5 Questions to Narrow Down Your Stanchion Choices

December 11, 2012Perry Kuklin

From retractable belt or velvet rope stanchions, to portable posts and all-weather varieties, the wide range of available stanchions is good news for managers, but can also make it difficult to know what’s best for a particular crowd control or queuing situation. Where to begin? Answer these five questions and you’ll be that much closer to narrowing down the best stanchions for your venue.

1. What’s your style?

One way to close in on your choice of stanchion is to consider the style that will complement the décor and architecture of your facility. Stanchion posts themselves can be found in a variety of styles, finishes, and colors. Accompanying belts, ropes, and other barriers also come in wide range of color and customizable options. Take a look around your venue or consult with an interior designer to determine the style of post, type of barrier (belt, rope, panel), and colors or finishes that will complement your space. With décor in mind, you might be able to quickly eliminate plastic posts or velvet ropes, or you might immediately find that stainless steel is the desired finish. These style-related details can effectively narrow down your list of options.

2. Indoors or outdoors?

This basic question can quickly cut the field of ideal stanchions. Posts that are made for indoor use are simply not designed to stand up to harsh outdoor environments; and those made for outdoor use can feel out of place indoors.  Most commonly, those in need of all-weather stanchions will look for high density plastic posts or rust-resistant aluminum stanchions. For indoor environments, stainless steel, brass, or powder coated posts with retractable belts or velvet ropes are commonplace.

3. Moving around or staying put?

Stanchions can be completely portable, semi-permanent, or set in place. Portable stanchions are the wise choice in situations where rapid deployment is critical or in places where crowd levels fluctuate frequently. Permanent stanchions are typically drilled into the ground to provide strong support for public guidance or queuing in situations where crowd flow is steady and predictable. Stanchions featuring strong magnetic bases can offer the best of both worlds—strength and portability—acting as a semi-permanent solution. Removable mounting via floor sockets is another semi-permanent option as posts can be removed as needed. Think about your use cases and let the choice of portable, permanent, or “best-of-both” further narrow your choices.

4. Lowest cost or highest quality stanchion?

If you’re like most, the answer falls somewhere in the middle where finding a good value is the goal. When it comes to stanchions, you can certainly find a wide range of features, materials, and components across the price spectrum. At the lowest price points you’ll sacrifice some features but sometimes a basic post is all you need. At the higher price points you’ll find stanchions with premium features as well as more stylish details and customizable options for belt length, post finish, and components. To narrow down your choices, think about what’s important in your venue, have a budget in mind, and consider a combination of features and pricing to narrow down your selections.

5. Planning to add merchandising and/or signage to your stanchion setup?

If the answer is yes, then it’s versatility you need. Lines that are populated with signage like “Enter here” or “Please wait to be seated” can benefit from stanchions that have built-in opportunities at the top of the post to mount wayfinding messages. Retractable belt stanchions can be multi-functional when it comes to in-line merchandising. Merchandising racks can be integrated into the line, while merchandising bowls or racks can be attached to posts. Not every stanchion type can accommodate merchandising and signage so if these are on your list of needs, the choices will be more limited.

Stanchions are an important part of crowd control and queue management. Choosing the right stanchions for your venue can facilitate better customer flow, guide customers to their desired end point, and create an orderly queuing environment. Let us help plan your approach with the right stanchions. Contact a Lavi expert.

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