For an elegant, non-imposing look, the best choice will be stanchions coupled with velvet ropes. This is the type seen in many red carpet events. They also grace museums, softly but firmly guarding priceless elements on displays against prying hands. Also, they are most popular for queuing purposes, such as in a bank, a theater, and wherever there is a need to make people fall in line. While they effectively keep away the unwanted presence, they do not conflict with the overall ambience. Stanchions and velvet ropes can even complement the color theme of any event, simply by changing the ropes’ color. Stanchions and velvet ropes work best when there is no expected chaos, and there is only a need to identify “hands off” areas.
For a more rigid crowd control, barricades are needed. Barricades are almost always heavier in nature, and provide an element of safety as well as limits. Barricades can bear a little weight, and are usually semi-permanent in nature, meaning, it will not be so easy to move them around. Crowd control may be a minor aspect of any event, but it may be just what saves the day.