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Manage seats

You can manage the capacity of an event or a rental space within a specific time frame with seats.

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In Flex, you can manage the capacity of an event or space within a specific timeframe with seats. Seats is a fundamental feature for marketplaces that provide events, rentals, or services that can be booked by multiple people at the same time. Seats allow you to define the specific number of people that book the same time slot in an event, space, or service.

If there are seats available in a specific time slot, the listing can still be booked by as many people as seats are available. Once all the seats are taken, the time slot becomes unavailable.

This article describes seat management on a high level. If you want to learn how to manage seats from a technical perspective, visit the API references for Marketplace API or Integration API.

How do you define the available seats for a listing?

You define the available seats for any given time slot of a listing via the availability plan or availability exceptions of a listing. If the number of seats is set to 0, the listing will not be available at that time.

In our templates, FTW-daily and FTW-hourly, the default seat availability of any particular listing is one. Providers set the availability plan and exceptions of their listing during the listing creation. Users determine when their listing is available and when it’s not within the timeframes your marketplace offers: hourly, daily, or custom length. When modifying the template, you or your developers can enable more than one seat per time slot, either in general or for specific dates and times.

Some examples:

  • You can set multiple available spaces for the same sauna for every night.
  • You can set available beds in a hostel room.
  • You can set the maximum number of people that can participate in a yoga class depending on the day.
  • You can determine the number of screens that can participate in an online cooking class.

How do you decrease the available seats of a listing?

Most of the time, a listing's available seats will decrease through bookings via transactions. The booking-related transaction process actions allow defining your transaction process so that when a transaction is initiated, a seat reservation is made as well. This prevents your users from booking more seats than are available.

If the transaction completes, the seats are removed from the listing’s or timeslot’s availability. If the transaction is cancelled, the seats are released and other users will be able to book them. Find out more about transactions actions here.

You can also connect your Flex marketplace with third-party systems to further manage seats. If bookings are made through another system, you can sync this information using the Integration API and adjust listing availability plans accordingly or override the plan with an exception.

Finally, providers could manually reduce the number of seats or block their availability entirely for a specific time slot (date or hour) directly from the marketplace interface. Similar to how they would determine their initial availability.

Finally, providers could manually adjust their inventory directly from the marketplace interface. Similar to how they would add inventory.

Can listings be searched by available spots?

Yes! Listing search can be modified so that available seats are taken into account. It's possible to search for listings that have desired number of seats available on specific dates or times. For example:

  • Find listings that have 2 seats available on next Friday.
  • Find listings that have 5 seats available for two hours some time next week.

If a marketplace uses availability-based listing search, then listings that don’t have enough spots available will be automatically filtered out, even though they are available for a lower number of people in the same timeframe.

Can I manage stock or inventory of a listing with seats?

If you are looking to manage the stock or inventory of a listing, you should take a look at Flex’s stock management. You can learn more about the feature here.