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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 at no additional cost.

Several sessions are free of charge and open to everyone, but registration is required. See below for additional details on Main Street-specific sessions.

Register Today!

Workshop: Building Main Street Resilience: Getting Ready for Climate Adaptation

Tuesday, October 27 at 11:30pm Eastern | Free Registration

As part of the Main Street Community Disaster Preparedness and Resilience program, Main Street America will host the second in a series of three national workshops to provide you with resources and guidance on disaster preparedness. Hear from thought leaders from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and national experts in the planning, real estate, and disaster preparedness sectors. Following the workshop, join one of two optional Hands-On Sessions where you will meet with your colleagues for facilitated disaster preparedness planning. Learn more and register.

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 Main Street America, 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. Tune in to the awards ceremony by registering for the session via Zoom or the PastForward site. We will also be streaming the ceremony via Facebook Live.

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. Register for full conference to attend.

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. Register for full conference to attend.

Special Event: Main Street Happy Hour

Friday, October 30 at 6:00pm Eastern | Free Registration

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, test your Main Street knowledge with a competitive but fun game of trivia, and raise a glass to this year’s Great American Main Street Award winners. RSVP here.


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