8 Criteria to Consider When Choosing Auditorium Seating

August 11, 2021

When selecting the perfect seating solution for your auditorium space, the myriad of auditorium fixed seating choices on the market can be overwhelming. Determining which style will satisfy your budget, your design and ultimately, your audience isn’t easy.

You’re in luck! We’ve compiled the top 8 features to consider when choosing the perfect auditorium seating for your next project. Whether you’re an interior designer dedicated to the overall aesthetic, a facilities manager focused on upkeep and longevity or a general contractor concentrating on the budget, these features are important for you to consider as you plan for the full lifecycle of any new auditorium space—from initial build to future refresh.

Top Criteria to Consider When Choosing Auditorium Seating

  1. Design

    Auditorium chairs come in an extensive array of shapes, sizes, styles and colors – truly a designer’s dream! From the most classic silhouette of the E10 to the most innovative design of the JumpSeat Collection, Sedia Systems offers 13 distinct customizable auditorium chair types. Depending on the seating style selected, you can mix and match colors, add embroidery and even order seats with custom images. The possibilities are endless!

  2. Comfort

    Comfort is an invaluable element for the audience who will use the chairs, but it’s not always the first priority when you’re overseeing a project from a construction or design perspective.

    When vetting options for an auditorium seating, ask:

    • How long will the audience be sitting?
    • Will the comfort level of the chair impact the overall user experience and affect the organization’s bottom-line over time (positively or negatively)?

    From the compact design of the SpaceMax to the plush Mercury Line, Sedia Systems offers a comfortable, custom seating solution to elevate any auditorium or performing arts venue.

  3. Budget

    Auditorium chairs range from the most economical to luxury, starting at $250 for the Mercury auditorium chair all the way to $1150 for the L40 auditorium chair– and that’s for the base models. With each add-on, the price increases, so it’s important to differentiate between the nice-to-haves and the must-haves during your deliberation.

    While prices fluctuate based on space and features, extensive customization options ensure that your team can tailor seating solutions to the audience’s needs and your client’s budget. Common additions that impact price include wire management, aisle lights, fabric selections, end panel materials and more.

  4. Function

    When deciding which add-ons are must-haves versus nice-to-haves, you’ll need to consider the uses of the auditorium space.

    Ask questions like:

    • Will the room often be dimly lit during a performance necessitating the need for aisle lights?
    • Will students need the surface area of an integrated tablet arm or stand-alone tablet for note taking?
    • Will your events have assigned seats marked by row letters and seat numbers?
    • Will your audience need a power source during 2 to 4-hour lectures?
    • Will drinks be allowed in the space creating the need for cupholders?

    These types of questions will help your team determine the necessary add-ons that will optimize the functionality of the chair you select.

  5. Cleaning

    Cleaning is important for the longevity of the auditorium seating you choose. When you consider how your auditorium seats will be cared for in the long run, you may rethink which add-on options are must-haves.

    Questions to consider:

    • Will the add-on expense of cupholders save us in cleaning costs from spilt beverages?
    • How many visible seams and grooves are there to maneuver around when cleaning?
    • Which colors and fabrics will show the least amount of wear?
    • How often will the seats be cleaned?
    • How likely are audience members to put their feet on the backs of the chairs?
    • Will upholstery or wood-backed chairs be easier to clean if they get stained or scuffed?

  6. Space

    Consider the amount of room you have at your disposal and your capacity requirements. These two factors will narrow down your seating options as you keep in mind the measurements of each seat and the amount of room needed between rows. Some seating styles, like the Mercury Premier, offer a variety of width and reclining options as well, which will need to be calculated into the configurations.

  7. Layout

    The layout of your space may not only dictate the auditorium chair you choose but may also determine the auditorium seating manufacturer you partner with for the project. Every auditorium style in Sedia Systems’ product line-up , can be installed on a tiered, sloped or flat floor and arranged in straight or radius row configurations. This versatility gives you more options as the customer – a seating solution for every design and every budget.

  8. Acoustics

    When you’re selecting an auditorium chair, it’s the perfect time to consider acoustics as well. Because the acoustics of any environment are determined by the surfaces within it, chairs in an auditorium play a key role in the way sound reverberates. Upholstered seats will absorb sound, while wood and laminate paneling create an echo that will need to be addressed with additional sound absorption on the walls and ceilings.

    At Sedia Systems, we have a unique division – Akouo Acoustics – that provides sound solutions for any space. When you work with Sedia Systems on any auditorium seating installation, we can involve an acoustics expert from the start so you can get the most cost-effective acoustics solution for your auditorium, performing arts venue or theater.

Consider All Stakeholders

The designer desires to inspire the audience, while the audience craves comfort. The facility manager wants the space to last for years to come, while the general contractor prioritizes staying within the budget. Every viewpoint is necessary, valid and contributes to the overall success of the project. When determining the perfect fixed seating solution for your auditorium new build or renovation, remember to consider all stakeholders.

Explore Auditorium Fixed Seating Options

Have one of our auditorium chairs in mind but can’t visualize what it will look like in your preferred fabrics and finishes? Use our custom configuration tool on products like the P10 Auditorium Chair to design the perfect fixed seating option for your auditorium, performing arts venue or theater.

Would you like for someone to guide you through the options and highlight the differentiators? Talk with a seating expert today!!

RELATED ARTICLES: Acoustics 101: Incorporate Acoustics Early to Perfect Your Design, Why It’s Important to Have Proper Acoustics in a Lecture Hall