After all … why is crowd control important?
Crowd control is important for the function of a variety of industries. Most commonly associated with events and construction, forms of crowd control exist in retail, hospitality, sports, and schools. Crowd control applications include directing foot and vehicle traffic, restricting areas, and creating queues.
In this article, we’ll go over the five key reasons why crowd control is important. But first, let’s define crowd control:
Crowd Control Definition
Crowd control is simply managing people in a way that keeps them safer, away from certain activities or equipment, or better organized. Certain crowd control applications may achieve a combination of goals, or may be specific to one. But, generally speaking, crowd control is keeping everything “under control” in the sense that it’s not dangerous, costly, or disorderly.
So, let’s get started:
1. Superior Safety
The number one reason for “why crowd control is important” is to keep folks safer. Whether directing traffic, cordoning off hazardous areas, or creating uniform entry, the goal is to make sure everyone is getting where they need to go without causing bodily harm to themselves or others.
The list of examples is practically endless. Our barriers are utilized at the Daytona Motor Speedway to keep folks a safe distance from parts of the track. The NYPD uses SONCO barricades for events like the Macy’s Day Parade and the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. Hotels might utilize bright-yellow retractable belt barriers to keep people a safe distance from repairs. Construction sites use Jersey style barriers to protect workers from high-speed traffic.
While crowd control for safety reasons is often required by law, it’s sometimes commissioned as a voluntary precaution. This depends on the application, industry, regional requirements, and beyond.
2. Stronger Security
Another common reason for crowd control measures is for perimeter security, although this purpose is sometimes put into a separate category.
When something needs to be secured permanently, then it may fall outside the purview of traditional crowd control equipment. For more temporary security measures, like a construction site with expensive machinery, vehicles, and material, temporary fencing is often utilized.
Temp fence panels often feature dust screens for both debris reduction and increased privacy. Temp fence gates are often secured with chains and locks and weighted by cement blocks or sandbags.
Crowd control for security is also associated with airports and event venues. Queue lines in airports can be separated by security clearance level, and barriers are often positioned between “NO RE-ENTRY” points. Event venues will often utilize barricades to funnel visitors to the security checkpoints, which may include metal detectors and pat-downs.
Therefore, security related crowd control is grouped into two distinct categories: keeping assets secure or enforcing security protocols.
3. Better Organization
Crowd control is often used as a way to prevent what would otherwise be borderline chaos. For high-traffic areas, some form of crowd control is all but essential to keep things orderly. Otherwise, navigating a dense throng could be close to impossible. This is especially true in terms of accessibility for all people, such as those who use a wheelchair.
This is also another form of safety precaution. Better organization of large crowds reduces the likelihood of injury in the event of a panic, and emergency personnel can better get to someone in need of assistance.
4. Extra Convenience
Most of us just want to get to where we’re going as fast as possible. So even putting safety aside, offering a set path for visitors can simply lead to more satisfaction. For example, a sign at a festival that lets someone know where the bathrooms are from a distance is a form of crowd control signage.
At sporting events, there may be a separate line for those who would like to buy alcohol versus those just buying food. Parking lot attendants may want to open up specific spaces only when those closer to the stadium are filled.
One last example: a theme park map (here’s an example of one of our clients) is a great crowd control tool. So too is offering an expedited line for single riders to fill empty seats on rides. The possibilities are truly endless.
5. More Revenue
The faster you can serve customers, the more revenue you earn. People are naturally impatient, and a long and disorganized line can turn off potential purchasers, especially during a sporting or music event – you don’t want them to have to decide between getting a drink and seeing the show.
Crowd control products can also serve as valuable marketing opportunities, or facilitate impulse purchases. Custom barricade covers can boost brand awareness or generate sponsorship revenue. A stanchion display bowl can hold checkout area items. And custom fence screens for temp fence panels can advertise products or services to vehicles and pedestrians much like a billboard
Crowd Control Misconceptions
When some people hear the term “crowd control,” they think of policing tactics to control civil unrest. Images of mass protests and classes with law enforcement come to mind, and instead of seeing it as a source of safety and common good, the word “control” takes front and center focus.
That’s why we often prefer to use the term “crowd management,” as that more accurately portrays the motivation of the user. (However, the industry standard term remains “crowd control.”)
For example, safety barriers lining a highway construction site isn’t a form of control so much as it is an extremely necessary safety measure. The same goes for barricades lining parade routes, letting folks know where to stand to enjoy the parade and allow it to progress.
In 99.9% of cases, “crowd control” isn’t a clash with an authority figure, it’s a common agreement that everyone wants to stay safe, feel secure, and get from A to B with their personal property intact and well-being looked after.
Partner with a Crowd Control Expert
At SONCO, our team of experts is prepared to answer your question as to why crowd control is important and especially how to set up an effective project. Reach out online today to gain valuable insights specific to your needs.