Anytime that you are going to be responsible for controlling a situation in which a large number of people will be in one location, you are going to need to implement the strategies that are used in crowd management. These strategies can apply to everything from a party that is getting out of control to a large-scale protest in a major urban area. Of course, the degree to which they will need to be implemented is going to vary with the size of the crowd but the basic skills that you are going to need in these situations will all be more or less the same.
Skills that are required for good crowd management include the ability to give clear directions, a heightened sense of the mood of a crowd and a feeling of confidence. In addition to these skills, you will need to have some knowledge of crowd control techniques and some access to basic tools for crowd control.
One of the most important skills that you can have if you're ever in charge of crowd management is the ability to give clear directions. If you aren't sure what it is that you want people to be doing, they aren't going to be sure either. That's when chaos ensues. You need to be able to clearly identify what you want and then to be able to share that information in a clear and authoritative manner.
If you are dealing with a large crowd of people, you will need the added skill of being able to delegate tasks to those people who are assisting you in giving directions to the crowd. In a party setting, this could mean clearly telling a friend to turn off the music and empty out the alcohol. In a big group setting, it could mean directing large groups of security officers to the best positions for crowd management.
Although it's important to be able to tell people what to do when things start to get out of control, it's even more important to be able to stop problems before they spiral out of control in the first place. To do this, you need to have a heightened ability to understand the underlying mood of the crowd. If you're the kind of person who can survey a whole party and immediately tell which people are getting drunk enough to cause problems or which fighting couples could start an outbreak of sparring, then you're going to have the basic skills that you need to identify potential problems in a crowd. Nipping problems in the bud is an important part of crowd management.
Finally, you're going to need to have a strong sense of self and the confidence necessary to carry out crowd management. If you don't believe that you can control a situation then nobody else is going to take you seriously when you try to do so. Failure to believe in your own ability to control a crowd is going to make your attempts come off as weak and pathetic. Hopefully you have this confidence internally but if not then you're going to need to summon all of your internal strength and go with the "fake it 'til you make it" approach. Once you have developed the skills to give clear directions, the ability to sense the true mood of a crowd and the confidence that you need to be a leader then the rest of crowd management should come easily to you.
A few advanced strategies and some access to barriers and other crowd control tools should allow you to control any crowd that you come across if you're put in a position where you need to do so.
Andy West is a writer for T-Barrier.com which offers the world's leading retractable belt system for crowd management.