SimpleSeatingSimpleSeating 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.

SimpleSeating Guest Management

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.

SimpleSeating Seating Chart Interface

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.


26 Comments on “SimpleSeating – Web 2.0… Seating Charts?”

  1. Yaron says:

    “Red guests have RSVP’d the invitation to the event while yellow guests have not”
    The screenshot has green and yellow, not red and yellow.
    Plus, since green usually signals that everything is fine, and red usually signals a problem, green makes more sense for people who have already confirmed they’ll be arriving…

  2. Random Foolishness » Solution Watch reviews SimpleSeating.com says:

    [...] Brian Benzinger writes a great review of SimpleSeating.com over at Solution Watch with screenshots and everything. Must be a pretty popular site. Check out the traffic spike on our GoogleAnalytics … [...]

  3. Brian Benzinger says:

    Yaron – Oops. Thanks for spotting that. I knew they were green but I typed red mistakingly. I’ve fixed the post. Thanks!

  4. 2006 online trends and what to do about them « I can do better… a software development blog by Marcin Brzezinski says:

    [...] Rich user interfaces Now things are getting really interesting. For example – discovered Today a web-based solution for table seating arrangements. This clearly represents the power of rich user interfaces, these are no longer boxes where you put text into - this is a full-featured application, but run from the Internet, not from your computer! The proliferation of AJAX, Flash (and Macromedia Flex) makes the boundary between Desktop and Web applications slowly disappear, the natural move seems to be to port desktop applications to web environment. This movement has already begun, for example – GMail instead of a client application like Outlook. [...]

  5. Andrew Breese says:

    Hopefully you can match two guests together as a spouse group, or a few as family. And then also flag two or more people/groups as not getting along.

    That way the application manages to split those folk who really should be, or really shouldn’t be sitting together.

    Even better if it can then shuffle automatically to use the minimum number of tables.

  6. Mark Devlin says:

    Whatever happened to pencil and paper?

  7. Steve Swedler says:

    Mark, the answer to your question is … nothing. It is my understanding that pencil and paper are still alive and well. Unfortunately, there is slightly more to seating chart making than putting butts in seats. It’s putting them in seats, moving them, moving them again (while keeping parties of 2 or more together), tracking their RSVP status and their meal choice or other special instructions.

    Oh yeah and then there’s the table layout problem if you need to add one after you thought you had the room just right. And then there’s communicating the room seating assignments and/or room layout to the caterer or wait staff, etc.

    So you see pencil and paper, while they maybe fine for some, might not be Web 2.0 enough for others … or … maybe … flexible enough … either one. :)

  8. Dead2.0 » The Weekly Froth: 5 Web 2.0 Gems says:

    [...] SimpleSeating Web 2.0 Seating Charts.  [insert cricket sounds here].  Well, it has Ajax. [insert cricket sounds here]. [...]

  9. Chris says:

    This is awesome. Just what the internet and modern technologies are great for.

  10. What I Learned Today… » Blog Archive » Planning a party or event? says:

    [...] Where was this fun tool when I was planning my wedding?? I just read about SimpleSeating on SolutionWatch. 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. [...]

  11. Willbur says:

    > “Whatever happened to pencil and paper? ”

    Can you automatically create a seating plan for an event where some people have to sit close together (at the same table) and some people have to sit far appart.

    Can you automatically create a listing of all the guests that are expected with their spouses, etc…

    Can you automatically export (or import for that matter) the people that need to be sent an invite

    etc….

    I don’t know it SimpleSeating can do this but PerfectTablePlan surely can!

    http://www.perfecttableplan.com/

  12. Paul says:

    I actually kind of like this application. I’m a big fan of easy to use web 2.0 applications that do one thing and one thing well. I like traineo despite it’s limited capability and I think I’ll end up using this app as well.

    The only thing I want them to think of is how to use the seat charting further to incorporate online movies or online events like a online discussion. That is how I plan to use this app.

