How to safely manage queues at summer sporting events

Summertime is always packed with things to look forward to, including a bumper crop of sporting highlights. These events are often hugely popular, with numbers that make queue management and crowd control a big element of their success. In Britain, the 2018 Formula 1 Grand Prix had the highest attendance of the international, 21-race season: 340,000 fans during one weekend. Wimbledon’s 2019 tennis championship fortnight welcomed a total of 500,000 spectators. 

For organisers, event safety measures are crucial, but there’s also a key opportunity to deliver a great visitor experience. To keep fans coming back year after year, here are four ways to get your location match-fit! 

1. Document how many areas you have at your event

One of the big challenges of looking after a sports event is how many areas you have to cover. Your risk assessment will highlight just how many are in play. 

From car parks, ticket lines, security checks and match areas through to merchandising and catering, it’s a good idea to have a queue management plan for each one. It’s likely that they have different needs, so you’ll want to design bespoke queue management plans based on the variety of indoor and outdoor areas you have to deal with.

2. For sporting events, it’s safety first

Crowd control should be a fundamental part of your Health & Safety plan. You only have to think back to high-profile stadium disasters to realise the dangers of overcrowding. Such tragedies are the worst-case scenario, but they’ve made us more educated about what could go wrong. (The same is also true for other big summer events like music festivals. Here again, large numbers of people need to be managed skilfully.)

It goes without saying that your chosen queue management products should be robust, high-quality and designed to meet Health & Safety requirements.

Our Tensabarrier solution is a great example, designed to avoid accidental injury to bystanders if the webbing is detached. The barriers are highly customisable, with panic break tape available for emergency exit points. (You could also choose customisable webbing options for your own branding and messaging). The base has the lowest leading edge on the market, avoiding obstructions for visitors with visual impairment or using wheelchairs or pushchairs; better accessibility means everyone can enjoy your event.

3. Be flexible

Many of your safety measures for emergencies will be the ones you plan ahead. However, there are also lots of times when you have to be reactive to prevent accidents. Ad-hoc cleaning or problems with lifts, washrooms or equipment need to be managed swiftly. 

Products and solutions that let you adapt are ideal for many areas. Our wheeled, retractable Rollabarriercan be set up and dismantled three times faster than any similar product on the market. Alternatively, a wall-mounted barrier saves space and can be retracted when not in use. We also offer a Post Transporter, making moving your barriers safe and efficient. It holds up to 15 Tensabarriers and is ergonomically designed so barriers don’t have to be lifted above waist height.

4. Remember the fans

Sports fans won’t notice a lot of the effort that goes into keeping them safe, but they will remember the quality of their experience at your event. The ease and speed with which they are able to enter the venue will form their first impression of how efficiently the event is run, for example. Set the right tone by making people feel safe in a well-planned environment. 

The right queue management solutions can enhance the visitor experience. You could section off VIP areas with stylish post and rope systems, creating a sense of atmosphere while optimising the queueing space.

Keep visitors happy at busy areas such as the security check. Here, you might benefit from a system like Electronic Call Forward; by keeping the queue moving and removing uncertainty about where to go, it actually cuts waiting times by up to 30%. Merchandising solutions are another way to distract customers from their wait while raising profits at the same time. 

If you want your sports event to do more than just talk a good game, it’s simply down to thorough planning and attention to the visitor experience! Get in touch if you’d like specialist advice from a Tensator consultant.

If you want to know more about Queue Management ideas and solutions, download our Definitive Guide now.


queue management

queue management

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