You must set up your venue or venues prior to selling tickets to your shows and events. We typically set up your initial venue as part of your system setup. We also have the ability to copy an existing venue which you can then modify as necessary. This is useful if you price one venue multiple different ways, e.g. one show in a venue may have all seats priced the same and a second show in the same venue may have pricing sections. Creating a duplicate copy of a venue allows you to easily edit the second copy to create pricing sections or add or remove rows as necessary. Additional venues can be setup by you - notify us if you need us to make a copy of a current venue. If you would like an Arts People staff member to build a venue with seating chart for you for a nominal fee, please submit a help request and we will be happy to assist you.
Entering or Editing a Venue - Venue Setup screen
To access the venues screen, click on Venues link via the main Setup menu. This will take you to the venue entry page. You may enter as many venues as you like. Enter the name of your venue and reference name, and for general admission shows, enter the number of general admission seats, general admission holds (seats held for special purposes, such as house seats), and wheelchair positions allowed in general admission shows. (G/A regular seats + G/A wheelchair seats = total seating capacity). (See below for more information on creating different G/A seating sections.)
If a venue is not currently being used, you can inactivate the venue by checking the Inactive check box on the setup screen. Click the Edit Venue Details button to access the inactive check box. This will also remove the venue from the venue drop down list on the performances screen.
If any shows or events in the venue will be using assigned seating you will need to enter the rows and seats (and any pricing sections) on the Seating Chart screen (see below for more information on configuring a seating chart).
Enter the venue address. This typically appears on your Letter sized ticket design. Click the Save button to save the changes you have entered.
You can enter a venue image, such as a picture of the venue or even a small map, to appear on your printed Letter sized ticket for patrons, if you wish.
If you will be using assigned seating at this venue click on Edit seating chart link (after you have saved your changes).
A venue cannot be edited beyond basic settings if it is currently in use and a venue can't be deleted if it has ever been in use. "In use" being defined as a non-test ticket being sold to that venue. If you need to edit a venue that is currently being used your CS Rep can assist you or give you access to non basic settings if you prefer. Please contact us through the help center for assistance.
General Admission Seating Section entry
The system has the ability to have different General Admission seating sections, so one section of your venue can have one number of regular seats, wheelchair seats and holds, while other sections can have their own numbers. Also, pricing can vary based on these sections.
From the venue screen you can click the link for "G/A Seating Sections" which will take you to a screen to add specific sections, if you wish. Sections are not necessary if the venue does not need to be sectioned.
To add sections:
- Input the order number (1 will appear at the top of the list, 2 below it, etc) (required field)
- input the name of the section such as "Orchestra", "Balcony", etc (required field)
- Input the capacity (# of regular seats) in that section (note that the capacity numbers MUST add up to to the total capacity of seats on the venue (required field)
- input the wheelchair capacity (count of wheelchair seats in this section) (required field)
- input the default hold count (# of seats you want on hold in this section by default when building a new performance). (required field)
- input a pricing section letter code (Such as O for Orchestra). This code will be used if you build price terms specific to that section. (required field if you will be pricing sections differently)
- repeat for each G/A seating section in the venue. Remember, these counts must add up to the total counts on the venue screen or ticket sales will not work.
These instructions apply to the venue. When you build G/A performances in the venue, these sections will copy over to the performance. You can manually adjust these details on individual performances from the Performances setup screen. Note: once performances are built with GA seating sections, the sections cannot be removed.
Seating Chart Entry
This screen allows you to enter your pricing sections, seats, rows and any venue labels (e.g. balcony, lower level, stage, etc). This information is entered using a grid format.
Setting up your venue
First, set the width and height of the grid to roughly match the dimensions of your seating chart. To determine the width and height count the rows (including any blank rows to indicate spaces between house sections) and count the "columns" (including columns for the row labels).
Click the Save button. The grid will expand to the width and height dimensions you entered. If you need to increase the width and/or height, you can do so after you have created your grid and even after you have entered data. Any additional rows and columns are added to the bottom and right of the grid, respectively. You can also move sections of data if you need the new rows or columns to appear in a different area on the venue.
Now you can begin to enter the seat numbers. If the seat just has a number, with no row or section, just enter the number in the cell.
