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A New “First”

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | December 5, 2017

The Emporia Main Street staff, and select volunteers, travel to the National Main Street conference every year. The conference covers trends and techniques that are critical for achieving community and business success. On March 26th through March 28th of this year, the National Main Street Conference will be held in Kansas City, MO. The close proximity of the conference will provide our community some unique opportunities. Below is a brief rundown of ways our community can benefit from the conference’s proximity:

1. Before and after travelers- A lot of pre and post conference travelers will drive through our area to experience downtown Emporia. Trained professionals that appreciate entrepreneurial businesses, downtown architecture, and unique community assets will want to stop by Emporia if it is on their way to or from the conference. If you are a restaurant, retailer or entrepreneur- this is an opportunity for your business.

2. Training for locals- The conference represents an opportunity to learn from national experts on a series of different topics. Development funding, business recruitment, event development, marketing techniques, design standards, volunteer recruitment/retention, and many more subjects will be covered in a “Four Point Approach” format. CLICK HERE for a list of some of the topics covered.

3. The Tour- Typically, tours are conducted within the state hosting the conference. Emporia, Kansas is an exception to that rule, and we will host a walking tour on Sunday, March 25th during the morning and early afternoon. This is a great opportunity for local businesses to cater to a captive audience. We know it is a Sunday, but this is a great opportunity to open your doors to potential customers! Click HERE for tour opportunities.

4. Presentation exposure- Beyond the tour, Emporia Main Street staff will present twice at the National Main Street conference. One presentation will focus on planning and implementation of promotional events/activities within the community. The second presentation will cover the Start Your Own Business Class. Each presentation will highlight unique businesses and community anchors within Emporia. The exposure generated can pay dividends for our community in both the short and long term.

I doubt we will see a National Conference this close to Emporia again in the relatively near future, so this represents an opportunity to get involved (CLICK HERE for conference registration information).

Due to your volunteerism, innovation, and hard work- communities all over the nation want to know more about Emporia, Kansas. If you would like to get involved with activities associated with the conference (the tour, for example) or you would like to attend the conference, please let us know! We will remind you as the conference approaches, but you may want to plan on remaining open on Sunday, March 25th to greet a lot of out-of-town guests!

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.