Since I’m currently in the process of planning a wedding, I’m constantly looking for for technology that will make that job easier. For instance, we’re using a Wiki (that I loving call our WedWiki) to keep track of wedding information (links to decorations, food, tux/dress, to-do lists, etc). Last month I stumbled across a nice little web app called SimpleSeating.com that I thought would be very helpful when we get to the daunting task of creating a reception seating chart.
What is SimpleSeating.com?
- SimpleSeating.com is the fastest and easiest way to make seating charts online.
- SimpleSeating.com brings the power of expensive desktop seating chart applications to the web minus the learning curve.
- With SimpleSeating.com you’ll be able to create, preview, and print your seating charts in just a few simple steps.
Well, I signed up for the beta account and jumped right in. For the most part, this little web app is pretty slick. It does everything they claim it does, and makes putting together a seating chart as easy as dragging and dropping. I’ll preface this review with the fact that this is beta software and there is room to grow. They’ve put together a blog listing future features and bug fixes as they happen. It looks like they’re really dedicated to making a great product and taking suggestions seriously. Many of the items I suggested have made their “coming soon” list. I’m really excited to watch this app work its way to a solid version 1 release.
You start out by creating an event, giving it a name/descriptions and selecting the number of guests for your event. From my trials, smaller events seem work a little better than larger events mainly because of space constraints on your banquet room layout. I started with a 200 person event (wedding?) and laying out the tables into a “room” was a bit cramped (though they did all fit).
Once you’ve placed your event tables (and there are a lot of table sizes to chose from), it’s time to start adding guests to the event. The interface for adding guests provides individual guests and also guest grouping options. Right now you can only add guests one at a time, but they say they’ll be coming out with some sort of bulk add in the near future, which I’m looking forward to (don’t really want to type 200+ names). There is also another nice guest feature where you can chose if a guest has RSVP’s yet or not and also a select a meal choice. The RSVP option changes the color of a guest’s icon on the seating chart so you can visually tell if they’re going to be there or not and move people around accordingly.
Now that you’ve got a room/table layout and some guests, it’s time too place them into their seats. This is the easiest part of the process. All you need to do is drag and drop little (RSVP color coded) people icons to the chairs around a table. If you’ve grouped someone, or created a party of say 3 people, it places all three little people icons when you drag that group/party to a table which is nice when you need to keep families or couples together.
Once you’ve created your seating chart, you are then able to print it out. I’m not sure how this works yet since they’re still working some bugs out of that portion. I’m hoping that there are a good number of print options to provide documentation for a banquet hall’s layout and seating.
All in all, this is a great little app, and I’m really excited to see it progress. Even with it still being beta software, I’ll be using it to create a seating chart for my wedding. According to their site, they’re planning a release in “October-ish.” I look forward to see where it will go between now and then.