Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I attend virtually?  
No, not at this time. We are devoting our full efforts to creating an excellent in-person conference that’s safe, educational, and fun!  

 

Is there a special rate for Main Street America members?  
Yes! Main Street America Members receive a $100 discount. Not a member yet? Join today for as little as $95 to save! Click here to view rates. Please note: this discount only applies to Main Street America memberships; National Trust for Historic Preservation or Preservation Leadership Forum memberships are not eligible.  

 

How do I find my member ID number?  
You can locate your member ID number by logging into your online account or on any of your membership renewal reminder emails. You can also contact us at membership@mainstreet.org or 312.610.5613.  

Please note: Due to the high volume of requests, it may take up to 72 hours to receive a response. 

 

When does the early bird rate end? 
The early bird registration rate expires on Monday, March 11, at 11:59pm CST.  

 

How can I register?   
We encourage attendees to register online and ahead of the conference. Online registration will close on Friday, April 26 at 12:00 p.m. CST. 

 

Can I register on-site? 
Yes. We are offering limited on-site registration, on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning Sunday, May 5 at 7:15 a.m. CST. A credit or debit card will be required to complete payment.  

Please note: Due to overwhelming interest in the conference and the limited space available, we may be forced to close on-site registration at any time. We cannot guarantee admission to individuals seeking to register on-site.  

 

Do you provide scholarships or discounts on registration? 
Main Street America Members receive a $100 discount. At this time, we do not have scholarships available, however we encourage you to monitor our communications for opportunities should they become available.  

Conference volunteers are eligible to receive a registration discount; please note that these positions are managed by our co-host partner, Main Street Alabama. If you are interested in volunteering, please email info@mainstreet.org, and we will connect you with the conference volunteer coordinator.  

 

Who qualifies for the Civic Leader rate? 
The Civic Leader rate ($199) is a special discounted rate for elected officials and senior government staff, including mayors, county executives, city councilmembers, elected municipal leaders, staff at the director level and above in Main Street-related departments (i.e., economic development, planning, historic preservation, etc.). This rate includes access to a special invite-only lunch session on Tuesday, May 7 programmed with content tailored for civic leaders. Main Street managers and Coordinating Program staff are not eligible to receive the Civic Leader rate. For questions about qualifications, please email info@mainstreet.org

 

Can I submit payment by check? 
To ensure smooth online registration and onsite check-in process, we strongly recommend credit card payment. A “pay by check” option will be available for a $15 fee via online registration until Friday, April 5, and all checks must be received no later than Friday, April 19. Please note that checks will not be accepted during on-site registration. Checks should be mailed to the address below:  

National Main Street Center  
53 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 350  
Chicago, IL 60604  

 

Can I modify my registration?  
Yes! You can modify your registration through Monday, April 1 at 12:00 p.m. CST. To make changes, please log into your registration record here or by clicking the link at the bottom of your confirmation email. Then, click on the “Modify Registration” button located in the lower right area of your registration record. 

If you have any questions or issues with modifying your registration, please email info@mainstreet.org.   

Please note: Agenda Add On items cannot be cancelled after April 1.  

 

How can I get a conference T-shirt? 
Conference t-shirts are available for pre-sale during Early Bird registration (January 23 - March 11). You can find product details, size options, and a size guide in the “Agenda Add Ons” section of registration. A limited supply of shirts will also be available for purchase at the conference. 

Please note: The deadline to modify conference T-shirt selections was March 11. As these items are printed on-demand, we are unable to accept cancellations after March 11.

 

What is the cancellation policy?   
We will allow cancellations for any reason through Monday, April 1 at 12:00 p.m. CST. These cancellations will incur a $25 cancellation fee. The cancellation fee will be waived if you opt to roll your registration over to the 2025 Main Street Now Conference or transfer your registration to another individual.  

Cancellation of mobile workshops or special events will incur a $5 administrative fee. 

All cancellations must be sent in writing to info@mainstreet.org. Refunds will be processed within one week of receipt of cancellation. Cancellations will not be accepted after April 1. 

 

I have a special need or request. Who do I contact? 
Please email your request to info@mainstreet.org. We will do our best to respond within 72 hours. 

 

Can guests attend conference events? 
Only conference attendees whose registration includes ticketed events can attend these events (e.g., Big Bash). If space allows, we may be able to open sales of ticketed events to guests; availability will likely be determined in late April. 

Where will the conference take place? How do I get there?  

The conference will take place at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC). The convention complex and conference hotels are located about a 10-minute drive from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM).  

Airport shuttles are not offered. Taxi, ride hailing, and transit options are available. Welcome ambassadors, courtesy of Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be stationed at the airport during peak arrival times.  Find additional travel tips here

 

Where can I stay?  
Conference room blocks are available at conference hotels: Sheraton Birmingham and The Westin Birmingham. We also have conference room blocks available at nearby additional hotels. Learn more about hotel options and how to make reservations here

Please note: Guests are responsible for transportation between additional hotels and the BJCC and other conference venues.  

 

What food or meals are provided?  
Monday through Wednesday, light breakfast items and coffee will be provided in the morning (locations and hours will be published in the conference app and printed program). Hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be available at the Welcome Reception (Sunday), Exhibitor Reception (Tuesday), and Big Bash* (Wednesday).    

*Big Bash requires a separate ticket purchase. 

How do I get the mobile app? 

 
What are the mobile app features? 

On the mobile app you can: 

  • View the full conference schedule and add sessions to your personal schedule (“My Agenda”) 

  • Meet session speakers and connect with fellow attendees 

  • Bookmark your favorite sessions, speakers, sponsors, and attendees 

  • Read about can't miss events and keynote speakers 

  • Check out venues, restaurants, and visitor guides 

  • and more! 

 

How does the “My Agenda” widget work? 
The “My Agenda” widget serves as a copy of your registration record and your personal schedule. It will display all Agenda Add On items (mobile workshops, events, etc.) included in your registration, as well as non-ticketed Agenda events that you’ve added to your personal schedule through the app.  

  • To add sessions to your “My Agenda” section: Go to Agenda, click on a session, tap the star icon located in the lower right corner, and tap the plus sign. 

Important note:  

  • Ticketed items—such as special trainings, mobile workshops, and Big Bash—that were secured via a discount code can be removed from “My Agenda.” This action will also remove these items from your registration. To ensure that you keep these items in your registration, it is recommended that you do not remove these items via the “My Agenda” widget. 

  • Ticketed items that were purchased cannot be added or removed from “My Agenda.” To add ticketed items to your registration, log into your registration record online here

 

How does the “Favorites” widget work? 
The “Favorites” section acts as a one-stop-shop for all sessions, speakers, sponsors, and attendees that you’ve favorited by tapping the heart icon. Think of it as a quick look-up for interesting topics, people, and companies that you’d like to revisit or connect with. 

  • To bookmark items within the app, tap the heart icon located in the upper right corner of individual session, speakers, sponsor, or attendee pages. 

  • To access your favorites, click the 3-bar icon in the upper left corner and tap the “favorites” icon below your profile photo.  

 

Where can I find information about places to eat, cool local shops, historic sites, and things to do? 
Tap the “Experience” section to find all this and more! Check out the Main Street Now 2024 Google Map to view conference venues and explore Birmingham’s Main Street districts and 180+ places. Keep scrolling to find quick links to visitor guides, directories, and websites. 

 

My app won’t load or pages aren’t displaying properly. What do I do? 
First, try pausing then relaunching the app. If the issue persists, uninstall and reinstall the Attendee Mobile app.  

 

What do I do if my registration add-ons aren’t show up in My Agenda? 
Please contact us at info@mainstreet.org. Make sure to include your name, registration confirmation number, the Agenda Add On items that appear to be missing, and any discount codes that you used.

Please note: Due to the high volume of requests, it may take up to 72 hours to receive a response. 

Where will education sessions take place?  
All general education sessions will take place at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, in the East Meeting Rooms and Ballroom (1st Floor), Forum (2nd Floor), and East Meeting Rooms (3rd Floor). The Opening Plenary will be held at the Alabama Theatre. The Main Idea and Closing Plenary will be held in the Sheraton hotel, Birmingham Ballroom.

