On a pleasant Spring evening, you and your spouse enter a trendy establishment and are seated at a dinner table with another couple, total strangers. Surrounding you are other diners in what is a small, intimate room. You introduce yourselves to your table mates and proceed to share your anticipation for the evening’s event which, interestingly enough, will be a cooking class. Within minutes, the chef hosting the event calls everyone’s attention to the front of the room where he stands behind a stove top much like those featured in televised cooking shows. He welcomes you, spends a bit of time explaining what will follow and introduces his sous chef, who just happens to be the head coach of your city’s NHL team.
Over the next two hours, you learn how to prepare what the chef calls “killer” canapés, little morsels guaranteed to delight your palate and those of your friends should you dare to try making them at home. You sample every item, each one paired with a different wine whose merits are described by the guest wine consultant. At the end of the evening, you prepare to leave with your notes and recipes, a few new acquaintances, and the special memory of having chatted with an Olympic gold medal-winning hockey coach. As the walls of the dining room are slid back, you walk directly into the aisles of the wine store where this entire event has taken place. It goes without saying that you do not pass Go – in this case, the cashiers – without first having selected a few of the vintage wines you sampled so you may enjoy them at home.
Welcome once more to the Experience Economy.