Restaurant and Retail Promotions

Hill City Eats: A Downtown Lynchburg Cookbook

In 2022, Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA) set out to create a one-of-a-kind cookbook highlighting the diverse restaurant scene that has breathed new life into the city in the past 20 years. This work culminated in a stunning 172-page hardcover casebound book which sold out its first run of 1,000 copies in under two months.

ShopFairbankVillage2Win Contest

ShopFairbankVillage2Win was a sweepstake designed to influence shopping behaviour immediately and in the long term. For six weeks, the community was encouraged to shop locally and submit receipts for purchases over $20. These became entries into a weekly draw for $1000 ($500 to keep and $500 to share with the issuing business).

Bringing People Back Downtown Through Marketing and Events

People are eating out, going to events, and traveling again… so why do some districts feel as alive as ever while other districts struggle to bring people back? In this presentation, leaders from districts of all sizes will share the placemaking, events and marketing strategies that have brought visitors, tourists, and even office workers back downtown. Learn why some audiences are reluctant to return, and the role districts can play in persuading them to fall in love with our districts again.

Downtown Sioux Falls Burger Battle

Perhaps the best way to describe Burger Battle is to share the copy from DTSF’s website: Prepare your taste buds for battle! The 8th Annual Downtown Burger Battle presented by the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation kicks off January 2, 2021 and will continue through the month of January. Participating restaurants will exemplify the breadth and variety of downtown dining by showcasing the classic American burger.

Lift Up Local

Lift Up Local is comprised of three smaller projects: Expanding sidewalks, a grant program, and a downtown voucher program. This Best Practices dives into the logistics and details of each component.

Hero Meals

Facing one of the first COVID shutdowns in the country, our restaurants were faced with immediate lost revenues, extra food, and a desire to help those fighting on the front lines of the pandemic. The Downtown Tacoma Partnership stepped in creating a site for people to purchase Hero Meals from downtown restaurants we delivered to the front-line workers keeping our community moving.

Curbside Baltimore

This program was created, and scaled up quickly, to support local restaurants and retailers during COVID shutdowns in the spring and fall. It had two components: a universal hashtag #CurbsideBaltimore that we created for businesses to promote their pivot in response to COVID, and; a subsidized gift card program for locally-owned shops, restaurants, and makers within our BID. For each $20 gift card purchased, we added an additional $10, giving the purchaser $30 to spend.

Great DSM Hot Air Balloon Hunt

Greater Des Moines (DSM) residents were encouraged to search for fun surprises in the Downtown DSM throughout two winter weekend evenings on Friday, Jan. 22 and Friday, March 5. Glowing hot air balloons were being stationed in different locations throughout Downtown for an hour-and-a-half each night. Residents were invited to follow The Partnership’s social media channels so that they were first to know about the balloon locations.

South End Small Business Saturdays

South End Small Business Saturdays is an annual program focused on supporting local retail and the holiday season. In 2020, we pivoted from an extensive one-day program aligned with the national Small Business Saturday, to a five-week program focused on supporting local retail, from Thanksgiving to Dec 31. We held 4 Saturday pop-up markets and ran a 5-week promotional program called Shop Small Heroes to encourage and reward shoppers for spending local.

Downtown Boca COVID-19 Marketing Initiatives

The CRA quickly realized COVID-19 would greatly impact the community. Its mission and activities needed to pivot immediately. The CRA’s new objective was two-fold. First and foremost was keeping the community informed on ever-changing safety protocols, and City of Boca Raton (City) emergency notices. Second, the CRA needed to support the downtown business community, which was facing a catastrophic situation.

Advancing Places: Pinnacle Award Spotlight

Winning an IDA Pinnacle Award is the highest level of recognition for urban place management professionals. We’ll walk through two programs pulling communities through the COVID-19 pandemic: the planning of a gift card program benefiting local businesses and a public space activation offering an outdoor office for flexibility in work and wellness. This webinar highlights The Cincy Card Connection and O2: Outdoor Office in Rosslyn, VA.

Advancing Places: Creating Customer Loyalty

Now more than ever, downtown and neighborhood district organizations are looking for ways to support local businesses and encourage consumers to shop locally. Communities across the country are implementing “shop local” campaigns. Join this webinar and learn from two practitioners, one who has experience maintaining an existing program gift card program for over ten years and another who is in the process of launching a new district gift card program. Come prepared to learn from their experiences and bring your questions to further the discussion.

Advancing Places: Holiday Retail Promotions

The holiday season is a crucial part of the year for many main streets and downtowns. Successful retail promotions can boost the economic development for all business owners and reconnect residents with local merchants. Join this webinar to hear from two district leaders on how they are transforming traditional holiday events into innovative activities that are well-received by both consumers and businesses. Come prepared to share with colleagues how you are navigating this unique holiday season.

Join Grow with Google to Empower Your Community with Digital Skills  (Grow with Google)

You’re already doing great work in your community and Grow with Google wants to help. Grow with Google helps people across the United States gain digital skills to grow their careers and businesses. Join us to learn how you can gain access to presentation materials, resources and hands-on help from Grow with Google’s team, all completely free of cost.


Unbranded is an experimental pop-up shop showcasing the finest work of Dallas’ robust creative community. Sponsored by Downtown Dallas, Inc. throughout the past five holiday seasons, Unbranded brings together a unique, diverse group of vendors – typically local artists, artisans, and designers trying to expand their small, often online-only businesses – each year to provide a special, one-of-a-kind shopping experience for all Downtown residents, employees, and visitors.

Adams Morgan Date Nights

The purpose of the Date Nights campaign was to brand Adams Morgan as THE destination in DC for a “date.” We set up multiple date lineups and offered suggestions that would appeal to a diverse audience. From girls night out or a mother-daughter date night to a first date or anniversary – we assembled a “grid of dates” on our website which provided suggestions, incorporating dozens of our businesses.

King of Prussia District’s Restaurant & Retail Week Benefitting Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

In 2014, King of Prussia District launched King of Prussia Restaurant Week. From the beginning, the restaurants insisted that the event benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. King of Prussia District facilitated the partnership, creating branding/marketing and getting restaurants involved. In 2018, we launched a corresponding retail event and in 2020, the events grew bigger as we launched the Community Champion program and partnered with the school district.

Driving Retail Growth with Holiday Pop Up Shops

With over 50,000 square feet of retail space available in a six-block radius, the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, CO stepped in to attract new temporary, pop-up businesses during the holiday season as a means not only filling vacancies, but attracting customers to help preserve the retailers that still remained.

Making the Case: Market Analysis Scenario Workshop

Today, downtown and urban district professionals need clear and concise data to strategically inform management and investment decisions. This workshop begins with a baseline understanding of the data that can be useful for understanding the local market, including how to retrieve the data and how to supplement the data with local knowledge. Structured as a practicum, participants will then work in small groups to apply the methodologies and analyses to build a comprehensive district profile.

Everybody Innovates Here: Accelerating Innovation and Entrepreneurship Downtown

This session will show how to develop a higher-impact, sustainable, inclusive and more effective way to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship downtown through programs, places, nerve centers, districts and ecosystems. Two case studies will illustrate these concepts: a downtown district in Metuchen, NJ with over $100 million of investment since 2016, and Makerhoods, innovative live-work space, also in New Jersey. These examples will show how innovation is achievable by everyone.

DowntownDC’s District of Fashion Runway Show

The District of Fashion runway show seeks to align DC with industry-standard practices in fashion and highlight the unique talent located in the DC area. The project is designed to elevate and support the local retail and fashion industry. With high retail space prices and tepid support for the industry, this event sought to give the fashion and shopping retail industry a needed boost both for the perception of the industry and for consumers who spend money at brick and mortar retailers in DowntownDC.

Homemade In Downtown

Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc. (DTSF) and local advertising agency, Fresh Produce, collaborated to create a comprehensive marketing campaign that featured co-op advertising opportunities for DTSF business members. Strong communication between DTSF, Fresh Produce, and members – as well as support from key stakeholders – made it possible to develop creative that pleased the large majority of members, and led to high satisfaction among participating businesses.

Downtown London’s Free Comic Book Day

In 2015, Downtown London began to hear concerns about the amount of people lined up on the sidewalk and the limited space for people to safely participate in Free Comic Book Day. Many of the attendees are children, and most people dress up as characters from their favorite movie, book, or video game. For three successful years now, Downtown London closes Dundas Street and programs it each year with a street festival of comic artists, clubs and performers.

Glebe Spree 150

Glebe Spree is an annual promotion by the Glebe Business Improvement Area (Glebe BIA) in Ottawa, Canada. Over the past seven years, it has become one of the neighborhood’s most successful traffic generators and an annual Glebe tradition. Running from November 15-December 31, Glebe Spree rewards shoppers receive a stamp for every $20 worth of purchases made at participating Glebe merchants. Once they have collected $200 worth of stamps, their ballot is eligible to enter the drawing for a $10,000 grand prize Glebe Shopping Spree. To mark Canada’s celebration of 150 years of Confederation, the BIA created a new, Canadiana-inspired Glebe Spree 150 contest. This enhanced format awarded shoppers with a stamp for every $15 purchase, making them eligible for entry after $150 has been collected. Glebe Spree 150 had 162 participating businesses, 81 total prize giveaways, and 31,557 ballots entered. The contest introduces top-of-mind awareness for the Glebe and Glebe merchants during a peak shopping period, creates a value proposition differentiating the Glebe from competing shopping destinations, encourages new and repeat visitation to the Glebe, and increases consumer spend during off-peak period shopping.

