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Events Case Study: Egg Hunt
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Posted: 4/18/2016 4:45:33 PM

Events Case Study: Egg Hunt

Just a few weeks ago, an egg hunt made front page news—and not for the reason you would think. In fact, the event was reportedly ruined by overeager parents who, in a crowd of over a thousand, overran all three play fields and took nine thousand eggs before the hunt was supposed to start. The company has since announced it will cancel the hunt in the future. Was it a victim of its own success?

As venue managers, we have to analyze the event plans of our clients not just for safety but also to make sure that the event positively meets their objectives. This made us think of some strategies we consider when we take on an event of this format, size and scale.

A. INCREASE STAFF – You can never have TOO many helping hands. We recommend posting at least one staff person at each corner of a play field and positioning additional volunteers along all four sides. Our events director, Cherisse, offers a good rule of thumb: allocate at least one staffer to supervise every 50 participants on the field and one security officer to every 100 guests expected in general.
B. SECURE THE FIELD – From photos of the event, the bounds of the fields were marked only with thin yellow tape placed on the ground, which would be easy to miss once crowds start to form. We would clearly mark each field with tall flags or wind banners that can be seen from afar and above heads. A-frame style signage would be great placed intermittently along the sides. These signs are lightweight, mobile and completely customizable—a great branding tool that can be used again and again. For an even more secure field, Cherisse suggests using bike rack barricades to surround each field. These can be rented from an events company or even procured directly from your local police department.

C. GUEST MANAGEMENT – A successful event should expect growth from year to year, so the ability to manage increasing crowds is crucial for the safety and enjoyment of everyone involved. Here are some quick strategies that might be effective:
    • Limit capacity of participants per group and limit one chaperone per child on the field.
    • Depending on the size of the field, we would recommend calculating at least three square feet per participant to avoid potentially dangerous and overcrowded conditions.
    • Distribute different wristbands for different age groups. Staff can then easily tell who should be on the field and who should not at any one time. Again, these can be easily customized for branding and messaging opportunities.
    • Refill the field. For those who may have been waitlisted or arrived late, offering a second round for the hunt would alleviate the mad dash and crush on the field.
    • Offer different activities. Offering a variety of activities and attractions, such as egg-and-spoon races or egg-decorating stations, would help to occupy the guests before and after their turn in the egg hunt.

    • While this event is typically offered for free, one of my fellow event managers, Rachel, suggests that perhaps the company could consider making the event a fundraiser and request donations in order to participate. This could help manage the turnout, and the funds collected could benefit a local charity, such as a food pantry or education initiative.
With these strategies, it’s happy egg hunting for all!