why seat filling is beneficial for holiday shows, seat filling benefits

10 Reasons Why Seat-Filling Is Beneficial for Your Holiday Shows

Seat-Filling is Beneficial for Your Holiday Shows - and ALL Shows!

by Lu, OTL Seat Fillers & City Guides

We’ve been filling seats for shows in US cities and London for nine years now, and one of the most common things we hear (at least at first) is “Why would I give away tickets when I’m in the business of selling tickets?”

Yup – a valid point. However, there are plenty of reasons why giving away tickets can either save you money or generate additional income for you. So, I thought I’d take a moment of your time during this hectic time of the year to share the top 10 reasons why seat-filling is beneficial for your holiday shows.

Oh, and if you don’t know how it works, jump to the bottom of the page, and I’ll walk you through it step-by-step.

1. More Exciting Previews or Media Night Performances

Yup, we know that holiday shows tend to sell out, and that’s awesome! OTL Seat Fillers is a partner of the arts and entertainment community, and we’re here to support you and help you succeed.

2. Fill Up Those Matinees and Weekday Events

The same goes for matinees and weekday events. If you anticipate having even four open seats, why leave them open? The most an empty seat will do is hold a coat for the patron next to it. An empty seat can’t buy popcorn, a drink, or a program. And it definitely can’t clap. But, if it could, that would definitely be something to see!

3. Add to Your Marketing List

Seat fillers stop by Will-Call to check in or pick up tickets. So, why not have them sign in and add them to your marketing list? If you’re looking for people who love your brand of entertainment, then you’ve got the ideal demographic for future shows.

Put ‘em on the list!

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4. You Decide Where Your Invitees Sit

Got a few open seats in the front rows? Or half a section that should look a lot more full?

Seat-filling is beneficial for your holiday shows because you control the seating assignments. Now, keep in mind that OTL has 2 and 4-seat memberships. That means a seat filler member’s party needs to be seated together. But you decide where they sit and it could be Row A, seats 1 and 2, or Row ZZ, seats 33 and 34.

It’s up to you!

5. The Service is Free

As I mentioned, OTL is a partner of the arts and entertainment community, and we never charge anything for the service. You let us know how many seats you’d like to offer. We open a reservation list in the private members-only area, and your box office receives a Will Call List. Easy peasy.

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6. It Takes Five Minutes of Your Time

Seat filling is quick and efficient. All you need to do is provide OTL with the dates, times, and number of tickets you’d like to offer, and we take care of the rest.

We put together a show posting with an image and a quick description of your event, and we even include the dress code and age range. From there, members receive an email alert, and they can make online reservations right in their member area.

You receive a list on the day of the event and distribute the tickets.

7. You Handle All of Your Tickets

I’ve mentioned this a few times already, but it bears repeating. Just as no money gets exchanged between OTL and partners, no tickets are exchanged either. You handle all of your tickets and distribute them based on the Will Call list that OTL provides to you.

Members show their ID just like everyone else. There are no coupons to print or mention of “free tickets.” It’s upscale and private!

8. Additional Food & Beverage Income

You might provide free tickets, but seat fillers tend to spend money in other ways. From parking to cocktails to merchandise, there are ways to generate revenue from seat filling.

seat filling, seat fillers

9. It Can Be More Effective Than Paying for Last-Minute Advertising

If you recall, I mentioned that seat filling could save you money. That’s because you could reap the benefits of a bigger audience and extra food, beverage, and merchandise income without spending any of your marketing budget.

So, instead of a last-minute ad that might or might not work, you’ve got another marketing tool in your toolbox. And, while OTL can’t guarantee that it’ll fill every seat you want as members decide which shows they’d like to attend, if they make a reservation, they must attend – it’s a membership rule.

10. Seat-Filling is 100% Private – Your Regular Ticket Sales Are Never Impacted

We acknowledge that selling tickets is your priority. That’s why we have a policy that we’ve abided by for nine years, and that’s a “privacy to shows” rule. It means that we never publicly promote the names of our entertainment partners, and we ask members not to post that they received free tickets from venues.

Now that you have a better picture of how it all works, you probably agree that seat-filling is beneficial to your holiday shows. So, get started. You’ve got nothing to lose and plenty to gain!

How the Seat-Filling Process Works

  1. When you anticipate having some open seats (anywhere from 4 to 40), fill out an event submission form or email OTL with the event date(s), times, and the number of seats.
  2. OTL privately posts the information for members (aka seat fillers).
  3. Members make reservations.
  4. The reservation list is emailed to you and your box office on the event day.
  5. Members stop by the box office to present their IDs and pick up their comp tickets or seating assignments.

Quick, easy, and effective! Seat Filling is beneficial for your holiday shows or any events throughout the year.