With Orphan Seating Protection clients can set up seating groups throughout their seating chart to define groups of seats that cannot be purchased leaving a single orphan seat open, when other seat groups can be selected instead which would not result in an orphan seat.
Logic of the Orphan Seating Protection system
1. There are three default settings on the Global Settings screen: ON for box office, ON for public pages, protect aisle seats. These affect only new shows added after the settings have been activated, and only as defaults. Setting these to ON position does not affect past shows built into the system. These functions can be activated for those shows on a show by show basis.
2. Each show has three settings: ON for box office, ON for public pages, protect aisle seats. These can be turned on or off by show. Setting the defaults to ON from #1 above will set these to ON automatically when building a new show.
3. Each venue can have seating groups configured for orphan seating protection. A venue can function without any orphan seating groups, which means that venue will not have protection. Or a venue can have some seats designated in seating groups for orphan seating protection, while other seats are not.
4. The VENUE determines whether it's standard or table-style seating protection.
5. If table-style, you will to group the seats at each table as part of table setup. Table-style protection only checks how many seats at the table are being selected. It ignores the exact position of the seats. So, for example, you can say that three people cannot sit at a table with exactly four seats available.
6. There is an override allowing you to turn orphan seating protection OFF by performance.
7. If an admin user has permission to override orphaned seating protection, it won't apply to them. This is a separate setting on the Personal Settings screen, changeable only by secondary and primary user types for each other user.
8. In Standard seating, if seats are selected which will leave an orphan seat, the system checks to see if OTHER seats are available which do NOT leave an orphan seat and asks the person to select alternate seats. If other seats are NOT available for their group that would prevent an orphan, then the system will allow them to move forward leaving the orphan seat.
9. In Table seating, the system will compare the selection of seats to the rules established for table seating restriction and if rules are broken it simply advises them of the rule they've broken so they can make another selection. If there are no other seats available which do not break the rules, they will need to contact the box office for you to override the rules.
Setup of the Orphan Seating Protection system
Orphan seating protection is configured via the seating chart edit screen. When on that screen click on "Set up orphaned seating protection" above the seating chart grid. The seating chart must first be configured before applying orphan seating protection.
Setup steps for a Standard Venue:
- You may select two ends of a row of seats, or select 4 corners of a block of seats, wherein all rows are the same (horizontal or vertical). Do not leave loose seats, unless you do not wish them to be part of the seating group, and do not cross over aisles. Instead set those up in a separate step.
- Then click the correct option for "Group Horizontal" or "Group Vertical" to automatically create the seating groups. Each separate group of seats to which orphan seating rules will apply will be highlighted in a different color (these colors are for the setup tool only and will not be seen by your patrons).
- To set up a group that is diagonal, or a very rare case of where a row/group goes from horizontal to diagonal to vertical or any combination, you will instead select each seat individually and then click the "Save new group" button
- Continue this process until all seat groups are created that you wish to establish on your venue seating chart.
Setup setup steps for a Table Venue:
- On the Orphaned Seating Setup screen, check the box for "Use dinner theatre table style orphaned seating rules?" and click the save button.
- Select all seats at the first table to be grouped
- Click "Save new group" button to create this group
- Repeat for each table on the chart, which you wish to have rules apply
- Once all tables are grouped, click on "Setup table rules" button
- This takes you to the "Dinner Theatre Style Orphaned Seating Setup" screen to set up table-style protection.
- In the first column, input the number of seats that may be available at a table, and in the second column input the number of seats the patron may select that you DO NOT want allowed.
- Examples: if there are 4 seats remaining available at a table, you may not want them to select only 2 seats, as there might be a 2 top table elsewhere on the chart. That might be your first rule. Then you might want another rule saying if there are 3 seats available, selection of 2 seats is not allowed. etc. So you determine each possible combination of seats available, and seats selected that you WILL NOT allow. Note that if the patron is not able to select seats without breaking any of the rules you've established, then the system will notify them to call your box office where you may have box officers set with permission to override the rules (see note above about Personal Settings screen.
Activate the orphan seating protection system as a default:
- On the Global Settings setup screen, there are 3 settings related to orphan seating protection
- "Orphaned seating: default on for public pages?" - checking this box will activate the general protection rules to apply for patrons purchasing online on all new shows you build. NOTE that it does not apply automatically to shows previously built. You will need to activate it on those shows if you wish the rules to apply.
- "Default on for box office?" - checking this box will activate the general protection rules to apply for box office seat selection on all new shows you build. NOTE that it does not apply automatically to shows previously built. You will need to activate it on those shows if you wish the rules to apply.
- "Default aisle seat protection (ends of groups)?" - checking this box will make orphan seating protection apply to seats at the end of a row. If you leave this unchecked then the rules will not apply to these seats.
Activate the orphan seating protection system specifically by show or performance:
- Once the default orphan seating protection is activated on your system (see above), you can then subjectively activate or inactivate it on individual shows and performances.
- If you have shows that were built prior to the system being activated, you can add orphan seating protection to these shows on the Shows setup screen, with the same 3 options as above.
- If you wish protection to NOT apply to a specific show, you can edit the settings on the Shows setup screen to turn it off.
- If you wish protection to NOT apply to a specific performance, you can uncheck the box on the specific performance(s) labeled "Do not enforce orphaned seating rules" on the Performances setup screen.