Suppose your department is arranging a project exhibition event at the university. For that, you need access to the auditorium. However, the auditorium is booked for that entire day. So, what do you do?
Simple, you turn your university cafeteria into a makeshift project exhibition venue for a day. If you don’t know how you can make that happen, keep reading.
Plan the Layout
Every event venue needs a well-thought-out layout, even if it’s a makeshift venue. Without a layout play, you’ll find it hard to move things around and decide what to do with all your space.
Since you’re planning a project exhibition venue, your layout should contain the following elements:
- The booths or stalls where students can display or set up their projects
- The arrangement or layout of the exhibition booths
- Properly-marked entry and exit points
Much of the layout depends on the booth or stall sizes, but we’ll discuss that later. The arrangement of the booths also depends on the stall sizes to some extent. Assuming the cafeteria is large enough, you can go for an M-shaped layout where the visitors can walk through the aisles in the middle.
It’s also crucial that you have separate entry and exit points. Having an M-shaped layout will easily allow you to do that. Allow people to enter from one end of the M and let them exit through the other end. Using the same points for entering and leaving the venue will cause chaos.
Decide on the Booth Sizes
The standard booth size for any kind of exhibition is 10×10 feet. That means you can give each participating team 100 square feet of booth space at the exhibition. Of course, the space you provide will ultimately come down to the size of your cafeteria. However, given the standard US cafeteria sizes, 10×10 feet should be reasonable.
You can reduce the booth size by opting for a classroom table in each booth instead of a cafeteria or lunchroom table. However, using a cafeteria table for each booth makes it easier for you as you don’t have to move tables from the classrooms to the cafeteria. Using cafeteria tables makes furniture transportation simple and less time-consuming.
Rearrange the Cafeteria Furniture
Make full use of the cafeteria or school furniture you have at your disposal.
Use the cafeteria tables for the booths or stalls. If the tables have bench-style seating, you can remove one side of the benches, preferably the side facing outwards. If the cafe tables are round or oval, you can simply put one or two tables together and put some chairs behind them.
Cover each cafeteria table with a cloth, preferably a white one. It’ll allow you to maintain a uniform look throughout the exhibition. Besides, covering the tables will also make them easier to clean later.
Ensure Power Distribution to All Booths
Since you’re arranging a project exhibition event, many projects will likely need an external power supply. So, you should take the initiative of ensuring power outlets at all the booths.
The best way to do so is by getting an electrician to draw power lines from a nearby socket or switchboard. The electrician can then provide at least one outlet to each booth. Don’t try to do this yourselves because the slightest miscalculation can lead to electrical and fire hazards.
You can even ask participants whether or not they need power outlets at their booths. Based on their answers, you can then arrange the outlets accordingly. This approach is more time-consuming but will reduce the number of power outlets the electrician needs to draw out.
Avoid Putting Too Much Pressure on the Cafeteria
There’s only so much you can do with the space inside the cafeteria. So, avoid doing or arranging for anything that will put extra pressure on it.
For instance, you can make room for a stage at one corner of the cafeteria if you compromise a bit of booth space, roughly 2-feet in length. However, that will make the booths small and reduce the amount of open space inside the venue.
That’s unnecessary since you don’t need a stage there in the first place. You can arrange the stage somewhere else and keep the exhibition venue untouched. You’re already working with a makeshift venue, and there’s no need to put extra stress on it.
With that, you’re ready to host the project exhibition at your university cafeteria.