  13. Paul says:

    I’ll do a review of my experience with integrating Seating Chart 2.0 with my website in a online discussion forum on my blog later on as well.

    http://www.webpodge.com

    keep up the good work Solution Watch and keep bringing us the new scoop!

  14. Steve E says:

    This seems like total overkill to me, a case of technology solving something pretty darn simple anyway! Whats wrong with bits of paper on the floor and juggling them around until the seat plan is right. Seems a lot of hassle just to make sure you get the aunt everyone hates sat in the corner on her own :)

  15. Jennifer says:

    Love it!!! When can it actually be used?? I went to the website and it says coming Sept. 2006.

  16. Random Foolishness » Beta Progress says:

    [...] Thanks to Brian Benzinger at Solution Watch, we have gotten a lot of interest in SimpleSeating.com and specifically private beta requests. We appreciate everyone that signed up for the beta as we think it will help us release a better product for sure. However the bad part of getting so many requests is that our current server set up was not robust enough. But do not fret! We got together with RailsMachine and we are deploying to their servers as we speak. [...]

  17. Ed Kohler says:

    I could see a service like this doing very well for people who are occasional planners, like people planning a wedding rehearsal. Ideally, venue bookers would find this valuable and recommend it to their clients.

  18. e-Commerce Solutions says:

    This is fantastic!
    Well Kohler, this is my first time to hear such recourse available on Internet by which we can create seating charts. As you say it may occasional, But I think it is not only a systematic But an economical way to save money, space. Can this become a good business?

  19. Arizona Hospitality Jobs » Blog Archive » Web Tools for Organizing Your Next Event says:

    [...] SimpleSeating.com is a tool that helps you figure out where everyone will sit during your event. You can drag tables and chairs onto a grid and build your guest list — all online. If this sounds interesting to you, read a review here. [...]

  20. simon bridgewater says:

    I own and run a website specifically aimed at people planning weddings and an ajax driven seating planner is a god send for these people. If you have ever tried to seat 100 guests with bits of paper this is just the thing.

    My application is nowhere near as close to full implementation as this but I it is very much like it.

    I have most of the clever stuff on the backend but I feel it will be a real crowd puller..

  21. SimpleSeating Makes Seating Charts Simple - rev2.org says:

    [...] SimpleSeating is an interesting product that’s different to any other I’ve seen. They are taking a bold approach and appealing to a very niche audience. While they don’t have a current business model, I can see them having one in the future — this an audience that will spend money on a thing like this. Conclusion? I like it. Brian Benzinger from Solution Watch has a detailed review here. [...]

  22. Allan Andison says:

    Seating charts: great demo concept. But…what about floorplans for offices. Huge market potential. Who needs a giant like AutoCAD? This is simple, powerful, universally mobile and very useful.

  23. simon bridgewater says:

    seems like the application is bust. I looked this morning and it was working great and then tonight it has an application error.

    Our approach uses php not rails.

  24. Klavier-Piano Klavierbauer says:

    Hey, i just tryed this piece of software.

    indeed it is handy an i like the fresh drag and drop functionality. i’ll advise this product to a costumer now. good luck with you actions…..

    cheerio

  25. Jason says:

    I just tried this website. It has a lot of potential, but it lacks one thing I think needs to added. You need to be able either a)increase your floorspace or b)allow the tables to be scaled. Or do both.

    I tried this website for my wedding reception. We have 14 tables and over 100 people coming… as you can see from the screen shot above, you can only fit about 6 round tables with 10 seats each. So I have no way to use this application.

    This is by far the EASIEST program I have seen… I just hope they add a lot more features to get this thing noticed. Once it does that, I think it will be a great program.

  26. laggy52 says:

    hey Guy’s, are you in search of chart controller ? if yes then follow this link visifire an amazing charting component filled with cool and stunning animation’s .powered by silverlight 2 beta 2 offered under open source just for free