Forget Microprocessors, Give Me Cardboard

Sometimes low-tech solutions are the best. The Arranger is a simple cardboard room-capacity calculator that works by adjusting a sliding sheet on the inside so that it points to the size of a meeting room. Once a room size is selected, seating capacities appear in a narrow vertical window. Quick: How many people can be hosted in a 2,600-square-foot room? If you had The Arranger, you'd know in a flash that the answer is 216 people for a banquet (at 60-inch round tables, fewer for 70-inch rounds), 288 theater-style, 274 for a reception, 177 schoolroom style (at 18-inch tables, fewer at 30-inch tables). And if you want to set up exhibits, 13 10-by-10 booths is the max.

The Arranger costs just $4.50 and can be ordered through the Meeting Professionals International Web site at www.mpi.org (click on news and publications, then “bookstore”), or call the bookstore at (972) 702-3044.