Project Spotlight: Caring for Your Community

The Downtown Day Services Center offers services to individuals experiencing homelessness by utilizing a housing-first model and is operated by the DowntownDC BID. In South Africa, approximately 45 million people rely on the public health system most of whom are low-income earners who cannot afford to pay high prices for health care. Responding to this need, the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) collaborated with the Cipla Foundation to launch a new community-based healthcare.

Project Spotlight: Technology in Your Community

Learn about data driven and predictive urban management and public safety. Working in partnership with global security service provider Securitas SA, the Voortrekker Road CID has built and managed its own centralized control center through which all reporting is processed into a powerful response database. In Downtown DC the BID worked with Cube 84 to integrate the BID’s Salesforce-based database with 311, the District of Columbia’s non-emergency hotline.

Project Spotlight: Activating Retail and Real Estate in Your Community

Project Downtown, the master plan for Wichita, is a 15-year community vision and blueprint for development. The plan was founded on market economics with industry experts providing sound economic forecast information for development. The second project in this presentation is the Open on Main pop-up retail initiative which seeks to increase activity on Main Street, encourage more permanent tenants in the downtown core, and allow shop owners to test retail concepts and strategies.

Project Spotlight: Vibrancy in Your Community

The Golden Triangle BID installed 11 bioretention cells and 10 expanded tree boxes on the sidewalks of one of the neighborhood’s key streets. At over $1 million in construction costs and two full blocks of new green infrastructure, this is the largest capital improvement managed by the BID thus far. By building the new bioretention cells and expanded tree boxes, the BID converted 4,500 of concrete to new green space and added 33 trees and over 400 native plants.

Project Spotlight: Engage Your Community

The Longest Table has welcomed local Grand Forks, North Dakota residents to sit down for a free meal in a welcoming environment with people they may not have known, to foster stronger connections, exchange stories, discuss community challenges and spur civic innovation. The Longest Table has been successful in engaging underrepresented populations in important civic conversations; providing everyday citizens with tools to be active participants in creating the community they want to have.

Get the Most from Your Boards of Directors

At their best, board members can be amazing advocates who bring expertise and support. A successful board provides structure and oversight and ensures that the mission of the organization is being fulfilled. Learn the important policies, systems and tricks of the trade to create highly functioning boards.

“Getting the Word Out:” Strategically Sound District Communications

In a world of packed calendars, dizzying social feeds and overflowing email inboxes—on top a global pandemic, no less—how can districts successfully deliver messaging, reach their target audiences and negotiate the needs of stakeholders who want district support in “getting the word out?” Speakers from communities large and small, share hands-on, proven tactics of how to strategically marry audience, channel and results.

Content Strategy: Expand Your Reach Through Strategic Content Creation

Today’s marketing professionals must create their own content to reach wider audiences and gain deeper interest in their brands. This session will identify the basic components of creating a content strategy plan. Panelists will offer a variety of approaches to content creation, including sharing successes and failures. Participants will examine what content model approaches might work best for their district.

Why So Serious? Follow the Fun to Find Your Voice

Could you pick your marketing voice out in a crowd, or do you sound like every other BID in your city? From newsletters, to signage, website copy and annual meeting videos, stop taking yourself so seriously and start having fun! Using both case studies and the basic tenets of improv comedy, BID communications experts will help make the mundane memorable.

HR Strategies Roundtable

This roundtable discussion with HR practitioners discussed topics around employee relations, benefits and compensation, compliance, employee engagement, recruitment and learning and development.

Bringing Innovation to Sponsorships

The most unique and successful sponsorships utilize available assets such as events, initiatives, infrastructure and more to deepen a connection with the target audiences. If a BID is innovative and nimble when developing the sponsorship strategy and activation, both the sponsor and the BID will win. A strong activation is defined by the way the brand/sponsor, assets and promotional levers are used together to drive results and tell a larger story.

Downtown Philanthropy: Exploring and Leveraging a Charitable Arm for Your Organization

Hear from place management leaders about what it means and what it takes to add a charitable 501(c)(3) foundation, trust or similar entity to your organization’s structure. Learn how a charitable organization can be leveraged as a new, innovative enterprise for your downtown to support its projects and initiatives, and become an added source of support during challenging times.

Authentic Influence: Evolving Social Media Tactics

Social media influencers can be a powerful link between your district and your target audiences. Successful influencer partnerships must be authentic, relational and adaptive. Three case studies –Tampa, Milwaukee and Tempe – will demonstrate distinct models of district-specific influencing. Tactics at varied budget levels will be explored. Return to your district able to identify or expand upon influencer opportunities.

