Events vary in size, with some attracting more guests than others. It’s not uncommon for a small corporate event to feature 50 or fewer attendees, whereas a larger event may feature several hundred attendees. When it comes to events, though, bigger isn’t always better. So, how many people should you invite to your event?

100-200 Attendees is the Right Size for Events

According to a recent survey of 218 professional event planners by the event management software company PlanningPod, 100-200 is the most popular attendance size for events.

More than half of the survey’s respondents said the average size of their events was 100-200 guests, while one-quarter of the respondents said the average size of their events was 200-300 guests. Only 12% said their events averaged 300 or more guests.

The event planners we surveyed plan a variety of social and corporate events,” said Jeff Kear of Planning Pod. “Their responses echo what we have been seeing for the last few years, in that a head count between 100 and 300 people is the sweet spot for the event planning industry, and especially between 100 and 200 guests.”

Things to Consider When Choosing Maximum Attendance for Your Event:

  • How many occupants can the venue accommodate? All indoor venues have a maximum occupancy limit for safety purposes, and event planners must keep their attendance within this limit. Contact the venue beforehand to find out how many attendees it can accommodate.
  • Do you have adequate audio/video equipment for a large number of attendees? Larger events require high-end electronic displays, stereo systems, and other audio/video equipment, which can increase the total setup cost.
  • How many chairs do you intend to set up and use? You’ll need at least one chair per attendee, more if you allow “plus ones” at your event.
  • Do you plan on serving food and beverages? Conventional wisdom should tell you that the more guests who attend your event, the higher the cost of food and beverages.
  • Will you provide transportation for guests? If there’s limited-to-no parking on-site, perhaps you’ll need to arrange other means of transportation for guests, such as shuttle buses.

What About Weddings?

Not surprisingly, the average size of a wedding also falls between 100 and 200 guests. The Wedding Wire’s 2015 Newlywed Survey found that weddings had an average of 120 guests. The survey also revealed that the average dinner cost per guest was $250.

In comparison, a separate survey by TheKnot.com found the average size of a wedding in 2009 was 149 guests, which dropped to 136 guests to 2014. Statistics such as this suggest that weddings are getting smaller and smaller, possibly a means for couples to save money.