In the early days of developing, defining and establishing the Program, a number of conferences were conducted to gather ideas and disseminate information on byways, and to improve capacity building among States, byway coordinators and the National Scenic Byways Program. These early national conferences and meetings on scenic byways included the following:
A series of regional scenic byways conferences took place in 1995, sponsored by the States and organized by State Byway Coordinators to discuss policy, State programs, grants, economic and tourism benefits, and community roles.
FHWA's National Scenic Byways Program staff organized the early national conferences, as well as the first National Scenic Byways Conference, which took place in 1997 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This conference, called "The Meeting of the 20 Roads," celebrated the first set of byways that had been designated the previous year.
Since 1997, the National Scenic Byways Conferences have been held every other year in locations around the country. These conferences provide byway representatives, byway coordinators, local, State, Tribal and Federal officials, and interested byway advocates and consultants with opportunities to discuss byway policy, projects, best practices, and marketing. The dates and locations of the national conferences are as follows:
Starting in 1999 with the Louisville conference, the America's Byways Resource Center took the lead in organizing the national conferences.
In addition to the National Scenic Byways Conferences, other conferences have been held to address particular aspects of the NSBP as well as regional issues. Several States, including Colorado, Indiana, and Illinois have regular State conferences for their byways. The Historic National Road, an All-American Road, has an annual six-State meeting for the byway States to meet (Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois).