The seating configuration in your auditorium affects your capacity for guests, as well as your guests' safety, comfort, and enjoyment of the event. There are many things to consider when choosing a seating configuration. The most common seating configurations include:
- Continental seating: This seating configuration uses curved rows with aisles on two sides. Historic code is usually used in these spaces.
- Straight row seating: This is the seating configuration you are most likely to see in historic auditoriums. While this configuration's sightline issues mean that it is not used often now, it is sometimes the best choice for very small venues.
- Multiple aisle seating: This arrangement uses a combination of straight row and continental seating, paired with features like risers, staggered chairs, and sloped floors to give every patron the best view. The IBC's code allows for custom-designed spaces that meet safety requirements without sacrificing space or audience comfort.
Choosing the right seating arrangement for your intended space will include considerations like the type of stage, the size of your space, and meeting requirements like fire safety codes. A qualified seating layout engineer can help you make the most of any space.