5 Crowd Control Solutions Worthy of March Madness

April 09, 2013Perry Kuklin

The madness in March Madness has many meanings. If you’re a stadium manager in charge of crowd control for one of these popular games you know exactly the form of “madness” we’re referring to here. Crowds. Lots of them. And while March Madness only comes once a year, the madness of crowds is felt by many types of venues all year long as events ranging from concerts, sporting events, tradeshows, and even Black Friday test the limits of safety, security, and enjoyment. As you prepare for the madness of any crowd-inducing event, here are some solutions to consider:

1. Wayfinding Signage

stanchion signage

Signage may not sound like a heavy-hitting crowd control solution but don’t let looks fool you. Wayfinding signage pre-empts serious crowd control issues by working to eliminate confusion and bottlenecks before they have a chance to develop. Directional and informational signage lets people know where they are, where they need to go, how to get there, and how to know when they’ve arrived. To take advantage of this solution, make instructions clear and brief. Use the power of color and universally-recognized icons alongside text to make wayfinding intuitive and immediate. Attach post-top signs to retractable belt stanchions to offer instructions while simultaneously defining a path or queue. Wayfinding signage can be further enhanced with digital signage that allows for quick and smooth changes to instructions and information.

2. Post and Panel Barricades

customer flow tips

Hosting people who are tempted to skip line, hop a barrier, or do whatever they can to get to an area where they shouldn’t be means it’s important to be very blunt with your crowd control tools. Frame panels make it very clear that squeezing under a partition or trying to subvert any crowd control method will not be tolerated. Plus, the panels are equipped with hinged connections so they can be angled in any direction, meaning the barriers are effective but also flexible and versatile for crowd control needs. Post and panel barricades are also attractive, so you can still maintain a firm hand over your crowd without destroying the appearance of your venue.

3. Heavy Duty Stanchions

rigid rail barricades

Pressing crowds, excited fans, overeager shoppers—whatever the reason for a crowd’s exuberance and strength, one of the keys to keeping their energy contained is heavy duty stanchions with rigid rail or panel barriers. This is no time for flimsy. You need powerful posts, bases, and barriers that can withstand the bumps and brushes of moving crowds.

4. Extra Long Belted Stanchions

extra-long portable retractable belt stanchions

When you think about airports or amusement parks, malls or arenas, there are extra-large areas where the flow of a venue could change at a moment’s notice. To accommodate the sheer size of a place while still managing the crowd, significant solutions like extra long retractable belt safety barriers allow traffic to be redirected or permit an area to be easily closed off. Portable, long-belt stanchions can cover up to 65 feet and can be deployed rapidly to contain overzealous crowds. Even better, the right product can enable just one person to cordon off an enormous area in minutes.

5. Temporary Closures

post and panel barracades

Where there are crowds, you have to learn to expect the unexpected. But you can prepare for worst-case scenarios and have temporary closure equipment available for quick deployment. Likewise, when you need to temporarily close an area for maintenance, set-up, or renovation, making a familiar and always accessible section of your venue suddenly off-limits to visitors, it’s necessary to clearly mark that space as taboo. Temporarily closed areas may require extra monitoring on the part of crowd control managers, but having verboten areas clearly marked and offering alternate routes can keep crowds calm and moving. Wall-mounted retractable belts, swing gates, and spring-loaded gates, along with the aforementioned post and panel barricades and portable stanchions, are viable and effective solutions for deterring crowds while still keeping them happy. Crowds can be overwhelming, but they don’t have to be uncontrollable. Information, clear instructions and barriers, and the ability to plan ahead means a venue can be ready for every type of crowd madness that could erupt, whether it’s March Madness or bridal show season. Talk to a Lavi expert to discuss crowd control options for your venue.

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