Some events are general admission. Some are virtual. And others require assigned seating.
When it comes to selling tickets for an event where seat assignments matter, the topic is always going to turn to seating charts.
Seating charts add a whole additional layer of planning to an event. In this post, we’ll walk through the options to help you determine which type of seating you need and how you can set up your own seating chart solution on WordPress.
Seating charts vary by type of event
Your seating chart needs depend on your event. Imagine a general admission NFL game with 30,000 people with stadium seating. You wouldn’t want to be caught in the mad dash for a front-row seat!
That’s why it’s important to know what kind of seating assignment best complements your event. Here are a few options:
- General admission: Attendees get a seat, but the seats are open to anyone with a ticket. There’s a seat for everyone, but there’s no specific assignment each seat.
- Reserved seating: Each attendee picks a seat at the time of purchase and that seat is reserved for them. Tickets are usually priced according to the location of the seats, with the best seats priced higher than others.
- Assigned seating: Every attendee gets an assigned seat, and that seat is determined by the event organizer or venue. Some events don’t tell attendees which seat is theirs until the time of the event.
Deciding on a seating chart
Choosing the right seating event will vary from event to event. Here’s are a few examples of common events and the seating that generally works best for each.
|Wedding||Assigned seating||This comes down to personal preference, but assigning guests to seats is common (plus a great way to prevent awkward family encounters).|
|Movie||Reserved seating||Many movie theaters let guests choose their seats when purchasing tickets. This prevents overselling and makes it easier for groups to sit together.|
|Small concert||General admission||We’re talking about shows at bars, clubs, and other spots that are standing-room only.|
|Large concert||Reserved seating||Some large concerts offer both general admission tickets and reserved seating, opening up different price points.|
|High school football game||General admission||Guests usually sit in bleachers that offer no strict assigned seating.|
There’s no hard rule on which seating chart you should choose. What’s important is considering your guests and choosing the option that will give them the best experience.
Selling tickets for reserved seating
OK, so you’ve decided that reserved seating is the best option for your attendees. You’re ready to sell tickets. Your event needs the structure of assigned seating, but it doesn’t matter where exactly everyone sits.
Where do you start? Here are a few ways to do this.
Some ticketing services, like Eventbrite, make it easy to assign seating, but you’ll need to have paid Premium or Professional level account. As long as that’s not a deal-breaker, this option allows you to choose the type of seating (sections or tables), add pricing tiers, and set ticket quantities.
PS: Our Eventbrite Tickets add-on for The Events Calendar syncs events between Eventbrite and WordPress. It also adds an Eventbrite ticket form to events on your site.
Event Tickets for WordPress
Want to avoid paying fees on Eventbrite? A free solution is to use our Event Tickets plugin for WordPress.
But, umm, there isn’t a seating chart feature in Event Tickets.
True! But it’s possible to set one up on your own by creating different “types” of tickets.
With Event Tickets, you can create multiple types of tickets on a single WordPress page, post, or custom post type. You can use this feature to create a specially-priced ticket, like “Early Bird Registration” or a “VIP” ticket that gives certain guests more benefits.
Ticket types can be used for reserved seating as well. Let’s take a super basic example, like an event with three rows (A, B, C) of nine seats.
Each row represents a ticket “type” that can be created in the WordPress editor.
Now guests have a choice of seats:
We cover this technique in more depth over at the Knowledgebase.
PurplePass and The Events Calendar
You might need something more than what Event Tickets offers. Looking for complex seating assignments, conditional pricing, group discounts, robust reporting, and maybe services that support seating, like printed materials?
Not only is Purplepass capable of all that, but it works seamlessly with The Events Calendar, giving you all of the sophisticated features of an enterprise ticketing solution right inside your WordPress admin.
Here’s a taste of what Purplepass can do:
- Create custom seating charts
- Color code seating sections and price points
- Allow guests to choose seats from the charts
- Design seating charts by section or table
- Display actual photos of the stage
And that’s just for seating charts. Purplepass is an end-to-end ticket solution that covers everything from event planning to onsite event support. Combined with our free The Events Calendar plugin, it’s like getting all of the features of Eventbrite inside WordPress.
Please, take a seat
You’ve earned it, because now you know about the different types of seating charts. We hope this helps you determine the best way to get your own seating chart up and running on WordPress.