March 30-April 1 Atlanta, GA

This year’s conference showcases and celebrates the innovative techniques and practices that make the Main Street Approach® one of the most powerful economic development tools in the nation.

Join us at the 2015 National Main Streets Conference, as we partner together to discuss opportunities to build a stronger TEAM both locally and nationally that will work with and support entrepreneurs to ensure the sustainability and excitement around downtown redevelopment. With Georgia as our living laboratory, we will look at ways to support rural, suburban and urban districts through creative economies, technology, and small business development. Here you will find real solutions to common problems and techniques to help position your Main Street Program and your community for success.

Meet the Speakers

Patrice Frey

President/CEO of National Main Street Center

Commissioner Camila Knowles

Georgia Department of Community Affairs

Carol Colleta

VP/Community and National Initiatives of the Knight Foundation

Mike Lydon

Principal of The Street Plans Collaborative

Billy Peppers

Director of the Office of Downtown Development, DCA


March 29
March 30
March 31
April 1
8:00 AM
Coordinators Meetings
Design/ER Meetings
Mobile Workshops
8:00 AM
Professional Development Workshops
WS1 Real Estate Development Financing on Main Street
Coordinators Meetings
Design/ER Meetings
Main Street Overviews (101’s)
  • 8am-9:45am Organization
  • 10:00am-Promotion
  • 12:15-1:30pm Economic Restructuring
  • 1:45-3:00pm Design
  • 9:00 AM
    Deep Dive
    Crash Courses (1a)
  • Attracting and Retaining Millennial Talent for the New Economy
  • Control Your Message – Staying Ahead of Negative Publicity
  • Historic District? What Does That Mean?
  • The Museum on Main Street: The Smithsonian Comes to Town
  • Mobile Workshops
    10:00 AM
    America Saves! In Action
    Crash Courses (1b)
  • Using What You Have: Why Old Buildings Are Perfect Candidates for Going Green
  • Telling the Story of Main Street: Assessing Commercial Districts for Listing on the National Register
  • What Is a CLG (Certified Local Government) and How Can It Benefit My Main Street?
  • Economic Reboot: Getting Back to Business After a Disaster
  • 11:00 AM
    Lunch On Own
    12:00 PM
    Exhibitor Move In
    12:30 PM
    Managers Roundtable Discussions
  • 12:30-3pm Managers Roundtable
  • 12:30-3pm Board Members Roundtable
  • Deep Dive
    1:00 PM
    Crash Courses (1c)
  • People Power: Engaging Your Community Members
  • 5 Website Strategies That Work To Increase Membership Acquisition & Retention
  • Exiled from Main Street: Reconsidering Business Signs on Historic Architecture
  • Saving Historic Windows: Identifying Wood Window Conditions and Best Practice Preservation and Maintenance Building Relationships is the Key to Building Funds!
  • 2:00 PM
    Crash Courses (1d)
  • Harnessing the Power: Partnering with Utilities and Energy Efficiency Programs
  • Restoring Atlanta’s Historic Fox Theater
  • Junior Main Street: Harness Youth’s Energy Strengthen Team Main Street
  • Slipcovers and Cheese Graters: What About Those Covered Buildings?
  • A Rulebreaker’s Guide to Accessible, Sustainable and Economical Brick Streetscapes
  • How to Train Your Elected Officials: What They Want to Know; What They Need to Know and What to Leave Out
  • 3:00 PM
    Travel Time to FOX
    4:00 PM
    Opening Plenary
    6:00 PM
    Opening Reception
    8:00 AM
    Expo Hall Open
    Exhibitor Sessions
    Mobile Workshops
    9:00 AM
    Classroom Sessions (2a)
  • Creating Your Downtown Marketing Strategy
  • Techno Top 10: 2015’s Top Digital Tools for Assisting Local Programs
  • How TEAMWORK Expanded Entrepreneurial Impact in Delaware
  • Are You Ready for New Business? Practical Tips for Building a Strong and Effective Business Retention Program
  • Innovation Architecture Hackathon: Using Hacker/Maker/Coworking Spaces to Revitalize the Urban Core
  • Living on Main Street: New Strategies from Connecticut and Iowa
  • Understanding Today’s Sponsors: Matching Their Expectations to Your Needs
  • Create a Community Legacy Through Entrepreneur and Leadership Development Strategies
  • Healthy Main Streets: Creating a Culture of Health and Vibrant Downtowns
