Submitting a Presentation Proposal

IMPORTANT: Read "Conference Proposal Form and Tips" before submission.


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, obstacles and failures, 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.

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.

In addition, the committees will consider:

  • Overall quality of the proposed session content;
  • Timeliness and relevance to an important programmatic, technical, policy, or philosophical issue in the preservation-based revitalization field;
  • Title that is engaging and reflects content of the session, course or workshop;
  • Description that accurately reflects the proposed content and articulates the educational goals;
  • Clarity and completeness of the proposal;
  • Well-defined focus of the topic and presentation;
  • Presentation skills and knowledge level of the suggested speakers;
  • Applicability and appeal to a national audience;
  • Format and length appropriate to topic; and
  • Creative session design that encourages interaction among participants.


  • Read "Conference Proposal Submission Form and Tips" prior ro submitting a proposal.
  • Design and develop session content.
  • If additional presenters are included in the session, the submitter is responsible for obtaining their agreement, collecting all contact and other requested information from each proposed speaker, and communicating all relevant details to others involved. It is assumed when a proposal is submitted that all presenters listed on the proposal have been contacted and have agreed to participate.
  • If the session is selected, the submitter will work with the NMSC conference staff and content committee members assigned to their session to finalize  content and speaker information.


  • All presenters must agree to all terms and conditions for participation.
  • Submissions must be submitted electronically via the Main Streets Conference online system.
  • Session submitter will serve as primary contact for proposed session and must have a valid e-mail address that is checked regularly.
  • Sessions may be recorded, and the recordings will be made available for registered conference attendees. This is not a transfer of copyright or ownership of the session content, but solely an agreement to record and distribute audio recordings of the proceedings of this conference.
  • NMSC does not reimburse expenses or pay speaker fees for education sessions.
  • Presenters are offered a reduced registration fee for the conference or complimentary day-only registration for the day of their session.
  • For all accepted submissions, the NMSC reserves the right to edit title, description, outcomes, or reassign identified topic areas for promotional purposes.
  • All presenters for accepted sessions will receive and be expected to return a signed agreement outlining terms and conditions for participation in the National Main Streets Conference.
  • Education sessions are non-commercial. Presenters may not promote a product, service, or anything else representing monetary self-interest. Failure to comply will affect future consideration.
  • Sessions at the Main Streets Conference are scheduled for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The schedule is determined by balancing topics and target audiences. Individual schedule requests are considered only in extreme circumstances.
  • Co-presenter(s) must agree to all terms and conditions for participation.
  • Submitter is responsible for communicating with co-presenter(s) regarding acceptance, rejection, deadlines, and all other session details.


  • Submissions due: September 16, 2013
  • Acceptance notification: November, 2013
  • Schedule notification: December, 2013
  • 2014 Main Streets Conference: May 18-21, 2014

Submit Proposal