JDR Vol.19 No.2 pp. 370-378
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2024.p0370


Investigating Visitors’ Perceptions and Behaviors in a Crowded Situation at a Large-Scale Exhibition

Hyerin Kim*,† ORCID Icon, Claudio Feliciani**,*** ORCID Icon, Sakurako Tanida**,*** ORCID Icon, Xiaolu Jia**,*** ORCID Icon, Tetsuya Aikoh* ORCID Icon, Yasushi Shoji* ORCID Icon, and Katsuhiro Nishinari**,*** ORCID Icon

*Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University
Kita 9, Nishi 9, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8589, Japan

Corresponding author

**Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

***Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

October 3, 2023
December 13, 2023
April 1, 2024
crowding, exhibitions, perceived crowding, tolerance levels, coping behavior

Understanding how visitors respond to crowding is crucial for ensuring the success, safety, and overall enjoyment of large-scale exhibitions. However, despite its significance, limited research has explored this issue. To address this gap, we conducted a questionnaire survey in 2022 and 2023 for visitors to exhibitions held at the Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center. Our research aims to explore the level of consistency between perceived and actual crowding, levels of discomfort in crowded situations, tolerance levels for crowding, and behaviors to avoid crowded situations. The results revealed significant changes in visitor perceptions across the two-year period. Notably, the acceptable crowd density in 2023 increased by 13% compared to 2022. This change in level of tolerance for crowding might have been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and other contextual factors that altered visitors’ perceptions toward crowding. Interestingly, despite these perceptual changes, behaviors to avoid crowded situations remained consistent across both years. The most common response was that no special action was taken to avoid crowded situations. These findings underscore that perceptions and behaviors related to crowding in the context of large-scale exhibitions are not uniform. Our findings offer several implications and insights for crowd management, which event organizers can use to devise strategies aimed at enhancing visitors’ experiences and effectively managing crowding in large-scale exhibitions.

Cite this article as:
H. Kim, C. Feliciani, S. Tanida, X. Jia, T. Aikoh, Y. Shoji, and K. Nishinari, “Investigating Visitors’ Perceptions and Behaviors in a Crowded Situation at a Large-Scale Exhibition,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.19 No.2, pp. 370-378, 2024.
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Last updated on Jul. 19, 2024