    10:15 AM
    Refreshment Break in Exhibit Hall
    10:45 AM
    Classroom Sessions (2b)
  • The Power of the Picture
  • Using Revolving Funds to Revitalize Downtown Properties
  • Creating the Go-To Place: Strategies to Take an Ordinary District to Extraordinary
  • The Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership: Encouraging Downtown Entrepreneurship via Teamwork
  • Rearranging Deck Chairs: Don’t Sit on That Raft While Your Retailers Drown
  • Reversing One-Way Streets for Main Street Communities
  • Bantam Towns: Small-Town Revitalization Priorities
  • Crowdfundamentals: Are Next-Gen Fundraising Platforms the Future of Downtown Revitalization
  • Catalyzing Change: What Really Works in Urban Commercial?
  • Helping Your Prospective Businesses Get the Funding They Need
  • 12:00 PM
    Lunch On Own
    GAMSA Lunch-Ticketed
    Creating a Dynamic Customer Experience Through Design, Visual, and Digital
    1:00 PM
    Crash Courses (2a)
  • Pop-Up Performance Spaces: Big Impact – Low Cost
  • EarthCraft: New Green Certification for Historic Buildings
  • Preserving the Authenticity of Unique Cultural Districts
  • Bringing Crowdfunding to the Local Level: Let’s Revitalize the Way Main Street Businesses & Nonprofits Raise Funds
  • Empowering your Employees: How to Lead your Team to Success
  • 2:00 PM
    Crash Courses (2b)
  • Hungry Anyone?! Let Restaurant Week Promote your Culinary Community
  • Tips for Understanding the Economic Impact of your Main Street
  • Sell Yourself: This Ain’t Just for Businesses and Professionals
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Establishing Special Tax Districts!
  • Best Practices for Revitalizing Older Suburban Retail Districts
  • 2:45 PM
    Refreshment Break
    3:15 PM
    4:30 PM
    Exhibitor Reception/Drawing
    6:00 PM
    VIP Reception
    7:00 PM
    Dine Around
    8:00 AM
    Mobile Workshops
    Expo Hall Open
    Exhibitor Sessions
    9:00 AM
    Classroom Sessions (3a)
  • Making Downtown Revitalization Happen: Incentives at the Local Level
  • Financial Tools Every Main Street Organization Should Have in Its ER Toolkit
  • Essentials for Transforming a Business District into a Vibrant Place
  • You’ve Attracted New Retail. Now What?
  • Inspire, Ignite, Excite
  • Special Event Planning 101: From Concept to Conclusion
  • The Rule of 3 Ms: Manpower, Money, and Mission
  • Storytelling and Technology: Market and Edu-Tain Online and On Site
  • Deep Dive
    Balance Your Budget with a Matrix Map
    10:15 AM
    Refreshment Break in Exhibit Hall
    10:45 AM
    Classroom Sessions (3b)
  • Leveraging Your Community’s Cultural Assets: Research and Development-Based Revitalization
  • Sweet Auburn Case Study
  • What’s the Skinny on Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits?
  • Positioning Programs for Success: Engaging Your Local Colleges and Universities
  • More Than Elephant Ears and Rock Bands: Defining Value in Downtown Festivals and Events
  • The Perfect Board in 12 Acts
  • Reducing Crime in Urban Areas
  • Small Town Developers Changing Communities and Preserving Heritage
  • Creating an Exceptional Customer Experience: How Businesses Stand Out Today
  • Saving Historic Theaters
  • 12:00 PM
    Lunch On Own
    1:00 PM
    Crash Courses (3a)
  • Why Downtowns Matter–How to Create Authentic Brands that Connect with Community
  • “Pop Up Your Community”: How to Revitalize Your Downtown on a Budget
  • Designing a Partnership for Creativity
  • Activating Available Space with Community Partnerships
  • Creative Business Development Partnerships: The “Art & Clay” Story
  • Creating Urban Villages
  • 2:00 PM
    Exhibit Hall Closes
    Classroom Sessions (3c)
  • Activating Underutilized Spaces: Cross-Sector Partnerships in Creative Placemaking
  • Community-Initiated Development: Creating Real Change on a Budget
  • Is a BID Right for You? The Ins and Outs, and Ups and Downs, of Creating a BID
  • Developing a Pop-Up Retail Program: From Idea to Execution
  • Putting Historic Tax Credits to Work on Main Streets
  • Catastrophes on Main Street: The Psychology of Dealing with Disasters
  • He Who Owns the BIG Scissors
  • 6:00 PM
    Main Street Bash
    4:00 PM
    Closing Plenary (at Omni Hotel)

