I became aware of flash mobs around 8 years ago. At the time, they were just for no apparent reason but now, they have become well organized and more for promotions than anything else. Here's a bit of history:
The first flash mob was created in Manhattan in May 2003, by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper's Magazine. The first attempt was unsuccessful after the targeted retail store was tipped off about the plan for people to gather. Wasik avoided such problems during the second flash mob, which occurred on June 3, 2003 at Macy's department store, by sending participants to preliminary staging areas – in four prearranged Manhattan bars – where they received further instructions about the ultimate event and location just before the event began.
More than 100 people converged upon the ninth floor rug department of the store, gathering around an expensive rug. Anyone approached by a sales assistant was advised to say that the gatherers lived together in a warehouse on the outskirts of New York, that they were shopping for a "love rug", and that they made all their purchase decisions as a group. Subsequently, 200 people flooded the lobby and mezzanine of the Hyatt hotel in synchronized applause for about 15 seconds, and a shoe boutique in SoHo was invaded by participants pretending to be tourists on a bus trip.
Grand Central Station is often a spot where people will gather and suddenly freeze their positions for a full 5 minutes and then disperse like nothing ever happened. Leaving people wondering what just happened! It's become a Worldwide sensation, you could be in a card shop, grocery store, park or wherever, when people around you might freeze in time or break out in a musical! Could be hundreds of people or just 3, you'll never know in advance!
I want to share a few with you, the first one is fantastic! Done by a photography studio just to wish people a Merry Christmas!
This one is funny and will show you a bit of what is involved in the planning of a flash mob. Done in JFK airport!
This next one is done in a Starbucks! Can you just image?
While at the Improv Everywhere site, you can see just how many of these they have organized and some are just so funny! It's wild to see the faces of people around them! I can recommend watching Surprise Wedding Reception, Invisible Dogs, High Five Elevator and Subway Art, just to name a few.
Have a great day!