The experience of a guest that has purchased a ticket can easily be ruined at public events where there is poor management of queues for the general public. Here are our tips for how to fix them.

Generally the different types of queues that you have at a public event are:

1) Entrance/Exit
Entrances and exits are major points in the venue that need to be clear and in motion throughout an event. Security should be at both points making sure people know where to go, that they are keeping the route clear and not preventing people from getting in and out of the event smoothly. If there are queues and it is in constant motion, sometimes we place some performances by them to entertain the guests while they wait. This makes the  queuing experience a bit more enjoyable before they get into the event and forget about the wait. The security is also there to make sure people don't jump the line, which if not monitored can cause disruption even before the guests have entered the event.

2) Food/Beverage
Once the guests are inside they will usually purchase food and drinks if available. First, at such a setup make sure you have clear lines and signage so people know exactly what they are lining up for and what the price is. Therefore they can get ready before they reach the counter or leave it and come back when they are ready with cash/coupons/card with credit.

Make sure you have enough staff, always bring in more than you think you will need, because the faster you turn around the food and beverage the more sales you will get with your captive audience. Don't forget that staff need to have breaks when working a high volume counter, especially if it is for a whole day, so schedule for this. You can also even have backup food and beverage counters that can be opened during the event if the demand is really high and then close them when it goes down.

Plan for every scenario that you can think of in advance, and that everyone knows what the plan is in advance, and what will happen if it comes to each scenario. For example if beer is running low, what is the solution? If the electricity cuts out, what is the plan to operate without it?

3) Cash Coupons/Card with Credit
This is similar to Food/Beverage, where you should make sure you have more than staff than you think you will need. For payments you would need to make sure you have adequate change, a credit card payment system as well as security to monitor the cash. If power goes down you would also need to plan on how you can continue without it, even if the process is slower.

To speed up the queuing process for this and any line you can also have staff going up and down the line letting people know what to prepare before they get to the counter as well as answering their questions. We have seen people line-up for 45 minutes and then when they get to the front of the line they realise they do not have the right payment method to pay.

4) Toilets
The lines for toilets can build up quickly. To solve this issue it is good to have male and female security to let people know which stalls are available as well as to check on anyone that needs help. An onsite cleaner is also required in case there is a mess or the toilet is clogged so it can be fixed quickly and back in use.

5) VIP Area
This is an area where it is likely the people within this area have paid a premium on tickets as well as tables. Therefore paying for this premium the customer would not expect to wait in the line. To manage this with the security you have hired you need to be very strict on those that enter that area at all times. Just because someone does not have the correct wristband early on during the event, it does not mean they can enter. There should be a set amount of wristbands just for those entering that area and limited to that so that the VIP is not over capacity and that all the VIPs enjoy the experience within that area of the event. Therefore there really should not be any issues with VIPs entering the area, unless of course they all arrive at the same time. If that is the case then the security and staff will need to talk to them and let me in a orderly line.
 
Article by Entertaining Asia.

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