Tips for Successful Crowd Management at Live Events

A man in a red shirt with the word “staff” written on the back in large white letters

Live events are the backbone of the entertainment industry. They offer people from all walks of life a chance to come together and enjoy exhilarating performances by talented creatives. But, whenever a large group of people is in one place, it’s important to remember the importance of taking proper safety precautions.

“A failure of crowd management can lead to property destruction and general hooliganism,” explained Jonathan Tian, Co-Founder of Mobitrix. “Individuals act differently when they are against a massive crowd of people. Persuasive concepts like satisfaction, shock, and enthusiasm can be instantly contagious.”

Nothing is more important to us at Special Guest App than helping bookers and performers put organize fun, safe events where audience members can have a good time while rest assuring that their well-being is in good hands.

With that in mind, we recently sat down with Tian and several other entrepreneurs to get their top tips for successful crowd management at live events.


How to Manage Crowds for Live Events

Concert crowd memories raising their arms up to create a heart sign with their hands.

Formulate a Plan

As with most things in life, the best way to ensure success is to devise and stick to a game plan.

“The importance of preparation cannot be overstated,” said James Dyble, Managing Director at Global Sound Group. “Prepare ahead of time for escape routes, emergency plans, and staffing numbers in relation to the number of attendees.”

Kevin Joubin, VP Growth Marketing at Branded Research, Inc., agreed. Joubin noted that organizers should meet with event staff in advance in order to strategize as a unit. This way everyone stays on the same page.

Manage how tasks will be divided and distributed,” Joubin suggested. “Being able to be prepared at all times will aid in reducing risk because you did give detailed guidelines on what you might do in specific situations.”


Prepare the Venue

One of the biggest factors affecting any crowd management strategy is the venue the event takes place at. Just as it’s critical to prepare a game plan ahead of time, it’s equally important to scout out the venue and make sure that it’s well-prepared to handle a crowd.

“Look at where the guests will queue outside and whether the queue could invade essential exit points,” recommended Julian Goldie, the CEO of Goldie Agency. “For instance, you need to steer the queue away from the fire exits in case of an emergency. You may want to invest in creating reusable signage. The latter can also regularly swap out the signs for promotional ads.”

When it comes to queues, Tian was quick to add that making sure the attendee registration process runs as smoothly as possible is often beneficial. He went on to say that knowing the intricacies of a venue space can help you identify potential problems and even brainstorm solutions beforehand.

“Assessing the risks to the growth and safety of events is an essential part of determining crowd management strategy,” Tian said. “Share the most likely risks and plan ways to prevent people from avoiding them specifically.”


A black-clad security staff member viewed from behind.

Train Your Staff

When trying to wrangle a large and potentially rowdy crowd of excited audience members, you want to make sure you can trust the person next to you. For that reason, ensuring that your live event staff is sufficiently prepared should be a top priority.

“Your team should be well-trained in how to handle a crowd through communication and safety equipment,” said Sean Kelly, Co-Founder of BookRetreats.com. “Earpieces, hi-vis clothing, and ID badges are needed to stand out from the crowd. The hi-vis clothing will also make them easy to find so people can find them in case of an emergency.”

If you don’t have a large enough staff or are concerned about how well-trained the staff you have is, you might want to consider hiring an outside team for the event. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but you can’t put a price on proper safety.

“Crowd management often requires a remote security company ready to control huge crowds under wild and risky conditions,” explained Tian. “Security teams can act as stock guardians, breaking dead ends and contacting crisis-related units.”


Expect the Unexpected

No matter how far you plan ahead, no matter how well you know your venue, no matter how trained your staff is, it’s simply not possible to eliminate all elements of risk from a live event. There’s always an element of random chance that must be taken into account.

“Always prepare for the worst” advised Kelly. “There are chances that things can go wrong that require an orderly evacuation or in the event of a security breach. This could be anything, sudden weather changes, a brawl in the crowd, or even acts of terrorism. It’s imperative your staff is mentally prepared to handle the unexpected.”

How do you do that? Joubin recommended thinking through a wide variety of possible occurrences, no matter how unlikely they might be.

“When it comes to crowd management, one of the best ways to reduce risk is to consider all of the conceivable scenarios,” Joubin explained. “Whether it’s for the better or for the worse, it’s critical that your team be well-prepared to respond in the event of an emergency.”


Special Guest App Makes Event Planning Easy

Planning a big live event? Make sure attendees stay safe by following the helpful tips detailed above. Sometimes the key to ensuring your event goes smoothly is to choose the right performers. After all, the entertainers often set the tone and can help influence the actions of the crowd. That’s where Special Guest App comes in.

With access to our database of performers from all over the country, you won’t have any trouble finding the very best talent for your event. Booking live acts has never been easier! Try Special Guest App today!


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