Crowd Concentration

Posted by on Jul 25, 2009 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Pic from Cricinfo

Interesting discussion with the boys in the band in the bar, after the gig last night. Building on the discussion I made in HERD about how the crowd shapes its own behaviour, rather than having it shaped by something the b(r)and does to them.

So what happened last night is this: we'd played just about as well as we ever do but the audience (of the same sort we usually play to) didn't seem to get as excited as other audiences. Not as much dancing or participation as we've got used to at these kinds of birthday party gigs.

We ended up feeling ever so slightly flat.

But why?

Of all the suggestions offered, the best seemed to be this:

The way the venue distributed the relatively small volume of people around made for a relatively dilute solution of humans in space. From the audience member's perspective, being slightly further away from one's peers makes it a. easier to hold back and b. harder to pick up on their emotional state.

The audience was just not concentrated enough to "take off" – that's why all musicians love small venues, I suspect. Of course, there's something about big arena like venues for both musicians and sports teams but only if they are full; only when the audience is concentrated.

So what are the implications for marketing and other behaviour change programmes? Ask yourself this:

How concentrated is your audience? How can you help them feel more concentrated?


  1. Tom Asacker
    July 29, 2009

    Great insight Mark!

  2. Wesley Verhoeve
    July 31, 2009

    really enjoyed your presentation last night Mark! I wrote a post with some of my take-away lessons here: