In the event industry, the choice between General Admission tickets and Assigned Seating can significantly shape the attendee experience and the overall success of the occasion. There are benefits and drawbacks to consider for each. By understanding the intricacies of your ticketing options along with the specific event needs, you’ll be equipped to make the best ticketing decision for your event.

In the rest of this article, we delve into the nuances of General Admission tickets, examining their advantages, disadvantages, and popularity across various industries. 

What are General Admission Tickets? 

General admission tickets (also known as GA tickets) are passes that allow entry into unassigned seating or standing areas at an event. General Admission differs from traditional ticketing in that the seating placement is first come, first serve—similar to a Southwest Airlines boarding pass. 

General admission tickets are typically sold at a lower cost than other ticket levels, such as VIP. This arrangement offers attendees the flexibility to have a more spontaneous and dynamic event experience. If one group of concertgoers wants to arrive early to tailgate and snag front-row seats, while another group wants to trickle in late and enjoy the musicians from a distance, they both have the freedom to choose. 

How do General Admission Tickets Work?

When an attendee purchases a General Admission ticket, they are granted access to a generalized area of the event. Instead of being assigned a specific section, row, and seat, attendees choose their place within the venue on a first-come, first-served basis. Naturally, attendees are incentivized to arrive early if they want better seats or views.

To monitor attendance numbers and security, consider using wristbands, hand stamps, or QR codes to manage entry and re-entry. If you’re offering multiple ticket levels, use a system to differentiate attendees, such as a different color wristband or a different QR code.

Advantages of General Admission Tickets

One of the main advantages of General Admission Tickets is their affordability. By offering a large number of tickets at a lower rate, you broaden the accessibility of your event and increase attendance rates.

Another advantage of general admission tickets is their simplicity. Many attendees appreciate the freedom to move around the venue to mingle with friends and find their preferred vantage point. General Admission tickets cater to a diverse range of preferences—from the attendees who prefer the intimate experience of standing close to the concert stage to the people who want a panoramic distant view at a hot-air balloon festival. 

For organizers, the General Admission option allows for smoother event management by reducing the logistical complexities associated with assigning seats.

Disadvantages of General Admission Tickets

While General Admission tickets offer flexibility and affordability, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. The uncertainty around finding a good seat might spark anxiety and negative associations for some attendees. Hunting for a seat in the crowd can be especially stressful for young families, as splitting up to sit apart is not an option.   

Additionally, general admission ticketing can lead to overcrowding in popular areas of the venue, especially during peak times or at smaller venues

To mitigate the downsides of general admission ticketing, make a plan for crowd management and safety ahead of time. This might involve setting up a text message system to alert attendees about overcrowded areas or hiring security personnel onsite. 

General Admission Tickets vs. Assigned Seating

When choosing between General Admission Seating and Assigned Seating, it’s important to assess whether the benefits align with your event goals and attendee preferences. 

General Admission tickets offer more flexibility, as attendees can choose their spot within the venue and enjoy a dynamic atmosphere. Also, the lower cost of General Admission Tickets can attract a broader audience and increase overall attendance. On the other hand, Assigned Seating provides attendees with predictability and comfort, ensuring they have a reserved seat for the duration of the event. Assigned seating tends to be more appealing to attendees who prioritize certainty and structure over spontaneity and flexibility.

The Popularity of General Admission Tickets in Different Industries

General Admission Tickets are prevalent across many industries, from concerts and festivals to sporting events and theme parks. Their universal appeal lies in their ability to cater to diverse audiences and create immersive experiences. 

General admission seating at concerts and music festivals

Concerts and music festivals are prime examples of events where General Admission Tickets thrive. Attendees can relish the opportunity to move freely between stages, make new friends, and immerse themselves in the electric atmosphere of the crowd. The freedom to move closer to the stage also gives attendees the chance to have a close encounter or a starstruck moment with their favorite artists.

As an event organizer, General Admission tickets allow you to maximize the available space with minimal logistical overhead.

General admission tickets for sporting events

Whether attendees are chanting from the sidelines or snacking on popcorn in the back row of the bleachers, general admission tickets offer spectators the flexibility to choose their viewing perspective and engage with the event on their own terms.

General admission tickets for fairs and attractions

General Admission tickets for fairs, festivals, exhibits, and attractions give attendees the freedom to explore and enjoy a multitude of experiences at different paces. Perhaps some attendees will want to ride the roller coaster on repeat, while others will want to spend their afternoon spinning the wheel of fortune; General Admission tickets enable guests to create their own adventure and have an experience aligned with their preferences. 

Of course, you can still offer multiple ticket levels and VIP experiences, but many attendees will be satisfied enjoying your event offerings with the cost and access of General Admission

FAQs - From Event Organizers

Q: Can attendees upgrade from General Admission to Assigned Seating?

A: Depending on the event, some organizers offer upgrade options for attendees seeking assigned or VIP seating. TicketSpice's flexible platform allows for seamless ticket modifications to accommodate changing preferences.

Q: How can I manage crowd control with General Admission tickets?

A: Organizers can implement various strategies, such as staggered entry times, designated entry points, and clear signage, to facilitate smooth crowd flow and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all attendees.

Q: Do General Admission tickets work for all types of events?

A: While General Admission tickets can work for many event types, they’re not ideal for events with limited seating or small venue sizes.

FAQs From Attendees

Q: Why do I have a seat in general admission?

A: Some platforms will quote a seat and a section for the purpose of keeping track of inventory, but it does not always mean you have a reserved seat when you arrive.

Q: Is General Admission standing good?

A: It depends on the type of event experience you are seeking. Some people would find standing for the duration of a concert excessively tiring, but others would prefer the freedom to jump and dance the night away.

Q: What is the difference between General Admission and floor?

A: “Floor” specifically refers to the floor area of the venue, where attendees will either stand or sit. Some General Admission tickets include floor access, but often the General Admission area is elevated well above the stage. Check with the event website or event organizer for details. 

Q: Can you swap seats at a concert?

A: If there is no assigned seating, then yes. In general, though, it depends on the policy of the specific event.

Final Takeaways

Whether you want to provide the flexible affordable ticketing option of General Admission, or the certainty and structure of reserved seating, TicketSpice is here to help. With TicketSpice as your ticketing platform, you can navigate the complexities of ticketing with ease, enhancing attendee satisfaction and event success.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team

We’re here to help you have the best event ever! 

— The Ticket Spice team