Many small communities struggle with how to differentiate themselves to attract visitors. Learn how two downtowns took inspiration from their history to look toward the future and create interactive storytelling programs and a roadmap for the future.

Seed Funds

Seed Funds are revolutionary financing tools that help cities implement urban plans using local investors. By sourcing, deploying, and incentivizing local allied capital, cities and their BIDs, DDAs, etc. can promote collateral implementation.

GLOWing Downtowns

Light art festivals and interactive art installations are popping up all over the world. Illuminate the “how-tos” of creating public art experiences to differentiate your district, increase visitors and generate quantifiable metrics.

Engaging the Media

Learn from about the evolution of local media ecosystems and the power of proactive relationships with journalists. Clarify the differences between earned, paid, and owned media with examples of proactive, reactive, and earned media.

Proving Your Value: Measuring & Reporting

Reporting is a hot topic for many PMOs, but consolidating data into informative formats is challenging. Identifying key metrics, and managing data spanning various departments is critical.

Placemaking & Operations Gone Wrong!

Learn from numerous practitioners working in the areas of placemaking and operations when their best laid plans just didn’t go the way they wanted.

The Surprise & Delight of Placemaking

Placemaking and activations can take many shapes and forms. Join this session to learn from seasoned professionals with a wide range of experience activating public spaces. With a focus on producing unique urban experiences and animating streets, parks, and public spaces, these panelists work to create opportunities for pedestrians to engage with public art, performances and events. Learn about their audiences and how they determine when and where to produce different activations

Principals & Practices of Operations

Operations in place management covers a wide scope of work from cleaning and maintenance to providing on-street services addressing safety and quality of life issues. For new professionals to be successful in their role as operations staff they need to have an understanding of building and running a successful operations program that caters to the unique challenges and opportunities in their districts.

Place Management After Dark – Nightlife Challenges and Opportunities

An entertainment district means foot traffic, economic development, amenities and a unique set of challenges. Many districts – large and small – are developing new strategies to engage with their nighttime economy in terms of operations, placemaking and security. Come learn from experiences in Denver, Austin and Minneapolis to gain insights into managing a successful, safe and fun district.

Essentials of Placemaking

Learn the basics of how place management professionals can facilitate placemaking in their work to engage communities and foster vibrant, inclusive and authentic places. Learn practical definitions, identify the “why”, explore goals and strategies, discuss community-led processes and co-creation, recognize opportunities for financial and in-kind contributions, and apply the right tools for the project and/or program

Essentials of Economic Development

While clean and safe and placekeeping activities remain a strong part of almost all place management organizations, many have begun to focus on building strong and relevant economic development programs specifically addressing the challenges facing downtowns. Often, economic development is not about progressing from simple to complex…it’s finding the niche in your community that can best fill and deliver solid results to stakeholders.

Incubating Entrepreneurs

No longer just about catching the big fish, the next wave of economic development is about developing local talent and building capacity from the ground up. Startup businesses are breaking new ground but need a supportive ecosystem to flourish; whether tech, retail or micromanufacturing – community matters. Incubator programs can provide the foundation needed for entrepreneurs to build powerful partnerships, preserve capital, access funding, and share resources and facilities.

Measuring the Economic Impact of Events

Everything a place management district does supports its community, but how can we measure the impact of our efforts? In this session, a multidisciplinary panel of experts share insightful case stories around measuring success. From defining quantifiable objectives, to identifying the right metrics, technologies and means of measurement, see examples of how different sizes of districts use data collection to demonstrate a return on investment for their communities

Navigating the Return to Office – What Can Downtown Managers Do?

We’re still evolving the ways we live and work, and the issue of return to the office has had a lingering and profound impact on the future of our cities. While there is no one size fits all solution to the challenges the evolving office sector is having on our downtowns, there are proactive steps and an important role downtown managers can play. Explore a range of trends, challenges, and potential solutions to address a wide range of issues no matter the size or make-up of the downtown.

Nighttime Economy

Nightlife is a key element of the downtown economy but can present significant challenges if not managed and regulated in an effective way for all parties. Learn how the communities of Arlington, Virginia, Dallas, Texas, and Norfolk, Virginia are working with businesses and city representatives to identify a plan with beneficial outcomes for all that will support the vibrancy of their downtowns.

Reimagining Downtown Anchors

Downtowns were once anchored by department stores – one-stop shops where buyers could come to peruse washing machines and workwear before spilling out into other businesses. What are today’s destinations that draw people to the urban core? Learn about the “alternative anchors” of today – from libraries to coworking facilities and entertainment venues – that drive consumer traffic to your district.

Using Interactive Tech for Marketing & Economic Development

Interactive digital technologies for attraction, promotion, and engagement have become increasingly accessible for BIDs of all sizes, presenting affordable opportunities to transform existing programs or create new ones. Learn the steps from beginning to end on how these programs were developed and how their effectiveness was measured. 

How to Demonstrate the Value of BIDs

Learn how the 2022 San Francisco Community Benefit / Business Improvement District (CBD/BID) Impact Analysis was authored, including detail on how the authors synthesized data, how other cities can replicate this report, and the general challenge of comparing BID programs to one another in order to demonstrate value and impact.

Design Downtowns & Nightlife for Women – Men Will Follow

Women are the primary decision makers and influencers about where to shop, live, work and play. Yet downtowns are often designed by men. Safety, cleanliness, lighting, restrooms and mobility options influence where women choose to go out. Women seek out a variety of social experiences and leisure pursuits; not just F&B, but also traditional shopping. Yet many downtowns fall short of women’s expectations. Find out how to design women-friendly downtowns. 

Supporting Vital Downtown Areas at a Statewide Level

Visit California and the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development show important efforts to support all regions of California. These programs are meant to support community sustainability, economic diversification, and drive engagement of local partners in tourism and economic development activities.