The Role of Stanchions in Crowd Control

The Role of Stanchions in Crowd Control

Last updated: March 21, 2014Perry Kuklin

By definition, a stanchion is an upright bar, post, or support. In relation to crowd control, stanchions become essential tools for effectively preventing disorder while creating a pleasant environment for patrons. From banks and retail stores to restaurants and convention centers to airports and amusement parks, stanchions are relied upon to direct the flow of small to large crowds, control necessary access, provide information and enhance safety. That is a lot of responsibility for a “post.”

The design of stanchions

Stanchions come in a wide variety of styles, materials and sizes to fit the needs of various events and situations. Some of the most common stanchion varieties include traditional posts and ropes and retractable belts of different lengths and durability, all designed as functional tools for crowd control.


Traditional post and velvet rope stanchions

Traditional post and velvet rope stanchions are classic barriers that provide a bit of elegance to crowd control. Such locations as movie theaters, music halls and museums utilize these stanchions to complement existing décor with a refined finish.

retractable belt stanchion

Retractable belt stanchions

Retractable belt stanchions are the staple to many crowd control professionals’ management systems. These modern and multi-purpose stanchions can be found in a variety of finishes and can be embellished with logos, graphics or messaging. The versatility of these stanchions in crowd management is superlative.

extra-long portable retractable belt stanchions

Extra-long portable retractable belt stanchions

Extra-long portable retractable belt stanchions grace the likes of tarmacs, terminals, parking garages and stadiums with the promise of superior coverage and easy deployment. Designed for a single staff member to deploy these belts within minutes, it is no wonder these stanchions are utilized for superior and efficient crowd control for large areas.

The function of stanchions in crowd control

Stanchions have become an essential tool for effective crowd control by facilitating some of the critical factors that mitigate confusion, discomfort and tension. Here are some of the ways stanchions are used to enhance crowd control:

Improve the flow of the crowd

The goal in effective crowd flow is to move patrons in an efficient and enjoyable manner through the venue. From the entrance to the exit, stanchions should form a clear path that offers directional guidance every step of the way. Stanchions are also easily reconfigurable to deal with the varying volumes of traffic that can occur during different times of an event or different seasons.


Provide temporary closures

Temporary closures will be unavoidable. Such activities as cleaning and maintenance will be required in certain areas and aisle ways sometimes need to be opened and closed for various reasons throughout the event. Crowd control managers can address these temporary closures in a natural way that will not impede the flow of traffic. Utilizing stanchions, wall-mounted retractable belts, or swinging gates and barriers that can easily be moved in and out of place offer ideal solutions that are efficient and effective.

Deploy rapidly

Portable stanchions can be easy and fast to deploy. Rapid deployment becomes essential in cases of medical emergencies, blocking off basketball courts during halftime or redirecting crowds from a suddenly inoperable elevator.

Crowd Flow

Improve way-finding

People usually know where they want to go when attending an event, but they don’t always know how to get there which can cause frustration or create a disorderly crowd. Stanchions provide a comprehensive way-finding solution that effectively guides people to their desired destination through clear pathways and simple signage.

Enhance safety

High traffic settings require a well-designed crowd control system for the safety of all people involved. Stanchions establish clear boundaries and form logical progressions for crowd flow throughout an airport, amusement park or stadium.


Utilize stanchions as part of a crowd control solution to prevent disorder and keep crowds comfortable and relaxed at all times. With many different choices, the right solution is available for any event or situation.  


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