Thursday, August 16, 2018

Setting Up Crowd Control Barricades

Whether you’re a small business preparing to deal with seasonal crowds or in charge of holding a large event, crowd control measures have to be put in place.

One of the simplest ways to manage crowds is through the use of crowd control barricades. These take the form of steel, plastic, or rope barricades that keep crowds focused to certain areas. Choosing and setting up these types of barricades is a relatively painless process, and we’re here to make it even easier.

There are a few different types of barricade options you can choose from, and they all have their pros and cons. Tape Posts are easy to set up, adjust, and use, making them an economical option. Tape posts allow for easy belt extension, making it a very customizable crowd control solution. Ropes & Chains come with a better design aesthetic, and rope in particular is very durable. The issue with both of these options is that crowds can duck under or step over these barricades. If you’re trying to protect crowds from bigger hazards such as traffic, a steel barrier may serve you better, but keep in mind they’re expensive and difficult to transport.

You’ll want to be sure to set up your crowd control barriers long before your crowds begin to form. It is much harder to organize crowds into an orderly line after they’ve started to arrive than to do it beforehand. If you’re setting up crowd control for a business you may even be able to leave it out continuously.

When setting up your barricades you want to be sure there are clear entrance and exit points. You  may choose to do this with signage or staff posted along the barricade. Ideally, you’d do both. People waiting in line are likely to become irritable and anxious. Having staff to monitor the line means there are people available to answer questions and step in if need be.

For safety reasons, we also recommend setting up your crowd control posts in a configuration that eliminates the dangers of crowd crush. By setting up crowd control barriers in the shape of an S or multiple rows, you limit the possibility of injury. By doing this, you can prevent people in the back of line from pushing forwards.

These simple steps will help to keep your crowds organized and safe.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

How We Can Learn From Crowd Disasters

There will always be some level of risk when it comes to managing crowds at large events. Most of the time, events are held without any major issues. But occasionally we’re faced with large events that end in disaster, with lives lost and everyone asking what we could have done better.

These tragedies force us to examine crowd control policies to determine what can be done better to avoid such large disasters in the future.

The Hillsborough Disaster of 1989

What Happened: During the FA Cup semi-final match 96 people were crushed to death as crowds attempted to enter the stadium. A bottleneck developed at the turnstiles. In response, the police commander opened an exit gate, allowing even more people inside and crushing the people at the front against the perimeter fencing. Many of those who died did so due to compressive asphyxia.

What We Learned: Event organizers and police need to be better trained in handling overcrowding. Within a closed space there must be capacity limits. Staff of events must direct patrons on where to go to prevent overcrowding. In the event of an emergency there must be clear announcements and communication between staff to prevent further issues.

Hajj Tragedies

What Happened: The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca has led to multiple incidents resulting in the loss of life. Most commonly are crowd crushes and progressive crowd collapses. Stampedes have also led to individuals being crushed to death. The most recent incident occurred in 2015, when two groups of pilgrims converged, causing a massive crush that left over 1,000 dead.

What We Learned: For massive events such as Hajj, redesigning the event space can help to prevent such tragic events. By preventing bottlenecks the pressure in different event spaces can be spread out. There also needs to be increased security with staff to direct attendees appropriately.

Love Parade Music Festival 2010

What Happened: 21 people died when too many people became packed into too small of a space without enough exit routes. Miscommunication and a lack of information were two factors in how the tragedy unfolded. The tunnel, used as both the entrance and exit, became overpacked.

What We Learned: Events must hire enough staff to meet event demands to control the flow of traffic. Adequate entrances and exits must exist to prevent this type of crowding.

Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse

What Happened: A severe thunderstorm moved into the area where crowds had gathered to watch a concert. Despite being aware of the incoming storms, officials didn’t initially plan to cancel the show. As an announcer took to the stage to finally announce the show was cancelled, a gust of wind hit the stage, which collapsed.  The stage landed on spectators, killing 7 and injuring 58.

What We Learned: Structures at events must always be inspected to ensure they meet safety standards. Potentially dangerous weather conditions must be closely observed, with adjustments to the event being made far in advanced. Clear communication and a line of authority should be put in place so decisions about unsafe situations can be made swiftly.

These types of crowd disasters can be prevented with the right planning, staffing, and crowd control products. Make sure to keep these lessons in mind when planning your next event.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Top Considerations For Outdoor Events

The unofficial start of summer has come and gone, which means outdoor events are going to be plentiful for the next few months. Whether it’s an outdoor craft show, a county fair, or a week-long festival, there are a lot of safety issues you need to take into consideration.

