What is Premium Seating?

Premium seating is “the purchase of a specific, or pair of seats at a sporting event or other entertainment event for an amount greater than the face value of the tickets.” In the context of a conference, premium seating usually refers to a special status that attendees can purchase in addition to their standard registration. Sometimes it’s just one upgrade, and other times it may include a special lanyard or badge that denotes their status.

Premium seating is usually very limited, and attendees who purchase the upgrade will get early access to the conference, along with other perks depending on what type of upgrade they’ve chosen. It might include extra breakout sessions, private receptions with invited speakers at off-site locations, or other special events.  A sports marketing agency can help pro and college sports teams establish premium setinng programs.

What does premium seating entail?

Many times, an upgrade is just one specific seat. Sometimes they’re exclusive seats, like the first row at the front of a room instead of a back row in the second tier. It might be a special section that includes a private reception with snacks and drinks.

When upgrades are limited to only one or two specific locations, they may provide a sense of exclusivity. If 10-20 seats are available, they will be key locations that the forward thinkers and go-getters will try to snatch up early.   A sports marketing agency helps teams design programs that appeal to their fanbase and increase revenue.

What does premium seating include?

It may include:

  1. There is access to special events like briefings, receptions, small group discussions, or other activities that aren’t available during the standard conference. It can be an extra perk if done right. Depending on your audience and the type of event you’re having, it could be a great way to stand out from other conferences and attract your target market.
  2. Being able to enter and leave the conference at specific times without waiting in line is a big benefit for some people.
  3. Meeting speakers and other attendees up close and personal can be a great networking opportunity.

Premium seating isn’t always about exclusivity or extra perks; sometimes, it’s just about having a better seat. These are usually inexpensive upgrades that anyone can purchase. Sometimes it’s just $10 to upgrade your seat; other times, the seats aren’t even marked as premium, so it’s first-come, first-serve.

What is Premium seating not?

  • It isn’t a way to add extra revenue to your conference budget.

In most cases, it’s going to cost you money, especially if you’re planning on doing something extra special for those who’ve chosen to purchase an upgrade.

  • It shouldn’t be used as a way to gouge your attendees.

Even though there may be a lot of demand, tickets shouldn’t be double or triple the normal price for those who want a better seat. It can backfire in some cases since attendees are easily annoyed when they feel like they’re being treated unfairly.


Premium seating is one of those things that you’ll need to consider carefully before deciding whether or not you want to implement it for your team.  If your conference is for a specific group and there’s very high demand, then it might be worth the extra costs and effort. Keep in mind that no matter how many people sign up, there will always be cancellations and no-shows.

If you’re going to offer a premium upgrade, make sure it’s something special and not just a more expensive version of the regular ticket.  Consulting with the best sports marketing agency you can find is a good start.


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