2013 Content Development
Developing Content for the 2013 Main Streets Conference
The collision of heritage tourism, the arts, and entrepreneurism on Main Street can spark a “Big Bang” – one of a thriving cultural economy. We can build an economy on the foods, music, people, stories, and traditions that make a place special. The fusion of innovative minds, dedicated hearts, and creative souls creates an atmosphere where authenticity is king and distinct assets are found in our backyards. This “Creative Economy” engages entrepreneurs, culinary artists, performing and visual artists, crafters and artisans, nonprofit organizations, museums and historic sites, filmmakers and technology startups to create new jobs, stimulate the economy, kindle innovation and new partnerships, attract talent and tourists, and contribute to livability.
This year, the 2013 National Main Streets Conference will explore the Creative Economy, seeking out ways in which local communities and regions can benefit from leveraging the ideas, the people, and the unique assets that set them apart.
We encourage you to submit a proposal that features Creative Economy concepts as well as perennial Main Street revitalization topics. We strive to provide content at all learning levels – beginner, intermediate, and advanced – and to share perspectives and success stories from urban districts to small town and rural Main Streets.
We are especially interested in proposals that demonstrate creative solutions to everyday revitalization challenges or that showcase innovative ways to leverage opportunities or assets. Tell us how you do something different and better. Lead an honest discussion about your failures; we encourage brave presenters who want to share lessons learned from tough challenges and obstacles because there is a lot to learn from examples other than success stories. We also seek interesting partnerships, cutting-edge ideas, innovative uses of new technology, measured results, and ways to work smarter. Sessions that blend the fundamental concepts of a topic with methodology and real-world application (case studies, shared by the actual practitioner when possible) often rise to the top.
We give preference to panels that offer a variety of perspectives. Be creative and think of ways to tell a 360-degree story. For example, a session could be a combination of local practitioners (Main Street volunteers or staff members as well as their partners, local officials, and business owners); experts from a national organization or agency; local, state, or national specialists in a particular discipline (developer, banker, planner, economic development, the arts, etc.); university staff members; and Main Street coordinating program staff members.
The National Main Streets Conference attracts professionals in preservation-based, economic development and community revitalization, including both experienced and new downtown and neighborhood Main Street directors, volunteers, architects, planners, economic development professionals, public officials, volunteers, and consultants.
We accept proposals on a wide-range of ideas that will appeal to our attendees. Session submissions can include, but are not limited to the following topics that support our conference theme as well as the Main Street Four-Point Approach®:
- Branding Main Street
- Building a more inclusive and stronger board
- Business recruitment and retention
- Clean and safe issues
- Community engagement
- Community planning
- Community-based businesses and community-invested projects
- Conflict resolution/dealing with challenging people or situations
- Real estate development (principles, projects, creative investment)
- Creative funding mechanisms
- Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding
- Developing design guidelines
- Developing strategic partners
- Running effective meetings
- Encouraging façade improvement
- Entrepreneur development
- Empowering committees
- Sustainability (Greening historic buildings, greening businesses)
- Heritage tourism
- Leadership development
- New and innovative partnership ideas
- Parking management
- Partnership strengthening and development
- Public and farmers markets
- Public art, murals, arts districts, and arts development
- Public relations and marketing Main Street
- Retail support
- Small business assistance and development
- Smart growth issues
- Technology for small businesses and Main Street programs (running a high-tech office, mobile website, using apps, mobile commerce, e-commerce, interactive business directories, social media, etc)
- Transportation planning and parking management
- Volunteer recruitment and management
- Working with developers, bankers, real estate professionals