What is Telescopic Seating?

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What is Telescopic Seating?

June 25, 2020

telescopic seating

As the future of events and public assembly is being discussed, it is a good time to look at how seating and flexibility will be a big part of getting social and public events happening again.

Portable seating risers are used in many different venues because they help to maximize seating capacity and provide better sightlines for everyone in the audience. They can also help to control the flow of crowds and be configured to create greater spacing and distancing capabilities. There are a variety of seating risers that are used in different types of venues. This post will focus on telescopic seating risers. Telescopic seating can be broken down into two categories, manual and motorized systems. These two categories are also usually used in different types of venues.

Telescopic means that the sections are designed to slide into one another. Another term to help define this would be “retractable.” This type of riser differs from others that are demountable and need to be taken apart. The telescopic nature of these allows for flexibility in the space as well.

Manual Telescopic Seating

Manual telescopic seating can be as simple as standard bleachers. The retraction or set-up process would require manual effort like pushing the levels back in or pulling them out to set it up. These risers can be fixed in place up against a wall or portable and deployed to a location.

These have several applications from gymnasiums, inside hockey dashers, in exhibition spaces, and ballrooms. Wherever additional seating or better site-lines are needed and fixed in place risers are not practical, these are a good solution that allow fast conversions with a smaller staff.

Motorized Telescopic Seating

Motorized telescopic seating risers are much easier to use than manual ones. They are able to retract and deploy with the push of a button. They are can also be fixed in place or portable.

These types of telescopic seating risers aren’t typically seen in your local high school gym. They are more often used in larger arenas that are used by universities or professional teams as shown in the photo below.

motorized telescopic seating

Click here to check out case studies of installations we’ve done in arenas throughout the country.

Other types of spaces have also begun to use motorized telescopic seating in recent years. Black box theatres and community centers that need flexibility paired with easy, fast set-up have made the decision to use these. Photos of this type of facility are below. Being portable, it is also possible to space the systems further apart to help with meeting number of people per square foot spacing that will be important as venues begin to open.

retractable seating

retractable theatre seating

Seating risers can benefit every venue, but telescopic seating takes it to another level. This is especially true when talking about motorized risers; without them, large venues wouldn’t be able to do what they do. They wouldn’t be able to host as many events, sightlines wouldn’t be optimal, and seating capacity wouldn’t be optimized.

The next time you’re at an arena or other large venue, take a look at the equipment around you to appreciate what makes it all possible.

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