With the recent string of terrorist attacks and shootings in the USA and across the globe, people are understandably a bit on edge. As an event planner, you should be too. There are a lot of risks you need to mitigate when you run any event, especially an outdoor one.

You can minimize the risks at your outdoor event by performing a risk assessment survey. This is the easiest way to keep track of all your event risks and come up with a plan to prevent safety issues from happening, and a contingency plan for if they happen anyway.

Start by creating a list of potential hazards at your event. These hazards will largely depend on the type of event you are holding, the number of attendees, the security of the perimeter, and the attendee demographics.

Potential Hazards

·        Severe weather
·        Lightning
·        Strong wind
·        Extreme Heat
·        Extreme Cold
·        Uneven surfaces
·        Vehicle movement
·        Medical emergencies
·        Fire
·        Temporary structures – integrity
·        Crowd behavior
·        Natural physical hazards (hills, rivers, etc)
·        Event perimeter
·        Illegal items entering event grounds
·        Lack of communication
·        Electrical malfunctions

Once you’ve identified the potential hazards at your event, you will need to evaluate each one individually. Take a good look at each hazard and consider all the problems that hazard could cause. For example, think about lightning as a potential hazard. Storms can develop suddenly and without warning. Once you are able to hear thunder, you are at risk from lightning. Lightning may strike attendees or event structures, which can cause fire, structure collapse, and crowd panic.


·        What could go wrong?
·        Who could be hurt?
·        How could they be hurt?
·        How much of a risk does this hazard pose?
·        What can I do to prevent this hazard?


Of course your goal will be to prevent these hazards from happening in the first place. Some hazards can be eliminated more easily than others. Some, like the weather, you have no control over save dealing with them when they happen. Luckily there are a lot of steps you can take to reduce the risks of these hazards before your event begins, and even during the event itself.

·        Assign someone to monitor weather during the event
·        Make resources such as misting stations, shaded areas, and more available
·        Ensure wiring is up to code
·        Keep cords and wires covered
·        Mark uneven surfaces
·        Block access to prohibited areas
·        Ensure all temporary structures meet safety requirements
·        Ensure tents are securely tied down
·        Have medical personnel/transport onsite or on call
·        Search bags
·        Install metal detectors
·        Background checks on staff and volunteers
·        Install a PA system
·        Create a text/app system
·        Hire security for event

Contingency Planning

If everything else fails and any of these hazards come to pass, you need to have contingency plans in place. This is all about asking “what if”, then coming up with a plan of what you would do if it were to actually happen. Create an outline of what would be done in the event of an emergency and who would be in charge. Keep the documents handy during your event. Have emergency evacuation plans in place and make sure all staff members are informed about how to execute them.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What To Do About Overcrowded Beaches

Memorial Day Weekend is getting close, summer is on the horizon, and beaches across the country are only going to get more and more crowded. It’s easy to understand why everyone wants to hit the beach. Between the sun, the water, and the shopping and dining nearby it has something for everyone. But how do you keep visitors safe and beaches clean when they’re swarmed with people?

Holding events on the beach is a popular thing to do in summer, especially over holiday weekends. But these beach events can get very crowded, so certain measures need to be put into place to keep everyone safe.

The amount of crowd control measures you need to put into place will depend on the beach. These are our tips for managing crowds at any beach event. Pick and choose which ones work for you based on your event.

·        Increase parking costs
·        Limit liquor sales
·        Ban alcohol on the beach
·        Hire security for beach events that may get out of hand, such as during spring break
·        Close streets along the beach to vehicles, opening them up to foot traffic only
·        Set up barriers as needed to manage traffic flow
·        Place barriers around structures that people may climb or sit on
·        Have an announcement system in place so crowds can be directed as needed, especially in an emergency
·        Convey information through signage
·        Implement shuttles and other public transport systems to keep traffic down
·        Charge admission to the beach during peak times
·        Create and enforce strict littering rules
·        Place limits on what beachgoers can bring with them to the beach

Friday, April 20, 2018

Crowds Are Destroying National Parks

More and more people are flocking to America’s National Parks, and who can blame them? There are 60 National Parks in the USA across 28 different states. Each of these parks offers something different to visitors; experience sandstone arches, vast deserts, imposing glaciers, massive forests, and so much more. With so many options there’s a National Park out there for everyone.

But with hundreds of millions of visitors, National Parks are feeling the strain. One of the biggest problems is that visitors tend to flock to the most popular National Parks. The Grand Canyon, Smoky Mountains, and Arches National Park receive millions of visitors, while other parks only see 20,000 visitors a year.

A lot of solutions are being discussed to protect the parks and improve the experience for visitors. Park reservations, daily visitor caps, and increased entry fees are all on the table and being discussed. Some parks require the use of a shuttle to protect the wildlife from vehicles and pollution.

