Crowd management strategy: 6 steps to follow
The safety of the staff, public, volunteers, and contractors is of paramount importance during an event. And event organizers are responsible to ensure the security of everyone. For this purpose, most organizers use different public safety solutions, such as crowd control barriers. In this article, we are going to talk about six steps to have a safe and effective strategy for crowd management.
- Have a plan
Having a solid plan is important if you want to run an event safely. You don’t have to create a plan on your own. Instead, you may want to sit with the important people inside and outside your organization and create a plan. Some of the figures you can consult are listed below:
- Team leaders and department heads
- Contractors you hired for the event
- Local transport providers
- Emergency service providers
- Local authorities
- The owner of the venue
- Neighboring businesses
- Understand Your Crowd
Based on the type of event, you may want to estimate the number of attendees. One way is to have an estimate based on how many people attended a similar event previously. Besides, advance ticket sales can also help you have a better estimate.
Make sure the venue you have rented has enough capacity for the attendees. If you think that the event may exceed the capacity, you may want to have a strategy to deal with the situation. The site you have chosen should have the required facilities and appropriate travel routes for kids and wheelchairs.
- Assess the risk
Having a solid assessment of the potential risks, such as bomb threats, fire or malfunctioning equipment is also important. It’s not easy to predict the safety risks caused by the crowd.
Primarily, most safety risks occur because of the unpredictable behavior of the crowd as it moves. For example, surging and swaying may turn into trampling and crushing. Therefore, it’s important to find ways to manage the movement of the crowd in the venue. Based on the space layout, you can take the following steps:
- Have a solid entry process
- Install plastic or concrete crowd control barriers for keeping vehicles and pedestrians separate
- Install fences to keep the emergency routes accessible
- Make sure all the walkways are well-lit
- Keeping people away from turnstiles, gates, narrowing corridors and stairs
- Have a few stewards to supervise the entry and exit points for better movement of the guests
- Keep the common pathways free from obstacles
- Communicate With The Crowd
Based on the type of venue and event, you can choose the right medium to get your messages to the guests. For instance, you can display signage with an LED board or a fixed notice to communicate important messages.
The signs should be visible from a distance so that the guests don’t have to stop to read the signage. Guests should also be able to access maps so that they can choose the best routes to reach the venue. These routes should be marked out on the map clearly.
Besides the signs, it’s a good idea to have a PA system or stewards to provide important information about the areas. If the venue is large, you can install an information desk as well.
- Communicate with your team
It’s vital that you have a solid system of communication for team members so that they find it easier to manage the crowds. For instance, you can use two-way radios for better reliability. Alternatively, verbal messages or telephone systems can be enough, especially if the venue is small.
For effective communication, you must have a formal procedure and language during the event, which will help greatly if an incident happens. After all, you can’t send help if you don’t know the caller, their location or situation. To avoid confusion, you may want to have special names or codes. Also, one line should be reserved for emergencies only.
- Conduct a Review
After the event is over, don’t just pack and leave right away no matter what time of day it is. It’s important that you discuss how the event unfolded. This is as important as planning and management. Doing so right after the event is important as everything will be fresh in everyone’s mind. If all of the team members are not available, you can talk to those who are present.
All of this will help you find out approaches that may work great and the ones that can be improved. Make a note of important things so you can have a better event next time.
So, these are the 6 steps you may want to follow if you want to have an effective strategy for crowd management. After all, you can’t compromise on the safety and security of your guests during the event.