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San Luis Obispo - Life Experience - Join us?

Join us on "Ice Breaking the San Luis Obispo Experience" tour and find out why we love living here . . . and . . . working here!

Currently, The Experience Industry Management department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, is seeking applications for a full-time, tenure-track assistant/associate professor position starting September 12, 2022.  

HOW TO APPLY:  To apply, please visit to complete the required online Cal Poly faculty application for requisition #507238.

We are looking forward to welcoming you into the Experience Industry Management Department. Once you get here we have both a welcoming process and a 'how to get on-board' navigation page to ease the journey into the community, campus, college, department, and the program!


Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 'Best in the West" for 25th consecutive year U.S. World Report's 2017 Rankings: Cal Poly is ranked #1 in Top Public Schools and in a tie with San Mary's College ranked #9 in Regional Universities West.



Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at California Polytechnic State University--San Luis Obispo is 19:1, and the school has 15.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at California Polytechnic State University--San Luis Obispo include: Engineering; Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; and Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 94 percent. 


Experience Industry Management Ranked#3

It is hard to beat California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo [Cal Poly] if you want to pursue Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies as a major. Students from the parks, recreation & leisure studies program at Cal Poly earn 24.6% above the standard graduate with the same degree. Cal Poly is among the largest schools in California.

Parents, you might be relieved to know Cal Poly features a relatively low crime rate. Due to the diverse population at Cal Poly, you should have numerous opportunities to interact with individuals from many walks of life.

The goal of College Factual's Best Colleges Ranking is to identify those schools that are offering an exceptional quality education to students. This is a ranking of quality on all four year degree-granting colleges and universities in the U.S. Read the report here >>



Cal Poly EIM's Website

Cal Poly's Experience Industry Management [EIM] Department's website highlights events as in the student led online newsletter, bi-monthly podcasts, professional development student event video and end of year celebration student event video. In addition, check out the EIM faculty, and mission and vision.





Cal Poly CAFES Experience Innovation Lab - 








Learn by doing experience innovation lab is a 1,500 square-foot space for students, faculty, visiting executives and researchers to explore, create, and experiment across every channel of the guest experience, with state-of-the-art technologies.

In the lab, we will intentionally design and test human interactions in immersive experiences. The four-walled rapid prototype lab evaluates and executes touchpoints from scratch to finish, co-creating theory to practice in support of a unique maker space for the human element.

By engaging in applied research to industry-focused applications, we have
a systematic and creative framework for designing experiences such as the

1. Producing cohesive, provocative, and self-relevant narratives for your brand through events, destinations, travel, hospitality, sport, recreation, and transformational experiences.

2. Designing personalized experiences supporting learning opportunities and experiencing success.

3. Creating absorbing experiences for guests, clients and participants.

4. Designing intentional co-created experiences including active participation both on the part of the providers and the participants to create a custom and personalized experience.

5. Applying analytics in advancing brand-immersive experiences through effective cues, sensory engagement and alibi.

6. Collaborating and identifying the latest disruptive experiences and technology
before the rest of the world recognizes any disruption.

7. Applying new technology to your most pressing creative challenges —
virtual reality, artificial intelligence, biofeedback and metrics, robotics, registration, accessibility, augmented reality, and digital, physical, mobile, and social creative experience design. In essence, creating a new world of holistic data analytics ecosystems.

Today, we seek founding partners in the Experience Innovation Lab to help us make this space a reality. A space to problem solve, create and test the innovative experiences of tomorrow. 

Thank you for your consideration. Please contact Erica NordbyDr. Kevin Lin, or Dr. Joey Gray for more information or visit our giving page here >>

George P. Johnson [GPJ] invests in the future of experience marketing and design with Cal Poly Experience Innovation Lab

San Luis Obispo, California – The future of experience marketing and design is in expert hands as the world’s leading experiential marketing agency – George P. Johnson (GPJ), part of the Project Worldwide agency network – pledges $500,000 to the development of an experiential learning lab at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Construction recently began on the $125 million William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation, which will include the Boswell Ag Tech Center and its seven learning laboratories for the future. Included within this Tech Center is the Experience Innovation Lab, a place for burgeoning experiential marketing leaders and experience designers to grow and innovate.