But turning away visitors goes against the very mission of National Parks. These parks are meant to be open for visitors so that people can see the beauty of the natural world. But too many people can cause damage to these parks that cannot be rectified. Many national Parks lack the funding and staff to keep the parks safe. An increase in visitors leads to an increase in dangers for the regular park visitor as well, such as becoming lost or dangerous interactions with wildlife.

The National Park Service is also trying to encourage nature enthusiasts to head to less popular, but no less beautiful, National Parks. For example, Utah has five National Parks, but not all of them get the same foot traffic despite having similar geographical features. Officials hope that thinning out crowds in this way will make both the people and the parks happy.

The rise in lists such as Top Instagram Spots has led to an even larger increase of travelers stopping at a destination only to snap a photo. Instead of hiking to a beautiful viewpoint and simply stopping to take it in, many people find themselves herded along with a crowd and given dirty looks when they don’t immediately pull out a camera, take a photo, and move on.

While all of this is inconvenient for the traveler, it also has a huge impact on the nature that visitor is admiring. Tourists are crushing important vegetation, getting too close to wildlife, littering, and hiking in restricted areas. Not only is this awful for the environment, but many of these practices can endanger visitors as well.

So what does the future of our National Parks look like? Maybe a visit to popular parks will require you to join a guided tour. Maybe reservations to enter the park will need to be made in advanced. In the future there could be a system that only allows a certain amount of people to enter a park every hour.

All of these solutions sound unpleasant but could actually be good for the tourist as well. Viewing natural wonders when you are surrounded by hundreds of people can steal the majesty and beauty of the place. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to stop and observe the natural landmark you want to see at your own pace, without having to shove your way to the front of a line of people?

So if you’re planning a visit to a National Park, do your homework. Avoid traveling during peak seasons and consider visiting a less popular park. While visiting, respect the park and keep it clean. We all have to do our part to keep these beautiful places safe for future generations.

Friday, March 16, 2018

How Top Tourist Destinations Handle Overcrowding

Tourism is on the rise. Popular destinations are only getting more popular while up-and-coming destinations are getting packed with tourists. While this can be great for the economy it can also, in a way, be a huge hindrance because of overcrowding.

This problem isn’t likely to go away. Travel has always been a big business and it has only gotten bigger. But the huge influx of crowds can bring big issues for local residents. We’ve seen this type of joke when it comes to beach towns, but it’s no joke for locals who can’t get to work in time because of tourist traffic. Large crowds can also cause damage to the environment.

So how are the top tourist destinations dealing with this overcrowding problem? Let’s find out.

Barcelona – Barcelona is one of the top visited cities in the world, and for good reason. But life is becoming hard for the locals. They’re being pushed out of their homes to make space for tourist accommodation. Rents are on the rise. To combat this, the city has stopped licensing the building of new accommodations for tourists. This is temporary, until visitors fall to a more manageable level. In the meantime the city is marketing less famous sites and areas outside the core of the city.

Venice – This is the city you probably think of when you hear the term “overtourism”. The amount of tourists regularly outnumbers the amount of locals, to the point that locals are moving away. Recently Venice announced that it wants cruise ships to take a different route to dock. They’ve launched a campaign that brings hefty fines to those who break rules such as swimming in the canals and dropping litter. Signs are posted around the city reminding tourists of these rules. It also encourages tourists to wander the whole city, not just the famous areas.

Machu Picchu – This beautiful, ancient site is in danger of being destroyed by the many tourists visiting it every year. Luckily a lot of new rules have been introduced to limit the impact of tourism. Tourists now have to choose one of two entry times, and can’t linger beyond a certain amount of time. If a visitor wants to spend the entire day, it costs extra. Tourists must be accompanied by a certified guide who takes them on specific paths. They are also restricted on what they can bring with on the journey. The rules will be adjusted as time goes on.

Amsterdam – While some cities are taking steps to limit visitors, Amsterdam is looking into more creative ways to prevent overcrowding in the city. They use data to analyze the habits of tourists, and use that data to subtly move tourists to less busy attractions. They also provide live feeds that display the wait time at popular tourist stops so visitors can re-arrange their schedules to avoid the crowds. Less popular areas near the city have even been re-branded to draw more people out of the center of town. Amsterdam is relying on technology not to limit tourists, but expand their horizons.

Santorini – This picturesque Greek island has been slammed with tourists. The amount of visitors is putting a huge strain on the infrastructure of the island. In the past visitor caps have been enacted to keep people off the island. The biggest culprit is cruise visitors, who come to the island for the day leaving it completely overrun. For the time being, Santorini is still struggling to get their crowds under better control.

