Top Queuing and Crowd Control Tips for Black Friday and Beyond


Black Friday is almost here. Within a 24-48 period, you can count on some of the biggest and most enthusiastic crowds of the year. Shoppers historically pour out in droves early Friday morning (some even shopping on the holiday or camping out Thursday night). All are looking for the best deals of the season. Actual foot traffic reported in 2013 was more than 1.07 billion shoppers between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. And according to the NRF Holiday Playbook, last year 68% of retailers showed Black Friday as the highest sales revenues for the year.

In busy times like these, it’s critical to keep crowds calm, managed, and moving. To maximize safety and sales it is valuable to go even one step further and do your part to keep shoppers happy. What if you could surprise your customers by losing the long lines and providing a controlled and efficient queue experience? What if you could make this year all about the score and much less about the wait?

Disperse the Crowd with a Virtual Queue

Virtual queuing is a fast track solution to keep customers happy and crowds dispersed. A virtual queue allows customers to check in at their convenience, spend their wait as they choose, and receive a convenient ‘call forward’ text or email to arrive when their service time is near. Virtual queuing is transforming crowd control as it prevents the crowd from forming in one place, and distributes both the crowd and the wait time in more productive ways.

Continue Reading

When Chaos Erupts: Crowd Control on the Minds of Security Officials

crowd control and security

Recent current events such as the August 30 shooter scares at LAX and JFK are compelling crowd control specialists and security officials to look even more closely at a wide range of potential risks and to put added layers of planning in place to keep crowds safe, especially in the face of an emergency.  This according to a recent CBS News story.

CBS pointed to the increasing focus on crowd control at the US Open in light of events at U.S. airports. The news station interviewed security director of the US Open, Mike Rodriguez, and he remarked, “Crowd management is not going away. We are always going to have crowds. Organization is the key to keep crowds in line.”

While we certainly can’t predict or prevent every emergency situation, there are some tried and true ways to enhance crowd control and keep people safer. Effective crowd control can help mitigate potential dangers that can arise quickly when uncertainty or fear rushes through a crowd. If a crowd begins to panic, the resulting chaos increases the challenge to keep people informed and direct them to safety. Planning ahead is key. Here are a few tips:

Continue Reading

6 Signs of Effective Queue Signage

effective queue signage

In designing an intelligent and effective queue system, signage plays a key role. Whether digital or fixed, signage not only informs customers, but it also directs, engages, invites, and compels customers to move or act. Effective signage can make the difference between a relaxed customer enjoying the shopping experience or a confused, stressed out customer who leaves disturbed or even abandons a purchase. Below are the fundamental ‘signs’ that your signage is up to par:

1.   Proper Placement

To be effective, signs need to appear at a height and location that will serve customers when and where they are ready for information. Demographics and analytics can help to determine the footfall patterns and timing of shopper trends. Furthermore, what goes on the signage is similar – information needs to pair with business goals for a particular avatar/customer. Convenient surveys, A/B testing and/or analytics can verify assumptions to maximize success with specific communication goals.

2.   High Quality

It’s worth the investment to impress customers with quality equipment and content. Signage and messaging that are good looking, well written, engaging, and relevant can capture and hold attention and will create a positive experience and enhance brand core values. Alternatively, low quality signage or content can leave a customer thinking that’s what they can expect from the products and services as well. Don’t make the costly mistake of going cheap. Quality signs are the mark of a quality company.

3.   Fresh Content

As fast as current events and trends are changing, so too does your content need to change – both what is on the signs and where they are. If return customers see the same displays or signage time and again they can expect that your offerings are also old news. Change those signs frequently for interest, and also to let your customers know they don’t know what to expect – except to keep expecting more.

Continue Reading