Eventbrite, an online ticketing service provider, has come a long way since it launched in 2006 but the lack of reserved seating functionality has been a critical drawback that kept many nonprofit performing arts organizations from considering it as a serious ticketing solution. But all that changed on March 5, 2014 when Eventbrite launched a new reserved seating feature that, simply put, is pretty damn slick.
Here’s Eventbrite’s self-described overview of features:
- Easily create a realistic seat map in minutes.
- Fill the best seats first with ‘best available’ seating
- Set optimal pricing for each seat in the house
- Save and crowd-source seat maps by other organizers
- Integrate with other Eventbrite tools to set up discounts, access sales data and reports at any time, and much more
If that last point makes it sound like they are moving out of the ticketing-solution-only space and into full blown CRM (customer relationship solution) territory, then you get a gold star for observation prowess.
The seat map creator is not only easy to use, but far more powerful than you might imagine while the print and digital tickets are as streamlined and user friendly as their traditional counterparts.
Oh, and did I mention the seat map designer and related services are free; there isn’t even a one off set up fee. Instead, Eventbrite opted to apply its standard pricing structure which only charges nonprofit users 5%+$0.99 per sold ticket (2% is the Eventbrite charge and 3% is the credit card processing fee). If your org isn’t a 501(c)3, you can add an additional .5% to that fee formula.
Fortunately, Eventbrite provides the option of rolling the fee into the ticket price or show it as a separate line item charge.
The new reserved seating offering incorporates all of their traditional features such as selling tickets at the door via a card swipe device and an iPad as well as ticket scanning via iOS or Android powered Smartphone. Granted, it would be nice if they could release an Android version of the at-the-door sale app as well as offer both options for Windows 8 devices, but this is a comparatively minor (and hopefully temporary) gripe.
Why Eventbrite’s reserved seating feature isn’t making huge waves throughout the nonprofit performing arts field is beyond me but then again, using Eventbrite for ticketing has been seen by many in the field the same way they viewed WordPress. Remember when people used to think it was only for publishing blogs? Ha!
Moreover, if Eventbrite doesn’t begin showing up at all the major performing arts org conferences and conventions, they’re missing out as our field has needed a solution like this for many, many years.
If your group looking for a new ticketing provider, do yourself a big favor and take a close look at Eventbrite.
Is anyone out there using Eventbrite’s reserved seating functionality? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience so thank you in advance for taking a moment to get in touch or leave a comment.