Okay everyone. I need some ideas and suggestions.

This year, we are having five Christmas Eve services. Two on the 23rd and 3 on the 24th. In years past, we’ve had some services fill up more than others, but none of them packed to the gills. We’re providing programming for kids up to Kindergarten.

As a church we’ve been throwing out the idea of ticketing the services. Families will have to pick up tickets before the service to “reserve” space. We will open the doors to the auditorium 30 minutes before the service for people with tickets and it is open seating 15 minutes before the service begins. From what I’ve heard, Gateway has experimented with ticketing before. Some people on my Kids staff have indicated that they planned on more kids than actually showed up. Although that is good, they didn’t feel that the tickets really helped them know how many to plan for.

What do you think? Have you used “ticketing” or something like this before? Are there any things you’ve done to predict the number of kids who will attend? I’ve got my own idea of something I was moving forward with, but I’m not sure I can do it along with ticketing. I hope that some of you who experience massive crowds for Christmas and Easter can throw out a few ideas.