Outdoor Dining – Where Do We Go from Here?

Dining moved onto our sidewalks and streets during the pandemic, but will it become a permanent part of our cities? Experienced practitioners will discuss the costs, benefits and considerations of making “streeteries” permanent to help attendees successfully guide local discussions on whether to keep, modify or close outdoor dining establishments. 

Understanding New Market Dynamics to Guide Organizational Response 

For office-dominated districts, understanding local market dynamics will be critical to direct strategic planning efforts for place management organizations. Learn how new data management technologies are bringing order to chaos and influencing the design of a new generation of post-pandemic economic development initiatives.

Evolving Third Places

Third places in North America are not just about bars and coffeehouses. Instead, the definition should reflect the forms they take within specific subcultures and cohorts amidst fast-moving societal and technological change. Learn where else we’re going these days for a sense of community and belonging.    

Improving Placemaking & Community Engagement with an Innovative Waste Solution

Due to pervasive public space waste issues, creating clean, welcoming, sustainable and resource-efficient spaces that engage and delight communities is an ongoing challenge for UPMOs. Learn how BigBelly combats visible waste, windblown litter, rats, birds, excessive waste collection, lack of recycling and compost infrastructure, and demands on maintenance staff.

Not Magic – Realistic Steps to Excellent Event Branding

Learn a step-by-step process for event branding that you can apply to your own projects right away. Learn how to dive into design thinking from a place manager’s perspective, offering support and consideration of details like incorporating sponsors, creating cohesive looks across several events and place branding vs. event branding. 

Culturally Responsive Placemaking – Embedding Equity in Place Management

As the importance of inclusive downtowns and city centers becomes increasingly apparent, many place management organizations struggle to appropriately embed equity in their operations. Using tangible and current examples, this presentation will illustrate how organizations can leverage organizational equity commitments into culturally responsive placemaking that thoughtfully increases their impact and community leadership position.

Housing – The Next Engine of Downtown Opportunity

For the past two decades, North America has faced the most urban housing market since WWII – offering unparalleled opportunity to transform housing into a powerful tool to enliven downtown streets, attract talent, create innovation districts, expand fiscal benefits, and yield similarly rich dividends for downtowns, cities and regions they lead.

Breaking Down Silos – Centering Downtowns in Regional Tourism

From local restaurants and breweries to unique cultural experiences, main streets are often a key brand pillar for tourism destinations and integral hubs of the visitor economy. Join speakers as they unpack strategies to foster partnerships with state and county destination management organizations and align rural downtown assets with regional tourism strategies. 

High Performance Digital Marketing for Destination Districts

Trends in marketing come and go, but a robust interactive website continues to act as the foundation for digital content marketing. This presentation covers the results of Geocentric’s 2022 Downtown Digital Survey, a summary look at downtown district websites and how they perform across some key measures of audience, acquisition and behavior.

Authentic Experiences in the Age of the Metaverse

How do we make places relevant in the age of going virtual? This presentation discusses separate technological folly from authentic experience design to help business districts prepare for the true placemaking success in the age of meta.

Winter Placemaking – Outdoor Arts & Technology Festivals

Vancouver Mural Festival and Downtown Vancouver BIA’s year-round placemaking projects range from small to significant activations with many partners. Pitching innovative ideas to properties and businesses can prove challenging, but Canada’s first public Augmented Reality festival did just that as it launched amidst a pandemic in 2021.

International Place Management & Effective Small Restaurant Support

Grants to support the recovery of independent, small restaurants were implemented in downtown districts in Toronto, Mexico City, London, Tokyo and Sydney. Learn how place management works in these cities and what interventions showed the most impact for small restaurants. 

Leading Recovery Through Events & Programming

As we all continue to recover from the setbacks of the last few years, downtown economic development professionals and marketing experts have found unique ways to accelerate the recovery and shape the narrative by creating and promoting compelling new programs and events for their districts.

Lights, Cameras, Parking! How New Tech & New Thinking are Revolutionizing Micromobility

Join Bird for a discussion of how UPMOs can pilot, manage, and promote successful scooter programs, followed by a live demonstration of the industry’s newest technologies. Learn how districts can use scooter share to help achieve mobility and economic development goals while maintaining beautified streets and prioritizing pedestrian safety. 

Reimagining the Downtown Your Community Deserves through Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Reimagining downtown takes more than traditional programming and events. Learn how two downtown agencies/organizations teamed up with commercial property owners and city leaders to reinvigorate their downtowns by flipping the negative impacts of COVID into a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine the future of our downtowns – one storefront at a time – through inclusive entrepreneurship, incubation and pop-ups. 

Become Your Own Hyperlocal Digital News Outlet

As traditional newsrooms continue to shrink and media habits change, now is the time to fill the void and create a hyperlocal news outlet inside your organization, moving beyond press releases and conventional blog content to develop the multimedia newsgathering and storytelling operation your community needs. 

