What is the value of an experience? There is the cost of the ticket, cost of travel, cost of food and beverages before, during or after, cost of the outfit (because obviously, you have to get a new one). It generally adds up anywhere between $300 – $500 for one experience and that’s on the cheaper end. But when we think of an experience we aren’t thinking about the dollars it takes to make it happen, we’re thinking of the people we are going to see, the pictures we want to take, how many likes those pictures are going to get on social media. There is so much more to the experience economy than dollars and cents.

Experiences are memorable, sharable and personally engaging – everything generations are starting to want. Let’s look at some numbers from our Mainstreet Now Conference.

We Learned:
• 78% of millennials are willing to spend their money on experiences compared to material things.
• Experience spending tends to be 4X more than material spending ($30 dress = no thanks, $120 Kingfish tickets = yes please!)
• 69% of people, in general, feel more connected to their community by attending social events

So what does this mean for us?
We can drive more traffic, more awareness, and more engagement by giving people a chance to experience downtown Kenosha. It doesn’t have to be expensive, a lot of it can be done through in-kind partnerships. Do you have a cool space? Ask a local fitness instructor if they’ll teach a class. Do you have great food? Ask a local musician if they’ll play in your space. Have a projector? Throw a themed movie night where people can dress up in characters and watch the film. (Or just offer for people to dress in theme and shop, who doesn’t love playing dress up?)

Are You Ready to Leverage the Economy? Here are a few pointers:

The experience economy is a mindset, a value of sharing rather than keeping something to ourselves. As people we naturally look for chances to connect, opportunities to be part of a group that we identify with. The primary goal is creating an environment where people can share a moment that they wouldn’t have otherwise found. And with Downtown Kenosha being such a vibrant place and culture, we are confident that we can share this for visitors to come.

-Ashley Marchetti, Executive Director DKI