Bhutan – Tourism in this Asian country only began in 1974, and the country has done a lot to keep the tourist impact low. All tourists must travel with a guided package that is pre-planned and pre-paid. The fee is all-inclusive so your expenses when you arrive are minimal to nonexistent. Part of the entry fee is also a sustainable tourism royalty, which goes directly back into the country. Bhutan has done what many destinations cannot…stopped overcrowding before it had a chance to start.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Become A Trendsetter By Visiting These Destinations First

Traveling abroad for vacation is more popular than ever. International tourism is growing and it shows no signs of slowing down. Tourism is up pretty much across the globe. While this is fantastic for the tourism industry, it also means the sights you want to see are going to be more crowded than ever.

We’ve already brought you some tips to avoid crowds while traveling, but it is inevitable that popular tourist destinations such as the UK, France, and the Caribbean will be crowded. Luckily the world is massive, and there’s plenty of locations that haven’t become absolutely flooded with visitors yet.

While Angkor Wat is a famous tourist attraction, it still pulls less tourists than many other famous ruins. There is far more to explore in this country that plenty of tourists don’t see. The beaches are no less beautiful than Thailand’s, but lack the crowds. The capital city is an amazing city with fewer people than Thailand and Vietnam. Cambodia is rich in history with friendly people and amazing food. Don’t just stop while on a trip to Thailand; take some time to see this amazing country.

This densely populated country has some great sights without a lot of tourists. The locals are friendly and excited to see foreigners visiting their home. Though sightings are rare, you may even spot a tiger in the wild. Visit temples, hike far off the beaten path, and explore the many rivers many of the locals make their livelihood from. Before you go make sure to check on the security status though, as political demonstrations do occur.

Belize can be easy to forget about since it is surrounded by more popular Central American countries, but it shouldn’t be. With beautiful beaches, Maya cities, and an amazing barrier reef, this location should definitely be on your bucket list. The weather is warm all year and getting around is extremely easy. This is the place to go for more adventurous travel with less of the tourists.

This SE Asia country only recently became open to tourists, meaning it has yet to be spoiled by Western influence. Over 2,000 temples still remain that you can explore. If you love adventurous travel there’s plenty of jungle for you here. This affordable nation is slowly entering more people’s radars, so go see it before everyone else does!

This African country has amazing things to offer any visitor, sans the crowds you’ll find in places like South Africa. You can still go on safaris to see the animals in their natural habitat. Here you can also view the largest waterfall in the world. The national parks are remote and boast amazing wildlife. Here you can be more adventurous in your travel or head to one of the high-end resorts!

Iceland has so much to offer despite its relatively small size. It also offers some amazing incentives that you won’t find many other places on Earth. Time it right and you can experience 24 hours of daylight here. It’s also one of the best places to view the northern lights. If you’re feeling chilled take a dip in one of the many geothermal baths. Explore the country’s many volcanoes and icebergs. If you love outdoor adventure this place is for you.

If you don’t like the cold, Cyprus may be more your speed. This small Mediterranean nation certainly sees its fair share of visitors, but not so many that you should be put off. The tasty food, easy access, and beautiful beaches will make you fall in love with this country. If you’re looking for somewhere you can just sit back and relax, you can’t go wrong here.

This tiny European country is about the size of Rhode Island and is situated around Germany, France, and Belgium. It’s easy to get to and often known by the typical tourist. You’ll find modern buildings and medieval ruins, all in this tiny country. Just like elsewhere in Europe there’s tons of museums and galleries. Plus if you’re already in Europe this destination is easy to get to and makes for a perfect weekend trip.

Travel to this country must be planned in advanced, and you’ll be hit with a $250 fee per day to explore this untouched country. This is to control tourism and protect the environment. If you need to plan your own trip you may want to skip this one, as you will be assigned a specific tour. But if you do choose to travel here, you’ll be met with an authentic, unique experience that many can only dream of.

If you truly want to experience a place that has escaped human influence, Antarctica is the place to go. Here you will experience massive icebergs, flocks of penguins, and superb whale watching. You have a limited timeframe to visit every year and are very limited when it comes to getting there. You travel by boat through the rough seas of the Drake Passage, and as you can imagine it isn’t cheap. Despite all this, it is not a location to be missed.

Alright, so when it comes to SE Asia everyone knows about Thailand. If you dream to see it though, you need to go soon. Tourism to this country continues to rise, so don’t put off the trip if you want to go. And there’s plenty of amazing things to see and experience in Thailand; the temples, the wildlife, the food, and plenty more. Go now before the country is even more overrun than it is now!