With great events come great…wait times. There is nothing quite as frustrating as having the excitement of a fun event ripped out of you as you’re forced to wait in a long line prior to entry. This experience leaves even the most patient person disgruntled and frustrated.
For an organizer of an event, a large group waiting in line can be a nightmare. When drinking and/or tailgating are involved, these lines can even lead to anger or violence among more rowdy attendees.
To expect any large event to go off without any hitches isn’t realistic. Large crowds are unpredictable. However, following these crowd control tips will allow both staff and attendees a great opportunity to have both a safe and enjoyable time:
Have an Accurate Turnout Estimate
Whether it’s RSVP’s, advance ticket sales, an invite list, or reservations, it’s important to put something in place to assess the potential turnout for any large event. This allows you to hire and place staff accordingly to account for the number of attendees. Organizers can track similar or previous events to give an idea of the total number that will show up on the day of the event.
Complete a Risk Assessment
There are organizations that specialize in, and perform workshops on, proper event security. It’s important that, once you know the important details of the event, that you plan accordingly to keep attendees and staff safe. Factors such as the site, the projected size of the crowd, the type of event, and other risks are involved in properly assigning security. This determines the size and type of security team needed, if any.
Use Effective Crowd Control Barriers
Once you have a good idea of the makeup and size of the attendee list, you can determine the best way of how to manage the crowd at your event. Physical barriers are an important aspect of all crowd management solutions. Using barriers that fit with your audience is key:
- Keep happy hands away from exhibits with museum stanchions.
- Maintain an effective buffer between authorized personnel and attendees with crowd control ropes with working area striping.
- Ropes with ADA compliant signs encourage safety and inclusivity.
- For large venues, steel crowd control barricades are made to withstand outdoor elements and unruly crowds.
- Post and rope systems create a stylish look for red carpet affairs.
Stagger Entrance Times
Staggered entry events will not work for concerts or sporting events. However, there are many others, such as museum exhibit openings, that can use this system. By pre-selling tickets with various entry times, you can naturally limit the number of people waiting in line for each time slot.
Offer a VIP Ticket
One effective crowd control method is splitting queues into VIP categories and special lane passes. Those who are short on time, but want to attend the event, may be willing to pay a little more to avoid long lines. This is also a great way to reward loyal customers. Simply grant them VIP passes for their long-standing patronage. That will encourage them to attend the event in the first place. VIP-level authorization is a great strategy for crowd management at festivals. If special access is granted to people who have previously attended, they are much more likely to become repeat customers.
Make Your Event Mobile-Friendly
Adding multimedia content at your event can keep a crowd occupied, more patient, and better informed. A strategically-placed multimedia kiosk or an app can be used to provide pertinent details to the crowd about the event. Another way to provide entertainment is to create Wifi zones for the customers. This simple touch will go a long way in assuring the customers that you care about their comfort.
With these few simple touches, you can set up an effective crowd control plan that works for your guests, makes life easier on your staff, and creates a level of flow and order throughout the event.