By Terry Buschkamp, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Along with forty other Iowans, I recently attended the Main Street Now conference in Pittsburgh. It’s always inspirational to travel with the doers and innovators from across our state. I have a deep appreciation for the opportunity to new pick up the latest information on downtown revitalization, while strengthening relationships within our Main Street family. But I have a confession. One of the things I secretly enjoy about going to the national conference is how many people tell me that the excellent and well-executed training that they receive at the Iowa Downtown Conference is equally as good or better!
Since 1987, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has presented an annual preservation-based downtown revitalization conference. Over the years, the host community and conference name has changed; but the tradition of providing opportunities for attendees to make new connections, hear about the latest trends, acquire practical information, and learn strategies remains the same.
The 2017 Iowa Downtown Conference will be held August 1 - 3 in Sioux City. Preservation buffs will really love the meeting location. The convention center is located near an extensive concentration of 19th century Richardsonian Romanesque buildings; and the spectacular Orpheum Theatre is the venue for the Opening Session. The Woodbury County Courthouse, regarded as one of the finest examples of Prairie School architecture, is just one of six educational tours available for those who want to explore the community.
Wondering if the Iowa Downtown Conference would be relevant for you? If you’re a downtown enthusiast, volunteer or staff from a Main Street community or Chamber of Commerce, mayor, city official, historic preservation advocate or practitioner, economic developer, business or building owner, developer or planner – the answer is yes! Whether you’re from a rural community or an urban district; the conference will provide tools that will be helpful in local revitalization efforts.
The conference will include two full days of classroom sessions, plus a bonus day targeted to potential developers of residential spaces in commercial districts. We have a great line-up of internationally known keynote speakers, including: Ed McMahon, Chair of the National Main Street Center Board and Senior Fellow at the Urban Land Institute; Max Musicant, Principal and Founder of the Musicant Group; and Brad Segal, President of Progressive Urban Management Associates.
Returning to the conference schedule will be “Main Street Open 4 Business”, “Three-Minute Success Stories,” “Downtown Doctors”, “Lunch & Learns” and the Exhibit Hall. There will also be number of networking activities, including a show at the Hardrock Hotel & Casino and an issues breakfast.
The Iowa Downtown Conference is brought to you by IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center in partnership with the City of Sioux City, Downtown Partners Sioux City, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux City Historic Preservation Commission.
There is a 20% discount if you register online by July 6 at Regonline.com/2017iadowntown. Register today and get ready to be inspired!
For more information or to discuss opportunities to sponsor or exhibit at the Iowa Downtown Conference, contact terry.buschkamp@iowaEDA.com or 515.725.3075.