Social Distancing Room Capacity Guidelines

We recommend that all events follow specific social distancing guidelines from StaySafe MN:

  • Limit indoor and outdoor occupant capacity to no more than 25% up to 250 persons, so long as social distancing can be maintained.
  • Limit table to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one household.
  • Provide controlled flow of participants as much as possible, including upon start and at end of the event.
  • Limit the number of speakers and make arrangements so that they maintain distance from others.
  • Event photography: Consider taking individual photos and using editing software to combine them into a group photo.

Additional Resources:
20 Handshake Alternatives for Germ-Free Greetings
10 Ways To Prevent The Spread Of Germs At Events
Wedding Venues in the Age of Coronavirus: 40+ Questions to Ask

Calculating the space you need for your next event can be tricky. How much room does the average person need to be comfortable? What if they’re seated? Standing? A mixture of both? And how do table sizes and dance floors factor in? 

Take a deep breath: We’re here to help. Consider this your cheat sheet for calculating space to source the right venue, no matter how big or small the event.

First things first: How many square feet does a person need? Between six to 10 feet is a safe bet. Generally, a loose crowd — one in which each person is about an arm’s length away from their nearest neighbor — requires 10 square feet per person. A more tightly-packed crowd fills closer to five square feet per person. You’ll want to consider your desired crowd density in addition to room capacity when deciding on a venue — remember that more space may also mean a less full-appearing room.

Now that you know how many square feet you’ll need to provide per person, you can start to estimate your space needs. 

Let’s give an example: A crowd of 100 will require a room of 600-1,000 square feet, minimum, without factoring in the specifics of your event: Different table sizes, rows of chairs, a buffet line, dance floor, etc. Your final space requirement will ultimately depend on what other elements are at play.

Take a look at our helpful chart to get a sense of how your space requirements will change depending on the type of event you’re planning: 



Cocktail party, guests standing600
Cocktail party, guests standing and seated800
Banquet/reception, round tables, plated1,200
Banquet/reception, rectangular tables, plated1,000
Banquet/reception, round tables, buffet1,400
Banquet/reception, rectangular tables, buffet900
Banquet/reception-style, with dance floor900 (minimum, 12x12 dance floor)
Theatre/auditorium style, spacious rows of chairs800
Theatre/auditorium style, maximum rows of chairs600
Conference style, standard3,000
Trade show, 8x10 booths8,600

By using the chart above, you can start to get a sense of what your event may need in terms of space requirements. A banquet-style event with round tables will require about 12 square feet per person, an auditorium-style presentation with comfortable rows of chairs will require about 8 square feet per person, and so on.

Here’s another quick guide to planning by expected crowd size:




*This graph does not take into account the following room arrangements: Trade shows with booths, receptions with dance floor.

Finally, to make your planning even easier, we’ve also put together a chart of Earle Brown’s event spaces, their square footage and maximum capacity, and their suggested uses. You can also explore these spaces even more by using Earle Brown’s interactive online facilities map or check out our virtual tour!



Gwen’s Room25512Boardroom for business or personal gatherings and retreats.
Earle’s Room24016Boardroom for business or personal gatherings and retreats.
Loft81315Board meeting, office space, and green room.
Morgan640 (16x40)30-60Trade show office, storage area or green room.
Sunroom37224Boardroom for business or personal gatherings, retreats and small weddings.
Tack Room2,808

(Can be divided into two rooms:
Tack Room A - 1,512 sq. ft;
Tack Room B - 1,296 sq. ft.)
100-230Meetings, presentations or workshops.
Harvest Room4,477

(Can be divided into three spaces:
Harvest Room A - 1,985 sq. ft;
Harvest Room B - 1,279 sq. ft;
Harvest Room C - 1,184 sq. ft.)
80-300Meetings, presentations, workshops, banquets and weddings.
Captain’s Room2,128100-230Meetings, presentations, workshops, banquets and weddings.
Garden City Ballroom4,631230-330Weddings, banquets, trade shows and dance.
Carriage Hall Pre-Function Area4,300300Event registration, networking and socials.
Carriage Hall12,960

(Can be divided into two spaces:
Carriage Hall A - 8,640 sq. ft;
Carriage Hall B - 4,320 sq. ft.)
200-1,200Conferences, meetings, exhibit shows, galas, weddings and banquets.
Courtyard (Outdoor)80,7933,000Wedding ceremonies, picnics or team building exercises.

We hope you’ve found our event space calculator table to be helpful! If you’re interested in learning more about Earle Brown’s event spaces, or would like to arrange a tour of our historic venue, please feel free to contact us. We’d love to help make your next event extraordinary!