Big social events like concerts, sports games, conventions, and festivals are a great time and offer an opportunity to explore and appreciate something new.
As exciting as large events are, they come with inherent risk in the form of large crowds. When many people attend a single event, it makes them crowded and the sheer volume of other people can cause confusion and be overwhelming.
Making matters worse, large events attract criminals because they provide the perfect cover to take advantage of unsuspecting event-goers. With this in mind, understanding how to keep yourself safe in a large crowd is crucial for making the most of the experience.
Let’s take a look at a few essential safety tips for crowded events.
A great starting point is to dress wisely.
While dressing smartly is all about impressing, wisely dressing focuses on wearing clothing well-suited for your environment. Layering up on a cold day is a great example of dressing wisely.
With crowded events, there are two main clothing factors to consider. This includes how easily it can be grabbed and how hot it will make you.
For just about any event, overly baggy clothing is heavily discouraged. It can easily be grabbed by a thief or unintentionally pulled during a panic.
At the same time, avoid extremely tight clothing as this can make you overheat. Look for a balance between the two to keep you comfortable and safe.
The exact clothes that work best will depend on the event you’re going to. Think about if you’ll be indoors or outdoors, if you’ll be moving frequently, and how long you’ll be there. Use this information to make wise clothing choices that make the event more enjoyable.
Scout the Venue
You should also scout the venue as you walk into it.
Anytime you’re entering a new location, you’re unfamiliar with it. This unfamiliarity means that you won’t know what poses a risk to you and where you should go during an emergency.
A few things you should look for include the bathrooms, the exits, and access to water. Needing any of these and not knowing where they are can quickly become overwhelming when stuck in a crowd.
You want to know where everything is because this allows you to prepare and react quicker to a situation. Say that you suddenly feel ill, the last thing you’ll want to do is spend 20 minutes looking for the bathroom and then waiting in line.
Do yourself a big favor and take just a few minutes to figure out where everything is. It can save you a world of hassle and will make leaving much simpler after the event.
Create an Exit Plan
When you understand the venue’s layout, you can also create an exit plan.
Simply knowing where the exits are won’t do you any good if you don’t use that information to your advantage. If something like a fire alarm was to go off, the crowd would likely panic and you might not know which exit to head to amidst the pandemonium.
An exit plan will ensure that you can calmly leave the situation without harm. This is particularly important if you’re attending an event with family and children.
Should you and your kids get separated, you need to have a plan for reconvening afterward. An exit plan is perfect for this because you should all end up in the same place.
Create a plan and communicate it to the people you’re with. This will keep everyone on the same page and will come in handy should an emergency happen.
While you’re enjoying the event, you should make a point to remain aware of your surroundings.
Not all injuries or crimes are avoidable, but many of them are if you are always watching what’s going on around you. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost in enjoying the event you’re attending. This is what creates the perfect scenario for an injury or crime to go undetected.
For example, you might be enjoying a concert and fail to notice a pickpocket grab your wallet. While you should certainly immerse yourself in the experience, you must not let your guard down.
Many events finish without a problem, but it’s when you aren’t prepared that you’re impacted the most. You may get a false sense of security and this is all it takes to become a victim of theft.
Watch the people around you and try to have a pulse on the situation at all times.
Trust Your Instincts
A final tip is to trust your instincts and leave any situation that makes you uncomfortable.
As you stay aware of the area around you, you can usually detect a vibe. The people around you may be tense or angry and this isn’t where you want to be.
This usually comes down to how people are behaving. If something gives you a bad feeling or looks unsafe, it probably is and gives a good reason to steer clear.
Say that you’re at a concert and notice a group beginning a mosh pit right next to you. If you don’t pick up on this and quickly move away, you can get caught up in it and sustain serious injuries.
Your intuition is intelligent and you should listen to it. Safety is always paramount at any outing and something that’s giving you a weird feeling usually means that your safety is at question.
Before attending your next event with a large crowd, consider if you’re focusing on safety enough. Chances are, you likely aren’t and this can easily be fixed.
Event safety is important because large crowds can lead to injuries and becoming a victim of a crime if you aren’t prepared. A few tips to prepare yourself include dressing wisely, scouting the venue, creating an exit plan, remaining aware, and trusting your instincts.
While safety is certainly important, don’t overthink it to the point of not enjoying your event. Just remember to take a few quick precautions and you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way!