When planning a major event, whether an outdoor street festival or an indoor concert, anticipating crowds and knowing how to keep them safe and organized should be a top priority. While each event is different and will have its own unique crowd control needs, there are some basic elements to keep in mind when planning on the safety of your patrons at any event.

Get The Right Tools For The Event You Are Planning

The first step in planning for the crowd control at your next event is knowing what products go best for certain scenarios. What works great in one situation may not work so good in another. Let’s go over the most basic crowd control methods, and what they’re best suited for.

  • Metal Fence Barricades: These guys are for heavy duty crowd control. A metal fence barricade is great for outdoor areas where you’ll need to control or direct large swaths of foot traffic. They can interlock to form a long fence that can keep crowds away from off-limits areas, or direct them along a desired path. Think keeping an audience from getting too close to the stage at a concert, or a huge crowd entering or leaving a major sporting event and spilling out onto the streets, or blocking off a road during a parade.
  • Retractable Belt Barriers: Retractable belt barriers are the go-to solution for managing queues/lines, and generally directing people or limiting access in an indoor environment. Think lines to get on amusement park rides, or lines to get up to a ticket counter, or things of that nature. Their portable nature means they can be easily reconfigured to fit the needs of your particular crowd, either by rearranging the set-up of posts or by changing how the belts connect between the stanchions.
  • Classic Posts: A classic style stanchion post, usually combined with velour ropes, serves to class up your crowd control a bit. These are more for when you want to keep up aesthetic appearances. Think entrances to fancy events and red carpet galas, or separating a VIP section from the standard area. When you want your crowd control to look good while it does its job, a classic metal post is often the way to go. There are many finish and post top styles to choose, depending on what goes best with your décor.
  • Safety Cones: Cones are most often seen in vehicular traffic and construction situations, but when dealing with foot traffic they can still serve as an effective visual barrier due to their bright coloration. They typically mark areas of hazard, such as a drink spill in a hallway or a pot hole in the pavement. When you absolutely need to identify a hazardous area, you need to make it as visible as possible, and safety cones in bright blaze orange or lime green are one of the clearest methods of doing so.

The Importance of Branding Your Company at Your Event

Once you’re clear on how to best protect and direct the crowds at your event, you can start to focus on other important areas. Reinforcing your brand and keeping your organization or company at the forefront of peoples’ thoughts will ensure that they keep you in mind long after the event is over. There are a number of products in a crowd control plan that can be emblazoned with your company or agency’s logo, or feature a design to promote a specific campaign or product.

Instruct and Inform

Sometimes barriers aren’t quite enough to corral your crowds and compel them to continue in the desired direction (how’s that for alliteration?). Sometimes you just gotta spell it out for them, literally. Fortunately, there are a number of options in a crowd control management plan to inform your event’s attendees via good old fashion words.

  • Free Standing Signs: Sign and stands can tell people where to go, where NOT to go, where an event is happening, whether an area is off limits, whether something is canceled…basically any message you wish to convey, provided it’s short enough to fit on a sign and be readable from a reasonable distance.
  • Post Top Signs: You can also make your retractable belt barrier or classic post do double duty with a post top sign which converts your stanchion into a signpost. These are particularly good when you need to let people know where a line starts and ends, but can also let people know when a line is intended for a specific purpose, ie. ticket holders VS. those who wish to purchase.
  • Custom Belts/Banners: As you no doubt recall, earlier in this article we discussed custom belts and banners for the purpose of promotion and brand recognition. But what we didn’t really touch on was how the same products can be applied to providing information and directions to the otherwise aimlessly wandering crowds at your event.A stanchion or barricade banner can provide a map or directory, or simple mark an area as closed or off limits in clear, large and unmissable text. A retractable belt can also be customized with your own message, and many styles even have pre-written belt messages available to choose from including common phrases like “No Entry”, “Caution – Do Not Enter”, “This Lane Closed” or “Authorized Personnel Only”.
As we said, each event will present its own unique crowd control challenges, but hopefully now you have a basic idea of what’s available to make crowd control barriers and which situations to use each product. Or give us a call to help with crowd planning today!

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