accesso Webinar Series Presents: Seat Mapping Your Way to Success!
Looking to increase ticket sales and revenue? A creative strategy will often reap the highest benefits and still preserve guest satisfaction. Our accesso ShoWare solution is filled with the tools that venues need to be successful, from Dynamic Pricing to Round Up and many more. Along with these flashy features, many of our core functionality pieces can also be used strategically, yet often go unnoticed. Seat Maps are a prime example. We asked Chris Waldmann, Senior Client Services Manager and Joe Wettstead, Director of Client Success both from our accesso ShoWare team to revisit the art and science of creating seat maps in a recent webinar.
Our accesso ShoWare ticketing solution can accommodate everything from the simplest General Admission seating arrangement to maps with reserved table seating, balcony seating and any combination thereof. Venues of all sizes and varieties use our accesso ShoWare solution, including dinner theatres, ice hockey arenas, concert venues, performing arts centers and more.
It’s important to understand that there are two basic types of seating maps within our accesso ShoWare solution: General Admission and Reserved Seat. General Admission maps are quick and easy to build and allow clients to sell a set amount of admission tickets where no specific seating location is required. First, create a venue by naming it and entering the address. Next, select the venue and create a new GA map. All that’s left is to name the map and input the total number of tickets for sale. Our accesso ShoWare event ticketing system also allows users to create maps with multiple GA sections. For example, a VIP GA area might be closer to the stage (and priced accordingly) whereas the Standard GA area could be right behind it. This is a great tool for driving ticket revenue!
Reserved seating maps take a little more time to assemble but offer patrons the ability to select the exact seat they want at the time of purchase. It’s important to gather a few key pieces of information before starting to build a reserved seat map. The first is a complete and detailed seating manifest that properly identifies every seat in the venue. Secondly, a clean and professional map image is important, and can make all the difference in a guest’s purchase decision. Finally, it’s important to have an idea of pricing strategy and the overall value of certain seats.
Make sure to take full advantage of the power of Price Categories when pricing seat maps strategically. Traditional theatres in the past may have simply offered Orchestra, Mezzanine and Balcony seating, with each operating as its own price category; however, many venues today recognize the true value of premium seats and consumers’ demand for them. Today, it’s not uncommon for a venue to have four or more price categories within the same section of tickets. By pricing rows within the same section at different price levels, a venue can maximize income on the best seats in the house. Over time, as these VIP tickets sell out more quickly, it also sends a subtle demand signal that it’s important to purchase tickets early in the season.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, our accesso ShoWare solution can help venues manage inventory that is difficult to sell, such as rows that occur close to pricing breaks. For example, if rows 1-10 cost $80 and 11-20 are priced at $60, it would not be surprising for patrons to avoid row 10 if the perceived benefit of sitting one row closer to the stage was less than saving $20. By using the seating allocation functionality with our accesso ShoWare platform, our clients can block off sections of seating during the initial on-sale and release them at a later date.
We’ve recently improved our seat map creation process with several new features designed to save clients time. Gone are the days of creating a new map from scratch after a mistake was made — our new tools allow users to edit and save each section individually. Our new map tools also allow users to assign entry points for each seat on the map, and our color-coded seating manifest report provides an easy way to visualize groups and identify where members are seating. Special seating tools make it a breeze to clearly mark seats that are reserved for ADA seating or possibly an obstructed view, and our new mapping tool makes drawing your coordinates easier than ever.