Practical Ways to Manage Queues at Events

Many avid event attendees know what it’s like to fall in line for long periods of time. It’s something that they expect to do in most events, but that doesn’t mean that they are looking forward to going through it. Long lines, chaotic queues, and extended waiting times not only affect how attendees view the event, they also affect sales; the longer and slower the lines are, the less sales the vendors make.

To maximize the enjoyment of the attendees and the income generated by the vendors in the venue, organizers must pay special attention to how they should tackle queues and wait times. Awareness that long queues happen and that they are bad for business is half the battle. Here are a few important tips that can help make lines move more quickly and efficiently from the event entrance to its exit points.

Expedite the check-in process.

There are plenty of things you can do to discourage long lines before the event even takes place. One of the key areas where queueing can occur is at the entrance. The line here can be slowed down by a lot of things like registration, payment, ticket validation, security checks, and people trying to jump lines. To hasten movement and to reduce the amount of work your gate staff have to do, you can try using online registration systems and online and offline payment methods. At the gate, instruct each attendee where they can head to next so you can avoid crowding at the entrance. You can also use silicone wristbands so your staff can easily and quickly check guests that are going in and out of the venue.

Take note of the areas where long queues typically take place.

Long lines will definitely form in a few key places in the venue. It’s important to anticipate where these lines will form and to instruct your staff how to handle them. Restrooms are one, especially those that are located near the main event hall. This can be caused by the sheer volume of people and unexpected messes. To avoid this, instruct your staff beforehand how messes should be taken care of. Also, your staff can inform people that there are other, less crowded restrooms in the area.

You can do the same for lines leading to the ATM. Remind people to decide beforehand how much money they need before they reach the machine, to reduce waiting time. When it comes to food and drink stands, consider setting up extra stands during peak hours to shorten the lines. Also, make sure you have enough staff to man the stands even if some of them need to take breaks.

Take note of the tools and run through the strategies that you can use to reduce waiting time.

We’ve mentioned using wristbands as a good tool for identifying attendees, but you can also use other items like lanyards and nametags to mark paying guests or staff members. Aside from these, make full use of signs, maps, and posters to inform your guests and remind your staff that they have other options in case there’s already a long line to the nearest restroom or ATM. Check with the venue if they have belt stanchions that you can use to keep lines more organized. Also, access to entertainment, even informative advertisements or facts about the event and its participants, can help distract people and make the wait time seem shorter for those in line.

There will always be lines in events, but that doesn’t mean that the staff and attendees need to suffer through them all the time. With a bit of preparation, it’s highly likely that the queues and wait time won’t diminish your guests’ enjoyment of the event.


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