Texas Historical Commission’s Real Places Conference returns in April 2024

Registration is open for Real Places 2024, the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) historic preservation and heritage tourism conference, which unites people who are passionate about finding, saving, and leveraging the real places and real stories of their communities. 

Real Places 2024 will take place April 3-5 as a true hybrid experience—attendees will choose to participate in the full conference either in person or virtually. 

Those who want to experience the energy and camaraderie of the in-person conference more fully can join THC staff, partners, and constituents at the Renaissance Austin Hotel. Those who can’t make it to Austin or prefer the flexibility and savings of the virtual option can stream all conference sessions, and the recordings will be archived for viewing up to 60 days after the conference. 

Recordings will be available to all attendees—both in person and virtual participants will be able to watch presentations they missed because sessions were running concurrently. 

Whichever registration option they choose, conference attendees will learn best practices and strategies to protect and preserve the rich heritage and historic sites of the Lone Star State and to promote visitation to their communities’ historical destinations. 

Registration for Real Places 2024 is now open online at a discounted early-bird rate available through December 15. Additional discounts are available for Courthouse Stewards (county judges and county facility managers), students, and organizations registering multiple people at the same time. There is also a la carte pricing for single-day registrations and special events. 

Presented again by the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission in partnership with Phoenix I Restoration and Construction, LLC, the conference features over 100 speakers from across Texas and the U.S. More than 60 sessions, pre-conference workshops, and tours will address numerous topics, including how to develop podcasts for museums and historic sites, protecting grave markers and cemeteries, nonprofit fund development, techniques for producing oral histories, responding to development pressures on historic districts, developing traveling exhibitions and heritage tours, conducting historic deed research, and many more. 

Real Places keynote speakers represent a diverse range of disciplines and are renowned experts in their fields, hailing not only from Texas, but across the U.S. Sina Bahram of North Carolina is an expert in human computer interaction and user experience, with a specialization in those interfaces as used by persons with disabilities; Douglas Brinkley is a historian, professor at Rice University, and award-winning author with six titles named “Notable Book of the Year” by The New York Times; Jhonny Langer is a Galveston-based specialist in paint analysis, restoration, and conservation of decorative finishes and historical artifacts; as chief executive officer of Fair Park First, Brian Luallen oversees the 277-acre National Historic Landmark that hosts the State Fair of Texas and nearly 6 million visitors annually; a regional director of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, Sarah Miller specializes in historical archeology, archeology education, site stewardship, heritage at risk, advocacy, and historic cemeteries. 

For more information, including the schedule and registration, visit realplaces.us. For questions about registration, contact 512-463-7475 or realplaces@thcfriends.org.