Managing Clear Areas Between Tables and Chair Rows

One aspect of well-executed event design and layout is providing adequate clear space between your tables and chair rows for attendees, servers, staff and anyone else to easily, comfortably and safely move about without running into each other or squeezing through small gaps.

This concept of adding clear areas or service areas to event layouts is not a new one, but it is vital to the flow of your event and the comfort and safety of your guests and staff (especially in times of social distancing when people should be provided a buffer area or 6 feet or 2 meters apart from each other).

Planning Pod's event floor plan software tool is equipped with the ability to add clear areas for each table and chair row so that you can specify how much space you want between tables, chairs and, ultimately, attendees and staff.

When you add a new table or chair row to a floor plan layout in our software (or if you edit one), a modal form pops up where you can designate the parameters of the table/chair row size as well as the size of the clear space for that table/chair row.



Historically, best practices for clear areas are as follows:

For Tables

  • 60 inches/1524 millimeters between tables.
  • During social distancing, you may want to leave at least 84 inches/2134 millimeters and possibly more for social distancing of 6 feet/2 meters. Please consult with your local government and health agencies on recommendations/requirements.

For Chair Rows

  • 3-6 inches/76-152 millimeters between chairs and 24 inches/612 millimeters between rows.
  • During social distancing, you will need to follow recommendations/requirements from your local government and health agencies on auditorium seating recommendations for events.

Here are a few examples of how you can calculate and add clear spaces to your tables...

If you add a 5-foot round table to your floor plan...
A 10-foot clear area leaves 2.5 feet of clear space around the entire perimeter of the table.

If you add a 8-foot x 2.5-foot rectangular table to your floor plan...
A 13-foot long by 7.5-foot wide clear area leaves 2.5 feet of clear space around the entire perimeter of the table.

If you add a 5-foot square table to your floor plan...
A 10-foot by 10-foot clear area leaves 2.5 feet of clear space around the entire perimeter of the table.

If you add chair rows to your floor plan...
Chair rows with 3-inches of spacing between chairs and 2-feet between each chair row would look like this.

Using our Auto-Setup Tool for Automatically Spacing Tables and Chair Rows

When building out your tables (or chair rows) in our software, you have the opportunity to add multiple rows of tables in a grid pattern and designate the clear space for all those tables (or chair rows) so that our software uses the clear space to determine how far apart those items are placed from each other.

Here is what that modal form for auto-setup looks like for a 5-foot round table...


By designating a dimension in the "clear area" field, you can have our software automatically space out your tables based on the parameter you enter.

However, you can also turn on the clear area view option for your floorplan, which reveals the clear space outline around the item so you can manually move the item and place it based on the clear space.

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