SimpleSeating is a new Web 2.0 product, currently in private beta, for seating arrangement and chart creation. It aims to simplify the process by providing its users a web-based interface with drag-and-drop functionality and easy guest management. At first impression I thought, “Seating charts? Really?” I’ve never thought about this market before, but seating charts are actually common with events, school systems, and conferences. Whether you are planning a wedding or arranging a class full of students, seating charts are often used and SimpleSeating hopes to make the creation process painless.
The way it works is simple. You first create an event and specify the room dimensions. Then add guests, organized in groups, and assign each guest to a table. It’s actually kind of fun too because SimpleSeating has a visual interface where you drag and drop different types of tables on your scaled room and place each guest to a seat. Unsure if this type of visual interface was new or not, I decided to research seating chart products and found many to be confusing and resembling much of what looks like Excel spreadsheets.
The above screenshot is the interface in which you will design your seating chart. Along the top are six table types to add to your seating chart ranging from 4 seats to 10 seats a table and on the right you will see a guest list which shows all of your guests in their groups you assigned them to. Green guests have RSVP’d the invitation to the event while yellow guests have not. Simply click and drag the tables into your workspace (the grid), using as many as you need, to replicate the room where the event will be held. Then click and drag each guest to a seat of a table (the guest will automatically snap to the seat). Lastly, and just to note, as you make changes to your seating chart, SimpleSeating will automatically save your work.
SimpleSeating is an interesting product and it’s actually the first seating chart product I have seen. I’ve never thought about this market before and I immediately researched what’s available once learning about it. I found seating chart products are commonly used for planning weddings and parties and that most solutions are desktop based rather then web based. This is good for SimpleSeating, however, I am curious about the demand for this type of product and how they plan to attract their target users. SimpleSeating is currently in private beta and plans to launch sometime this month. No word has been said about pricing, but I would imagine pricing to be based off the size of your guest list.