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2040 84th Avenue SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206.275.7609
Fax: 206.275.7868
Email: miparks@mercergov.. . .
Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
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Setting up for Success: Meeting Room Rental Set-Ups

by Bre Keveren

An ideal corporate event space or meeting room should provide three essential design elements:

  1. Open, flexible room design;
  2. Multiple lighting options;
  3. Technologically up-to-date media.
The Mercer Island Community & Event Center, located on Mercer Island in Western Washington, is a perfect venue for off-site meetings and corporate event rentals.



The Center’s flexible and open floor plan spans 42,755 square feet with multiple meeting rental room sizes and seating configurations designed to meet your needs. Among many other amenities, the Center includes tables and chairs with every meeting room rental.

meeting room

Below is a guide to conference room and meeting room set-ups that will prepare you for a successful meeting.

Conference or Boardroom Style
Conference (also known as boardroom) style is a long, rectangular table set-up in the center of a meeting room to form one solid surface. Chairs surround all sides.

conference style

This set-up is commonly used for brainstorming and discussion groups, Board of Directors meetings and committee meetings. Conference style provides a great deal of workspace for each individual, while also creating a close-knit team feel by clustering everyone together in one large area. It offers great visual lines and communication. When utilizing the conference style, keep in mind that this set-up is not ideal for large groups, groups that have a speaker as the center-point of the meeting, and audio-visual accompaniment due to the location of each participant.

Theatre Style
Theater style set-up consists of a grouping of chairs that face the front of a meeting room, where, often, a head table or stage is set up for a speaker. The rows of chairs are usually divided in the center to create an aisle. This can serve two purposes: 1. It maximizes easy movement for attendees; 2. The aisle allows the speaker to create more of an interactive, high-energy presentation; they can move around and talk individually to participants with

theatre style seating

This set-up is most successful when the presentation is two hours or less in length, and when participants take no (or minimal) notes. Theater style is appropriate for larger groups, and this set-up also tends to discourage a lot of group interaction.

Classroom Style
The classroom style is a series of tables and chairs that face the “front” of a meeting room, where a speaker usually stands or sits at a head table. Each table contains two or three chairs.

classroom style

This type of meeting room set-up style is comfortable for participants, so it allows for maximum note-taking and more in-depth, informational presentations. Extra desk space also allows for laptop access and mini-lunch breaks within the room. With this style of set-up, the presenter can see every participant, and it also accommodates larger groups in smaller spaces. Classroom style also tends to decrease participation in the presentation.

Hollow Square
The hollow square style set-up consists of long, rectangular tables set up to form a large, hollow rectangle. Participants sit around the outer edges.

hollow square

The hollow square style works best in meetings that encourage large amounts of participation and do not have a presenter or instructor. Communication and lines of vison are optimal, and each attendee has plenty of workspace.

Banquet Style
Banquet style set-ups utilize round banquet tables and rectangle tables. The amount of tables used varies greatly depending on the corporate event, banquet room and meeting room size.

banquet style

Banquet style is most commonly used for functions centered around food: luncheons, dinners and receptions.

U-Shape Style
A u-shape style set-up incorporates rectangle tables that are placed together to form a “U.” Attendees sit around the outside of the U.


The u-shape style is ideal for smaller Board of Directors meetings, brainstorming sessions and committee meetings, and discussion groups. The set-up works well with the use of a presenter and audio-visual equipment or some other form of visual aid


Chevron Style
The chevron style set-up involves a few rows of rectangle tables with two or three chairs at each table angled inward toward a head table where the speaker sits.

Herringbone Chevron

The chevron style creates a more intimate, enclosed feel for both the presenters and the participants. This set-up is perfect for smaller discussion groups within the meeting or discussion.

The Mercer Island Community & Event Center is the perfect venue for off-site business meetings, corporate day retreats, tradeshows, conferences, workshops, training classes, seminars, lectures, shareholder and investor meetings, as well as televised or taped events.

For more information, visit our website or download a brochure. For a personal tour or to discuss set-up options, please contact:

Rachel Gilbert
Reservation Specialist
Phone: (206) 275-7609

Mercer Island Community & Event Center
8236 SE 24th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040



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