Watch the full replay of Night Shift Session 2: From Vacant to Vibrant

Every placemaker, eco dev professional and main street centre manager everywhere is faced with the challenge of working with local businesses to make retail areas more visible, vibrant and accessible and to build long-term sustainability and resilience. Learn and be inspired by our panel of experts on how to implement current and best practice strategies that will take your main street from vacant to vibrant.

Questions we covered:

– How can we implement successful initiatives to attract new tenants, retain existing tenants, or activate vacant tenancies and spaces to improve the experience of shoppers?
– How can we bring back the dying art of visual merchandising to encourage more creativity and innovative shop front windows and lure more people to main streets?
– How can we develop better relationships with landlords to incentivise greater activation of short term rentals and pop ups?
– How can we foster the diversification of businesses on main streets, to ensure the “right” balance between, retail, services and lifestyle businesses?

A big thank you once again to our fabulous speakers Ching Ching Lee, Angela Symons and Samantha Choudhary:

Ching Ching is a multi-disciplined designer and visual merchandiser, with a passion for design that engages with people, community and the environment. With a background in Industrial Design, Graphic Communication, Visual Merchandising and Retail Design, her large portfolio of work includes the wide-ranging scope of strategic brand development and marketing, store design, retail planning and implementation, shopfront improvement projects and cost-effective window displays. She has also conducted many presentations and workshops on the practical art of visual merchandising, strategic window displays and retail design for small businesses through many local government business development initiatives across Australia. Over the past decade, Ching Ching has built extensive experience as a consultant to hundreds of small business operators, engaging and empowering them to take a creative and strategic approach to their business through simple, practical visual merchandising measures. She has also been a guest tutor/lecturer in Visual Merchandising at the RMIT School of Design in Melbourne.

Angela leads the Renew Australia team to work with main streets, Councils, and Property Representatives to activate vacant space and bring life back to otherwise under utilised spaces. Through stakeholder engagement, facilitation, and planning, Angela and the Renew team demonstrate the future use of ‘meanwhile’ spaces providing opportunities for creative enterprises to capacity build and experiment in a visible location.

Samantha Choudhury has over 15 year’s experience in Australia and the USA as a passionate urbanist whose interest lies in creating prosperous places that matter and that people can connect to. She has worked on a range of urban scales including city-wide urban renewal, place planning and activation, co-designing with stakeholders and community, providing urban design advice, facilitating urban development and providing strategic research for all sectors including retail, housing, mixed use and commercial environments. Across the globe, Samantha has used her urban planning and international development expertise to deliver places that make people prosper. She has extensive experience working throughout Australia and around the globe and has sought-after knowledge related to people-focussed placemaking. 

See below for the downloadable resources that were delivered and feel free to follow up with the speakers directly if you have any further queries.

‘CC Lee’; ‘Angela Simons’, ‘

RENEW Australia: Vacant to Vibrant PDF
Pop Creative Collective: Shopfronts + Place PDF

We would also appreciate you completing this short survey to help us continue to deliver quality programs for our Mainstreet Australia members.

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