Main Streets Conference 2012

Concurrent Educational Sessions: Wednesday, April 4: 10:30 - 11:45 a.m.

 Rediscover Main Street's Markets: Community Economic Summit

Has your economic restructuring committee gotten around to performing the market analysis that your organization and businesses need? Learn how to use a Community Economic Summit to engage multiple groups and perspectives in market analysis, ensure the vital interpretation of data that only locals can perform, and strategically harness market findings for a stronger four-point action plan. See how this approach has succeeded in rural and urban districts. A wealth of great data sources can soon be at your fingertips.

Learning Objectives:
  • Learn how to perform a comprehensive Main Street market analysis through a collaborative, community-based process.
  • Design a Community Economic Summit that capitalizes on local knowledge and experience
  • Establish a market data interpretation program that puts locals in the lead -- ensuring strong engagement in the analysis and real-life application of findings. Include multiple groups and perspectives in market data interpretation
  • Use economic analysis to strategically inform all aspects of the Main Street organization's four-point workplan
Keith Kjelstrom, Keith Kjelstrom Consulting

 Pop Ups on Main Street: Three Real-World Tests of a Business Development Strategy

Pop-up stores can work on Main Street! We’ll share detailed program models and results from three communities that developed different ”pop up” programs using variations of storefront-giveaway contests. Hear about the ”Pop Up Project” in Cambridge, Maryland, (pop. 10,000), "Meanwhile Downtown" in Florence, South Carolina (a city of 40,000), and "Operation Storefront" in Baltimore (a city of 600,000). Walk away with the understanding that the goals of pop-up programs can encompass much more than a temporary retail operation. CM | 1.25

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand why the pop-up retail sector is flourishing and its relationship to high vacancy rates in malls and shopping centers
  • Evaluate whether and how pop-up approaches might succeed in the historic downtown environment.
  • Understand that the goals of pop-up programs in downtown districts can encompass much more than a temporary retail operation.
  • Evaluate which of three potential model programs might best apply in their own community.
Jim Duffy, Cambridge Main Street; Beth Martin, Florence Downtown Development Corporation

 Designing Main Street: Complete Streets Policies Create Inviting Main Streets

Can the streetscape spark economic revitalization? Hear how Complete Streets policies across the country ensure that persons of all ages and abilities can safely travel by foot, bike, or transit in communities of all sizes. Learn about Complete Streets policies, see how they fit into the design point of the Main Street Approach, and find out how to advocate for them in your community. Get inspired by the successful Complete Streets-based streetscape projects in Dubuque, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. CM | 1.25

Learning Objectives:
  • Advocate for Complete Streets policies in participants' communities by understanding the keys to successful policy adoption and writing a good policy
  • Explain how Complete Streets policies fit into the Main Street design approach by creating safe and inviting public spaces
  • Demonstrate how improving the streets are integral to Main Street in a small town and urban community
  • Describe components successful Main Street street projects including public-private partnerships
Barbara McCann, National Complete Streets Coalition; Daniel LoBianco, Dubuque Main Street, Ltd

 Boost Your Program Impact and Balance Your Budget

In this session, program managers and board members will come face to face with strategic choices: do we cut, maintain, or increase personnel and money invested in major events and projects? By using a Matrix Map to plot relative impact and cash flow of Main Street events and activities, you will highlight key questions that are often obscured when reviewing financial reports.

Learning Objectives:
  • Learn how to use a Matrix Map by filling in a template to map a case-study Main Street program;
  • Learn how to analyze Matrix Map data using key questions;
  • Understand how to rebalance a portfolio of programs to improve organizational sustainability
  • Understand how this tool applies to a wide range of Main Street programs by comparing questions, choices and imperatives with fellow participants
John Monroe, Greenleaf Partners

 Revitalizing Downtown While Bolstering Partnerships with CDBG Dollars

On the heels of the state’s disastrous floods in 2008, Iowa implemented an innovative downtown revitalization strategy through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to encourage comprehensive façade improvement after the flood waters receded. Iowa's CDBG administrator and Main Street Iowa staff will explore the state’s downtown revitalization uses of the CDBG program by telling the stories of five community projects and discussing their physical, economic, and program impacts.

Learning Objectives:
  • Explore alternative uses of CDBG fund
  • Learn about a comprehensive strategy to downtown façade improvement
  • Discover unique avenues for local partnership
  • Explore successful project case studies
Derek Lord, Iowa Economic Development Authority; Jim Thompson, Main Street Iowa; Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa

 50 Successful Retail and Business Promotions

In this recovering economy, your program should be working to get customers to spend money in your Main Street’s businesses. Complements to your festivals, business promotions are important components of your events calendar because they benefit existing businesses by getting customers through their doors. More than 50 successful retail/business promotions are presented in this session, including cooperative, cross-business, and consumer niche promotions in communities of all sizes. Leave knowing how to develop business promotions that target your customer base.

Learning Objectives
  • Learn how to develop business promotion around YOUR customer base
  • Learn about the most successful business events in Main Street communities that you can implement in yours.
  • how to get your merchants and businesses involved in downtown and planning business promotions.
Kathy La Plante, National Trust Main Street Center

 Using the Arts for Economic Development on Main Street

The arts are a proven economic development tool, but is becoming an arts district right for your community? In this session you’ll get a reality check to see if an arts district fits your Main Street. You’ll also learn about a model arts-based economic development strategy used by Cumberland, Maryland; and hear from the National Endowment for the Arts on its new arts as an economic development focus and its “Our Town” grants program for creative placemaking. CM | 1.25

Learning Objectives:
  • Learn more about local arts districts as an economic development strategy--when it makes sense and when it is not the right choice
  • Learn from the experiences of two Main Street communities that have successfully developed a local arts district
  • Learn more about funding opportunities for the arts as economic development available through the National Endowment for the Arts
Andy Vick, Allegany Arts Council; Jaime Hand, National Endowment for the Arts; Theresa Cameron, Americans for the Arts