Detailed Conference Schedule


Download a PDF of the conference program

Several of the session presentations are now available! Sessions with presentations available are clearly marked. If a presentation of a session you attended is not online, the presenter(s) have not yet provided them.

Session Tracks

Professional Development (PD)
Urban Commerical Districts (U)
Small Towns (ST) *
Arts, Architecture & Design (AD)
Real Estate (RE)
Retail and Business Development (BD)
Marketing and Communications (MC)
Economic Impact (EI)
Preservation & Public Policy (PP)

* While almost all of the conference sessions are relevant to small towns, those marked with ST denote case studies or information particularly applicable to towns with population less than 20,000.

Jump to: Saturday, May 17 | Sunday, May 18 | Monday, May 19 | Tuesday, May 20 | Wednesday, May 21

Saturday, May 17

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM:  Conference Registration

Mobile Workshops
• 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM:  Detroit International River Cruise *
• 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM:  From Downtown to Around Town: Welcome to Detroit! *

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Pre-Conference Welcoming Reception - Downtown Ferndale
Transportation begins at 4:00 PM

Sunday, May 18

7:00 AM – 6:00 PM:  Conference Registration

Mobile Workshops
• 8:00 AM – 12:45 PM: Cruising Woodward: Birmingham and Pontiac *
• 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM: South of Detroit:  Windsor's Downtown Revitalized *
• 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM: From Stadium District to Restaurant Row: Historic Corktown’s Transformation *
• 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: From Downtown to Around Town: Welcome to Detroit! (2 of 2) *

Introduction to the Main Street Approach 
• 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Overview: Organization PD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
• 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM: Overview: Promotion PD, MC PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
• 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM: Overview: Economic Restructuring PD, RE, BD, EI PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
• 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM: Overview: Design PD, AD

8:30 AM – 11:30 AM: "Deep Dive" Workshop
•  Save Energy and Prosper on Main Street RE, EI

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM: Crash Course
•  Sign Pollution: Authenticity vs. "Prettification" AD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE***NEW***
•  Better Recruitment: Better Boards PD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM: Lunch Loop

1:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Managers' Roundtable

1:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Board Members' Roundtable SUPPLEMENTAL DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE

12:30 PM – 3:30 PM: "Deep Dive" Workshop
Tapping Federal Financial Incentives to Support Rehabilitations RE, EI, PP PRESENTATION AVAILABLE***NEW***

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM: Crash Course
To List or Not to List PP
What is a CLG - and How Can It Work With Your Main Street Community? PP

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM: Crash Courses
Resilience and Disaster Preparedness PP
Narrowing Roads, Expanding Economy ST, AD, EI

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Opening Plenary Session

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Opening Reception

Monday, May 19

7:00 AM – 6:00 PM: Conference Registration

Mobile Workshops
• 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM: The Southwest Special: Springwells Village, Mexicantown, and Corktown *
• 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Signs of Hope: Grassroots Revitalization in a Struggling City *
• 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM: Where Art Is Life: Midtown’s Emerging Design District *
• 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Making Makers On Main Street: How Downtown Ferndale Grew Its Own *

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM: Morning Session
10 years of Excellence: The Economic Impact of Main Street in Michigan EI

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM: "Deep Dive" Workshop
Synergy of Main Street and Placemaking AD

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Classroom Sessions
Getting It Right with Rightsizing U, AD, PP
Using Tactical Urbanism to Preserve Downtowns U PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Once Optional, Now Required: The New Rules of Business Success BD
Tech 10: Top Technology Resources to Assist Community Programs PD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Expanding Businesses on Main Street BD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Building Capacity for Community-Driven Code Enforcement AD, PP
Volunteer Driven: Creating a Culture of Volunteerism PD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM: Classroom Sessions
Main Street and Regional Food System Development U, EI
Building a Brand on Main Street MC PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Creative Sponsorships PD
Effective Store Design, Layout, and Visual Merchandising AD,BD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Coaching for Results: Your Leadership and Communication Skills PD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Strategic Planning: Setting Priorities for Work Plans PD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Bring Your Main Street to the Next Level: Lessons from GAMSA Winners PD

