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Frequently Asked Questions

COVID Precautions
Onsite Registration
Hotel & Travel 



COVID Precautions

The health and safety of Main Street Now Conference attendees is our top priority. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 conditions as well as recommendations from the CDC, state, and local health authorities around maintaining the safest environment possible for conference attendees. Main Street America has developed the following COVID-19 policy based on several factors including, but not limited to, conversation and input from staff, evaluation of the Main Street Now 2022 protocols and feedback from attendees, and research about conference industry standards. We also recognize that the pandemic continues to negatively impact the health of individuals and communities, as well as the conference’s important role in providing professional development and network-building opportunities for Main Street leaders.   

To that end, we have developed the following COVID-19 policy that aims to create a conference environment that establishes reasonable, flexible, and implementable measures to ensure the health and safety of attendees.  


Regardless of vaccination status, all attendees are required to conduct a COVID-19 test no more than 24-hours prior to check-in and to provide proof of a negative test result before they receive their badge and access conference areas/activities. Both PCR and self-administered rapid tests will be accepted.


Showing Proof of Negative Test On-Site
All attendees will be required to provide proof of their negative test result before proceeding to registration check-in.

All attendees will be required to visit the health checkpoint and provide proof of their negative test result, before proceeding to the registration/check-in desk (both located on the 4th Floor, near the Atrium escalators).

For tests performed in a clinical setting, a lab report including the attendee’s name will be accepted. For self-administered tests—such as a rapid test—attendees must show a “test selfie” (i.e. a photo including their face and a clearly visible negative test result). MSA will not retain copies of test results.
Anyone without proof of negative test will be required to complete testing. Options for self-administered testing include using a rapid test brought with you, or purchasing a rapid test available on-site (while limited supplies last) or from a nearby pharmacy (supplies may be limited). This must be completed in order to access conference activities. 

Please note: A very limited supply of rapid tests will be available onsite for purchase ($25) to attendees needing to test prior to check-in and/or wanting to test during the conference. Conference organizers cannot guarantee the availability or price of rapid test kits at area retailers. To ensure access to a test and a smooth check-in experience, we strongly recommend that attendees plan ahead and include rapid test kits in their packing list. Attendees may order free at-home tests here.

Protocol for Attendees Feeling Ill or Receiving a Positive Test Result
Attendees who develop symptoms of illness, including COVID-19, are strongly advised to avoid conference events and contact with others, and should perform testing for COVID-19.

Attendees who receive a positive test result, are required to avoid contact with others, self-isolate, seek all necessary medical treatment per CDC guidelines, and notify conference organizers at


We strongly recommend and encourage all conference attendees to be fully vaccinated and up to date with COVID-19 vaccines that are approved or authorized for use in the United States. This includes having received all primary, booster, and updated bivalent booster shots, with the most recent dose occurring at least two weeks prior to travel. Although vaccines and proof of vaccination will not be required and vaccine status will not be checked onsite, they are strongly encouraged as they provide effective protection from serious illness and hospitalization.  


We strongly recommend and encourage all conference attendees to wear a mask within the conference venues and during all conference activities, especially when indoors and in crowded settings.  

Wearing surgical, KN95, KF94, or N95 masks that extends from the chin to the bridge of the nose is highly recommended, as they provide protection against the transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses. A limited supply of complimentary masks will be available onsite for attendees. To ensure availability and access to masks, we strongly recommend that attendees plan ahead and include masks in their packing list.


Physical Distancing 
To help facilitate effective communication of each attendee’s comfort level with social distancing, attendees who prefer physical distancing may pick up a red sticker to place on their badge at registration.  


Self-Check Responsibilities  
Any attendee should not attend the Conference if within the 5 days prior to the conference:  

  • They have been experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including:  
    • A fever of 100.4°F or higher
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Respiratory Illness or difficulty breathing
    • Loss of taste or smell  
  • Tested positive or had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact is defined by the CDC as being within six (6) feet of someone with or without a mask for a total of 15 minutes or longer within a 24-hour period. 


Notice to Attendees  
Anyone planning on attending the conference needs to make their own individualized risk assessment and use judgment about their comfort level attending a large gathering.  

Attendees should consult CDC, state, and local health authorities, as well as health care provider(s), for additional guidance applicable to their personal circumstances, including any order recommending or requiring them to quarantine after travel or after a possible or confirmed exposure to COVID-19. To the extent any federal, state, or local law requires safeguards in addition to those required in this policy, attendees should follow them. Attendees should also review policies and procedures from transportation and hotel providers prior to their attendance at the conference. 


Notice of Potential Event Changes  
This COVID-19 policy is subject to change at any time, including but not limited to, recommendations in accordance with the CDC, state, and local health guidance. 

Since government orders and pandemic conditions can rapidly change without notice, we reserve the right to adjust the number of attendees registered to attend any portion of our conference at any time.  

Main Street America is not responsible for any additional costs you may incur due to a conference cancellation, including but not limited to: cancellation fees, airfare, accommodations, transportation costs, etc. 

Attendance at the conference is subject to Main Street America’s policies and procedures, which will be based on current Government Orders, policies and procedures of the venues, and other policies and procedures as may be determined necessary by Main Street America. Because pandemic conditions can change at any time, we reserve the right to change our policies and procedures at any time. By registering for the conference, you agree to comply with Government Orders, Main Street America’s and the venue’s policies and procedures, including, but not limited to: face coverings, physical distancing, quarantine, or health screenings and/or questionnaires.  

Main Street America and/or any conference venue reserve the right to ask an attendee to leave the conference or to refuse admission to an attendee who violates the policies and procedures of the conference, and/or the venue. If you are asked to leave or refused admission to the conference, you will not be readmitted into the conference and no refund will be provided.


