Tech Content
8 minutes

So, you’re planning a live event soon, and you’re unsure about your seating plan? Of course, you can calculate how many seats will be available to make well-informed decisions and ensure audience satisfaction based on the number of people you expect, the type of venue, and the nature of the event itself.

General admission and reserved tickets are among the most common ticket types in the industry, as they are pivotal for any live event. By catering to different needs, the two ticket types provide options for different potential attendees. Reserved tickets are more popular among those who want the best view or who want to sit together in a group.

As both music and sports events are predicted to grow by 2024 and surpass $20 billion in revenue, according to Statista, event organizers who understand their audience’s needs will have the advantage over those who don’t.

Since we want to support our clients in making informed decisions, we’ve decided to share our experience and some key information on this subject.

General Admission: Something for Everyone

What Does "General Admission" Mean?

A general admission(GA) ticket is a type of ticket that allows entry to an event, but does not guarantee a specific seat assignment. With a general admission ticket, you may be given a specific area to sit or stand in, but you don't have a specific seat reserved for you. General admission ticket holders are usually admitted to the event on a first-come, first-served basis.

One of the main benefits of general admission tickets is that they are often less expensive than reserved seating tickets. They can also be easier to obtain for popular events, as there are typically more general admission tickets available. In addition, general admission tickets allow for flexibility and the ability to move around and experience the event in different ways.

General Admission for Event Organizers

General Admission is one of the most common ticket types. Organizers offer it whenever reserving a seat is not necessary, and for those attending its benefit is that it’s generally the most affordable type of ticket.

Many event organizers bundle General Admission tickets with food and drinks to attract more attendees who might then bring along their families or friends. For a live concert or a big game, many fans prefer to stand while watching their favorite artist perform, so general admissions or unreserved tickets can be for seating or standing, depending on the time of arrival. At bigger events, these attendees are usually arranged in the pit.

With this type of ticket, there are no special prices or assigned places, so the first people who show up will generally get the best spots. Event managers use this type for both large and small events, as it’s generally more budget-friendly than reserved seating.

Benefits of General Admission:

  • Attendees can stand or sit wherever they want
  • Attendees can change their minds and move to another spot
  • Fast check-in
  • No need for a seating chart


  • Attendees have to arrive early to find good spots
  • Greater chance of chaotic seating

The screenshot displays Softjourn's Virtual Map Technology (VMT) in action, showing an easy and user-friendly process of reserving seats for an event.

The screenshot displays the process of reserving seats for an event using Softjourn's Venue Mapping Tool (VMT).

Reserved Seating: A Premium Event Experience

What Does "Reserved Seating" Mean?

Reserved seating tickets are a type of ticket that allow you to choose and reserve a specific seat at an event. With a reserved seating ticket, you know exactly where you will be sitting and can plan your arrival accordingly. This can be especially convenient if you have accessibility needs or want to ensure that you have a good view of the stage or performance area.

With reserved tickets, event organizers allow patrons to choose their seats and venue sections. This way, patrons won’t have to rush, as their seats will be available to them whenever they arrive—even late, in some cases. If you are hosting a large event like a music concert or a game, offer reserved seating to prevent long queues or impatient crowds outside the venue.

Some ticketing apps include built-in features like reserved seating that allow attendees to pick their seats according to their preference or current the COVID-19 restriction policy.

Benefits of reserved seating:

  • Guests can pick their seats before the event
  • Encourages early sales
  • Prices differ according to the seat location
  • Disabled attendees can find a spot that works best for them
  • Families can be sure to sit together
  • Eliminates confusion


  • Higher ticket prices
  • The best seats sell first

Why Offer Various Ticket Types?

Using multiple ticketing types comes with several advantages, especially when discounts are added. Most people will usually opt for General Admission, but if they see a “sold-out” sign, they might reconsider and buy more expensive tickets.

The fear of missing out is a powerful tool that motivates potential customers to shop only if the offer is adjusted to their specific needs. For example, by offering family packages that bundle tickets, you encourage attendees to purchase more expensive tickets so they can sit together.

Ultimately, leaving your patrons with a simple choice between a General Admission ticket and a reserved seat will help them decide, without overwhelming them with too many options.

Use a Venue Mapping Tool (VMT)

Smart event organizers understand how valuable a functional seating plan is and how it directly affects venue capacity and the number of tickets sold. If you have decided to use a venue mapping tool to ensure every visitor can find the most comfortable seat, partnering with experts can help you make sure your full potential is engaged.

Softjourn’s VMT solution allows venue managers to visualize their venue and plan for events. This tool can be instrumental in reviving cultural events, as its benefits are twofold: it provides greater comfort to audiences and it helps event managers define venue sections and generate accurate price models.


Both General Admission and reserved seating are incremental for event managers, as they’re the basic types of tickets the audience recognizes, especially for big events. Certainly, adding early bird tickets and discount code sharing are good strategies for increasing revenue, but most people will still go for the simplest option.

While event organizers work out solutions to bring back live events and ensure that attendees feel safe, ticketing apps are giving patrons more options to choose from.

If you are interested in using our venue mapping tool(VMT) to drive more people to your events, let’s discuss how it can help you put together events your patrons will really enjoy.