Global Cities & COVID

COVID-19 has had a global impact. In the years to come, studies will assess how cities and countries dealt with the pandemic best, and which ones are now poised for future success. Listen to city leaders from Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Creating Transformative Places in Mid-Sized Cities

Explore the implementation of placemaking projects and use of tactical urbanism traffic calming funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative in mid-sized cities throughout the United States. This session will include a deeper dive into logistics, challenges and successes experienced in Richmond, Virginia.  

Facilitated Forum: Homelessness

This session from IDA’s Annual Conference 2022 covers many of the topics from the Homelessness Services top issues council.

Telling Your Story – Post-Pandemic PR & Marketing Strategies

UPMOs place many resources, time and emphasis on owned and paid media because they are trackable and can be done cheaply. However, earned media, secured through public relations efforts, will not only drive brand awareness, ticket sales and word of mouth, it can also result in a transformative economic impact for your downtown or main street.

Inclusive Entrepreneurship

This presentation from IDA’s 2022 Annual Conference covers many of the issues in the Inclusive Entrepreneurship top issues council.

Urban Acupuncture & The Archeology of Local Knowledge  

Through small urban contextually appropriate projects, urban acupuncture and the archeology of local knowledge facilitate social and physical changes in the larger context beyond the district. This type of placemaking technique serves as a catalyst for the regeneration of dormant social networks and capital exchange. 

BID/BIA Evolution in the U.S., UK and Canada

Leading urban thinkers from the U.S., UK and Canada, with input from session participants, will examine how the mission, structures and financing of BIAs and BIDs have evolved over the last five decades and how they need to evolve to address the new needs of cities and stakeholders. 

Planning Successful Holiday & Winter Decor Activations

Just like painting, achieving success with décor activations is all about the prep work. Garrett Peterson from Downtown Decorations, Inc. will explain the steps involved in the process, from infrastructure requirements to design and considerations for install storage and maintenance.

Know Who is in Downtown (… and Where, Why and How)

Using big data to analyze movement patterns allows clients to fully understand who is coming to and through downtown, where they come from, why they travel (work, shop, etc.), and how they get there. In addition, data has shown that travel behaviors have major shifts by day, time of day and season. 

Breaking New Ground for Safety Operations

Learn from three operations practitioners and their strategies for ambassador training, hiring licensed security, off-duty police officers and how the built environment can help to deter crime.

Mounting Successful Gallery Walks in Vacant Store Fronts 

In 2021, three vastly different-sized NYC BIDS (Columbus Avenue BID, Alliance for Downtown New York, and East Midtown Partnership) partnered with a new arts nonprofit to display art and create gallery walks in vacant storefronts. This presentation dives into their experiences and best practices on how to create a theme, put together a call for submissions to artists, recruit property owners and anticipate expenses and legal requirements.  

Data-Driven Decision Making in Marketing & Event Planning  

Who are we trying to reach, and who do we actually reach? How do we use that information to plan and promote events for a diverse audience. Speakers will explore examples of how research, data collection and marketing tactics were used for an arts and culture series in downtown Philadelphia. Discover how data helped the marketing team collect pedestrian counts, attendance figures and attendee geography, and how it assisted in advertising and other outreach efforts. 

Equitable by Design – Creating a Downtown for Everyone

Downtowns are uniquely positioned to lead the charge on diversity, equity and inclusion. More times than not, those involved in the development of downtowns and commercial districts don’t always reflect the full diversity of the broader community. Learn what three different UPMOs decided to do about it. 

Advancing Equity While Building Thriving Downtowns

Given the opportunities and challenges cities face to engage the multiple communities comprising their populations, three downtown organizations will share proven strategies for inclusive placemaking that acknowledge and respect community dynamics, develop authentic partnerships, foster trust and engagement, and empower a range of voices in order to create equitable downtowns. 

Sponsorship Fundraising

Case-studies from Downtown Mesa Association, Tenderloin Community Benefit District, and East Cut Community Benefit District about nontraditional fund development strategies. Place management organizations are going beyond assessments and finding sources to support programs that build communities in their neighborhoods through activation, programming, economic development, and more.

Stop the Clutter, Save the Scooter

E-scooters and e-bikes are here to stay. Successful shared micro-mobility programs are helping cities through COVID recovery by boosting the local economy, in addition to reducing traffic congestion and emissions and increasing transportation access and equity. However, improper parking remains an issue particularly in denser downtowns. What innovations solve this problem so that cities can maximize the benefits of micro-mobility, without suffering the clutter? 

Reclaiming Our Public Spaces, Post Pandemic

This session examines how cities are reclaiming public spaces after two years with little to no programming and activation. Learn from seasoned professionals’ experiences and creative approaches to breathing new life into the public realm as cities look to reengage with their residents and visitors and recover economically.