Nothing looks worse than empty tables in front of your stage on banquet night, especially when you have a guest speaker. When you want to make sure the tables in front of the stage are full, put reserved signs on the last two rows of tables in the room which forces people to look at tables closer to the stage. Once those front tables are filled you can simply pull the reserved signs and fill the tables in the back of the room. A simple but effective tactic.
Post - Matthew Allely.