When you hear “reserved seating,” you probably think of assigned chairs and venue charts. You’re not wrong, but there’s more to it than that. Reserved seats are your event’s experience-enhancing, ticket-sales-optimizing secret weapon!
What’s so great about reserved seating?
You’re not just selling guests a guaranteed seat at your event. You’re adding to their overall positive experience and helping them to feel special. Reserved seats also have a real, tangible benefit—they’re your ticket (ahem) to increasing event revenue.
We’ll dive into how to use reserved seat tickets to positively impact your bottom line below. But first, you may be curious about the differences between it and general admission ticketing.
Reserved Seats vs. General Admission
Reserved Seats: As the name suggests, this ticket type involves your attendees selecting specific seats in advance. This ensures that they’ll have a guaranteed spot waiting for them when they arrive at your event.
General Admission: Attendees purchase a ticket that grants them entry, but there’s no specific seat attached to that ticket. Instead, your event’s seating (or standing areas, in some cases) is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
How Reserved Seating Delivers a Better Guest Experience
When your guests find their seats, they feel a little like an A-lister. They also feel more at ease—just knowing they have their own seat means they don’t have to throw elbows or hustle through the crowd to find a good view. Instead, they’re free to meander and soak up your event, buy drinks and snacks at your concessions, and shop your event merch. During the event, your guests won’t be worried about leaving to get something to eat or drink. They know their seat is waiting and that accessing it is as easy as showing the usher their ticket.
Reserved seats contribute significantly to your attendees’ positive experience. And we all know experience is a priceless benefit that pays off in both real and intangible dividends.
6 Ways to Optimize Your Event’s Reserved Ticketing
People appreciate the benefits of a guaranteed seat, all of which make it worth it to them to invest in a premium experience at your event. If your event type and venue lend themselves to reserved seating, incorporating it into your ticketing plan is a must. The following strategies will help you make the most of your event’s reserved seats.
An interactive seating map isn’t just a tool—it’s part of the experience. It invites your attendees to explore your venue, imagine themselves there, click, and claim their space. And while we’re not naming names, some savvy platforms out there (ahem) offer free mapping of your unique venue to ensure every inch (and premium seat) shines.
Issuing printed tickets to your event in addition to e-tickets is always a good idea. First and foremost, they’re inclusive. Some of your attendees might not be as comfortable with technology and may prefer to use printed tickets. Or maybe paying with a credit card is a challenge and they’d rather buy their event ticket with cash.
Physical event tickets are also a great branding opportunity. You can create yours (or use an easy-to-edit template) to add your event logo and colors. That touch of cohesive branding will contribute to yoru guests’ experience, too.
Additionally, printed event tickets represent a sponsorship placement opportunity. You can add discounts or promotions for partner businesses to the back! Finally, paper tickets are a tangible reminder of your event. Printed with your event’s branding and their assigned seat, your guests may save them as a souvenir.
Bundling tickets can help you create an exclusive event experience for your guests. Maybe those in the extra-premium seats also receive a concessions voucher and a merch-filled swag bag. In addition to those perks, your top-tier seats could include convenient parking and special refreshments.
For more about ticket bundling, read our article Supercharge Your Event’s Ticket Sales with Ticket Bundles.
Group reserved ticket sales
If you’ve gone to a show with friends, you know going together as a group is way more fun. Plus, when groups attend together, their excitement and anticipation ramp up. All that collective enthusiasm can lead to more word-of-mouth promotion which can bump up ticket sales. All of that good stuff begins with sitting together, which is where group reserved tickets come in.
Make your event’s group ticketing option special and exciting. Offer a special discount, and offer optional bundles geared toward making sure those guests have an amazing time. Things like merch, food, drink, and access to a special, VIP-only restroom are all benefits people will gladly pay for to have a great time.
Your event data offers insights that can drive both strategic and operational decisions. For instance, if certain sections consistently sell out quickly, that can inform your pricing or promotional strategies. You can also use your event data to create marketing campaigns, such as offering early-bird seat reservations to attendees who have typically booked premium seats in the past. Sponsorship and advertising is another area where your event data can shine a light. High-demand areas could be prime real estate to display corporate ads or your nonprofit cause partner’s branding.
Gathering your event data is automatic when you use a platform like ours to sell tickets and register guests! From there, you’ll just have to access your reports or merge them with your CRM.
Reserved seating isn’t just a logistical choice. It’s a strategy that can elevate your guests’ entire event experience and set the stage for increased revenue. Whether it’s through tiered pricing, interactive maps, or leveraging data insights, every facet of reserved seating offers you an opportunity to maximize both.
Ready to transform your next event with the power of reserved seating? Get started with our event ticketing platform! Using it, you can set up reserved seating, track ticket sales, promote your event, and more!