Developments in the real-time evaluation of audience behaviour at planned events

Stephen Brown, Alison Hutton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore recent technological and methodological developments in the evaluation of audience behaviour at planned events and discuss the implications for researchers in this field, particularly the advantages of evaluating in real-time. The creation and staging of the event experience – the realm of event design – is predicated on an understanding of the psychosocial domain of the audience. By understanding the motivations, the behaviours and the predispositions that the audience brings to the event, and how event design principles and techniques can be applied to influence audience behaviour in real time, the event designer is able to more successfully create and stage the event experience to meet the aims and objectives of the event. Design/methodology/approach – The paper discusses international developments in the evaluation of the psychosocial domain of audiences at planned events and the range of research methodologies being used from a practitioner academic perspective. The paper will look at current research being undertaken in Sweden, Austria and Australia and identify trends internationally in this nascent field of research. Findings – The paper argues that real time data collection of audiences provides insights into the effective design and management of planned events, particularly from the event risk management perspective. Practical implications – Drawing on work being undertaken in the mass gatherings, tourism and service fields, the paper examines and synthesises these into a proposed model for the effective evaluation of the event audience. Originality/value – This paper argues for an increase in – and a model for – research on audience behaviour, specifically in the real time capture and analysis of data of audiences at events as a means of developing and understanding of the effects of event design techniques applied at planned events.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-55
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Event and Festival Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2013


    • Audience behaviour
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Crowd safety
    • Event and festival management
    • Event design
    • Event risk management
    • Events
    • Health and safety requirements
    • Mass gatherings
    • Risk management
    • Sweden


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