The Williston Community will have the spotlight shined on it when visitors from across the state stop by for the annual North Dakota Downtown Conference next week.

Williston is hosting this year’s conference on Wednesday, Aug. 28, and Thursday, Aug. 29, bringing guests and visitors from Downtowns across the state to see talk about the latest trends, share ideas and see what successes Williston has had with their Downtown sector. The conference will feature keynote speakers, breakout learning sessions, debates and social opportunities for those in attendance.

The conference will take attendees to various places around town to discuss various aspects of what makes a downtown thrive and what things communities can do to revitalize and refresh their existing spaces. The conference will be hosting four special keynote speakers who will add their unique expertise and offer insight and advice on how cities can continue to make their downtowns thrive.

Breakout sessions will focus on subjects such as impacting policy, downtown retail and dining strategies and utilizing historic buildings in your city’s downtown.

“One of the things I’m really excited is getting people from the other side of the state to Williston,” Downtowners Executive Director Daved Lundeen told the Williston Herald. “There’s a lot of people who maybe haven’t been here in 10 years and don’t really know what’s going on and haven’t seen our downtown in its current form and all the amazing things we have going on.”

The keynote speakers are Doug Griffiths, author of 13 Ways to Kill Your Community; Marcus Westbury founder of Revive Newcastle & Revive Australia; Ed McMahon, senior Fellow for Sustainable Development with the Urban Land Institute and Amanda Brinkman, host & Executive Producer of the show Small Business Revolution. Lundeen said he had seen some of the speaker at other conferences, and said they are “amazing,” and that those in attendance will be informed and entertained by what they have to say.

Aside from the breakout sessions and speakers, the conference will take time to recognize some of the individuals and communities that have shined within the state by giving out awards for Downtown Leader, Downtown Enthusiast, Best Downtown event and more. The wards will be presented at the conference’s closing lunch. Lundeen said the conference is open to anyone who wishes to attend, but early bird registration closes on Friday, Aug. 23. After that, the price will go up. For more information, a full schedule of events or to register, visit or call 701-580-9343.

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