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM: Lunch Loop

12:15 - 1:45 PM: Urban Managers' Brown Bag Lunch U

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Classroom Sessions
Homegrown: Tools of Transformation U, EI
Beyond Networking: Social Media is Key to Cultivating Customers BD, MC PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Preventing Commercial Gentrification and Business Displacement U, BD, EI PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Public Space and the Power of Community AD
Innovations in Street Furniture AD
More Than Stores ST, BD, EI
Getting Started or Just Need a Jump Start? PD
Leading Through Change PD

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM: "Deep Dive" Workshop
•  The Naked Truth About Well Dressed Windows AD, BD

3:45 PM – 4:30 PM: Crash Courses
Put a "Local First" Campaign to Work ST, BD, MC
VACANT Lansing. Expect Nothing; Gain Everything U, RE, BD, EI PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Rightsizing Big Data: Finding Numbers That Sell Your Downtown U, EI PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
The Challenge of Building a Durable Storefront AD, RE PRESENTATION AVAILABLE***NEW***
Get It Together: Apps, Tips and Tricks for Better Time Management PD
A Neighbor Funded Main Street: A Crash Course in Crowdfunding and Community Development U
Recruiting Craft Brews and Spirits to Downtown ST, BD
Creating Dynamic Public-Private Partnerships PP PRESENTATION AVAILABLE

4:30 – 6:30 PM: Exhibitors' Reception

Tuesday, May 20

7:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Conference Registration

7:30 AM: Then and Now Breakfast PD, PP

Mobile Workshops
• 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Tuning in to Your Downtown *
• 10:00 AM – 1:45 PM: Connecting the Cut:  From River to Market *
• 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Midtown Detroit: A Work in Progress *

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: "Deep Dive" Workshop
Historic Real Estate Finance: Making Development Happen PRESENTATION AVAILABLE

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Classroom Sessions
Measuring and Marketing Retail Establishments  U, BE, EI PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Local Historic Districts: Preservation & Profit PP PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Sea of Change: Navigating the Design Review Process AD, PP
Come for a Visit, Stay for a Lifetime! ST, MC PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Managing the Axe Grinders PD
Building a Culture for Strategic Engagement PD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM: Classroom Sessions
Urbandizing: The Art of Managing, Planning and Merchandising U, BD
Developing a Brand: a "Work in Progress" MC
Art For The Price Of A Pizza U, AD
Preservation & Main Street -- Working Together  PD, PP
Vacancy? Operation Increase Occupancy ST, RE, BD, EI PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Main Street Makeover - Surviving & Thriving During Construction MC, BD, EI PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Why Aren’t You Asking for Year-End Gifts? PD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM: Lunch Loop

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM: Crash Courses
Tenanting a Historic Renovation during a Downturn U, RE PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
"Where is Main Street?" Helping Visitors Find Their Way AD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Tracking Results and Demonstrating Impact: A Canadian Perspective EI PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Tell Your Main Street Story Loud and Clear PD, MC
Support for the Arts in Innovative Placemaking AD
So, You're a New Main Street Manager? PD PRESENTATION AVAILABLE

3:15 PM – 4:00 PM: Crash Courses
• Maximizing and Monetizing Cultural Resources EI
Crowdfunding for Real Estate: The Impact of Local Investment on Economic Development U, RE, EI PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Talk it Out: Plans for Communicating Your Main Street Project PD, MC PRESENTATION AVAILABLE
Mastering a Social Media Calendar PD
Public Art: Promotion of Community’s Cultural Assets ST, AD
Revitalizing Main Street with Tax Credits RE, EI, PP

4:30 - 5:30 PM: Closing Session

6:30 - 11:00 PM: Main Street Bash*

Wednesday, May 21

Mobile Workshops
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM: How Detroit's Micro-Brews Help Create Neighborhoods *
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Photo Op & Lunch Stop Tour *

* Ticketed Event