Using Experience Industry Strategies to Increase Quality of Youth Program Experiences


  • Allen S. Taggart University of Idaho Extension
  • Gary D. Ellis Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Research
  • Jingxian Jiang Texas A&M University
  • Andrew Lacanienta California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo



youth program quality, experience, theme, 4-H, engagement


We evaluated 4 “experience industry” strategies for enhancing the quality of immediate experiences for 4-H youth: theming, adding multisensory experiences, personalizing interactions, and providing memorabilia. These strategies are commonly used by theme parks, restaurants, resorts, attractions, and other experience industry organizations, but their application to youth services is sporadic. 4-H youth (n = 30) participated in a series of 8 outdoor recreation activity sessions. Each activity session, 1 per week for 8 consecutive weeks, was structured using a unique combination of the 4 strategies. Participants completed questionnaires measuring 5 dimensions of experience quality after each activity session. Theme and personalization of experiences were found to significantly increase experience quality.

Author Biographies

Allen S. Taggart, University of Idaho Extension

4-H Youth Development Extension Educator, Assistant Professor

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Gary D. Ellis, Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Research


Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences


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