Eventbrite has made a name for itself as one of the largest self-serve platforms for managing ticket sales and RSVPs, but until today organizers could only create events with general admission seating. That’s changing, as the company is rolling out a suite of tools that will enable event planners to create and manage advanced reserved seating charts.
The new functionality, which begins rolling out today, will offer up a dashboard whereby event organizers can build their own custom seating charts based on the venues they’re holding events in.
The Eventbrite Seat Designer provides an intuitive interface for seat planning and inventory management. Users can create seat maps with a drag and drop interface, placing tables, seats, stages, bars, food stations and the like, enabling customized layouts based on the venue and type of event that is being held.
For events with a stage or other focal point of attention, the tool will automatically determine which seats are the best, and fill them in first as attendees begin to purchase tickets. That offers an incentive for attendees to purchase tickets early to score the best seats.
In the future, however, Eventbrite plans to provide the ability for ticket purchasers to choose their own seats, but that feature isn’t available at launch.
The tool also enables event organizers to create a tiered ticket pricing scale, based on where seats are located within a venue. Different price levels are color-coded on the seat map so that event organizers and attendees can visualize where different priced seats are located.
Once a seating chart is made, Eventbrite will allow event organizers to share those seat maps with each other. In that way, the company can crowdsource seat maps for particular venues that can be re-used over and over again, eliminating hassle for event planners.
The new seat mapping and inventory management features will be available to event organizers at no additional cost, and will integrate with its existing analytics and tools. Rolling out first in the U.S., they’ll start to become available on localized Eventbrite sites around the world later in the month.
For Eventbrite, the feature should help the company to offer services to an expanding number of events, organizers, and venues that it previously couldn’t serve. That includes theaters and other performing arts, as well as spectator sports events and venues.
For those types of events, users were either manually assigning seats or using a clunky database to do so, according to co-founder Julia Hartz. With the new tools, the company should be able to service even more events.
That’s a huge opportunity for a company that’s already pretty big. Last year, the company processed more than $1 billion in gross ticket sales for over a million events. But there’s plenty more sales to come with reserved seating now available.