IDA 65th Annual Conference & Tradeshow

You are invited to join the International Downtown Association and our host partner, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, at the upcoming 65th Annual Conference & Tradeshow, October 28-30, 2019. Over 800 inspired leaders shaping cities from around the globe will convene to discuss emerging trends in urban place management and walk away with solutions to apply in their respective cities. This year’s theme will bring together the brightest industry minds to discuss what it means to be Proudly Urban and how embracing this mindset can benefit districts of all sizes.

Attendees will experience Baltimore’s easily walkable neighborhoods and some of the United States’ first urban renewal projects such as Charles Center and the Inner Harbor, both of which will form the backdrop of this year’s conference. Downtown Baltimore is the region’s densest office district and fastest-growing, most diverse residential neighborhood, where young residents and office tenants are attracted to the city’s affordability, transit connectivity, architecture, and thriving cultural scenes. It’s an exciting time to be #ProudlyUrban.

Call for Content is Open

As our members work shaping cities, they are faced with challenges each day and it is our goal to provide the most current and up to date information from around the globe. Challenges faced by urban place management organizations demand innovative and collaborative solutions to getting the job done. We are seeking session proposals that provide solutions for emerging trends facing urban place management organizations today. Consider topics around historic preservation, economic development, sustainability, infrastructure, affordability and social equity, placemaking, public safety and homelessness.

We invite you to submit your best ideas! Submission details and topic guidelines are below. When submitting your session proposal please keep in mind the committee looks for diversity in topic, geographic region, race, ethnicity and gender for the makeup of a panel. Don’t delay, as the deadline to submit proposals is Thursday, March 7, 2019, 11:59 PM PT.

Submit Ideas and Sessions IDASATX18


Joint proposals including peers from multiple cities will be given higher priority for consideration. Full consideration will be given to all complete submissions using the following guidelines:
  • Proposal offers fresh topical ideas and reflects the diversity of IDA's membership
  • Proposal includes three learning objectives. Please answer the following statement for each learning objective: “After this session attendees will be able to...”
  • Proposal is relevant to the conference theme and IDA practitioners
  • Proposal includes innovative approaches and perspectives
  • Proposal engages the audience and presents forward looking approaches to new challenges
  • Proposal may include up to three speakers plus one moderator 
Conference sessions should fit within one of the seven core domains below. If you need assistance please contact Carolyn Dellutri, Director of Professional Development at


These seven core domains should act as a framework for urban place managers to utilize in furthering their professional careers and to aid in their work enhancing vibrant urban places. Urban place managers lead, curate, organize, convene, and push for positive change and economic growth.

Economic Development

Business Recruitment; Business Retention, Market Analysis/Market Research; Real Estate Financing; Historic Preservation Financing; Real Estate Development & Redevelopment; Attainable Housing- Workforce and Affordable; Residential development; Nighttime Economy; Tourism; Innovative Financing Methods; Working with entrepreneurs through Incubators, Co-working spaces and food halls; Retail recruitment including restaurants, national chains, local independents and pop-ups.
Planning, Design and Infrastructure

Downtown visioning; downtown master planning; real estate development, zoning, land-use and permitting; streetscape improvements; transit-oriented development; multi-modal transportation; accessibility; sustainable infrastructure; open space planning; bicycle infrastructure; parking operations/management; way-finding; attainable housing initiatives and historic preservation.

Public Space Management & Operations

Clean, safe and hospitality; placemaking; activation; parks and open space; homelessness, panhandling and social services; opioid epidemic; beautification and landscape; public safety; public art; sidewalk activations; facilities management; street banners and holiday décor; parklets; technology trends for managing, responding, tracking and reporting.

Policy and Advocacy

Government Relations; Research; Stakeholder/Community Engagement; Equity and Inclusion; Social Issues; Legislation.

Marketing, Communication, and Events
Branding; Public Relations; Public Engagement; Communications; Marketing strategies; Data and Metrics; Messaging and Reporting; Sponsorship and Fundraising strategies; Technology Trends; Crisis Communications plans.
Organizational Management

Governance; District Assessment models, District Formation and enabling legislation; Operational Systems; Board Management; Managing your team; Non-Profit Finance.

Leadership Development

Leadership Skills; Visioning; Board Leadership including roles/responsibilities/expectations; Strategic planning with your team and board; External Relationship Building.


Deadline: Thursday, March 7, 2019, 11:59PM PT. Submissions received after that date may not be considered. To get started, please log in to Submittable or easily create a free account. You can stop, save and return to your work at any time before the deadline. When you've completed the form, please click 'Submit' at the bottom.

Please remember that speakers are required to register for the conference. Options for daily registration will be available. Note: IDA reserves the right to select ideas and speakers to fit the needs of the overall conference program.

Attend the Conference

Pre-registration will open in May 2019. Stay up to date on the latest conference news by subscribing to our weekly e-newsletter, Inspired by IDA.Looking forward to Baltimore? Start the conversation now on Twitter using #IDABALT19.


Urban Champion

Stantec’s Urban Places   

Presenting Awards Sponsor

Sky Connect Networks

District Advocates


Earthplanter-80   MIG

Sponsorship Opportunities

Showcase your products and services alongside IDA at our premier annual event, attracting hundreds of urban leaders and placemaking professionals from around the globe. Click here for more information.