A person in an empty theatre humorously draping toilet paper over the seats, mimicking the process of "papering the house."

Hey Event Promoters: Are You Papering the House?

Here's an Alternative

by Lu, OTL Seat Fillers & Spotlight

Have you ever heard of "papering the house"? It's a term used in the entertainment world, usually involving sports stadiums or large venues that distribute free tickets to fill seats and create an energetic atmosphere.

While it sounds like a great idea, papering is fuzzy math instead of a precise science. The venue might hand out 100, 200, or even 500 times more tickets than the venue can hold, all in the hopes of getting a decent turnout. The result? A lot of uncertainty and a mixed bag of attendance rates.

Enter seat filling, the savvy sibling of papering the house. I run OTL Seat Fillers now, but I have a background in papering the house at minor league baseball stadiums (a long, long time ago). So, let me tell you why our approach is not only more accurate but also a lot more fun.

TL;DR: Papering the house" is an outdated method of giving away excessive free tickets to fill seats, leading to uncertain attendance rates. OTL Seat Fillers offers a precise and discreet alternative with committed audience members, resulting in a 90% attendance rate from reservations on a Will-Call list. This approach maintains event prestige, provides enthusiastic audiences, and boosts performer morale, ensuring well-attended and vibrant events.

Stacks of tickets placed on red theatre seats, filling the entire auditorium.

Audience Commitment

First off, seat filling is all about precision. Instead of throwing tickets into the wind and crossing fingers, we have a more targeted system. Our members, or seat fillers, make reservations for themselves and their guests ahead of time. This isn’t a casual “maybe we’ll show up” situation; it’s a firm commitment.

As a rule in our membership club, when seat fillers reserve tickets, they show up. The result? A remarkable 90% attendance rate, even accounting for the occasional last-minute emergency.

Privacy = Prestige

Unlike papering the house, where everyone knows the venue is on a mission to fill seats, our seat filling approach is discreet. Nobody in the audience knows that seat fillers are present. To them, it’s just another packed, vibrant show. This secrecy helps maintain the event’s prestige and doesn’t impact regular ticket sales.

But seat filling isn’t just about precision and discretion. It’s also about creating a win-win situation for everyone involved. The venues get their seats filled with enthusiastic audience members who add to the energy of the event. The performers get to play to a full house, which can be incredibly motivating. And the seat fillers? They get to enjoy amazing shows and events for free. Talk about a sweet deal! 

A man in a suit handing out tickets outside a theatre with a marquee that reads "PAPERING," while a pile of tickets lies on the ground.

This is for YOU, Event Promoters!

For event promoters, box office managers, theater managers, comedy club owners, and entertainment managers, seat-filling offers a reliable and efficient way to ensure your events are well-attended. Imagine no longer having to worry about empty seats affecting the ambiance of your show or event.

With seat filling, you have a dependable solution that ensures your venue looks and feels full, even if you just need a few seats filled, enhancing the overall experience for both performers and paying guests.

Claim your spot under the spotlight - it's free! Submit.
Claim your spot under the spotlight - it's free! Submit.

The Audience Wants To Be There

One of the significant advantages of seat filling is the quality of the audience. Our members are passionate about entertainment and committed to attending the events they reserve. This means your performers are playing to an engaged and appreciative audience, boosting their morale and the quality of the performance.

Furthermore, the logistical ease of working with OTL Seat Fillers makes it an attractive option. You provide us with the details of your event and the number of seats you need to fill, and we take care of the rest. Our system ensures that a Will-Call list is created with minimal effort on your part, allowing you to focus on other critical aspects of event management.

Seat filling also offers a strategic advantage in terms of marketing and word-of-mouth promotion. Our members often share their experiences on social media and with friends, spreading the word about your venue and events, purposely leaving out their seat-filling role (yes, it’s always secret). This organic promotion can lead to increased awareness and future ticket sales.

Invite Seat Fillers and Reap the Benefits! with a crowd of people seated at an event.

Don’t Leave It To Chance – Your Seats Deserve Some Love

So, you'll find that seat filling is a more accurate, efficient, and discreet alternative to traditional papering methods. It ensures high attendance rates, enhances the event atmosphere, and provides a host of benefits to event promoters and venue managers. If you're looking to maintain the prestige of your events while guaranteeing a vibrant audience, consider partnering with OTL Seat Fillers. Together, we can create unforgettable experiences that keep your seats filled and your audiences coming back for more.

So, why leave your next event to chance? Let OTL Seat Fillers bring the crowd, the energy, and the enthusiasm. Contact us today to find out how we can help make your next event a resounding success.

how OTL seat filling works for venues and event promoters

>> OTL Event Submission Form

Show Everyone You're Funny!

Man wearing a white t-shirt with a George Carlin quote design from the OTL Spotlight curated collection
buy now button in gold
Man wearing a green t-shirt with a 'mic drop' design from the OTL Spotlight curated collection
buy now button in gold
Smiling woman wearing a red t-shirt with 'Peace, Love, Stand Up' design from the OTL Spotlight curated collection
buy now button in gold

We hope you love these curated items from the OTL Spotlight Arts & Entertainment Collection available through TeePublic. TeePublic is a collective of talented artists showcasing their creativity, and we're excited to share our favorites with you. For the complete OTL Spotlight collection, visit our TeePublic-hosted Spotlight store.