How do you build a circle of chairs for a large Open Space Event?

Full circleI recently returned from a large Open Space event for over 300 people. A lot of fun!

What made it interesting was that we had to do a room “turn-around” during the lunch break – in 45 minutes – where we took all the chairs from one area to use for building our circle of 300 chairs.

I know one of my good friends and Open Space colleagues Viv McWaters has been taking pics each time she arrives at a venue and there has been an interesting interpretation of a circle of chairs… but I digress… 

Working with just 3 people – we were able to build a circle of 310 chairs in just 30 minutes.

Here are the steps we followed.


Step 1: Ensure you have a large enough space — a basket ball stadium is perfect!

Step 2: Create the skeleton of the circle of chairs by setting up the north-south-east-west chairs and the associated layers of the circle.

Circle skeleton


As shown in this picture – the secret to building the circle of chairs is to imagine the four arcs of the circle – and where the starting points of these are – the North-South-East-West points of what will become the circle.


                                                                    W                   E


When building a circle of chairs – you also will need to ensure that you have access points in and out of the circle. These walk-ways are crucially important when you have large numbers (ie 200 people+). It helps to pace out between the North-East/East-South/South-West/West-North arcs to ensure consistency of the circle.

Step 3: Place chairs around the arcs – one at a time … and …….

Completed circle









Ok, it is more an oval of chairs…


| April 21st, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorised |

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