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6 Actionable Steps to Crowd Management

Plexiglass barricade around airport security
Airports, Malls, Stadiums, and Amusement Parks

What do all these places have in common? The need for crowd control. In some cases, these public places can become congested and chaotic at peak times and during events. Without successful crowd control management techniques in place, however, the results range from unpleasant to risky. Here are six effective safety management techniques to employ for your next event.

1. Planning

This simple step is so time-consuming, but one that shouldn’t be overlooked. As one of our forefathers said it best- “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin. Start by recruiting a team of leaders to assist in leading smaller groups of team members. The planning committee should consist of:

  • Local law enforcement
  • Venue management
  • Integral employees
  • Security personnel
  • Event contractors

This committee should review facility blueprints to note where all the entrance and exit points are located. These points should also be clearly marked and clear of congestion at all times to maintain a safe environment.

Airport security with stanchions and other crowd control devices

2. Assess the Crowd

Understanding the potential crowd size can be a difficult feat since attendance can depend on the weather, event, time of year, or attraction. Therefore, it is best to use attendance data from previous years or similar functions to get a baseline. Some facilities have maximum capacity limits. This information is also essential to know. It is critical to evaluate if you will reach capacity, and if so, what alternative plans do you have for additional guests?


3. Managing Risks

An essential requirement for managing crowds is controlling the flow of people. Begin employing safety measures from the time the person enters the facility to the time of departure.

  • Entrances are marked and clear from debris
  • Create pathways for guests to wait in if long lines are expected
  • Once inside the venue, employ employees to assist guests with where they need to go
  • Keep the crowd from loitering or forming groups that can block walkways, entrances, and stairwells
  • In the case of an emergency, be sure lights can come on quickly to brighten walkways and exits

4. Clear Markings and Signage

In any venue, the best way to manage crowd flow is to communicate with your attendees. Put important information in key locations where people are looking for a map, restrooms, seating, or food and beverages. Placing this information on tackable portable walls allow you to move this information around the facility as the need arises. You can also offer a customer service desk where staff can assist guests with their information needs. In case of emergency, use a PA system to inform guests of safety procedures.

5. Communicate With Your Team

Throughout the event, your team needs to communicate with each other. Use two-way radios to relay information between team members.

6. Evaluation

After an event, or periodically within your facility, take the time to review the effectiveness of the crowd management techniques used. Take note of what methods work and what are some areas that need improvement. Use this assessment to institute improved safety measures. Be sure to meet with each team member for their feedback.

By employing these and other crowd management techniques for your venue, you’re sure to achieve a safe experience for your guests.

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