INTHEGLEBE.CA – A Digital Neighbourhood Experience

The Glebe Business Improvement Area was created to turn Ottawa’s oldest, most beloved neighborhood into the most forward-thinking location in the country. The first step? Give the local merchants a strong, unified digital presence within our own BIA website. After two years of live experimentation,’s most recent redesign was meant to improve user navigation and search, provide merchants and website administrators with more intuitive management, and improve the overall experience.

Art of the State: Leveraging Local Culture and Creativity

This session will present a snapshot of case studies that engage makers, artists and other creatives in downtown promotions, placemaking and development projects. Great Downtowns of all sizes are identified by their cultural environment. We will explore how both large and small investments in arts and creativity can return dividends that multiply.

Consumer Trends and Patterns in Retail

This presentation shares examples of contemporary strategies in brick and mortar retail to boost appeal to consumers and create a more experience driven offering to entice consumers.

Lower Manhattan Restaurant Video Series

Lower Manhattan’s food scene, from the restaurants that perennially grace the pages of a Michelin guide to hole-in-the-wall gems that only locals know of, has quietly been booming. While publications like the Associated Press and Bloomberg News have taken notice, the perception of the neighborhood as an after-hours ghost town lingers. To address that misconception and to increase awareness of the breadth of restaurants that call Lower Manhattan home, the Alliance created a monthly video series.

Hamilton NOSH

A week-long celebration of Hamilton’s culinary scene, NOSH, took place during National Small Business Week from October 17 to 23, 2016. The response by the culinary community was overwhelming, chiefly because of the massive embrace by traditional media and those on social media. NOSH produced more events than anticipated, generated a massive amount of positive exposure for the city, and drove sales to participating businesses.

Inside Downtown Delray Beach Video Series

The Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) launched their “Inside Downtown Delray Beach Video Series” to highlight the unique attributes and authenticity of downtown. The business owners, residents and visitors, also known as the “faces behind the spaces,” were given an opportunity to express what they love most about downtown. Conveying vibrancy, activity friendliness, and walkability in the marketing and PR messaging was crucial to sustaining and growing Downtown Delray Beach.

First Wednesday Art Walk

For the past 13 years, Downtown Vision Inc. (DVI) has produced the First Wednesday Art Walk in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville. This innovative event acts as an economic development tool supporting downtown merchants and cultural entities while improving the vitality of downtown through the arts. With more than 10,000 people participating each month, Art Walk has grown into a treasured street festival, one that is constantly reimagined to mirror the diversity of Jacksonville.

The Best of Cape Town Central City 2018 guide

The Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) began to look for ways to promote the many offerings that had become integral to the Central City and, in particular, to add value to the stakeholders that had invested in the CBD in “Eat”, “Stay”, “Play” “Shop” or “Visit” destinations. To fulfill this, “The Best of Cape Town Central City” guide was created in 2009, originally published in conjunction with the internationally reknown “Time Out” brand.

Get It In The Glebe – Awareness Marketing Campaign

Leading up to 2017, the Glebe neighborhood had seen significant changes to its product mix, including new retail, award-winning restaurants, increased events and programming, and the completion of the Lansdowne area featuring a park, recreational facilities and a stadium. The shift in the Glebe’s amenity and entertainment offerings created an opportunity for Glebe BIA to re-position the neighborhood as the place to visit while encouraging all to “Get it in the Glebe.”

Reimagining Girls’ Night Out

Oh man, Girls’ Night Out? Hasn’t that been done (to death)? Hold on a second, though. Downtown Somerville’s Girls’ Night Out is worth a look exactly because the concept is…well, maybe a little moth-eaten. If you can give an event enough of a makeover to change minds about what Girls’ Night Out is supposed to be, sell out the event a week in advance, and give skeptical businesses one of their most profitable nights of the year (at least 65 conversions on average), that’s worth talking about.

Shop for a Cause Day

The spirit of giving. Fabulous shopping. Making a difference. These are the hallmarks of Portland Downtown’s Shop for a Cause Day, a cherished community event that captures hearts while creating change. Shop for a Cause Day is designed to raise funds and awareness for local nonprofit organizations while, at the same time, showcasing our vibrant small-business community.

Madison Night Market

A late 2016 study of downtown retail, conducted by the City of Madison and the BID, entitled “Ensuring a Vibrant Downtown Retail Destination” encouraged retail pop-ups, shop-around promotions and specialty markets as strategies to support a healthy retail district. As a direct and immediate effort to undertake strategies recommended from the study, the BID hosted the 1st ever Madison Night Markets.