Questions? Email




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 you online account or on any of your membership renewal reminder emails. You can also contact us at or 312.610.5613. Please note: due to the high volume of requests, it may take up to 48 hours to receive a response.


When does the early bird rate end?
The early bird registration rate expires on Sunday, February 5, at 11:59pm CT. 


How can I register?  
We encourage attendees to register online and ahead of the conference. Online registration will close on Thursday, March 16, at 12pm CT.


Can I register on-site?

We are offering limited on-site registration, on a first come, first served basis, begining Sunday, March 26 at 7:15am ET. 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

If you are not comfortable with this uncertainty, we recommend that you forgo making the trip to Boston and instead mark your calendar for Main Street Now 2024! We anticipate opening registration this winter, with opportunities to secure your spot and save on registration with Early Bird rates. You can subscribe to our conference updates here to stay in the loop. Additionally, we are also planning to offer a Conference Rewind webinar series this summer featuring some of the most popular sessions from Boston, so look out for that as well.

We recognize that this situation isn’t ideal. We do not want to turn anyone away, however, our capacity is limited by the amount of space available to us at the conference hotel and we want to provide the best possible experience to every attendee by ensuring that we have enough seats to accommodate everyone at the event. We appreciate your understanding.


Do you provide scholarships or discounts on registration?
At this time, we do not have scholarships available but would encourage you to monitor our communications for opportunities should they become available. Conference volunteers are eligible to receive a registration discount, however those positions are reserved for our co-host partner, Boston Main Streets. If you are interested in volunteering, please email, and we will connect you with the conference volunteer coordinator. 


Who qualifies for the Civic Leader rate?
The Civic Leader rate ($175) 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.). Click here to preview Civic Leader-focused content; additional details will be available in early 2023. Main Street Managers and Coordinating Program staff are not eligible to receive the Civic Leader rate. Questions about qualifications? Please email


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 via online registration until Friday, February 24 and all checks must be received no later than Friday, March 10. 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 


What is the cancellation policy?  
We will allow cancellations for any reason through Monday, February 27, at 11:59pm CT. These cancellations will incur a $25 cancellation fee. The cancellation fee will be waived if you opt to roll your registration over to the 2024 Main Street Now Conference. You may also transfer your registration to another individual at no cost. All cancellations must be sent in writing to Refunds will be processed within one week of receipt of cancellation. Cancellations will not be accepted after February 27, 2023. 



Hotel & Travel 

Where will the conference take place? How do I get there? 
The conference will take place at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The hotel is about a 15-minute drive from Logan Airport and approximately 2 miles from the Boston South Street Rail Station (with service by Amtrak's Acela route). Airport shuttles are not offered. Find additional travel tips here.


Where can I stay? 
We have room blocks at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, as well as at nearby hotels within 10-15 minute walking distance. Learn more about hotel options and how to make reservations here.


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. 



Where will sessions take place? 
All education sessions will take place in the Boston Marriott Copley Place. 


What is the schedule?
The conference will kick off on Sunday, March 26 with Mobile Workshops, special sessions, Main Street 101s, and the Welcome Reception. Education Sessions will be offered Monday – Wednesday from approximately 9am – 4:30pm. The conference will conclude with our Big Bash on Wednesday, March 29. The 2023 Great American Main Street Award ceremony will take place at the Opening Plenary on Monday, March 27, and we will recognize the 2023 Mary Means Leader Award recipients and MSARP graduates at the Closing Plenary on Wednesday, March 29. 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 early February.


What types of sessions will be offered?
Our content addresses the broad range of issues that impact Main Street, 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: Traditional, 75-minute sessions. 
  • Deep Dive Sessions: 1.5 to three-hour sessions on topics that require detailed instruction or discussion. 
  • Mobile Workshops: Off-site, ticketed excursion to a Boston Main Streets and nearby community or a downtown development/ 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 2023 sessions will highlight three key themes: 

  • Community Wealth Building & Shared Prosperity: Main Street programs and other place-based revitalization organizations have a vital role to play in building community wealth and shared prosperity for every resident. This approach to economic development focuses on strategies to enhance local wealth generation and confers direct benefits for residents and local businesses. By harnessing tools like entrepreneurial ecosystems, community land trusts, cultural expression initiatives, and cooperative business models, Main Streets can create inclusive, sustainable, and equitable economic success in their communities and help ensure future prosperity for populations that have been historically marginalized. 

  • Resilient & Future-focused Main Streets: As designers, planners, and local leaders, Main Street professionals are in a unique position to help communities adapt to meet the difficult realities they’re facing now and in the years to come. From promoting environmental sustainability and green infrastructure to advancing community health initiatives and cross-sector partnerships, building resiliency goes beyond responding to a crisis – it's about building a strong baseline for resilience that will pay dividends in the years to come. Holistic planning practices and strong community connections help prepare us for change, whether planned or unexpected. Sessions will explore the importance of meeting these challenges head-on and the positive economic and organizational impacts created as a result. 

  • Building Community Connections: The success of Main Streets across the country can often be tied to a common thread: they are driven by people. Thriving communities are built from the power of many, with the strongest among them practicing meaningful collaboration, creating shared goals with stakeholders, and valuing inclusive leadership that provides a seat for everyone at the table. To strengthen the connection to place, Main Streets must embrace the variety of lived experiences of people in their community and empower them to make change. Sessions will highlight the power of coalition building and leveraging your greatest asset: people. 

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


Additional Questions? Email 
Please note: due to the high volume of requests, it may take up to 48 hours to receive a response.

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