Conference chairs or auditorium chairs are used in meeting and training venues, libraries and education environments – and need to be both highly durable and highly comfortable.
But how do you decide on the right conference chairs for your venue? And what do you need to consider?
Permanent or temporary seating
The type of conference chair you need will firstly be determined by the type of usage you envisage. For instance, are you looking to create:
– permanent seating – in a highly utilised conference space
– flexible seating – where you will need to accommodate varying numbers of conference chairs depending on the event
– or temporary seating – as the space will be used for other purposes in between conferences?
The above will be a key factor in your buying decision and the importance you attach to: the durability, the comfort, the weight and the versatility of your conference chair choice.
The permanence of the seating may also determine whether or not you would prefer ‘standalone’ or linkable conference chairs.
To stack or not to stack
If your space is needed for purposes other than conferences, then stacking chairs are likely to be your first choice. Stacking chairs tend to be lighter, and the weight is important as it will influence the ease – and speed – with which chairs can be set out and cleared away.
And your storage options also need consideration. If the stacking height recommended for your chairs is sets of 5 – will you have enough room to store them? And if you are stacking 10 or more, have you considered a trolley to help move them safely?
Are you sitting comfortably?
There is nothing worse than being at a conference, on a training course or watching the school play, while the person in front of you is continually wriggling in their seat. Annoying!
Obviously comfort is important, and conference chairs are available with a wide range of seat options: polypropylene (plastic) seats, padded seats, upholstered seats and, fully upholstered (seat and back).
To decide on your best bet, it really is a question of thinking about how long the chairs will be in use at any one time – are you talking 2-3 hours or 20 minutes?
And, if you opt for stacking chairs with upholstered seats, one extra check is worth doing. Ask if the seats will maintain their seat depth when stacked for any length of time. Usually chairs that can be stacked 10, 20 or 25 high, have a reduced seat depth to start with. You don’t want the foam to become crushed in storage.
For heightened performance
Auditorium chairs tend to have a more advanced feature set than conference chairs to suit their use in a collaborative learning environment.
Castors for example, enable chairs to be easily moved for group breakout sessions, while other auditorium chair features include the option of integrated writing tablets, swivel, height adjustment and a ‘return to front’ mechanism. The FourCast Auditorium chair – featured in the video below is a great example.
The colour palate
And, of course, there’s how it looks. But with innumerable frame and fabric choices on offer from most suppliers, matching your colour scheme should be the least of your worries.
And… for some further inspiration, we’ve created some links to our conference chair ranges: