Anybody who has read a good number of my posts knows that I come from a background in economic development. I have also worked in retail, as a site analyst, and have developed commercial property. In my work in downtown revitalization, going back to the 1980's, communities have consistently asked advice or assistance on how they can go about filling their vacant storefronts. It is a subject I have spoken about at several conferences. Now that I am consulting I find that this issue is one for which people seek me out.
A few weeks ago I was talking about this with the girlfriend when she suggested that I put together a workshop on the topic. Well, I have attended them from time to time and always came away thinking that I could have done it better, so why not. I have assembled my files, notes, slides, writings and various other resources, and will have no difficulty in putting together a very informative day-long workshop.
I always want people to walk away from my presentations feeling like they have gotten something of value which they can use in their community. To that end, I have some questions for Cyburbia:
* Would it be better to focus strictly on retail, or to also discuss other options for filling vacant buildings?
* What are some specific questions you would hope to have answered in a workshop on retail attraction?
* Would it be better to focus on filling downtown buildings, or not be specific about where in the city the vacancies might lie?
Here are some logistical questions:
* How far would you travel to attend an event like this?
* Is there a particular type of location you prefer - i.e., a meeting room in a downtown location, hotel, resort?
* Do you prefer a small city (under 15,000) or medium sized city (15-50,000).
* Would you or your employer pay $100 to attend? How about $150?
* How would you advertise this in your state/region?
Any other thoughts you want to share would be greatly appreciated.