Stadiums, arenas, airports, and even popular retail environments naturally attract crowds. And while a certain level of stress associated with these crowded experiences is normal, the negative feelings associated with crowded waiting lines, crowded hallways, crowded everything—can quickly take over. According to the FBI, crowd control is important due to the dangers posed by unruly gatherings. Keeping the stress level down is one way to keep unruly-ness at bay. As a crowd control specialist or queue manager, here are 4 ways you can help keep your customers or event attendees calm, cool, and collected:
1. Make the venue easy to navigate
People flocking to a crowded venue are generally excited to get through the doors and get into the experience at hand. Make this an orderly and intuitive process that keeps the enthusiasm rolling smoothly Try clear, concise wayfinding signage that points your attendees in the right direction. And make sure the entryways and paths to designated locations are well-defined with proper barriers and clear of any obstructions. When implemented correctly signage can achieve the following goals:
Discourage hesitations that cause bottlenecks
Keep attendee flow constant
Provide attendees peace of mind that they know where they are going
The most obvious waiting line at a crowded venue are the ones required to get in and check out. But don’t forget about those restroom and snack breaks, particularly at a large entertainment venue. Create pain-free queues at these places of service by clearly marking waiting line entrances and exits and providing easy to follow queue configurations. Retractable belt stanchions are the quick and reliable way to form a waiting line for these essential services.
Multiple-line queues can create a sense of unfairness in the waiting line. It only takes one slow transaction to hold up an entire line making people feel that they chose the wrong line or were otherwise “slighted.” A single line, multiple service queue actually results in faster waiting times and a guaranteed first-come first-served approach. Your customers and attendees will feel better because they will no longer be jockeying for a position in the “best” line or getting frustrated when choosing the “wrong” line. You will also be promoting optimal operational efficiency via maximum customer throughput and a reduction in actual wait times. It’s a streamlined approach that can calm crowds of people. Single wait lines can be used at ticket windows, will call, venue entrances, restrooms, concession stands, or anywhere a line will form.
So much focus is placed on the “getting in” part of a crowded experience that we sometimes neglect to put the same attention on the process of getting out. Either when the event is over, or as people are trying to leave intermittently in the face of arriving crowds, the exit process deserves attention. Once again, signage and easy-to-deploy barriers can help crowd control managers quickly form an orderly exit. If you’re lucky enough to have the problem of attracting large crowds, it’s important to plan ahead for keeping those crowds de-stressed. These tips, along with a host of other crowd control best practices, will give you a great chance of producing a positive crowd-filled experience.