As an event manager, it is crucial that you use crowd control barriers at your events. If you are organising a large event like a music festival, there is no room for complacency; crowd control barriers are important for crowd flow and ensuring safe evacuation if needed.
Below we detail things that every event manager should know about crowd control barriers.
Crowd control barrier options
Some events use temporary fencing for crowd control, this is not a sensible option due to potential trip hazards with heavy feet, bracing and stays that are often used. Working out which crowd control barrier(s) to use will be determined by a number of people attending your event and the space and layout of your event.
Steel crowd control barriers are a good option as they are strong, have simple interlocking systems, flat feet for minimising trip hazards plus the feet are removable for easy storage. They usually come galvanised or with a powder coating like yellow for hi-vis. Another benefit of using steel crowd control barriers is that you can add customised signage to them which could be used for branding your site, dividing different access zones or providing safety information.
Stanchion barriers and retractable barriers are an option most suited to smaller and formal events like cinemas and entertainment houses where people are required to queue in an orderly fashion. They are usually a simple post design with retractable tape or rope.
Traffic safety barriers are an important option if your event requires traffic management to keep pedestrians safe. They usually come in polyethylene plastic, various sizes and are filled with water to keep them sturdy; the water can be easily drained when moving. They also interlock making them a strong barrier for the management of traffic and crowd flow.
Where can I get crowd control barriers?
How often do you use or require crowd control barriers? If you are holding events often it could be a cheaper option to purchase your barriers direct from a distributor. There are many distributors in Australia but you should do your research and perhaps speak with previous buyers to ensure that you receiving a premium product that will last.
If you are only holding a one-off event or a couple events a year then it would be worth your while developing a relationship with a specialist hire company. Most should include installation and removal with the hire, but it if not it is worth trying to negotiate this in with your contract.
Things to consider when installing your crowd control barriers
This is the most critical aspect of any event. You cannot literally start spreading out barriers without first preparing a well thought out strategy, that is finalised well before the day of your event. It is also important to have a rough idea of attendance a week or so before your event so that you can best prepare.
Crowd control barriers should provide clear and consistent directions for your attendees; they should guide people safely towards points of interest at your event without creating confusion. Directional signs or barrier signage on steel fencing (as mentioned above), are a good option for helping guide your attendees. Personal stationed at major points along your crowd control barriers will also help ensure a safe flow of crowds.
If you don’t have the staff yourself and your event is large, then it’s probably a good idea to hire experienced staff to help with crowd control. Safety barriers are great for helping with crowd flow but they can’t physically prevent violent outbursts. Security personnel that specialise in events are trained in diffusing conflict and preventing escalation.