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This page describes tools to help with social distancing for live performances:

  1. Buffers for reserved seating
  2. Capacity estimates to use with reserved seating
  3. Capacity limits for both reserved and general admission seating.
  4. Assignment of orders to specific entrances to reduce physical interaction on entry
  5. Categorization of reservation by distance from aisle, again to reduce physical interaction

1 Reserved seating buffers

The system allows you to set two optional buffers between reservations for different parties — between seats and between rows. Typical values might be 2 seats (roughly 6 feet) and one row. This buffer doesn't apply to seats within the same order, so shoppers can continue to add seats to their cart next to seats they've already added. In addition, if a shopper returns later, and enters the same email address used to purchase previously, the shopper will be able to buy seats immediately adjacent to the previously bought ones. We recommend advising shoppers of this possibility via a landing message note. See this note for how to do that.

To see this feature in operation, try buying seats to a Social distancing in person event.

Here is a chart in which sections have been filled to capacity with reservations of different sizes. Please let us know if you would like us to prepare a similar graphic with the chart and buffers sized of your choosing.

To set up buffers for an event:

If you are not sure that the buffers you have set will keep the number of seats sold below a specified maximum allowed percentage of capacity, use the Percentage of capacity that can be used field to set that percentage.

For convenience, the Manage seats page shows seats in buffer areas for existing reservations with X marks. Those marks are for the managers' information only, and do not prevent managers from allocating those seats to the box office and then selling them. As always, our approach allows human beings to override the system as a general convention.

Note: We have been seeing situations where a local health authority has mandated the use of fixed seating configurations to achieve the kind of distancing that our system can guarantee with the feature described above. Using the feature described here is likely to satisy your patrons' needs better, and also allow for better utilization of your space, without compromising on distancing between parties. Let us know if you would like our help in getting permission to use this feature to achieve the goal your local authorities quite reasonably desire.

2 Reserved seating capacity estimates

We were surprised when we first added buffers to see how much they reduced the capacity of a venue. So we decided it would be useful to offer a tool that give you a plausable estimate of how much you could fill your own venue in the presence of buffers of different sizes, and for different uniform reservation sizes.

To use this tool:

The chart will fill with a regular set of reservations of the size you chose, and you will see the percentage of that fill above the chart. You can change the value in the seating dropdown to see the fill and percentage estimate change.

As a convenience, the Manage seats page shows buffers in effect around existing reservation with an X in the blocked seats. However, those designations do not prevent account managers from overriding them and selling those seats from the box office.

Note: The Estimate max usage link is not visible to regular shoppers; only managers who have logged in and gotten to the shopping page via the link in the Mgmt panel of the dashboard can use the feature. When on the shopping page, you can verify that you got there from the dashboard by checking for the word Manager to the right of the Seat Yourself logo at the top of the page.

3 Seating capacity limits for both reserved and general admission seation

To set up a capacity limit by percentage for a single event:

Please note that the percentage cap is applied separately to each seating section. It is not easy to figure out the effect of a percentage cap where there are multiple sections of different sizes; please ask for our help.

4 Multiple entrances (reserved seating only)

If your venue has multiple entrances, and you would like to assign reservations to a specific entrance based on distance from that entrance to the seats, have us add those entrances to your chart.

Once you've done that, reservations will include the name of the closest entrance. We leave it to you to let your patrons know if you'd like them to use the entrance on the reservation; there is no automatic support for that sort of notification.

5 Distance from aisle (reserved seating only)

You may want to ask patrons with seats in the middle of aisles to enter first, and patrons with seats on the aisle to enter last, so as to reduce people passing by each other in close proximity. To that end, reservations now include the number of seats from the the reservation to the aisle.

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