate easily between individuals and teams.

U-Shape Layout

This layout consists of several conference tables laid end to end to form the familiar U-shape. The central space gives speakers and moderators the chance to interact and connect with individuals around the table. If you don’t have the space for the traditional conference layout, try a broken horseshoe with a single desk at the opening of the U to create a semi-formal feel to the session.

The U-shape is a fantastic layout for video conferences, presentations or training sessions. In fact, just about any event where note-taking is a necessity. This versatile layout is equally suited to intimate presentations or multiple speakers, allowing attendees to discuss and take notes with ease.

Auditorium `style

Familiar from classic TED Talks, this layout creates a theatre-style space that works best for one-way presentations and knowledge sharing.

Suppose you need to make a presentation to a large group of people who won’t need to talk or take notes. In that case, the auditorium layout will work best for your event. If you want to add greater interactivity or the facility to take notes, arrange tables in a classroom-style facing the speaker.

Pod-Style Seating

Creating seating pods is a great layout to encourage small group discussion and interaction with a leader or moderator. If we use the phrase ‘banquet seating,’ you’ll know exactly how this works, with small groups of people seated around a table.

This style of layout facilitates one-on-one time with speakers and networking with other groups. This layout can be more or less formal – think informal cafe seating or clusters of tables with clear traffic flows.


This layout isn’t as familiar as some of the others on the list. But it’s worth considering if you want to change things up a bit at your next meeting. Basically, this layout consists of four tables laid out in an X-shape with or without a circular table at the centre for a session leader.

It may only be a tweak on pod-style seating. Still, it’s slightly more formal and definitely more dynamic and unusual, which could spark some lively discussion at your next meeting.

Hire Meeting Rooms in Birmingham with Nettl Business Store

Whatever the layout that works best for your business, why not grab a coffee and book meeting rooms in Birmingham with us? Our central location is just a stone’s throw from Birmingham Snow Hill station. So contact us or drop in to take a look at our affordable and sophisticated meeting venues.