Black male with funny wig is screaming deafened by unpleasant noise

How to Handle Unruly Spectators Using an Incident Management System

24/7 Software
Mar 16, 2021 7:00:00 AM

Handling unruly spectators is a growing challenge for managers.

How do you tackle the issue of effectively and efficiently handling unruly spectators at your property with an incident management system?

That’s a fair question and a common one.

This progressive software is an essential tool to utilize to mitigate the impact of an unruly spectator.


If you read our article on the best ways to effectively promote text communication, you are using your text system to its fullest potential.

But, what happens after someone reports unruly behavior?

What follows is the most crucial component to the experience of your guests.

Your response.  

Your response times, coupled with how you handle and document the incident, are vital components in how your customers perceive their experience.

In today’s article, we will walk you through an unruly spectator scenario and how incident management software can help you increase efficiency in your organization.

Rumble in the Bowl: Software or Not, You Must Act Quickly

We know old “incident management systems” exist.

We’re not talking about those today.

Only examples of proactive software solutions will be used to understand the effectiveness of an incident management system.


We’re assuming you’re using text messaging software.

As you probably know, these systems ultimately enhance your incident management software.

Here’s how:

It’s getting late into your event, right before alcohol is cut off, and two young men in their 20s begin arguing.

Does this sound familiar?

The two men are rooting for opposing teams, so the argument escalates quickly.

To make matters worse, both men have a group of similarly intoxicated friends with them.

Both parties begin taunting each other.

It’s getting ugly, and your surrounding guests are getting nervous.

A fight hasn’t broken out yet…

You’ve studied our guide on effectively promoting text messaging, which means visible signage is abundant throughout your property.  

One of your customers acts quickly.

They text the keyword, issue, and location into your system.

In seconds, your operations center receives the text message.

It can go one of two ways…

Your Worst Nightmare in Real Life

As the text comes into the operations center, your staff is frantic to dispatch the incident to need-to-know personnel.

They’re trying to contact Police, Medical, and their Supervisor.

The incident has already escalated.  

Fists are flying!

Are you anxious now?

Your team didn’t respond quickly enough.

Someone is off to the hospital, and these spectators are just now getting ejected – 10 minutes later.

All of the surrounding spectators have a tarnished experience as well.

This has rippled far broader than just the people in the fight.

It gets worse:

Typically, the staff will forget one vital aspect of successful incident management.

What do you think it is?

If you guessed documenting the incident, you’re correct.

They’re already onto the following incident.

Here’s the thing:

They may come back to this incident and log the information into a spreadsheet or “incident management queue,” but you know they won’t get all the details.

They'll forget something, and this undocumented information is lost – forever.

So, how will this hold up in court? How will you look to your boss when your property faces financial liability as a direct consequence of a sloppy system?

Not to mention:

Your on-scene team has no way to report or record what happened, and so they may not say anything or create a rudimentary, useless report.

Sure, the medical team will draw up some paperwork on their end.


  • Where is it when you need it?
  • Can you read it?
  • How often do you question the dependability of old handwritten reports when using them for litigation?

You have too many moving parts, and so much can and does go wrong.

This isn’t simply a terrible nightmare because this is real life.   

Let’s calm your nerves and tackle this head-on using the best system for handling these types of situations.

Let’s make this nightmare go away starting today.  

Using Your Incident Management System to Save the Day

Times have changed.

Technology has changed.

The way to handle unruly spectators has also changed.

Here’s how:

With the right system in place, you’re not going to get bogged down by the common inefficiencies found in other systems or with spreadsheets and rudimentary communication methods.

Instead, you’ll have:

  • Instant communication amongst staff and the ability to have efficient communication between all personnel
  • Organization of priority incidents coming into your operations center, so nothing slips through the cracks.
  • Digital records allow you to move to a new era in documenting reports and retaining information about associated persons. We’ve said thisbefore: The details matter.
  • Automation of your processes so full-time and part-time don’t have to overthink or miss out on protocols for handling incidents.
  • A more effective way to improve your response to incidents and resource allocation by looking at valuable reports.

Eliminate unanswered questions and missed opportunities and look good in front of your customers.

You’ll be able to mitigate incidents and create order throughout your operation.

Your unruly spectator scenario will play out more like this:

The customer sends the text into your text messaging software.

Once your operator receives the message, they know that it’s a high priority and enter it into your incident management software.

This is done in a matter of seconds. Yes, seconds.

Based on the incident type of ‘fight,' the appropriate personnel (who have efficiently been set up in advance) are instantly notified, and the protocols that you want your team to use are documented in your system for everyone to follow.

A progressive software solution gives you the ability to automate this process, saving you precious seconds.

When your staff enters the unruly spectator incident into the system, your need-to-know people will be immediately notified before the situation escalates.


To streamline your operation, arm your team with incident management mobile apps.

That gives them the ability to carry two-way communication with your operations center at any given time.

Within seconds, your team is responding.

Within two minutes, your team has already arrived on-scene, and it’s documented.

It gets better:

This whole scenario is being documented because your staff used the system to simultaneously document and communicate the incident.

‘Simultaneously’ is essential to understand.


Your system gives you the ability to eliminate wasted steps and save time.

Here’s the good stuff:

Your team arrived on-scene right before the first fist flew.


Using a mobile incident reporting tablet app, your team can fully document the incident by getting witness statements and signatures from the surrounding customers.

The two gentlemen are quickly escorted out of the stadium bowl.

Applauds follow!

Everyone’s experience has been saved.

Doesn’t that feel good?

Your team obtains any information associated with the unruly spectators and digitally documents it into your incident management software.

That way, if those unruly spectators come back and cause more issues, you’ve got grounds for more than a slap on the wrist because their past behavior is not only documented but accessible.

How’s that for Proactive Operations?

Over to You

Using an incident management system lets you handle unruly spectator situations, preventing fights or serious medical problems. That’s the point here.

It’s about mitigation and Proactive Operations. Progressive systems like we mentioned above allow you to protect your customers, even the persons involved in the scenario, and your property.

Putting a system in place is the difference between seconds and minutes, and an argument and a fight. Ask yourself, which do you prefer?

So, will you be implementing incident management software at your property to effectively and efficiently handle unruly spectators?

Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.

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