EVENT CROWD CONTROL
WE ALL WANT GREAT ATTENDANCE AT OUR EVENTS--PEOPLE MOVING SEAMLESSLY AND HAPPILY THROUGH THE EVENTS THAT HAVE BEEN CAREFULLY PLANNED. HOWEVER, WHEN MANY HUMANS GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE AT ONE TIME, CONTROLLING A GROUP, WHETHER IT'S 75 OR 7500, CAN BE TRICKY AND NEEDS TO BE CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED. HERE ARE OUR BEST TIPS FOR CROWD CONTROL AT YOUR EVENTS. WE'VE DIVIDED THIS UP INTO SECTIONS: THE ENTRANCE, THE EVENT, AND THE EXIT.
Oh my is this ever a spot where backlogs can occur. Whether it's issues with parking, transportation, or the entrance to the event itself (invitations, tickets, etc).--the gateway to your event must be clear and easy to navigate to avoid early user frustrations. One surefire way to guarantee that everyone gets in with ease is to create multiple ways for attendees to move through their arrival. For example, with ticketing, offer a mobile check-in process as well as a channel for guests to check-in at the door. For VIP guests, make sure there is a backdoor or priority area for entrance so that no speakers or featured guests have to struggle to find their way in. Likewise, with parking and transportation, be sure to offer at least two options, such as a shuttle bus and valet parking. The trick here is to have multiple channels for arrivals and keep them all clear during the time when most of your guests will be showing up for your event. If you're having a red carpet, photo ops, or a step-and-repeat, be sure that you have extra hands on deck to manage this particular area.
There are a lot of ways to manage crowds during events and each strategy needs to be applied based on the context of the event itself. For example, a gala needs an entirely different flow than a trade show or conference. So, first be sure you're planning your event flow with a clear understanding of how guests will move through their time at your event. Second, identify any trouble spots or potential glitches and plan for them preventatively. For example, do you have enough catering and wait staff to serve dinner so that guests are all eating at the same time? If half of the room finishes the buffet or sit-down meal an hour before the rest, this will royally screw up the rest of the evening. For a trade show or conference, being sure you cover all the bases for all the days--panel discussions, parties, VIP events, keynote talks, is totally essential. Beyond just crowd flow and user enjoyment, safety is also of paramount concern. Welcome the masses to your amazing event, just be sure you know how to handle them once they get there.
Cornell University Event Health and Safety department has a great formula that is easy to remember when considering some overall rules for your crowd control during an event. They use the acronym A.C.E. It stands for: Aisles, Capacity, and Exits. So be sure to remember these three key safety concerns when you are working with planning everything from venue choice to seating options. First, determine that the aisles are kept clear and are wide enough for people to exit easily during an emergency. Second, be sure that your event does not exceed capacity limits for any given space. Third, know where every secure exit is within each building or area you're using for your event and be sure that staff understand what to do to assist people in safely reaching an exit in the event of an emergency. For any outdoor events (and even indoor ones) the use of barriers and additional security personnel may be necessary, so plan accordingly.
The exit isn't just about safety, it's also how you handle the outflow of your attendees when the event is over. It's your entrance in reverse, but with a greater focus on making sure guests feel appreciated for attending and that their path homeward is smooth and glitch-free. Make sure guests understand what time the event ends, have in place a few fail-safes in case you have attendees with travel issues, health emergencies, or even for guests who may have had one too many adult beverages. Make sure your parking, shuttles, hotel check-outs, and valets are running like clockwork and that everyone gets where they need to go with ease.
We want everyone cheering for you like this at your event. One thing we can guarantee? We have decades of experience in managing crowds big and small and we would love to help you with whatever your needs may be. Call us anytime. We will help you keep it all under control.