Main Street at the PastForward Conference: Register Today!

September 2, 2020 | Main Street at the PastForward Conference: Register Today! | 

Registration for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual preservation conference is now open! Taking place October 28 – 30, the virtual conference will feature the breadth and depth of great work going on across the preservation field, and feature practical, relevant information to meet your evolving needs in the pandemic and post-pandemic periods. This includes a full day dedicated to Main Street content (October 30) that will be kicked off with a special plenary session announcing the 2020 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) winners!

Main Street America members are receiving an exclusive registration rate of only $75 for all three days, which includes access to all session recordings for a full 12 months. For the discounted rate of only $150, members can register up to 10 attendees with the same email suffix address at no additional cost.

Only want to view the Friday plenary where we’ll announce the 2020 GAMSA winners? It is free of charge and open to everyone, but registration is required.  

Register Today!

See information regarding Main Street-specific sessions below and keep an eye out for future communications regarding other sessions that are relevant to the commercial district revitalization field in coming weeks.

Plenary: Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence on Main Street

Friday, October 30 at 12:00pm Eastern | Free Registration

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the National Main Street Center (NMSC), a program founded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Join President and CEO, Patrice Frey, as she explores how the movement has evolved over the past four decades and discusses the crucial role that Main Street programs are playing in supporting local economies through the current crisis. This will be followed by a very special awards presentation recognizing the 2020 Great American Main Street Award winning communities as well as the inaugural Mary Means Leadership Award recipient.


Best Practices Exchange: How the pandemic is affecting real estate and land use

Friday, October 30 at 2:00pm Eastern | Paid Registration

Even before the pandemic, communities were feeling the effects of a rapidly evolving economic climate, with major impacts on local real estate and land use. Join Ed McMahon, Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute, as he examines how the pandemic is accelerating changes already underway. He will also explore how the crisis is creating both new problems and new opportunities for community leaders, preservationists, developers and downtown advocates. Following the presentation, hear from two Main Street leaders who will share how they are adapting to the changing environment through innovation and creativity.


Action Item: Creating more equitable and resilient Main Streets

Friday, October 30 at 3:30pm Eastern | Paid Registration

The dual crises of COVID-19 and structural racism pose a direct challenge to our work: how will this moment shape revitalization and preservation in the years to come, and what will it take to create more equitable and resilient Main Streets? How can we, as a movement, meet the moment? Join Vu Le, nonprofit leader and blogger, in conversation with Main Street professionals to bring hard truths, insight, and humor to the need for organizational and systemic change.


Special Event: Main Street Happy Hour

Friday, October 30 at 5:00pm Eastern | Paid Registration

Join us as we connect with Main Streeters from across the country for a celebratory happy hour. Come prepared to discuss ideas and takeaways from the conference, share success stories from your downtown, and raise a glass to this year’s Great American Main Street Award winners. 



Check out detailed registration instructions here.

For questions about registering for PastForward or an existing registration:

  • Email Address:
  • Phone: 866-792-5399
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern)

For questions about the event itself—including session details, special events, and content:

Don’t know your member number or interested in becoming a member? Reach out to