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Call For Speakers
2024 NC Main Street Conference

March 12-14, 2024 | Goldsboro, NC

Ignite, Activate, and Empower…Main Street! 

The principles of the Main Street program are designed to create downtown districts that will not only survive, but will also thrive with new activity and flourishing, exceptional uses.  Main Street is economic development that is accomplished through igniting the downtown with high-quality design improvements, activating the district through authentic promotion and locally driven economic vitality, and empowering the people and the community to get involved with sustainable organization.  Collectively, these activities create a rich, distinctive sense of place that is the heart of the community.  

Ignite, Activate, and Empower…Main Street, the theme of this year’s conference, is an exploration of the most innovative approaches that communities are taking to accomplish their goals.  From award-winning rehabilitation to memorable public art, downtowns are ignited with high-quality design improvements that energize both local residents and visitors who want to experience a genuine, creative environment.  Through storytelling, pop-up shops, and locally driven marketplaces, districts are activated with fresh new marketing initiatives, events, and businesses that encourage everyone to explore downtown.  And through dedicated leadership and partnerships, people are empowered to invest time and money in their communities that result in positive change. 

North Carolina Main Street programs and their public and private sector partners are creatively leveraging strategic economic development planning, tools, and programs that result in investment, business growth, and job creation.  North Carolina Main Street communities have seen more than $4.5 billion in investment since the inception of the program in 1980, and more than $439.9 million in investment in fiscal year 2022-2023.  

The North Carolina Main Street Conference is the largest statewide downtown revitalization conference in the country. Attendees include downtown economic development professionals, elected officials and local government staff, rural leaders, volunteers, business and property owners, consultants, vendors, and sponsors that are all interested in trends, initiatives, and success stories they can use to maximize downtown and community revitalization at home. 

This milestone event will be held in downtown Goldsboro, North Carolina, as it proudly celebrates 40 years as an exemplary Main Street community.  In that time, Goldsboro has learned the importance of partnerships, preservation, strategic planning, incremental growth, and, most importantly, using the Main Street framework to encourage collaboration with the private sector to advance ideas and involvement.  The result? A vibrant, pedestrian-driven, art-centric community that is committed to ensuring the heart of Goldsboro is preserved and programmed for all.  

Located in eastern North Carolina, Goldsboro is home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.  With its wide sidewalks, walkable public spaces, a beautiful, historic train station, and an F-86 Sabre jet on display, downtown Goldsboro Is a community that is leveraging its assets for economic prosperity and development in the commercial core.  As a result, downtown Goldsboro has realized close to $80 million in public and private investment in the last decade, 187 building rehabilitations, 78 net new businesses, and 430 jobs, with more to come.  Today, downtown Goldsboro is thriving with an influx of diverse small businesses, an engaged community, exhibits of public art, festivals, weddings, and downtown living.  Goldsboro leaders are proud of the city’s history and the investments they are making in its future as a hub for arts, culture, and entrepreneurship, and they look forward to welcoming and sharing their story with you! 

Thought-provoking keynote addresses and engaging breakout sessions with experienced presenters will inspire you with fresh ideas for downtown.  Bring a group of community leaders, Main Street board members, and volunteers to get the most out of the conference experience.  The North Carolina Main Street Conference offers the most successful implementation strategies for downtown revitalization and redevelopment available in the state, the southeast, and, perhaps, in the nation. 

We will see you in Goldsboro in March! 



The NC Main Street Annual Conference offers leaders in commercial district revitalization a unique opportunity to share their successful and innovative solutions with a statewide network of volunteer and professionals. 

The audience includes a mix of new and experienced Main Street Executive Directors, board members, architects, planners, public officials, volunteers, and consultants from across North Carolina and beyond. Selected presentations will directly address new ideas and opportunities for each group. 

A broad range of topics will be presented. Topics in downtown revitalization, urban planning, organizational development, image and promotion, historic preservation, real estate development, marketing, economic development, retail trends and development, or any other topic related to commercial district revitalization are desired. Sessions highlighting innovative solutions to common challenges, ways to motivate staff, board members and volunteers, keys to operating successful programs, and sessions that simply share great ideas are welcome.  Sessions must be relevant to the annual theme for the conference.

Educational session formats will include 60 and 75-minute education sessions. Sessions must be non-commercial in nature. Promotion of your company or product during an educational session is STRICTLY prohibited.  Failure to follow this guideline will result in disqualification of future speaking engagements with the NC Main Street Annual Conference.


Benefits of presenting include visibility among industry professionals, and increase your role as a leader in your profession. 

Terms and Conditions

  • All presenters must agree to the terms and conditions for participation.

  • Submissions must be submitted electronically.  If selected, we will follow up with a HARD deadline for your presentations.

  • Session submitter will serve as primary contact for proposed session. 

  • NC Main Street does not reimburse expenses or pay speaker fees for educational sessions.

  • Presenters are offered a complimentary registration fee for the three-day conference.

  • For all accepted submissions, NC Main Street reserves the right to edit title and description.

  • Educational sessions are non-commercial. Presenters may not promote a product, service, or anything else representing monetary self-interest. Failure to comply will affect future consideration.

  • The schedule is determined by balancing topics and target audiences. Individual schedule requests are considered only in extreme circumstances.

  • Co-presenter(s) must agree to all terms and conditions for participation.

  • Submitter is responsible for communicating with co-presenter(s) regarding acceptance, rejection, deadlines, and all other session details.



Deadline:  August 15

Evaluation Criteria:

  1. Clarity, quality and organization of ideas.

  2. Speaker's experience/knowledge of subject.

  3. Concepts - useful, practical, and visionary.  

  4. Timeliness/relevance of topic.

  5. Opportunity to contribute to a well-balanced program.

  6. Completion of all requested information.


In the event you are selected to be a session speaker, you will be notified.  We will not send notifications to those we do not select for the conference.  Please know it is always a hard decision and we appreciate all who took the time to submit.

Please fill out the form below.  We look to hearing from you!

* Are required fields

Your Submission

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