In the past when we had registered or ticketed events, we sadly continued to run into attendance issues. Many registered guests would not show up. Since many people see “free registrations” and “free tickets” as a seat saver and not an obligation to attend, we often had about half or more of the registered or ticketed attendees not show up. Most times we would not receive a cancellation to give the spot to someone else on the waiting list.
This was a pattern that we could no longer continue because it was unfair to the other people on a wait list or who could have shown up for those seats. It is also unfair to our special guest to go out of their way to come to our library only to see so many empty seats. We tried having a second line for non-registered guests but many would show up for that either because there was a chance that they would not get in. This is why we switched to first come first served seating.
While we dislike having to turn people away, having a limited amount of space with a limited number of chairs with free admission unfortunately means some won’t be able to attend. We also continue to put notices out to the public that once seating is to capacity, doors will be closed. This is why we also LIVE stream the events.