The aim of this thesis is to investigate how a local chamber of commerce initiates experiences and events as a strategy for attracting customers to their high street - and keeping them there. It comprises a single case study of Birkerød Chamber of Commerce’s work with ‘experience economy’, where we specifically investigate what effect events staged on Birkerød Hovedgade have had on citizens, and how such knowledge could be exploited in the future in the Chamber’s strategy to develop the high street as an attractive shopping area. Method-wise, the investigation is structured around Preben Sepstrup’s ‘Campaign platform’ that we likewise employ to identify Birkerød chamber of commerce’s current strategy for working with experience economy. As part of the situation analysis we incorporate Michael Porter’s ‘Five Forces of Competition’ and for the identification of the target group we conduct a target group analysis. In the process of illuminating the values of Birkerød Hovedgade and its frequenters we examine the local community context. Through a comprehensive empirical apparatus, consisting of observations, questionnaires, plus individual and focus-group interviews, we demonstrate that events staged on Birkerød Hovedgade contribute positively to community spirit and are of measurable significance to the citizenry. The social content of events is instrumental in bringing the High Street to life, and - for this reason among others - townsfolk would not wish to do without them. Events nourish the sense of town fellowship, create and maintain near and distant relationships between inhabitants, as well as contributing to an increased knowledge of the town and the High Streets shops. Events give townspeople a comfortable and cheerful feeling of closeness, in contrast to the experience they may have as consumers in the shops themselves, where they can sometimes get the impression that they are there for the sake of the shops rather than vice versa. The main theories used to analyse are Joseph Pine & James Gilmore’s ‘Experience dimensions’, Christian Jantzen & Mikael Vetner’s grounding of the individual’s personal approach to events in the ‘Psychological structure of experience’ and Jens Ørnbo, Claus Sneppen & Peter Würtzs’ ‘Observer, Actor and Volunteer’ concepts. We expose lack of involvement among members of the Chamber of Commerce. Despite support for event creation at individual branch level, it still remains for them to properly appreciate what it means to work with events and experiences in a strategic and commercially integrated manner. The High Street is a vital forum for the town’s people, their families, and their friends; here the relational ties are made and nurtured that strengthen local loyalties and community spirit. We demonstrate that townspeople have a strong commitment to their High Street. The greatest problem lies with the shops themselves, who don’t really go whole-heartedly in for the events in the eyes of their customers. We argue that the shops should cooperate more actively with the rest of their local society in High Street events, in order to derive full benefit from the strategy. The chamber of commerce should broaden its view of its role in local society, taking their cue from the stories and histories that could make the events more relevant for townsfolk, thus bringing more people to the street. We conclude that events and experiences may be beneficially employed in local chamber of commerce efforts to attract more customers, but that it is decisive that individual branch members feel ownership and responsibility for the process of creating relevant experiences.
|Uddannelser||Performance-design, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatKommunikation, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatVirksomhedsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||12 jun. 2009|