Ipswich City Council will make changes to the ticket registration and allocation process for its hugely popular Cocktail Hour featuring high-profile guest speakers at the Ipswich Central Library.

It will ensure that all library members have the opportunity to register their interest in attending before tickets are allocated in a random selection process.

Libraries and Tourism Committee Chairperson Cr David Pahlke the first Cocktail Hour event for 2018, with well-known award-winning comedian, actor and writer Magda Szubanski, attracted 180 guests last month.

“Magda Szubanski continued the successful association between high profile special guests at Ipswich Libraries, following Saroo Brierley, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Amanda Keller and Andrew Winter in 2017,” he said.

“Securing this level of celebrity provides community members with the enviable opportunity to be entertained, inspired and informed by a diverse range of notable authors.

“The series continues on 27 April with award winning actor, author and philanthropist Samuel Johnson.  Samuel is widely respected for his inspirational advocacy and determination to ‘kick cancer to the kerb’.”

Cr Pahlke said due to Cocktail Hour’s reputation, and in response to customer feedback, Ipswich Libraries had reviewed the current ticket registration and allocation process with the aims of providing a more equitable registration process, improving the registration experience for customers and to provide an opportunity to convert more registrations into library memberships.

A trial would include an open registration period of one week to enable library members to register online, by phone or in person, and to allow non-members to join the library prior to registering; and a minimum of 120 tickets available in a random draw to community members; with a maximum of two tickets per ticket holder.  

“Ipswich Libraries will continue to pursue sponsors for the event with a range of sponsorship options, thereby subsidising costs but continuing to provide equitable access to the event for all library members.

“Cocktail Hour has successfully raised the profile of Ipswich Libraries and the City of Ipswich. It continues to attract community members new to the event and/or the library’s programs or services,” he said.

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