[Libs-Or] Events with large groups in small spaces

BJ Toewe bjtoewe at cityofsalem.net
Tue Jan 29 18:25:19 PST 2013

Hi Mo,

If we want to manage an anticipated crowd, we give out tickets a week or two in advance but both verbally (as the ticket is issued) and in writing on the ticket state that the ticket is valid only until ten minutes before the event starts.  At that time, anyone without a ticket who is waiting in line will be admitted and ticket holders who arrive late will have to stand in line with those who don't have a ticket.  It's only occasionally that someone arrives after ten minutes before the event and doesn't get to come, although it does happen.  People seem to like knowing that they have a reserved seat for the event as long as they arrive on time much more than knowing that they have to come way early to stand outside in a line and hope they can get in.  Those without a ticket also like the possibility that someone won't show and they might get in, even without a ticket.  And latecomers - oh well, lesson learned.

Good luck.  It sounds like a great event.

BJ Toewe
Library Administrator
Salem Public Library
PO Box 14810
Salem, OR   97309
bjtoewe at cityofsalem.net

>>> Maureen Cole <mcole at ci.oregon-city.or.us> 1/29/2013 4:04 PM >>>

Hi everyone:
We are having author Cheryl Strayed in March and we are likely to get a lot of attendees, quite possibly more than our small space can handle. What have you done in your library to manage attendance, both ahead of time (i.e. giving out tickets to ‘reserve’ a space) and the day of (i.e. lines, turning people away etc.) I’m already getting calls from people who are interested and don’t want to get shut out, but frankly we’ve never managed sign-ups for anything larger than groups of 20 people or so. Now that I have written this and jinxed the event, we will have about 10 show up…now I’ve done it. Well, if you have any good ideas, please write to me and share them anyway. There are always future events I have not jinxed yet.
Thank you for your help!
PS We don’t have a meeting room so these events are after hours. We have to close the library to get set up, people have to wait outside for that to happen, and we do not offer library service during the program as that would interrupt the program. Not ideal. Just so you have the big picture…
 Maureen Cole
mcole at orcity.org  
Library Director
Oregon City Public Library
606 John Adams Street
Oregon City, Oregon 97045
503-657-8269 ext 1010
503-657-3702 Fax

Website: www.orcity.org/library
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