How to Manage Huge Crowds at Your Business Conference


Evan MagnerMarketing Project Coordinator

Friday, February 19, 2021

A lot can go wrong at your venue if you don't know how to handle large groups. So what measures can you put in place to better manage large crowds from start to finish?

Article 5 Minutes
How to Manage Huge Crowds at Your Business Conference

Are you planning a business conference that may attract a large gathering? Then crowd management should be at the top of your planning list. Without it, a lot can go wrong. But why is crowd management essential?

It can help you take control of an unruly crowd

People often lose themselves in crowds to adopt a group thinking mentality, making them act in ways they wouldn’t have when alone.

You can see this in events with large crowds where emotions, including anger and excitement, can quickly spiral, leaving behind a large mess.

Protect attendees and staff from harm

There’s nothing scarier than a crowd with emotions spiraling out of control. Fights can erupt at any time, and people can get hurt as a result.

It simplifies the entire process

Managing your crowd can make the entire process appear seamless. Sure, events can be draining - more so if the attendees can’t find what they’re looking for, leading to a more chaotic experience.

Here are some of the most effective crowd management techniques you should keep in mind.

1. Know your audience

Most people believe the key to managing a crowd lies in knowing them. It’s no secret that people in a rock concert will behave differently from those attending a business conference.

If your attendees are likely to get out of control, you may need to have more security personnel present. That way, you can get things under control fast.

2. Rent enough space

If your attendees will be flocking in large numbers, then a more spacious event ground is necessary. Managing a crowd crammed up in a tiny space may prove impossible, leading to more personal injuries and destruction.

Have adequate space between your attendees to allow free movement of both people and air. That way, you can easily spot a problem and correct it without much effort.

3. Hire enough staff for each detail of the event

A large staff presence can ensure that your event has a more positive outcome. From ushers to security guards and servers, you’ll need all the help you can get to manage your crowd effectively.

For instance, ushers can help you seat your guests and other customer-related services, while your security guards can ensure that unruly attendees leave the event immediately. That’ll keep others safe and help avoid unnecessary drama.

4. Start planning early

Planning ahead can ensure that you go through all the details you would otherwise overlook while planning in a rush. Plus, it gives you enough time to go through the ‘what ifs’ and any unexpected letdowns.

For instance, you can make last-minute changes if the number of attendees increases or decreases. The last thing you want is not being able to accommodate these changes.

5. Prepare adequately for emergencies

You can’t possibly know what the future holds. But going through as many ‘what ifs’ scenarios as possible can help you prepare for the unexpected. Always have a backup plan for when things don’t turn out as planned.

For instance, if you plan to have catering at your conference and the supplier can’t make it, have another supplier you can call to fix the situation. Nothing can make a crowd more unruly than an event with no food or drinks.

6. Use signage

It’s safe to say that at least three-quarters of the attendees in an event have absolutely no idea of their way around, be it to the washrooms or a smoking zone. So why not give them a hand by showing them where all these facilities are through digital signage?

You can have a sign showing the way to the washrooms, or networking area, or even a smoking zone. All of these will be extremely helpful.

For instance, you may need a way to keep your attendees entertained while waiting for a speaker in a conference or simply waiting in the line for ushers to get them seated. This kind of wait warping is effective and can help attendees see wait times reduced by at least 35%.

7. Set up barriers and markers

It’s no secret that without the right boundaries, a crowd can turn an event chaotic. For instance, having attendees going in and out of the kitchen and personal offices otherwise reserved for staff only isn’t a good idea.

You can ensure that the attendees know that certain areas are out of bounds with staff only signage and other markers. And if you want your VIP guests to feel like the elite of the event, then have barriers to the VIP section and ensure no breach happens.

8. Streamline where possible

Streamlining can help you get things running as smoothly as possible. As an event coordinator, you can create a task list and a timeline for each to ensure that you get things done early. You can also let the attendees know the deadlines for registering, confirming attendance, and essentially, canceling.

That can save you a whole load of inconveniences. And lastly, as a general rule, always start early on everything for a smoother experience.

9. Communicate with attendees

Keeping in touch with the attendees before and during the event is another great way to manage the crowd. You can let them know how the program will run on the day of the event, the seating arrangements, and other details.

That way, if there are any changes, they can let you know well early in the planning, you can then make necessary adjustments. Let the attendees know if you make changes with the date and venue to avoid confusion.


Sure, it’s challenging to prepare for the unknown. But with these crowd management techniques and tips, you can save your staff and attendees from a terrible event experience.

From starting the preparations early to knowing your attendees and having a backup plan, you’re on your way to a rather pleasant event experience.

Evan Magner

Marketing Project Coordinator

Evan works for Mvix Digital Signage in their Marketing department and has recently begun editing and copywriting. He is experienced in the fields of communications, digital marketing, and technology.


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