With Encounters, you get a wide range of widget positions made available to you. The benefit of widget positions other than the basic left and right sidebars is that you get more flexibility in the overall design and layout of your web pages. This theme has over 25 widget positions, including a top and bottom inset which allows you to get up to 12 inline columns. Incidentally, I use the term “Widget Positions’ more so than “Sidebars” because it makes more sense to say widget positions. Sidebars and widget positions are the same thing though.