Spring Events

IDA is committed to fostering industry knowledge, education and information, and collaborates with regional and international partners to provide access to IDA experts and networking. Content is organized around IDA’s seven official knowledge domains, recognizing the distinct areas of professional practice used to shape dynamic cities, towns and regions around the world. These core domains act as a framework for urban place managers to utilize in furthering their professional careers and to aid in their work enhancing vibrant urban places.

Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned professional, you won’t want to miss the Economic Development Summit. Come together with like-minded economic development professionals and learn how to tell your story through data, explore creative approaches to business recruitment and retention, and gain a better understanding of innovation districts. Exciting and informative Master Talks and breakout sessions will focus on the importance of downtowns as major economic generators for cities. Industry leaders will review national trends and explore the potential for economic growth. Plus enjoy plenty of opportunities for networking and collaboration with other downtown professionals. The 2020 Economic Development Summit takes place in Norfolk, Virginia on May 13-14, 2020. Learn more.

IDA and the Business Improvement Association of British Columbia (BIABC) present this conference each year in a different city in British Columbia, Canada. The program focuses on key areas such as economic development, marketing and communication, advocacy, planning, placemaking and more. For further information, please visit the BIABC website. The 2020 event will be held in Coquitlam, British Columbia on May 3-6, 2020.

You may not realize it, but both clean and safe teams and programming professionals go hand-in-hand in creating a place for everyone. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration and potential with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness and well-being. It can be accomplished through clean and safe efforts, events, activations, public art programs, intentional design and more. We invite you to collaborate and gain ideas from professionals in both sectors and see how they are coming together to successfully implement placemaking in their communities. Whether you consider yourself a left brain or right brain thinker, if you identify more with marketing than security, there will be a customized learning opportunity at our summit. The 2020 Placemaking, Operations & Security Summit takes place April 22-23, 2020 in Dallas, Texas to focus on the many ways practitioners successfully maintain and manage places. Learn more.

This summit focuses on the unique downtowns and urban districts that host universities and colleges as the backdrop to their urban spaces. Attendees share strategies, build partnerships, and find inspiration when coming together at this summit. We encourage attendees to invite their partners from their respective municipalities and universities to attend the summit. The 2020 University & College Town Summit will be held April 1-3, 2020 in Iowa City, Iowa. Learn more.

The California Downtown Association and IDA host a yearly forum in California to explore key urban place management topics and policy issues, including the art of placemaking, strategies for retail attraction and retention, economic development, effective board management, operations solutions and much more. Master Talks and breakout sessions will explore how managing downtowns and public spaces has become much more than flower baskets and events. Experts will share best practices on economic development strategies, multi-generational leadership, and cross-sector collaboration and how it plays an important role in the work that we do. The 2020 West Coast Urban District Forum takes place March 11-13, 2020 in San Jose, California. Learn more.

This international summit brings together urban place management professionals from 10+ countries to share experiences and lend expertise while also experiencing key projects in a different global city. The inaugural event in 2016 established the World Towns framework organized in four principle areas: unique identities of place, local economies, governance and citizenship and environments. Subsequent events have gathered to explore implementation strategies, smart cities and smart districts, and the practice of urban place management from a global context with greater cultural awareness. This event will be held the week of March 30-April 3, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. Learn more. 

Interested in hosting a future event? Contact Carolyn Dellutri, Director of Professional Development at