If a seat has a row and a number, don't put anything between them. E.g. A103. See additional information below regarding pricing and seating sections and how to insert those into the seat number cell.
If you need to make any changes to an EXISTING VENUE, you need to be extremely careful if the venue is currently in use for an upcoming event or performance. If seating numbers change in any way, the sales on those seats may not appear as sold on the chart after the change is made. This is because the seat numbering on the order will no longer match the seat numbering on the venue (section, row, seat, etc). If you need to make this type of change, please ask us to first duplicate the venue, then you can make changes to the duplicate under a new venue name, and then assign the new venue to FUTURE performances you build that do not yet have sales on them.
You can save a lot of time by skipping numbers in between seats. Just put a period (.) in any position where the seat number is just the next one. So for example, you could have
F-J1 . . . . . F-J7
Make sure that you enter the full seat number for the first and last seats of each row. If your seat numbers don't ascend from left to right, you can get clever. For seat numbers going right to left, use this format:
F-J7 .-1 . . . . F-J1
The .-1 tells it to number backwards. You can also have it use every other number (forwards or backwards):
F-J13 .-2 . . . . F-J1
Note: Do notation cannot be used on row letters, only seat numbers. Additionally, the numbers have to move left to right or right to left, not up and down.
You can enter labels on the seating chart as well. Any cell that begins with a * will be interpreted as a label, not a seat.
Big labels: you can create special labels which take up an area of the chart. Labels can be simple or more decorative through the use of HTML and CSS. This is especially useful for indicating the position of the stage in certain layouts. For example:
Simple label example - *[w:5]STAGE (This example just places the word STAGE in a space spanning 5 cells)
Advanced label example - *[w:12 h:3 class:stagelabel] STAGE (This example places the word STAGE in a space spanning 12 cells wide and 3 cells high, aligned to the center of that space, using the class "stagelabel" that is styled in your cascading style sheet. This style might tell the text to be colored, of a certain size, with a background color to make a block to represent the stage. You could use font tags to style the text manually instead as well. Be sure to leave 12 cells wide and 3 cells high free for this to span on the grid.)
Using labels to display seats at an offset/angled:
Labels may also be used on either side of a row that you would like to display as offset in relation to other rows.
For example, to offset a row by a half space to show seats as aligned between seats in front or behind them, use *[w:1.5] in a cell leading the seat numbers, and *[w:0.5] in a cell following the seat numbers. Put row labels in a separate cell from these tags to avoid the labels being offset.
You may want to charge different prices for different areas of the venue. In this case, of course, you want the different zones to show up in color so the patron knows what they're buying. At the bottom of the seating chart screen is a table which allows you to specify the color for each section. You can use a variety of "normal" colors which are recognized by HTML (white, black, blue, red, etc), or you can use a more specific color by entering its # code.
In some cases, your pricing sections will correspond neatly to your seating sections (section A is $5.00 extra, for example). If they don't, however, you can specify a pricing section to a seat which is different from its seating section.
Use a % to specify the pricing section. For example, A-B10%C specifies seating section A, row B, seat 10, pricing section C. Pricing sections work with dot notation, so you can write:
F-J13%C .-2 . . . . F-J1%C
...for seats in seating section F, pricing section C.
The seating section is not used in pricing, but rather can be used to include section names on the ticket. If you want Left, Right and Center section information to appear on your tickets you enter L- in front the seat number e.g. L-A1, L-A2, L-A3. In the seating section area of the venue page enter L in the seating section field and Left in the Full name field and any seats that begin with L- will display Left in the Section column. You can also use Seating section to display wheelchair labels. E.g. (WC-A5) along with WC in the Seating section field and wheelchair in the Full name field will display wheelchair in the section column on the ticket when someone chooses that seat. This will help ushers quickly determine what area of the house to seat patrons. Other examples of seating sections might be Orchestra vs Mezzanine, Floor vs Balcony, etc.
The system allows you to hold seats for special purposes such as house seats, selling through other outlets, etc. These can be controlled by the individual performance (see Performances) and/or you can set a "default" venue hold which will put a hold on those seats for any future show or event in the venue. If you put an exclamation point (!) at the end of the seat number or dot, that seat will automatically be reserved for any new performance. You may follow the ! with a letter (A, B, or C) to specify the reservation category (visit: Seat Hold System for more information). If you don't specify a category, the system uses A.