    National Main Streets Conference Mobile Tours

    Dahlonega: Gold, Goblets and Galleries

    This tour will introduce ideas about marketing to a diverse customer base by using partnerships, tourism, history, and historic preservation. The tour includes visiting the Dahlonega Gold Museum and a guided wine tasting and art gallery walking tour.

    Tour of Atlanta

    The tour tells the story of Atlanta’s growth and evolution, as shown through its landmarks and historic distrits, going beyond architecture to showcase historical moments, individuals, & cultures that have shaped the evolution of the City.


    Griffin Mobile Tour

    The City of Griffin grew to be a prosperous mill town during much of the 20th century.  Since the closing of the mills, grand buildings have been transformed into antique shops, and more designed to drive modern economic growth while integrating historic preservation.

    Atlanta Mobile Tour: Inman Park

    Visit Atlanta’s first planned residential development. Dating from 1889, Inman Park has become a nationally celebrated example of neighborhood preservation. Enjoy a variety of other home styles, from Craftsman to post World War II to architecturally compatible infill.

    Placemaking in Suwanee Town Center

    The City of Suwanee is a dynamic community located in metropolitan Atlanta. Town Center, Suwanee’s signature civic gathering place, integrates both public & private uses and includes Town Center Park, City Hall, mixed use development, and public art.

    Hapeville Mobile Tour

    Hapeville is a small but progressive city located 10 minutes south of Atlanta and adjacent to the Atlanta airport.  Tour highlights include renovated historic buildings repurposed as arts venues, and public art installations.

    Atlanta Mobile Tour: Sweet Auburn

    Stroll down Sweet Auburn Avenue, the heart of African-American commerce and culture in Atlanta at the turn of the century. Discover landmarks of the Civil Rights movement and several historic African-American churches including, Ebenezer Baptist Church.

    Atlanta Mobile Tour: Historic Downtown

    See Atlanta’s first skyscrapers and learn how this early business district developed through efforts of the businessmen, architects and prominent families of the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Cabbagetown: Revitalizing a Mill Village

    Come learn about how one of Atlanta’s most unique neighborhoods has used historic preservation as a revitalization strategy within the context of a large urban area.

    Madison Mobile Tour

    Madison Town Park is the small town version of New York’s Central Park or New Orleans’ Jackson Square. This greenspace led to the redevelopment of nine city blocks in the heart of one of Georgia’s most renowned historic districts.

    Atlanta Mobile Tour: Ponce de Leon Corridor

    Come and explore one of Atlanta’s most diverse avenues.  Delve through the many layers of history that make Ponce de Leon Ave. a rich cultural treasure as we visit sites that have attracted visitors since the 19th century.

    Mobile Tour Monroe

    Monroe is the Antique Capital of Georgia and a highly sought after wedding destination. Come see small town solutions for event spaces, downtown living, and keyless lodging that all use local investors and restored historic properties.

    Where to Stay

    Atlanta Omni Hotel

    Atlanta Omni Hotel

    Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta within the bustling Luckie Marietta District, this luxury hotel treats you to views of the spectacular downtown skyline or picturesque Centennial Olympic Park.

    100 CNN Center
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    (404) 659-0000