What you need to know about crowd management
Are you planning an on-site event that’s likely to attract large crowds? Whether you’re holding a conference or a concert, it’s important to minimise the dangers of large crowds. Fortunately, it’s possible to safely host large crowds on your property with the right crowd management. Keep reading to learn more about how to control crowd management on your property.
What is crowd management?
Crowd management is an important part of public security that involves organising and managing large crowds for the safety of everyone on the premises. Crowd management helps to prevent crowd crushes, fights, and any other dangerous incidents that could arise from a crowd. Of course, sometimes emergencies are unpreventable, such as fires. In this case, effective crowd management would help to keep everyone calm and guide them to somewhere safe.
How to control crowd management
The way that you control crowd management at your event will depend on various factors, such as your audience, type of event, and premises. For example, a heavy metal concert will have entirely different crowd management protocols than a business conference. Continue reading for general advice about how to control crowd management.
Define different areas
Never underestimate the power of security bollards and industrial gates. When placed correctly, these can keep crowds in designated areas, which helps to control pedestrian traffic flow. It’s important to define and separate different areas on the premises to prevent confusion, as well as minimising the size of large crowds by breaking them up into smaller ones. Bollards are helpful for mapping out the different areas on your premises, whereas turnstiles provide a way to sort people into different areas, as well as slow down pedestrian traffic.
Manage traffic flow
Although pedestrian traffic is certainly important, crowd management often begins before attendees even leave their cars. So, it’s important to manage traffic flow both on the roads and within your car parks. If your event may see a lot of cars on the road in the hours leading up to it, it can be helpful to put up signs or have staff directing traffic.
What’s more, you’ll want to avoid congestion within car parks to prevent large queues and frustrated attendees. To tackle this, ensure that your car park barriers are working correctly and can keep up with the number of vehicles coming your way. Effective car park management systems will also help to control cars on your premises, making sure all visitors pay the correct amount. With cars arriving in such large quantities, it can be easy to miss people who haven’t paid. This is why a Smart Console can come in handy, as it controls entry and exit times, helping to control when people are entering and leaving the car park.
Have a ticket-only system
If your event is incredibly popular, then people who didn’t manage to secure a ticket may attempt to gain entry. Even if your tickets are free, it’s important to honour a ticket-only policy to stop overcrowding and ensure that those who purchased tickets will be guaranteed places at the event. There can be serious consequences for overfilling an event, so make sure that you only allow the number of people that your venue can hold. This can be done by training all staff not to grant entry to people without tickets, or by using pedestrian speed lanes which will only grant access to those with a valid pass.
Secure multiple entrances, exits, and escape routes
In the case of an emergency, emptying the premises is one of the top priorities for crowd management. It’s for this reason that you need multiple entry and exit points for people to escape in an orderly fashion. However, even for your event to function normally, it’s preferable to have multiple entrances and exits. This means that both before and after your event, crowds can be managed and split up into smaller groups. These access points should be clearly marked, and have either signs or staff directing people to where they need to be.
Conduct a risk assessment and emergency plan
A risk assessment is essential for understanding everything that could potentially go wrong during your event. It’s always better to be aware of any risks rather than be blindsided when an emergency unfolds. A risk assessment means that you can create a plan of action for how you will deal with any of these potential risks. Although it’s unlikely that a disaster will occur with adequate crowd management, it’s best to prepare for the worst.
Alert the appropriate authorities
If you’re expecting large crowds that your own staff and security may not be equipped to handle, it’s always best to inform the authorities. Even if you think you have everything under control, the emergency services are helpful to have on side. Fire services, police, and ambulances can all help to manage crowds and provide assistance should anything go wrong. Contact your local authorities with appropriate notice before your event, and they will be able to help if necessary.
If your business frequently manages large or unruly crowds, then the correct security solutions are essential. Take a look at our range of security products, or contact a member of our team for further advice.