Friday, February 13, 2009

Where Do You Sit?

Having conducted a gazillion management workshops over the years, I've often wondered about the factors that go into where attendees choose to sit. Here are some possible theories:

Front Row Tables: The assertive, the hard of hearing, and those who live in fear of PowerPoint slides with small font.

Second Row Tables: Those who want to be close but not that close.

Middle Section Tables: Those of moderate views or who arrived after the front and the back seats were taken.

Back Row Tables: Those who like an easy escape, who don't want to risk being put on the spot, or who were forced to attend. Often, the wittiest or craziest comments come from the back row.

Now this is clearly affected by the placement of the refreshments. Put the coffee near the sides and the middle rows will flourish.

In most cases, however, the back seats are the first ones taken. We could probably charge a premium for "Back Row Seat Near Exit and Coffee."


Larry Sheldon said...

Some teacher, instructor, or professor (I don't remember who or which form sure) called the back row the "F" row.

I prefer an aisle, next to the door.

Which can be a problem. In a really cramped meeting room at the Holiday in across the street from the Astro Dome I picked a spot that seemed right. When the meeting turned out to be as bad as I thought it would be, I sort of slinked out the door, to discover that it a) opened into the pool area (which was not good news since Houston was having monsoon rains), and; b) was alarmed.

Michael Wade said...


Ha! Hardly a quiet exit!

That's a classic story.