Scale-Up College Crowd Control
Get Ahead of the Game With School Security Planning
Campus crowd management starts with protecting students, instructors and guests, and the keys to college safety are meticulous planning and event forecasting. To choose the best perimeter and crowd-control tools for your event, lecture or student gathering, start by (1) knowing what to expect from attendees and (2) prepping for unexpected scenarios.
Your school security roadmap should have plenty of contingency plans, and the SONCO pros provide custom consultations tailored to your school’s needs. But first, check out our tips about choosing safety equipment for college crowd control at school-wide or small-scale events.
College Crowd Control Tips for All Campus Sizes
Should I Use Stanchions or Barricades?
Whether securing a stadium or managing the bookstore during fall orientation, your successful university safety setup depends on group size and audience temperament. Here are a few helpful hints for choosing between barricades and stanchions.
- Controlling fans at a major college arena (gatherings of 100K+) requires heavy-duty SONCO barricade systems built for high-security crowds. When prepping for similar events, take every precaution and treat perimeter security like a pro-sporting event.
- Division I & II schools also require heavy HDG barriers for many other activities, from new-student orientations and film festivals to TED Talks and community lectures. As you direct thousands of guests to entry and exit points, crowd density necessitates a robust perimeter. Hot-dip galvanized steel barricades hold their own in high-energy crowds, which is just one reason the NYPD trusts them for the annual New Year’s ball drop in Times Square.
- Stanchion systems are ideal for smaller venues and low-key crowds. Browse SONCO’s Elegance Line for sophisticated stanchion styles that enhance award ceremonies and red-carpet events. You can also use stanchions, ropes, posts and retractable wall mounts to control foot traffic and establish queues. These product lineups are popular for bookstore sales, theater performances, class registration days, food truck festivals, etc. Stanchions are NOT recommended for stressful, high-security crowd situations since they go largely unnoticed by frenzied, dense groups. In packed gatherings, attendees may jump over or crawl under stanchion ropes, disconnect retractable belts and knock over posts.
- There’s a fine line between too little and too much college crowd control. Don’t skimp on safety equipment — but don’t overbuy, either. Stretch your security budget with cost-effective crowd management tailored to event specifics. For example, you may choose stanchions for a niche theater event with a few hundred attendees, then upgrade to heavy-duty barricades for Division-1 sports where lax security leads to injuries or all-out chaos.
What About Interior Versus Exterior Crowd Management?
Heavy-duty barricades do a great job of establishing your perimeter, channelizing vehicle and heavy foot traffic, and controlling entry points at mega-events. But what about indoor crowd management? A good rule of thumb: If concession stands and admissions queues require more than two lines, you probably need stanchions. Stanchion kits aren’t just convenient for guests. They create organized rows for a faster turnaround, increasing revenue and minimizing line-jumpers or queue violators.
Whatever your event size, indoor college crowd control and queue management often include:
- Organizing lines for admissions & concessions
- Cordoning-off hazardous & staff-only areas
- Controlling entry to VIP lounges, auctions, raffles & game tables
- Supervising lines at merch & memorabilia tables
For mid- and large-scale events, many school security managers keep ChainBoss stanchion kits on hand. These innovative products keep queues organized while controlling foot traffic since each hollow post stores up to 10 feet of 2-inch chain.
Even if you rarely need small-venue posts and ropes, it is still wise to keep an inventory of event series stanchions for on-demand deployment. Even light gatherings can get out of hand when long lines lead to frustration and infighting. Prepping for the unexpected ensures you can safeguard crews and patrons if tensions run high.
How Can Signage Help With Campus Events?
Stock and custom signage are vital to any crowd manager’s toolbox. Events are safer and more streamlined when patrons can easily find bathrooms, concessions, merch lines and VIP areas. Bright-colored, prominently displayed signage frees employees from providing constant wayfinding assistance and allows them to focus on venue organization or crowd management tasks. Choose products like SONCO’s feather and teardrop flags with photo-quality images and hi-viz navigation points that keep crowds moving.
In addition to banners and directional signage, barricades and fencing form a usable vertical surface for ads and sponsorships. Use custom-printed barrier covers or fence screens to tease upcoming productions, give sponsor shout-outs or decorate your space with murals and artwork.
Buy Crowd-Control Equipment for Outstanding ROI
Like many colleges, your university may have relied on rental barricades and stanchions for past events. But as you preview next fall’s hosted activities, it could make financial sense to build a purchased inventory of crowd and perimeter tools. When you own barricades, stanchions, signage and Jersey-style water barriers, it’s easy to host year-round events, new student initiations or community festivals. Your equipment investment could save you thousands in the long run — and deliver total peace of mind.
Team Up With College Crowd Control Experts
Your job as a university event director or facilities manager is tough enough without the added challenge of crowd-control problems. SONCO is your crowd and perimeter partner, and we’re here to help so you can get back to work. Consult our school and university specialists for FREE, no-obligation advice about your upcoming event schedule. SONCO delivers U.S. manufacturing quality with FREE shipping and discounted bundle deals on stanchions and lightweight or heavy-duty barricades.
Partner with us today and say hello to student security and goodbye to crowd incidents or crew injuries. Learn more about our all-in-one barricade and branding solutions for college crowd control in this helpful guide!