5 Tips To Manage People Queuing Outdoors

outdoor queuing

Why is preparing for people queuing outdoors important?

Managing people queuing outdoors can be a challenge for any business. Especially when there are large crowds. If visitors are queuing for an event in busy venues, or waiting in line to go on a ride at a crowded theme park, managing your queue is crucial to delivering a positive experience for all. By combining Tensator® products with an efficient queue layout, your business can better guide the people queuing on site, which leads to enhanced staff efficiency and minimal disruptions to your processes.

This blog post has 5 top tips from the Tensator experts to help you successfully manage people queuing outdoors.

  1. Clear signage and communication.
  2. Efficient queue layouts to improve visitor flow.
  3. Entertainment and distractions to occupy waiting time.
  4. Improving accessibility
  5. Visibility to reduce trip hazards in low-lit areas

1.      Clear Signage and Communication

Adding clear wayfinding signage to your queues is vital in queue management. When installed correctly, wayfinding signage allows visitors to easily see where their queue begins, alongside relevant rules or instructions.

The Tensamedia® range from Tensator® provides visible signage solutions that can be directly installed into your queues. These eye-catching products can capture the attention of the people queuing, which helps prevent confusion.

Sign holders or customisable wayfinding totems are ideal for establishing clear communication channels. By implementing instructive signage correctly, staff can spend less time guiding visitors and focus longer on detailed or complicated requests.

2.      Efficient Queue Layouts to Improve Visitor Flow

You want to avoid keeping visitors waiting outside for a long time. Even as it gets warmer in summer, temperatures can still drop. A well-designed queue layout can significantly impact the flow and efficiency of people queuing outdoors. When planning your queue layout, make sure you consider the following:

  • Available space
  • Estimated crowd size
  • Expected obstacles

At Thorpe Park, Tensator® recently installed 30 x Tensabarrier® Advance Stainless Steel Retractable Barriers at the SAW ride. These barriers form two queues lines, and the stainless steel finish helps the posts resist corrosion.

Additionally, both queues go around a radius, on a curve. The Tensator® experts adapted the queue layout before installation to ensure consistent spacing between the posts, even as they rounded the corner.

By carefully planning the layout, you can reduce the likelihood of bottlenecks to ensure smooth visitor queue flow.

3.      Entertainment and Distractions to Occupy Waiting Time

What is the golden rule for maintaining a positive customer experience in a queue?

Occupied wait time is always better than unoccupied.

If the people queuing are waiting for long, they can become frustrated and bored. As a result, it impacts the visitor experience as they become increasingly aware of the time spent waiting in lines.

Implementing elements into your queue space to divert attention away from their time in line is an easy way to maintain a positive atmosphere while making the perceived waiting times feel shorter. For example, you could customise Tensabarrier® posts and webbing with QR codes to send visitors to a specific landing page.

  • Provide interesting information to read about the site or venue
  • Help start preparations for when they reach the head of the queue
  • Show interactive digital elements like a map to help guide visitors to the next attraction

Customised queue spaces are an easy way to build excitement. Keep your visitors attention on the upcoming event to maintain an immersive and positive experience.

4.      Improving Accessibility

Ensuring queues are accessible for all is crucial for your queue space. Remove obstacles to accommodate people regardless of their situation.

Bulky post bases or barriers with protruding feet can be challenging for wheelchair users, pushchairs, suitcases, or people queuing with visual impairments. A protruding post foot or base creates an additional trip hazard or obstruction that can easily catch wheels. In low-light conditions, the hazard risk is increased even further, especially for people with visual impairments.

Selecting the right base type for your retractable barrier is an easy way to enable accessibility in your queues. For example, a socket fixed base offers a permanent, adaptable outdoor queue solution. Alternatively, the Tensabarrier® Universal Base features the lowest-leading edge in the market for freestanding posts. Wheels can roll over the base unobstructed.

Purchase a Pack of 2 Tensabarrier® Advance Black Retractable Barriers from the Tensator® shop now!

When your business has people queuing outdoors, consider both efficiency and accessibility. A lack of balance impacts the queue flow and harms the overall experience. Prevent visitors from struggling through clunky pathways.

5.      Visibility to Reduce Trip Hazards in Low-lit Areas

Outdoor queuing in the evening has different challenges. Highlighting the queue space will help when guiding the people queuing outside. With solutions in place to improve visibility, you can even keep visitors away from blocking other walkways. Additionally, it helps motorists see the queue space better and helps them avoid potential collisions.

Outdoor queues in busy periods tend to be temporary and reactive, so your queue barriers need to be set up quickly while having signage and reflective elements. Increasing visibility will help create a safer environment and minimise the risk of accidents on your site.

Tensator® NightView™ Reflective Webbing is a perfect way to add a reflective element to your barriers. Two strips of reflective material are woven directly into the webbing so it shines light back to the source. For example, the headlights from a vehicle will reflect off the barrier webbing back to the driver, improving the visibility of the queue itself. Additionally, you can add the webbing to any Tensabarrier® retractable queue barriers.

For example, the Tensabarrier® Rollabarrier®. The hard-wearing wheels allow staff to move the post without lifting and causing excess user strain. They only need to tip back and roll into position. It also features a unique design that stacks up to three posts when not in use. Ideal for quickly setting up temporary queues, this stacking feature reduces the space taken by up to 50% less space when compared to other posts.

Improving visibility and adapting quickly to different situations is vital for minimising accidents while people are queuing outdoors.


Managing outdoor queues presents a different set of challenges. A combination of planning, communication, and effective queue products are all important for helping you to provide a positive visitor experience. These 5 top tips will help you better manage people queuing outdoors:

  1. Clear signage and communication.
  2. Efficient queue layouts to improve visitor flow.
  3. Entertainment and distractions to occupy waiting time.
  4. Improving accessibility
  5. Visibility to reduce trip hazards in low-lit areas

If you’re looking to implement an effective queue system on your site, our experts have decades of experience in the industry.

Click below to get in touch and book a free site visit today!

queue management

Event Signage: More Than One Direction

Why is event signage important for your venue? Well, when the world is a stage, first impressions are crucial. Your welcome signage could be the first thing an attendee sees as they walk in. It should be eye-catching and relevant to deliver the maximum impact. Otherwise, your visitors may difficulty finding their intended location. Implemented […]

Read more
queue management blog

Highlight Hazards with Safety Barriers and NightView™ Webbing

Safety barriers with reflective NightView™ webbing can help highlight potential hazards when visibility is low. As the sun sets, and darkness engulfs the workplace, you can find well-lit areas become transformed into potentially hazardous areas. These areas can quickly become problematic. The risk of injury to drivers, staff, and visitors increases drastically at night, or […]

Read more