2023 World Town Leadership Summit

About the 2023 World Town Leadership Summit

IDA’s World Town Leadership Summit convenes place management leaders from around the globe in a small group setting to explore key city building issues and learn how different countries and cultures address these challenges in their context. A diverse cohort of attendees will be enlightened by key research and inspired presentations, all aimed at initiating deep discussions while exploring real-world professional practice challenges using the world café discussion format. This facilitated summit develops a comprehensive graphic synopsis of the group’s discussion.

This summit is a fantastic way to visit new towns outside of North America and appreciate how different customs, cultures, politics and economics impact the work of place management. In the past, attendees simultaneously found themselves to be teachers, mentors and students. This year’s World Towns Leadership Summit will take place 11 – 14 July 2023 in London, Manchester and York, England.

Conference Details

The 2023 World Towns Leadership Summit will be held in London, Manchester and York, England. This event is brought to you by IDA and ATCM and co-hosted with HoLBA, CityCo and The York BID.


Registration is now open for the 2023 World Towns Leadership Summit. In order to register for the Summit, you need to either have an account in IDA’s database or you must create one. If you previously registered for an event in the past, you should have an account in the new database. All below prices are USD.   

  • Regular Registration Rate until Friday, 9 June 2023: $375. The fee includes the conference, select meals and tours.Please see hotel recommendations and train information below; these travel costs are at the attendee’s expense.
  • Late Registration Rate until Monday, 26 June 2023: $445. The fee includes the conference, select meals and tours.  Please see hotel recommendations and train information below; these travel costs are at the attendee’s expense. 
  • Spouse / Guest Rate: $125 (includes all Summit activities).

Register Now

Cancellation Policy: Written notice of cancellation is required. Cancellations received via email by 5 June 2023 will receive a refund less a $100 processing fee. Cancellations received via email after 5 June 2023 will not be refunded. Refunds will be processed approximately 30 days after the event. Please send the cancellation notification to the International Downtown Association by emailing

Substitutions: Substitutions of registrations are gladly accepted prior to the event start date. Please submit a written request to before Thursday, 6 July 2023 at 3 pm ET to complete your substitution. Only one substitution is permitted per original registrant and must be transferred to an individual in your organization. The individual submitting the substitution request is responsible for all financial obligations (any balance due) associated with that substitution.  

Payment Methods: For your convenience, payments may be made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Should you need to pay by check or ACH, you will not be able to complete registration online. Please email for assistance.   

Outstanding Balance: Please note, if you have an outstanding balance for this event, you will not receive your badge on-site or be allowed to attend tours until payment is received. Please contact prior to your arrival on-site to pay your outstanding balance. 

By registering you are agreeing to IDA’s Event Agreement and Code of Conduct and IDA Attendee Assumption of Risk, Waiver and Release Form.

View hotel recommendations for London and Manchester by clicking here.

Attendees may choose to fly into London for the activities on 11 July 2023 and travel by train to Manchester Picadilly. To view train schedules and to purchase tickets, please visit Attendees are welcome to fly directly into Manchester and join the group for the meetings starting on 12 July 2023. Attendees opting to go to York on 14 July 2023 can view train schedules and purchase tickets here:, and depart from the city of their choosing (Manchester or London) on 15 July 2023.


Restaurant Suggestions from CityCo for Manchester:

Rosso/ Pizzeria De La Michel/ Franco Manca/ Rudy’s – Pizza
Hawksmoor – Steak
Dishoom – Indian
Schofields Bar/ Stock Exchange Hotel Bar – Cocktails
El Gato Negro/ Tast – Spanish
Higher Ground – Small Plates, Locally Sourced
10 Tib Lane – Small Plates, Locally Sourced
Climat – Roof Top, Wine, Small Plates, Locally Sourced
The Sparrows – V cool venue.. in a railway arch
Tom’s and Sam’s Chop Houses – Traditional British
KALA – Bistro
Chinatown – Asian flavours


IDA is committed to making our educational sessions accessible to everyone, regardless of ability, and to reasonably accommodating the assistive needs of our members, attendees and partners. We are actively working to increase the accessibility of our offerings. In so doing, we strive to comply with the available standards and guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act and related laws to the greatest extent possible. If you are having trouble accessing an IDA offering, or have a question regarding session accessibility features, please contact IDA at for assistance. 

Preview the schedule-at-a-glance below (specific times are subject to change). The program will be updated in the coming weeks. Please note, all times listed are British Summer Time (BST).  

Conference Program

  • Tuesday 11 Jul 2023
  • Wednesday 12 Jul 2023
  • Thursday 13 Jul 2023
  • Friday 14 Jul 2023

Tuesday 11 Jul 2023

  • TBA, London
  • Learn about current tourism trends, back to office challenges and small business support. 

  • Travel from London to Manchester or arrive direct into Manchester. Manchester is a 2.2-hour train ride from London.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2023

  • TBA, Manchester
  • Explore the Heart of Manchester BID, which includes major sports, entertainment and events programming along with unique property owner collaborations for retailing, immersive gaming and establishing a new tourism improvement district.  
  • TBA, Manchester
Welcome to World Towns Summit:
  • David Downey, President & CEO, International Downtown Association
Stage Setting Presentation: The Future is Mixed Use – Not Either Or but Yes And:
  • Paul R. Levy, President, Center City District (Philadelphia, PA, U.S.)
Stage Setting Presentation: Understanding Global Trends on Spend :
  • TBA
Panel Debate: The Future of Place – 7 Years from Now:
  • Four contributors from different countries discuss the vision of what our towns and cities need to look like a decade from now.

Thursday 13 Jul 2023

  • TBA, Manchester
  • Can the industry meet the future needs of our cities? What new models of place management will be needed?  These sessions and roundtables will discuss new and diverse models of place management necessary to meet the future needs of our cities and communities.
World Towns Summit Day Two Kickoff:
  • Ojay McDonald, Chief Executive, ATCM
Stage Setting Presentation: The Big Picture – The Challenges Facing the Global Place Management Industry:
  • TBA
Stage Setting Presentation: Going Local: How Place Management Organizations [BIDS] are Creating a New Paradigm for Community-Driven Change :
  • TBA
Facilitated Discussions :
  • Spot Light: Climate Improvement Districts
  • Spot Light: Tourism BIDs
  • Spot Light: Entertainment Districts
Panel Debate: What Does an International Network Look Like?:
  • Four contributions discuss how the global place management industry can come together.

Friday 14 Jul 2023


Meeting Location:
  • Manchester Piccadilly Station
  • Travel from Manchester to York with the group on the 08:30 am train arriving in York at 10:04 am. York is approximately a 1.5-hour train ride from Manchester. Please arrive by 8:00 am to meet the group. Purchase your train ticket at the link above.
  • TBA, York
  • Explore the York BID and discuss how to leverage culture and heritage for the visitor economy, addressing policing and security, local resident/visitor conflict and the nighttime economy. Enjoy lunch at a local venue, followed by roundtable discussions with your peers on the above topics.

  • Travel back to London (King’s Cross Station) or Manchester for your departure city of choice. Or stay and enjoy York on your own!

Interested In Membership?

IDA empowers members with knowledge, research and public policies.

Learn More

Interested In Hosting?

If you are interested in hosting a future event, contact Lul Teklit, IDA’s Meeting Planner.  

Email Us


For assistance or further information, please contact the IDA registration team.

Email Us