As you can see, crowds can be dangerous unless handled properly. So, let’s dive into some crowd management strategies that will help you avoid a disaster at your event.
Know your audience
Football games and heavy metal festivals will have a bit more action than academic conferences and trade shows. Know who your audiences are and how they act in crowds. This event is unlikely to fall into vandalism. Or not?
How you handle the crowds at your event should be part of your event planning process. Once you’ve selected a location, you can start to think about how people will move.
Be sure to contact the following:
- Emergency services.
- Event contractors.
- Local authorities.
- Nearby businesses.
- Administration of the place.
They will be able to help you figure out the nuts and bolts of crowd management, as they likely have experience with similar events in the past.
Conduct a risk assessment
Health and safety risk assessments at your event are an integral part of planning your crowd management strategy. Identify potential hazards and plan how to keep people away from them.
Have an emergency plan
Things can go wrong no matter how meticulously you have planned your event. This is why you should always have an emergency plan for when they do.
Anything could happen. This was the result of the event depicted above.
You must have a plan for some of the worst scenarios:
- Sudden changes in the weather.
- Flammable objects that catch fire.
- Fights between people in the audience.
- Someone is caught stealing.
- Everyone panics, and people trample each other.
Have the correct number of personnel.
You can’t go it alone, so make sure you’ve hired the right amount of staff in proportion to the size of the crowds you expect.
There should be ushers to show people. Your entire team should know the layout of the place. They should also have a convenient way to communicate with each other, such as walkie-talkies or a group chat on everyone’s phone.
Position your staff strategically around the venue and make sure you cover the key points of interest:
- Check-in queues.
- Ticket sales windows.
- Seating areas.
- Guest service tables.
- Presentation rooms.
Large events generally require a third-party security company that is trained to deal with large crowds, loud behavior, and dangerous situations.
You will need a well-trained security team for your event. That or John Wick.
The security personnel you hire should take care of the following:
- Registry of assistants for contraband.
- Break up physical confrontations.
- Contact emergency services.
Ask everyone to report suspicious behaviour
Your security staff won’t be everywhere all the time, so you need to recruit more eyeballs. Ask your team and the event audience to report anything suspicious or unusual to security.
Have a way to alert everyone
It’s easy for your voice to be drowned out by a deafening crowd, so you’ll need other forms of communication in case you need to alert them to something important.