By Maura Keller
An increasingly popular request for tented events is sitting areas where guests can enjoy themselves in a relaxed atmosphere with couches, tufted ottomans and cushy chairs aplenty. Beyond the comfort and enjoyment factors, lounge spaces are great for managing event flow.
“A good event designer knows how to create hot spots within the area to draw people in and then add lounge seating adjacent to them in order to pull people away from the traffic stream, yet allow them to feel like they are part of the event,” says Kelly Murphy of Panache, Pampano Beach, Fla. “This way, if it is a large capacity event, you can actually break apart the crowd into segments but still keep clear focal points throughout.”
Lounge layouts that feature sparse seating force people to get up, walk around and mingle, notes Stephanie Courtney of CCI Creations, Edgewater, Md.
“The only drawback is the situation when half of the guests are a certain age and need to sit down,” she says. “They lock onto the chairs and don’t move.”
Elevated lounges are another trend contributing to functional tent layout. These popular dual-level tents offer a built-in, natural flow, allowing guests to be in one area, yet still be part of the event, Murphy says. “They are great for sporting events or events where you want to have a VIP area,” she says. “You can also create a dedicated dining area and after-dinner lounge all in the same space.”