On the public pages, seats on hold appear on the seating chart with an "H" in them. If you prefer the seats to appear the same as sold seats, you can change the icon by checking the "Use a special graphic to show holds on public pages" checkbox on the global settings screen. Enabling that option displays the sold seat graphic for seats on hold. Venue comments (explained below) may be used to let your patrons know the status of these seats.
You can sell held seats from the box office page. If you want to sell held seats from the box office, simply check the "Use Holds" check box on the Edit Administrator screen for your administrator account (must be a primary administrator to access this screen). Held seats will appear with an "H" in them or as the sold seat graphic if you have enabled the "Use a special graphic to show holds on public pages" option.
Any seat you want to designate a held seat must have a ! at the end, even the dot notation. You must put the ! and category with each dot. The seat reservation notation goes after the seat number (or .) and the pricing section (see example below).
Enter wheelchair positions in parentheses: e.g. (B-A103). The parentheses go around everything else. All the other options (seat reservations, pricing sections, dot notation) work with wheelchair positions. The color of wheelchair seats is set on the venue screen.
Wheelchair Companion/Accessible Positions
Enter wheelchair companion/accessible positions in square brackets: e.g. [B-A103]. The square brackets go around everything else. All the other options (seat reservations, pricing sections, dot notation) work with wheelchair companion/accessible positions. The color of the wheelchair companion/accessible seat is set on the venue screen.
A wheelchair companion/accessible seat set on hold will display the hold icon
J13%C!B .-2!B .!B .!B .!B .!B (J1%C!B)
...that row of seats has no seating section; it is in pricing section C, but reserved in category B. The last seat is a wheelchair seat.
Including venue comments is a useful way to provide additional information to your patrons. You can include venue specific details, such as wheelchair seating, notes about held seats, pricing section information, etc. Venue comments are entered at the bottom of the venue setup screen. Don't forget to click save! Comments appear at the bottom of the seating chart. You can also add a comment to appear on Letter sized tickets only, specifying things like parking arrangements.
Preview the Venue
You should preview your venue to confirm that it looks correct. To preview your venue you can enter a show or event and a performance date for the show that will occur in the venue. See Shows and Performances for information about adding new shows and performances. You can either set the show to "Preview mode" or enter a future on sale date for the show so that it isn't available for sale to the public until you have confirmed that you are satisfied with the look of the venue. You can view the venue on the box office screen or through the ticketing public page buy path to see how it will appear to patrons online.
Shifting parts of the chart, or flipping or rotating the chart
The seating chart editing screen has tools for you to shift sections of the chart in up, down, side to side, rotate or flip.
- Section controls:
- Shift >> Moves a section of the venue to the right. Type -> (dash and greater than symbol) in a cell at the top left corner of the section you wish to move and left arrow in the bottom right corner of the section, then click this button. The selected section will shift right one cell, if that column is empty.
- Shift << Moves a section of the venue to the left (see Shift >>)
- Shift up ^ Shifts selected cells up one row
- Shift down v Shifts selected cells down one row
- Venue controls:
- Shift << Moves venue one cell to the left, if that column is empty.
- Shift >> Moves venue one cell to the right and adds a new column to the left..
- Shift up ^ Shifts venue up one row if that row is empty
- Shift down v Shifts venue down one row. A new row and adds a new row at the top.
- Rotate 180 degrees - Turns entire chart around (imagine turning your car steering wheel)
- Flip top/bottom - Flips the chart (imagine taking a piece of paper and turning it over from the top to the bottom). This reverses your seat numbering. If seat A1 was at the top left, it now will be at the bottom left, so the orientation to the stage is now reversed. Proceed with caution when using this feature. This can be used in conjunction with the rotate button if you need to completely reverse your seat numbering, but want the stage at the top, for example.
Contact Client Services if you would like assistance with your venue set up. We can also create a copy of your venue for you to make adjustments.
Orphan seating protection is an option you can choose to set up on your venues if you wish. 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. For details, visit: Orphan Seating Protection.