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First Impressions NC

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What is the First Impressions Program?

First Impressions is a “secret shopper” program pairing two similar communities across North Carolina.

A couple walks on the sidewalk next to buildings downtown.

Visitors to Swansboro shop in the historic Onslow County town.

Capturing the unique and unbiased perspectives of first-time visitors, the First Impressions Program delivers important information to participating communities on what they’re doing well and constructive advice on where they can improve.

PURPOSE

Gathers insight to assist community planning and goal setting efforts. It will help your community:

  • Assess your current development initiatives and target new ones
  • Prioritize community projects and services
  • Enhance your community image to visitors

PROCESS

  • Tourism Extension (TE) identifies two interested communities with similar characteristics.
  • TE trains local community visitation teams (CVT) before visiting the sister community.
  • CVTs visit the community and record impressions.
  • TE presents these impressions to each community.
  • TE can set up a follow-up meeting with communities to meet.

COMMUNITY ROLE

  • Identify areas of interest.
  • Recruit community visitation teams that can attend training and debrief (meals help) and are willing to visit the paired community.
  • Share results!

Want to learn more about First Impressions?
Fill out this form: go.ncsu.edu/fi_app24

Written By

Ann Savage, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionAnn SavageTourism Extension Associate Call Ann Email Ann Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management
NC State Extension, NC State University
Page Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
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