The Experience Innovation Lab will be both a research and creative space to design immersive personal, technological, and digital experiences in collaboration with industry partners and GPJ clients. It will engage students in invaluable, real-world experience design and marketing – all part of the “Learn by Doing” philosophy at the university.

Experience Innovation LabLed by Cal Poly’s pioneering Experience Industry Management Department, the lab will emphasize an interdisciplinary approach utilizing faculty and student expertise across campus to include experience industry management, architecture, computer science, engineering, food science, wine, marketing, graphic design, and theater, among other disciplines. Teams of faculty and students will work with industry partners including GPJ executives to solve the experience industry’s complex needs and to anticipate disruptors within the event, travel, hospitality, sport, recreation and experience marketing and design space.

In addition to GPJ’s financial investment in the development of the facility, they are also tapping members of their senior leadership team to lend their expertise to the design and development of the lab, acting as mentors and contributors to the programming and use of the space.

On GPJ’s investment in the education of future experience marketers, CEO Chris Meyer stated, “GPJ has been the leader in experiential marketing for over a century. As this industry develops and its prominence within the general marketing sphere continues to grow, it’s imperative that we invest our resources into future pioneers that will continue to advance the space. Higher learning centers allow for a safe testing ground for students to try out their wildest ideas, building the pipeline of innovators to come. Having been ingrained in this work for decades, GPJ is able to offer unique perspectives and insights to truly make this a state-of-the-art learning experience that will foster the future leadership of our industry.”  Read more >>

Cal Poly's home-sharing annual convention proposal wins PCMA North American Student Competition

A proposal to create an annual convention for home share and vacation rental owners was selected as the winner of PCMA’s North American Student Competition 2019.

Chrissy Baur, Morgan Cutter, Luke Haley, Courtney Frickman and Olivia Larsen represented California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo in the December competition. They were advised by Kevin Lin, Ph.D.

“Most home share and vacation rental owners operate their properties with minimal property management experience,” the Home Sharing Proposal Experience (HSX) stated. “A convention like HSX would allow an opportunity for home sharers and experience providers to expand their knowledge, network and property-management skills.”

PCMA North American Student Competition WinnersPCMA’s North American Student Competition is an annual event to engage students pursuing careers in the business events industry. Collegiate teams from Canada, the United States and Mexico are invited to submit proposals to address industry trends and issues. Three finalist teams were selected to present their proposals via video to a panel of judges from the business events industry.

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What does Outside Magazine have to say? July's issue names San Luis Obispo, California: Best Blend of Sunshine, Food, and Beaches

  • Population: 47,000
  • Median home value: $546,000
  • Median household income: $46,000

Council says: “San Luis Obispo has the charm and nature and cool air of San Francisco without all the techies or the pre-apocalyptic vibe.” —R.L.

Set just minutes from both the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Range, San Luis Obispo is roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles—and, fortunately, is nothing like either city.

There’s a reason locals refer to it as the “SLO life”—the only thing that moves fast here are the cars zipping past on Highway 101. “Nobody is in a rush,” says Coby Parker-Garcia, a local winemaker at Claiborne and Churchill Winery.

You’ll find friends grilling over bonfires at Fisherman’s Beach, just a few miles south of town, and Cub Scouts eating popcorn in their sleeping bags while watching double features at the Sunset Drive-In.

The average commute time is 15 minutes, and jobs are easy to get in agriculture, education, and tourism. Cal Poly State University keeps the place feeling young despite all the retirees who move here for the nearly 300 days of sunshine each year more here >>


Watch San Luis Obispo's award winning tourism video produced by BCA and Peregrine Media Group, features favorite activities in and around the city, set to the music of Moonshiner Collective. The video, part of the city's complete branding makeover, recently won best of show at the American Advertising Awards for the Central Coast region.


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