Whatever type of event you produce – from press launches to festivals – crowd management is always a significant and important area of focus.

Understanding what crowds are doing and where they are going is not only important from a health and safety point of view but it can also help show where revenue opportunities exist in terms of merchandise positioning and directing people to concession stands.

Crowd intelligence information also helps those managing the event to identify troublemakers or destructive behaviour early and take appropriate steps before a situation escalates.

With the latest tools and technologies a range of data can be made available to assist with aspects such as:

Crowd Movement – monitoring not just overall crowd movement but also any significant behaviour traits can help those operating events to identify potential issues before they become an issue. Is the crowd becoming too dense? Has a specific part of the venue reached capacity? This may suggest that ingress points to the area may need to be diverted or that entertainment may need to be stopped whilst the issue is addressed.

Crowd Dwell Time – identifying areas where crowds naturally dwell could identify areas for concession stands or activations, however, it can also identify potential issues with flow if people are dwelling in inappropriate areas.

Watching crowds for any unusual behaviour

Watching crowds for any unusual behaviour

Crowd Flow – confirming crowd movement on arrival to a venue may dictate how the event is laid out. Perhaps more signage could be used (or improve what exists) or if things are working as designed perhaps the spaces which receive most flow could be identified for a premium concession charge.

Common Behaviour – identifying behaviour such as pushing or rapid movement can assist in identify troublemakers within the crowd. These can then be quickly managed by local security teams before the situation escalates.

Specific Threats – systems can be configured to monitor for specific issues such as flares or bright lights, mosh pits, etc. These are quickly highlighted to the remote operator who can then dispatch security teams to deal with the situation.

With the summer of live events fast approaching the ability to measure footfall and analyse crowd density is a paramount consideration when managing attendee safety and movement.

Most festivals continue to rely on entrance counting to record how many people have entered. Once inside quantifiable information about which areas attendees are in remains challenging and costly. Experienced crowd managers continue to monitor movement and behaviour from security positions, such as fire towers and concert pits, they can only see one side of the story. The skill of those who monitor crowds is not in question but with ever growing site size, multiple entertainment areas and larger camp sites an effective system for low cost monitoring is required.

Exhibitions also continue to use entrance counting but exhibitors are starting to request information about the busiest areas as they convince their organisations to invest in floor space with maximum exposure.

Etherlive LEFA People Counting

Etherlive LEFA People Counting


Our launch of LEFA (Live Event Footfall Analytics) at the Showman’s Show received very positive feedback from those looking for a system to support their crowd management teams. The system is capable of accurately and immediately counting flow and density of crowds. The system can also provide pressure overlays to assist in the identification of potential flare hotspots such as moshing or overcrowding.

The LEFA toolkit includes an event control dashboard, viewable from tablets using the secure event management network, which summarises key count and crowd hotspot information as well as being coupled to live CCTV viewing.

LEFA is highly customisable. Alerts which activate SMS or email systems can be put in place which trigger if key criteria are met (over x amount of people within tent 2 for example).

With powerful data logging detailed post event reports can be produced displaying ingress, egress and crowd flows throughout the event broken down into customisable time periods. This provides excellent insight into peak flow periods at different parts of a venue facilitating data driven adjustments in staffing and approach.

The opportunity for large scale event organisations to increase their event intelligence has never been better.