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Atlanta National Conference – A Multitude of Choices

By | NMMS Organization Program Associate
April 20th, 2015 | Category: General, Home page, Organization


The 2015 National Main Street Conference in Atlanta ranks among my favorites in recent years – so many choices, yet so little time.  From the opening session to the closing plenary, the conference was first rate.  Those who attended couldn’t help but be awed by the grandeur of the historic Fox Theater, delighted by the diverse cuisine options in Atlanta and the lineup of great speakers at the conference.  Presentations included a number of informative Organization sessions ranging from effective boards and funding practices to community engagement activities and programmatic management tools.  Crowdfunding continued to be a hot topic at the National Conference, as it was in Detroit in 2014.  I attended several of of these sessions and plan to integrate key elements in future training classes.

One of my favorite sessions focused on the Top 10 Technological Tools for MainStreet Directors, presented by conference organizers Billy Peppers and Jessica Reynolds of the Georgia Main Street Program. Their top 10 included:

  1. Formstack, an application for creating online forms of any type (handy for surveys, event registrations, etc).
  2. VolunteerSpot, volunteer scheduling and management software.
  3. RegOnline – online event registration and customer relationship management.
  4. PayPal +debit card features for processing donations and other online transactions.
  5. WeTransfer –  online file transfer service that permits sending large files usually blocked by email systems.
  6. HootSuite – social media dashboard that sends your communication across multiple social media platforms.
  7. MailChip, a FREE (and fun) mass-emailing/email marketing software.
  8. Dropbox – cloud-based file storage and file sharing.
  9. ISSUU, an easy to use system for e-publishing of magazines, catalogs, newsletters and brochures.
  10. PiktoChart for infographics, reports and presentations.

*Endorsement of these products is neither expressed nor intended by the author or New Mexico MainStreet; explore options if you’re in the market for these types of resources!

To access copies of 2015 presentations (most, not all), go to:

Kudos to the Georgia Main Street program for putting together an awesome lineup of presenters at this year’s National Conference.  Milwaukee (site of the 2016 National Conference) is up – let’s hope next year’s sessions can match the great experience of 2015.


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