Please note: Session day, time, and location are subject to change. See the mobile app for the most up to date session details.

 

What is the schedule? 
The conference will kick off on Sunday, May 5, with mobile workshops, special sessions, Main Street 101s, and the Welcome Reception. Education Sessions will be offered Monday - Wednesday from approximately 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The conference will conclude with our Big Bash on Wednesday, May 8.

The 2024 Great American Main Street Award ceremony will take place at the Opening Plenary on Monday, May 6, and we will recognize the 2024 Mary Means Leader Award recipient and Main Street America Revitalization Practitioner graduates at the Closing Plenary on Wednesday, May 8.  

You can view a schedule-at-a-glance here and preview the education content here. Full agenda details will be made available to registered attendees in late March. 

 

Do I need to select which education sessions I want to attend in advance? 
No, pre-registration is not required for education sessions. Seats will be available at sessions on a first-come, first-served basis. Registered attendees may save sessions to their personal agendas when the full schedule is released in late March. 

 

What types of sessions will be offered? 
Our content addresses the broad range of issues that impact Main Street programs and their districts, including community and economic development, placemaking and design, marketing and promotions, organizational development and capacity building, and more.   

  • Main Idea Session: Keynote session that provides thought leadership, explores our education themes, and celebrates the accomplishments of Main Street communities.  

  • 30-Minute Tactical Solution Sessions: Succinct sessions focused on key examples from Main Street communities and partner content through sponsors.  

  • 45-Minute Crash Courses: Topic-specific courses that provide quick information or skill-building.  

  • 75-Minute Classroom Sessions: Panel discussions or conversations on a topic with opportunities for audience engagement. 

  • Deep Dive Sessions: Highly interactive 1.5 to 3-hour workshops on topics that require detailed instruction or discussion.  

  • Mobile Workshops: Off-site, ticketed excursion to Main Street Alabama communities and host city district/historic preservation project, program, or area.  

 

Will sessions be recorded and available to view later?  
No, not at this time. However, speakers are strongly encouraged to share their presentations and handouts with attendees via the conference app.   

 

What are the conference themes?   
In addition to perennial Main Street content, Main Street Now 2024 sessions will highlight three key themes:  

  • Welcoming & Belonging: Welcoming and belonging strategies help build bridges between new and existing residents, business owners, visitors, and other stakeholders to create stronger bonds within communities. Successful Main Streets foster a sense of community ownership for each resident by ensuring equal access to, and a role in, downtown for people from all backgrounds, including incomes, ages, races, and abilities. Whether it’s welcoming new neighbors, championing strategies to prevent gentrification or displacement, adopting immigrant-friendly policies, or creating space for group expression, Main Street organizations are well-positioned to advance these principles and strengthen their districts’ social, civic, and economic fabric. 

 

  • Connectivity through Civic Infrastructure: Civic infrastructure – parks, trails, town squares, play spaces, libraries, and other public places – boosts local economies, increases resiliency and trust, supports health and well-being, creates a more equitable society, increases civic engagement, and strengthens democracy for all. Underlying a community’s civic infrastructure is a system of interconnected policies, programs, and people that work in tandem to build and foster a sense of place. Main Streets share in the community-wide need to dedicate time and resources towards expanding access and use of civic infrastructure to enhance quality of life and create more sustainable communities with vibrant social capital. 

 

  • Reimagining Local Spaces & Economies: Major economic transformations over the past decade – from real estate market conditions and pandemic disruptions to macro-economic shifts and local entrepreneurship trends – have presented local communities with myriad challenges. In response, Main Streets have adopted future-focused solutions to leverage their place-based assets, remain competitive, and reorient their economic bases for local prosperity. To adapt in an ever-changing landscape, Main Streets can support local investment and ownership in their districts, activate underutilized spaces through creative reuse, champion people-centered infrastructure, and bolster grassroots economic vitality strategies.  

 

Will Main Street Now offer continuing education credits?   
Yes, we anticipate offering APA credits for select sessions.   

Additional questions? Email info@mainstreet.org
Please note: Due to the high volume of requests, it may take up to 72 hours to receive a response.

Information and details are subject to change.