Business events come in all shapes, styles and sizes. For event planners, choosing the right format for your function venue can be confusing! We are excited to share the Harbour Kitchen team’s guide to business event set ups including a definition of the lingo and our recommendations on which style is best suited to your upcoming event.

Theatre Style

Theatre style is a popular choice for business events such as conferences where the schedule for the event is full of presentations and guest speakers. Theatre style is essentially rows of seating facing the front or stage (without tables) so that all guests can get a clear view of the presentations and speakers. This style of set up is great for training and business presentations of all kinds and allows your function space to be fully utilised in terms of space.

Class Room

Class room style is the same as Theatre Style with the addition of tables. The benefit of this style of set up is that guests will be able to write notes and/ or set up a lap top in front of them during presentations. This style of set up is perfect for training events and team briefings.


Banquet style seating refers to a seated dining format. A Banquet style set up generally takes the form of tables and chairs allocated by table number where guests will be based for the event to enjoy their meal with guests facing inwards towards each other. This style of event is best suited for more formal corporate events where there will be some formalities such as speeches, awards and presentations.


A boardroom style set up is the perfect choice for important business meetings. A boardroom style set up utilises a central shared table, with seating placed around the table so all guests are facing each other which creates an intimate and interactive environment.


As its name suggests, a U-Shape style set up includes tables forming a U shape, with seating placed around the outside. Facing inwards, this style of event set up allows for interaction between speaker and guests.

Cocktail Party

A cocktail party is a stand up event and this style is perfectly suited to social occasions and special celebrations such as end of financial year or Christmas events. Cocktail parties are best for guest interaction, mingling and networking.


Cabaret style is a popular choice for workshops or conferences that include both seated components (such as presentations) as well as interactive components such as team building exercises. Cabaret style seating refers to separate tables with seating only half way around the table with all guests facing forward to the stage or speaker.

To find out about our flexible spaces, contact the team of business event experts at Harbour Kitchen today.