Learn How To Sell Reserved Seating For Your Next Event

reserved seating

We all like to have a choice. Giving your attendees the opportunity to choose where they sit can lead to higher satisfaction levels for your event.

Eventbrite’s Chris Hawker

But it’s not just about pleasing your attendees; selling allocated seats has a host of other benefits.

We asked Senior Account Manager Chris Hawker to give us the lowdown on Eventbrite’s Reserved Seating Tool.

What is Eventbrite’s Reserved Seating Tool?

It’s a module within Eventbrite that allows an organiser to sell allocated seats or spaces at their event. It’s built into the system, really easy to use and available for everyone to access.

What type of organisers are using the Reserved Seating Tool?

It’s a really broad range, from people running events at music venues, concert halls, festival sites, arenas and sports stadiums – we’re working with football clubs and basketball clubs – right down to smaller occasions, like gala dinners.

It works for anything that’s got sections or seats that the organiser wants to sell tickets to, whether it’s a table for 10 or a stadium for 50,000.

What are the benefits of selling reserved seats?

From the attendee’s perspective, they’ll often really want to have a specific seat. In a football match, for example, perhaps there’s a section they always want to sit in and rather than just turning up and hoping they get into that section they can actually have a defined seat.

From a management and a security point of view, it’s being able to know exactly which seats are sold and exactly where people are sitting. We’re working with Lincoln City Football Club and they previously didn’t allocate seats, but doing so has helped them meet security requirements.

In addition, there are marketing benefits because you can sell different seats at different prices. The tool makes it very clear that if someone wants a seat in a more preferential position they can choose a higher value ticket to secure it.

The reporting enables you to see which seats are sold and which aren’t. You can then jog your inventory around a little bit, making seats available or holding seats as you see fit, to help you with pricing and sales.

What flexibility does the tool offer – does an organiser have to have physical seats to use it?

No, they don’t have to have physical seats. The tool can be used for any kind of event where the organiser wants certain tickets to give people access to certain spaces. A festival, for example, could divide off the area near the front of the stage so somebody could come into the map and choose a certain section of the area where they want to stand. Perhaps it gets progressively more expensive as it gets nearer to the stage.

How can an attendee choose their seats, is there a plan of the venue?

When they come into Eventbrite, the attendee will make their choice of ticket from the front page. This will then open up a map of the venue, whether it’s a stadium, theatre, gala dinner or conference.

Immediately they’ll be allocated the best available seats, which is a really nice feature. They may well just choose to accept that seat and move on but if they wanted a particular seat – perhaps they wanted to be near the bar or something, then they can select the new seat they want to be sitting at on the map. It’s as easy as that.

How is the venue plan created?

Eventbrite has a super easy tool; our Venue Designer Tool. It enables the organiser to come on in and start building up their floor plan, selecting sections for standing and sections for seats. They can even put a sports pitch into the middle, as well as bars, a stage, exits and so on.

It’s really easy to just select a section, table or object, add it to your plan and drag into position… A block of seats can be created and that can then be manipulated into a curve or a square section – however the seats are set up. Pretty much any kind of layout can be accommodated.

Can an organiser hold seats that they don’t want for general sale?

Once the organiser has set up the venue they’ll allocate certain seats to certain ticket types and then if there are seats they don’t want to sell they can just mark them as ‘hold’, either individually or by selecting an entire section of seats. The nice thing there is that they can release them as and when they want to. So as ticket sales progress, they can start releasing additional sections.

How do organisers monitor and report on reserved seating sales?

The Reserved Seating Dashboard within Eventbrite gives them a really nice overview of the seats sold in different ticket types. It also gives them a view of the entire venue map with every single seat that’s been sold and also showing you who has bought that seat. It offers you a quick click-through to that specific order if you want to go and manage that order for the customer.

If you’re having a gala dinner and want to see who’s on each table, you can simply click on the seat and it will show you who’s sitting in it.

Can an organiser sell seats at the door?

Using Eventbrite’s point of sale equipment, it’s really easy for organisers to sell tickets as people turn up. The system will allocate the best available seat, keeping things quick and straightforward.

Conclusion

People expect to be able to choose their seats at the theatre or a concert, but giving them the ability to do so at other types of events can be a real selling point. What’s more, it offers you far greater scope to play with ticket pricing and create enticing marketing offers. Discover the tool today!

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markk@eventbrite.com'

Mark Kelliher