Controlling crowds: It’s all in the planning
As you gear up to host an event, keeping your audience content and safe should be the first box you tick when it comes to planning. Directing a large group of people can seem daunting, but sorting out the details beforehand can make the process effective and manageable. To help, we’ve rounded up some of our top tips for crowd control planning.
1. Analyse your crowd
The type of event you’re hosting can be a good indicator of the sort of audience you’ll attract. Better the chances of keeping your guests safe by understanding their wants and needs. For example, controlling a crowd at a music festival requires different steps than organising children at a birthday party. Alcohol plus big crowds is a dangerous equation; if you’re planning to serve booze at the event, you may need to increase the level of surveillance to keep things under control.
2. Think about the necessities
If your attendees are uncomfortable, they can become restless and unruly. Create an environment to suit your guests. Always have bathrooms and clean water available at your event. Anticipate climate changes as well; be ready with heaters for a cold snap or tarps for a sudden downpour.
3. Explore the location
Where you hold the event has a huge impact on approaches to guest control. Do some research on the venue and whether past events have been held there. Different areas of the venue may house their own challenges for controlling the crowd, as well. Parking lots, entry and exit points, admission stations and performance areas are all points to carefully map out as they will be most concentrated with guests.
4. Hire a security team
Depending on the size and behavior of your crowd, hiring a team of security experts may be necessary. Security agencies can help with everything from mobile and static patrol to armed protection.
5. Construct barriers
Your audience will feel safe when you clearly mark off-limit areas. Consider using signs, ropes, fencing, moveable walls or screens to direct the flow of guests. These barriers reduce your liabilities and protect your crowd from unsafe spaces.
6. Map it out
Creating a clear flow of traffic for your crowd is a great way to keep the event running smoothly. Visualise different paths your guest may take and be sure there is enough room for attendees to mingle without feeling trapped.
7. Work out an emergency plan
It’s a good idea to inform local hospitals and police agencies about your event. That way if things do awry, you’ll know that help isn’t far away.
Panic ensues when lack of information meets an over-crowded, concentrated group. Avoid this type of dilemma by planning your crowd strategy ahead of time.
Naomi Fuller writes for Crowd Control Barriers. The team at CCB supplies event barriers and crowd control barricades across Australia, essential for keeping crowds safe. Contact them today for a free quote on 1300 119 998.