Available on demand

Watch the replay anytime, anywhere now through July 31

All your life, you’ve been told that small towns are dying, drying up, and disappearing, and that there’s nothing you can do to change it. What if, just once, there was some good news about rural? There is! Big trends are moving in our favor: brain gain, changing retail dynamics, new travel motivations and more. Learn why we have a future and how to shape the future of your town.

10 Small Town Trends webinar

We Still Need Small Towns 

Given all the negative stories on the news and the depressing stereotypes you've heard all your life, you might think all small towns were dying, that the trends to urbanization inevitably will mean the end of all small towns. But that's wrong. 

There are at least three key reasons small towns are necessary to society. What? No one ever told you about those? Well, we will. We start with this specifically because no one talks about these key factors that will keep small towns around for generations to come. 

So Much for Geographic Limits 

Back in the day, small towns were isolated and cut off from the world. Not true today! We're connected to the whole world of possibilities. Rural businesses are going way beyond their city limits to reach global audiences, and it's reshaping everything we thought we knew about small towns. Rural OmniLocal, Rural Sourcing, and Innovative Rural Business Models are coming your way. 

Customers are Reshaping Retail 

Forget about the boring downtown business stuck in the past. They're still there, of course, but customers are reshaping retail trends in ways that benefit our most innovative local independent stores. Big boxes are getting smaller. (really!) Customers are switching to small retailers, and in five years buying local will beat buying online. 


Are small towns cool again? (Weren't we always??) Ask the travelers and new families who are seeking out small towns. Changing travel motivations lean strongly toward rural places. Brain gain families are choosing to move to small towns. Micropolitan qualities appeal to many different groups today. The result is a movement to crowdsource the future of your town. 

Looking 30 Years Ahead

Your town isn't going to spend any more time in the past. Things will never go back to the way they used to be. You have to start from here and go forward. Disruptive changes to every industry, every aspect of society are coming, ready or not. Petty local squabbles over who controls the fair booth or who sits on the water board pale in comparison to the enormous changes coming our way. From quantum computing to virtual reality, our future has never looked brighter. Let's head that way! 

What are your webinar workshops like? Will there be slides?   

Our webinars are actually workshops with streaming video. You see our faces. We connect with you personally. We give you a downloadable handout instead of boring slides, and we focus on real-world examples, not statistics. Your downloadable handout will have photos, more info and links for all the examples.

Will it be recorded? 

Yes, and the replay will be available for two weeks after the live broadcast. After that, the recording goes away, so be sure to schedule a specific time to watch!

How long will it run? How long do I need to schedule for a replay?

We wrap up the presentation within one hour, and we stay a bit extra to answer any last-minute questions. We also take questions by email during the two weeks the replay is available.

You can bring friends:

Once you’re registered, you can schedule more than one viewing during the two week window so you reach as many people as possible.

We allow you to watch the live event, invite friends and hold replays in your town, as long as you’re personally present each time. If others want to watch without you, we ask that they also register. 

Who should you invite?

  • Downtown business owners and managers
  • Downtown associations, Main Streets, Chambers
  • Economic development folks
  • Elected officials, cities, towns, municipalities
  • Those who want to revitalize their downtowns
  • Visionaries like yourself
Now available to members only

Watch live on Wed Jan 18, 6pm Central

Watch the replay on demand Jan 19-Feb 1

Watch as many times as you like, start and stop, no limit

Includes subscriptions to A Positive View of Rural and Building Possibility enewsletters

Already a member? Login, then head to the replay page to view the recorded version

  • We had a fabulous inaugural “EDC after hours” on Wednesday night this week! We did the replay of the Bringing Big Ideas to Life – it was a perfect launching point for discussion! We had 25 of our members in attendance, and secured three new members as a result!
    Julie Barr, Schoolcraft County, U.P., Michigan
  • I'll make sure our Town Council and our fledgling Economic Development Commission see this webinar! Thank you!
    Jason Miller, Mayor, Town of Concrete
  • I have so many ideas, but didn't really have the motivating vehicle to get the stakeholders together to present them. Your webinar is the perfect vehicle to generate the enthusiasm and wherewithal to needed to start the ball rolling. While viewing the seminar, my enthusiasm to see things happen in Cleveland was regenerated, and it hasn't waned. I can't wait to start that journey. Keeping in mind, there are so many areas to address, I joined and am now a member of the Insiders so I can view all of the webinars.
    Mary Johnson, Cleveland, Oklahoma, Chamber of Commerce
  • Your webinars are just so precious. I wish I could fill an auditorium with our local chamber of commerce leaders and boards to hear you both.
    Jim Blankenship, Tennessee
  • I watched the webinar video last night. It was great. I think you and Deb make good team. Nice banter, good pacing, and lots of useful information. Excellent!
    Cindy Kelly, Kansas
  • This webinar stimulated lots of note-taking and conversation between the business owners gathered at my house. Deb and Becky gave us some new ideas and several excellent examples of known models. I think some of us are thinking of pivoting our summer’s plans after participating in Wednesday’s event. Thanks for a well-thought out presentation!
    Jonya, Oronoco, Minnesota, RochesterFiber.com
  • I appreciated the very relaxed feel to the webinar. No monotone drone that gets tuned out off and on throughout a session... I watched it twice as matter of fact.
    James Leonard, Town of Buffalo, Oklahoma

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