Why Is Crowd Control Essential?
Five Reasons to Prioritize This Safety Strategy
Maintaining order in large gatherings is a cross-sector concern encompassing venue setup, crowd security strategies and personnel planning. Commonly associated with the construction and event industries, crowd control is defined by Collins Dictionary as “the management of crowds at sporting events, demonstrations, etc., to prevent trouble.”
After establishing specific crowd-control objectives, facility and project managers partner with SONCO to acquire necessary barricades, fencing, gates and stanchions. Our U.S.-based company has spent nearly five decades helping clients manage hundreds of crowd safety initiatives — from directing vehicle and foot traffic to restricting areas and creating queues.
The Importance of Maintaining Crowd Control
In general, crowd control involves keeping all facets of an event or project “under control” — without allowing it to become disorderly, dangerous or costly. Here are five crucial reasons for crowd control strategies at your event or place of business.
REASON #1: Crowd Control for Superior Safety
The first and primary reason for crowd control is to prevent bodily harm to event attendees, facility guests, employees and others. Depending on your goals, this is achieved in a variety of ways:
- Establishing a secure perimeter
- Managing vehicle traffic & parking zones
- Maintaining order in queues & gathering areas
- Cordoning-off hazards & off-limits spaces
- Safeguarding entrances & exits
- Protecting stage crews & event staff
- Creating safe & consistent entry & exit policies
Experienced in all crowd security and guest safety phases, SONCO recommends equipment and safety tools for countless applications. For example, the Daytona Motor Speedway uses our barricades to maintain distance between attendees and the track. The NYPD trusts SONCO barriers for major events like the Times Square Ball Drop and Macy’s Day Parade. Our stanchions, Jersey-style barriers and retractable belt barriers are also found at hotels, construction sites, concerts, speaking events, etc.
Police and private safety personnel often regulate crowd control, but sometimes safety strategies are undertaken voluntarily. Security approaches also vary by application, industry and regional guidelines.
REASON #2: Crowd Control for Elevated Security
Security-related crowd control can be divided into three categories: (1) securing assets, (2) protecting privacy, and (3) enforcing security protocols. Safeguarding valuable resources and maintaining a robust perimeter are examples of these. Other examples include:
- Using construction/temp fencing to protect machinery, vehicles or materials
- Installing fence screens for increased privacy
- Securing temp fence gates with chains & locks
- Stabilizing fence panels with sandbags or OxBlock stands
- Separating queue lines by security clearance level
- Deploying barricades at “NO ENTRY” zones
- Funneling visitors to security checkpoints & metal detectors
- Protecting performers & stage crews
- Training personnel to identify security risks
REASON #3: Crowd Control for Better Organization
Event and construction teams often use crowd control to maintain order and prevent traffic or people from getting out of control. Navigating a mega-concert or dense throng of people would be nearly impossible without crowd organization strategies. Ensuring that your facility or project zone is ADA-compliant creates another layer of order.
Perhaps most importantly, organizing large crowds minimizes the likelihood of injuries or group panic. When panic occurs, as it did at the 2021 Travis Scott Astroworld concert, it can also impede first responders and emergency personnel from reaching people in distress. For this reason, establishing an orderly flow of foot and vehicle traffic, queue lines and other gathering areas cannot be overemphasized.
REASON #4: Crowd Control for Added Convenience
No matter the venue, most people are in a hurry to get where they are going. Setting crowd safety aside, offering an easily navigable path and stress-free event experience improves customer satisfaction. Strategies may include:
- Installing large, legible crowd control signage for bathrooms & rest areas.
- Channelizing people into alcohol, food & merch lines.
- Saving batches of parking spaces for late arrivals.
- Providing a clear path to VIP seating & parking areas.
- Creating easy-to-follow festival or theme park maps.
- Opening expedited lines for single skiers or roller coaster riders to fill empty seats.
REASON #5: Crowd Control for Added Revenue
Efficient customer service allows you to earn more revenue — and proper crowd control enables this. People are naturally impatient and hurried — and long, disorganized lines are a turn-off for potential buyers. For example you don’t want sports or concert attendees attendees to split their attention between buying concessions or seeing the show.
Other examples of crowd control to boost revenue include:
- Creating valuable marketing opportunities
- Facilitating impulse buys
- Deploying custom barricade covers to increase brand awareness
- Selling sponsor ad space on signage & barrier jackets
- Adding stanchion display bowls for checkout area items
- Installing fence screen “billboard” displays on temp fence panels
Crowd Control Myths & Misconceptions
The term “crowd control” may remind people of policing tactics that control civil unrest. This understanding brings visions of mass protests and confrontational situations. At its root, though, crowd control is about assuring people’s safety and working for the common good. It’s a standard industry term, but industries may prefer the term “crowd management” for these safety and security processes.
Whether you organize a parade route, manage airport security lines or secure a large-scale event, crowd control does not have to involve a “clash” with authority figures. Instead, it can be a mutual agreement facilitating organized movement from point A to B — without unnecessary safety or security risks.
SONCO’s experts are ready to recommend the best barricade, stanchion, signage and fence products to achieve your crowd management goals. Connect with our team today for a free bid, or call to inquire about discounted pricing on truckload equipment bundles!
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