Main Street Programs

                  First Impression Program

All too often people and organizations say – and may honestly believe – that they want to improve.  But they go about it the wrong way.  Too much self-evaluation and too little outside evaluation may mask real problems and opportunities.  First Impressions offers an inexpensive way of determining what visitors think of your community.  Volunteers from two somewhat similar communities (size, location, county seat, etc.) agree to do unannounced exchange visits and then report on their findings.  Participants became “secret shoppers” for the day to discover what they can about their sister city.  Team members follow procedures and reporting guidelines in a fully developed manual, which is copied for each participant.  The manual helps insure that the evaluations and final reports are thorough and somewhat uniform and minimize the training of volunteers.  The final report provides an outsiders perspective of your community as it might be perceived by a prospective business, potential resident, or tourist.

This community improvement program, which emerged in 1991, represents a compilation of ideas, experiences and thoughts of two people who focused on improving the communities of Grant County, Wisconsin.  Since that time, it has been used by hundreds of communities in the U.S. and Canada as a tool for assessing the perceptions of visitors.  The final reports serve as a basis for community action and provide a “snap-shot” of the community at a specific point in time.  These recorded assessments can be an outstanding way to measure progress within a community. If you are wanting a copy of the following examples please contact our office and indicate which one you would like, office number (715)485-8600.

CEDPI Summary – Amery, WI 2013
CEDPI Summary – Hurley, WI 2013
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