Managing graduation crowds


As crowds on your school’s campus increase around commencement, there are a few things to consider to improve the safety of students, faculty, and the visiting public. Below are a few tips to  add to your school’s individualized visitor risk management and safety plans.


Consider how your campus will handle increased traffic and parking while still following fire codes regarding parking next to buildings. 

  • Communicate your plan as best as possible to all who will be attending the event
  • Utilize attendants in reflective vests to direct traffic

Parking lots

Parking areas must be clear of debris, free of potholes, and well maintained

  • Clearly mark lots for:  traffic flow, parking spots, and areas where parking is prohibited
  • Make sure areas for fire safety are clearly marked as a no parking zone

Entrances & exits

  • Use multiple entrances and exits to avoid bottlenecking of large crowds
  • Have attendants direct people to venues from various entrances


Increased foot traffic will cause floors to need cleaning more often. 

  • This is not the time to try new cleaners that may cause slippery conditions
  • Make sure to clean floors when visitors are not present
  • Consider cleaners with proven “non-slip” technology
  • Make sure to use “wet floor” or warning signs when the floor needs to be cleaned when crowds are present
  • Create a spill control plan and a plan to control wet floors in the event of rainy weather


  • Have staff place the chairs in an orderly fashion lined up in rows as intended for the event
  • Do not ask visitors to open and close chairs
  • Have staff put away chairs after the event and avoid allowing visitors assist


  • Make sure there is enough illumination for a quick evacuation in the case of an emergency
  • Make sure parking lot lighting is well maintained and sufficient to help visitors see in the dark to help prevents trip and fall on curbs, speed breakers and any unanticipated debris

Use clearly worded signs to assist in controlling any of ­the above areas to keep your campus safe during times when you will have many visitors to your school.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.