IDA Vitality Index 2020 Downtown Trends

The IDA Vitality Index, powered by Stantec, has now grown to more than 50 downtowns across the U.S., including downtowns in the 25 largest cities. This session will introduce the latest trends in downtown economy, inclusion and vibrancy and feature a panel discussion highlighting what was expected and what was most surprising.

Downtown-Adjacent Neighborhoods: Opportunities, Threats and the Current Moment

With the urban renaissance of the last two decades, many downtowns are now bordered by districts that have evolved either into extensions and/or competitors to the traditional core. In this session, panelists will explore the ways in which UPMOs have been addressing this phenomenon through the three ‘lenses’ of retail, connectivity and equity, while also placing it within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and other current events.

Be the Change You Want to See: BIPOC Matters to Main Streets & Downtowns

Recent actions in both Canada and the U.S. have brought systemic racism to the forefront, and our business associations have an important role to play in addressing racism and discrimination. Panelists of this session will shed light on the issues and provide inspiration and motivation for us to initiate measures within our own organization and business communities.

Operations 2020: Never Would I Ever Thought I’d Be Doing “_____”!

This year has been unlike any other and essential workers in the operations realm had to adapt quickly to unprecedented challenges, often directly on the front lines. If you’re doing things you never thought you’d be doing, then we want to hear about it! Join your fellow Operations colleagues in an open-forum discussion where you will have an opportunity to share your wildest experiences and hear how your colleagues have adapted as well.

Radical Welcoming: Staffing Public Spaces for All

In the face of increases in economic segregation, social isolation and distrust across the U.S., downtown leaders in Akron and Memphis see public space as a solution. Learn how practitioners in these two cities are pioneering new ways to staff and operate networks of civic assets that are truly welcoming to people of all backgrounds and cultivate civic trust.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Join this session to meet fellow colleagues interested in starting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) projects and have a Q&A with an expert in the field of implementing new initiatives that are integral to your current mission while moving the needle on DEI. What is performative and what is real change. Learn how to strategize and implement authentic DEI to your organization.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Placemaking: Reimagining How Business Improvement Districts Use Their Power

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have become an even more important and timely issue in 2020 for many cities and organizations. We have an obligation to look inwardly at ourselves, our organizations and at our peers who, knowingly or in ignorance, perpetuate systemic racism and inequality. During this time of necessary and overdue reflection, we will discuss how BIDs and other place management organization can reimagine the way they use their power.

One Person at a Time: A Different Approach to Homelessness

Homelessness is a challenge which does not discriminate based on region, culture, language or creed. It is a human challenge with complexities, which demand a detailed and thoughtful response. Urban place management organizations, while not social service or law enforcement, have been trying to find their role in providing help and balancing the needs of the individuals experiencing homelessness with the expectations of downtown businesses, residents, property owners and visitors.

A New Decade of Upward Mobility for Placemaking Ambassadors

In this new decade of placemaking, equity and upward mobility, opportunities should exist at all levels in the urban place management industry. This session addresses development opportunities and how organizations can actively engage and take a fresh approach to workforce development for frontline staff. We will discuss how the DowntownDC BID secured a grant to train and hire 23 ambassadors with employment challenges.

Strategies to Advance Equity and Racial Justice in the Place Management Industry

Join IDA’s Inclusive Places Council (IPC) to explore specific actions place management organizations can take to advance equitable development and racial justice within the industry and in the cities where we work. Hear from a panel of experts and practitioners about the work they’ve done and the challenges they’ve faced around equity and inclusion in the place management field.

IDA Member Associations as Public Policy Machines

Increasingly groups of IDA members are activating or forming local, regional and national associations to advocate for meaningful public policy. Join representatives from the NYC BID Association, California Downtown Association and the IDA Canada Leadership Group to discuss how they set a policy agenda, take positions on behalf of their members and communicate with elected leaders directly or through coalitions.

How Investments in Arts Vibrancy Drive Economic Vibrancy

How can the arts act as a catalyst for economic development? What are the factors that drive a vibrant arts sector? This session will explore how arts vibrancy evaluations can steer investments in economic development to improve lives and the economy. Join speakers as they discuss the economic contributions of the arts in diverse communities and study cases of the arts driving business development.

Leveraging your Ass-ets Off: Building a Tourism Toolkit for Downtown

Americans don’t go to Paris to hang out with other Americans. Discover how doubling down on your unique assets —especially in light of COVID’s impact— can yield surprising results when harnessed with the marketing and financial resources associated with a too often overlooked partner: your local Destination Management Organization (DMO). Join this discussion to learn more about DMOs and how partnership can enhance your economic development efforts.

