Keeping up Attendance: Building a Community Around Our Brand

Bob Heere

In an age where we have unlimited access to entertainment through television, computers, handheld devices (e.g., tablets, digital audio players), and mobile phones, many entertainment venues are struggling to keep up attendance and to differentiate themselves from the living room and mobile entertainment experience. Yet, no matter how many people are invited to your viewing party, it does not approximate the thousands sitting in the venue itself, which provides a sensory experience that is unmatched at home, let alone on your mobile device. If we think about this for a moment, we could make an argument that it is not the actual core product (the music performance, the football game, the musical) that separates the living room from the venue; on the contrary, often the core product is better viewed, or listened to, from the couch, but it is the interaction with the other live attendees that makes the event special. We do not necessarily attend hallmark events like the Ashes cricket rivalry, a Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park, London, or a football match at the World Cup because we care about the sport or teams involved. What motivates us to attend in many instances are the other fans and the atmosphere they create through their interaction (e.g., singing, chanting, shouting, etc.).