A Quick Intro to Social Seating Software for Event Managers

A Quick Intro to Social Seating Software for Event Managers

At the end of the day, events are all about people. Great food, fabulous entertainment, gorgeous location – none of it really matters without good company. Problem is, everyone’s definition of “good company” is different, and event planners have little insight into who wants to be where. Named one of 2014’s event trends, Social Seating allows attendees to choose who they sit next to based on data in their social network profiles, or allows event managers to assign seating based on pre-determined groups.

The technology has obvious event management applications, but it’s also being implemented across a variety of industries. Dutch airline KLM, for example, allows passengers to choose their seat based on public Google+, Facebook, or LinkedIn profile data, increasing the possibility that they might make a career-enhancing or personally fulfilling connection during the flight. Very cool.

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The Major Players

The leader in the Social Seating industry for events is a called Social Tables, which focuses on providing diagramming and check-in while linking up to catering at the back of the house. Social Tables features a drag-and-drop interface, allowing you (or the guests themselves) to see who’s sitting where, and then place guests accordingly by simply dragging them into an open seat. It also allows you to group attendees by tags (for example, “speakers”), so when you drag a single member of that group to a table, all other attendees with the same tag are automatically seated nearby.

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Seat ID takes a slightly different and wider tack, targeting travel (like trains and planes) and venues (like stadiums). Check out their intro vid:

Another up-and-coming company in the social seating arena, recently nominated for the Eventex awards, is Seats.io, a flexible seating script that your web team can integrate with your booking and payment system. Seats.io is ideal for event, venue or travel managers who have an existing checkout process, would like to tie a selectable seating chart into their checkout.

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Here to Stay

We don’t think this trend is going away, and it stands to reason that social seating is set to become an expected must-have. Catch this one in its infancy and stay ahead of that curve.

David Sonntag
david@decibelmanagement.com
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