Choosing Your Team Building Room Layout

Choosing Your Team Building Room Layout

When speaking to clients and booking venues, there is always a moment when we need to confirm the room layout for the team building session. This quick guide will help you choose the best room layout to make your team building event a success.

8 Common Room Layouts for Team Building

Room layouts for team building events - cabaret, theatre, banqueting, classroom, cocktail, 'U' shape, hollow square

Cabaret Layout

Cabaret style uses more space per guest than any other room layout. Cabaret layout will be a 6 or 7 foot round table with 6 or 7 chairs just to one side of the table facing forward. Cabaret is a good format to use when presenters require guests to make notes and they need to interact with the audience. Guests will have a clear view of the presenter and any materials being shown on the screen in front of them.

Banqueting Layout

Banquet style is similar to Cabaret style but there are simply more chairs evenly placed around the round 6 or 7 foot table. Banquet style is typically used at lunches and dinners, and generally set for 8 to 10 delegates.

Theatre Layout

Theatre style is as it sounds, as if you were in a theatre or cinema. There will be an equal number of chairs in rows facing the front of the room. A central isle is generally preferable to allow easy access for delegates as well as conforming to fire regulations for evacuation purposes.

Classroom Layout

Classroom layout again is as it sounds with each delegate having a table in front of them whilst also being in rows. Generally, venues use 6ft long trestle tables are used and accommodate either 2 or 3 (at a push) delegates per table. There are two ways for this to be laid out – either in rows or in a ‘herringbone’ layout which is where the tables are placed at a 35 to 45-degree angle to the front of the room.

‘U’ Shape

‘U’ shape is as it sounds – a set of 6 foot tables set in the shape of the letter ‘U’, with the open end facing the front of the room with the chairs are placed around the outside of the ‘U’. This layout is useful for 18 to 20 guests where a presenter can easily see and engage with the delegates.


Using a large wide table for typically between 12 and 14 delegates. This is often seen as quite adversarial in nature as all guests are essentially facing one another.  This layout is not typically used where there is a presenter and is often in used in smaller meeting spaces.

Hollow Square

Similar to ‘Boardroom’ the tables are arranged in a square (or rectangle) leaving the centre open. The chairs are then placed around the outside. This format can be used for up to 20 guests though some consideration should be given to guests hearing one another. Again, this layout is not typically used where there is a presenter.

Cocktail Layout

Cocktail layout implies that a few taller cocktail tables are scattered in the room. This style is recommended for evening pre dinner drinks or light social sessions where mingling, light chat and networking is the aim. A few chairs can liberally be placed around the outer edges of the room, but the primary function of this layout is to keep guests standing and chatting in an informal way.

Which is the Best Layout for my Indoor Team Building Activity?

Most indoor team building activities require a reasonable amount of space. EML always adapts its formats to each space but to give us a fighting chance the best layout for a team build is to ask for cabaret. Cabaret provides tables to sit around and undertake team activities and the tables can be cleared away at lunch time providing a space for a team game. As a rule of thumb if you have a group of 30 ask for a room rated to cabaret for 60 – this will allow you to conduct a meeting without feeling lost in a cavernous room and provide ample floor space for an indoor team build.

I’m Still Not Sure Which Layout Will Be Best for My Team

Don’t worry! When you book a team building activity with EML Team our event management consultants will help you to choose a layout that’s perfect for your chosen event. Get in touch on +44 (0)1905 330660 or info@www.emlteam.test to find out more.

Get Started

  • Category

  • Sort By

  • Reset

“We exist to help teams thrive, succeed and make a difference. All of our events are tailored to your unique team and designed to boost their engagement, their performance or both. Get in touch to find out more.”

Jon Huggett - Founder & CEO

A great set of events to help keep spirits up and teams connected during lockdown. Especially appreciated the flexible and creative approach. Many thanks.
Adele Cox
Excellent fun and fully engaged activity, completely loved it ???? Thank you so much.
Himabindu Vutukuri
I thought the event was excellent - informal, fun & very engaging!
B. A. Nimmo
I really enjoyed the exercise and was honestly quite surprised at just how engaged with the activity I became.
Richard White
Enjoyable virtual event. I liked the theme and imaginative art class to make it a fun group event.
Conor Morris
A very entertaining experience... we had to make decisions and work together. And we also got a sense of achievement - I can’t draw and produced 2 decent superheroes. An excellent activity.
Elizabeth Donachie
A great event which made was a lot of fun! At first I was nervous to try the task but by the end I wanted to do more!
Lisa Redpath
Enjoyable event and well run, enjoyed our 3 hours with EML.
David Rodman
Good afternoon of activities and being in the winning team topped the day, thank you for the prize.
Adrienne Cousins
Many thanks to Neil and Ruth for leading our virtual team building exercise... Many laughs were had while scrambling to collect the twenty items...!!! The Murder Mystery was my favourite and my team winning was the icing on the cake. The Haka showed how uncoordinated we are but the laughs ...just proves what an enjoyable experience we all had.
Suzanne Mitchell, Beckton, Dickinson & Co
Our team really enjoyed the event - they are already asking when we can do another!
Karen Wilson, Zhero
The EML virtual team building event was well organised and entertaining. Tasks were interactive and challenging in a fun and relaxed environment.
Brandon Lee Maharaj
It was fun and I loved the energy this brought out of us as a team.
Clinton De Klerk
Great and fun team-building event. Enjoyed!!!
Christopher Dahwa
Perfect. From initial enquiry to event day. I’m really pleased with the session. We had a short meeting pre activities and then 4 fun team games. The event staff were really helpful and professional all the way through.
EML delivered a great virtual training afternoon for our new Graduates, Undergraduates & Apprentices. Everyone found it to be a fun and engaging afternoon.
Victoria Goodwin
Super fun virtual event, the team are friendly and entertaining. Thank you so much Neil and Jon.
Thank you EML for a great virtual team building Christmas party. Everyone had a great time and this virtual option created a great opportunity to stay in touch with our colleagues and have some Christmas fun. I've received lovely feedback from staff - they really appreciated the event.
Sue Quick
Thanks for organising and facilitating our online Christmas social. I've had some great feedback from the participants and it was lovely to do something together even though we couldn't meet face to face.
Michelle Hammersley
Great fun, thank you.
Simon Elkins
Well organised and good fun - many thanks to EML Team.
Mark Roberts
Great fun, engaging and well organised :o)
Belinda Mitchell
Thank you so much for organising a very interesting and fun event... it gave staff an opportunity to work together in different ways and helped to develop our team skills. I'd recommend similar online events to other organisations.
Isla Boadle
Great fun had by all. Both inclusive and engaging. We will be looking to use EML again next year.
John Williams, ECCTIS

EML Team | Unit 5, 130 Worcester Road, Droitwich, Worcestershire WR9 8AN | UK Company Reg. 04447878 | © 2021