Taking a Leadership Role in Affordable Housing

The affordable housing crisis is forcing downtown workers to live farther and farther away, reducing our competitiveness as a jobs center. Downtown organizations are in a unique position —due to our skills, partners, constituencies and clout— to take a leadership role in creating workforce housing. Come hear creative examples that you could implement in your community.

Authority in Data: Building out your Research Program

Learn how to build out your research program beginning with the basic State of Downtown to more advanced reports such as a Development Activity Report and COVID response report. With a strong research program, UPMOs will become the go-to expert in their downtown. This expert status with help shape your brand and serve your members. Come away with a realistic plan to build a robust research program given budget, staff and time constraints.

Place Leadership Network: A Brave Experiment in Equitable Place Management

In 2019, eight place-management groups in the Boston area —from BIDs to main streets to conservancies— began a year-long journey of leadership development, capacity building and learning from one another. In a region grappling with environmental resilience and social inequity, this cohort of place managers is working together to make and keep public places vibrant, creative and inclusive.

Much Ado About Parking

Cities around the nation are tackling the issue of parking head-on, as the status quo is no longer working. The cities of Poughkeepsie, NY and Memphis, TN have reframed their parking discussions, not as the end itself, but as a development tool and maintenance of a sustainable community. What can you learn from their experiences?

Bold Downtown: Public Realm Visioning for 21st Century Business Districts

This session explores opportunities for BIDs to lead public and private stakeholders in developing a vision framework and capital plan to unlock the public realm for a more livable, competitive and dynamic downtown. Panelists will share tactical and permanent strategies to improve pedestrian safety; promote subway and bus use; create greener and more sustainable streets; and celebrate the district’s identity.

Shock Absorber: Bouncing Back from Major Crises

2020 may be the year that tested our fortitude more than any other in a generation. Beyond COVID, it seems that downtowns everywhere have become the epicenter for other shocks such as environment damage, economic impacts and social unrest. Join the conversation as we explore how communities in different contexts have responded to various shocks to their system and how they built back stronger.

The Post-Pandemic Boom for Main Street Commerce

As we anticipate the economic recovery that will come after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, all signs point to the re-emergence of main streets as the place people will turn to for retail shopping and dining. A new generation of entrepreneurs will be eager to start a fresh chapter in their lives. This timely presentation will illustrate how well-managed and attractive downtowns offering the type of safe, experiential, and social interaction sought by all.

Post-Pandemic BID Re-entry Strategies Roundtable

Downtown districts have developed strategic initiatives inviting visitors back and preparing for employees’ return to work. However, the path forward is not completely clear. This roundtable discussion will focus on what has been successful and the various plans and programs that are built to bring people back downtown in a clean and safe manner. Discuss with other attendees the best ways to move ahead and take a leadership role preparing for a return.

COVID & Beyond: A Parliamentary Perspective

Please join MP Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure & Community, as he shares sections of the Throne Speech and Budget relevant to helping Canadian businesses and the associations which support them. Mr. Fillmore will also provide details of the proposed $31 million program available to BIAs and SDCs to support public infrastructure, active transportation and digital commerce.

Saving the Night

The evening and night-time economies find themselves under pressure. This key part of urban life and culture is vulnerable economically due to the impacts of COVID-19. This session will ask if Purple Flag, an international accreditation focused at creating a gold standard in urban place management after dark and its origins in public health can support the reimagining of night-life to bring people back together again, safely.

Inner City Pressure

The rise of work from home and the fall of public transport appear to be creating a toxic mix for cities. The very places that were resilient to the great recession of 2008 are struggling now with post-lockdown recovery slower in cities than in smaller conurbations. How do we support cities through this crisis? Is it too soon to start talk of reimagining the role of our cities as regional economic hubs? Or can cities emerge from the ruins of COVID-19 relatively unchanged?

Health and Safety in the Public Realm: Frontline Staffing

The COVID-19 pandemic and public protests have put additional pressure on clean and safe teams to consider higher levels of cleanliness and safety unlike anything they have dealt with before. Join operations professionals to discuss keeping frontline staff and the public realm clean, safe and healthy.

End of the Future? (ATCM)

The ‘social business economy’ and ‘experience economy’ are at the mercy of the pandemic. Arts, culture, events, hospitality, leisure, commercial, entertainment, international tourism and other sectors which bring people together face an existential threat under physical distancing. So, we ask, is this the end of the future we had mapped out for urban economies? Do we need to go through the process of reimagination again?

Whose Road is it Anyway? (ATCM)

Space is at a premium. The hospitality sector needs to expand outdoors to be viable due to new capacity constraints, pedestrians need to spread out to physically distance and the car continues to be viewed as a key mode of transport with public transit usage declining this year. How do we manage these conflicting interests? Who gets priority to use our roads?