2011 Small Business Events, Conferences and Webinars

As we head toward a new year, you’ll find lots of opportunities to learn, connect and grow your business in 2011. Check out this week’s list of small business events, which is brought to you as a community service by Small Business Trends and Smallbiztechnology.com, every two weeks.


PluggedIn Ventures eCommerce Summit
December 21, 2010, New York City

PluggedIn’s eCommerce Summit will discuss the innovation that is impacting ecommerce today and in the coming year, from social and mobile commerce to group buying and traditional ecommerce.

The eCommerce summit is a full-day event that includes four topic-specific roundtables with one-on-one networking and meetings in between. The roundtable format is an intimate if not laid-back discussion that includes a moderator, participant panel and guests who are relevant and engaged in the content.


Digital Marketing World: Social Media
January 5, 2011, online

This social media conference includes three 60-minute presentations on:

  • Facebook for Business—Discover how to conquer Facebook in 30 minutes a day, in just 30 days.
  • Taming the Twitter Beast—Learn social CRM best practices as well as the must-have tools to manage your corporate Twitter account.
  • Profitable Business Blogging—Improve your blogging strategy to better meet your business goals and learn how to gauge your success.

In addition, you’ll get plenty of live Q&A time with the speakers, guidance on the latest social media marketing tools and strategies, and a fully-featured virtual conference environment with networking lounge, exhibit hall and social media resource center.


Tax Planning 2011: Get a Head Start on the New Year By Getting Your 2010 Taxes Right
January 5, 2011, Webinar

Now that 2010 is over, it’s time to think about your taxes – making sure your 2010 tax bill is as low as it can legally be, and planning to make sure your 2011 tax bill is even lower than it was last year. In this popular NFIB webinar, small business attorney and columnist Cliff Ennico will walk you through what you need to know about our complicated tax system, the deductions you can take (including some you probably don’t know about), how to avoid being audited, and the books and records you need to keep in order to make your life as easy as possible.


Roadmap MarketingCreate a “Get Moving” Marketing and Sales Plan for 2011
January 6, 2010 1:00-2:00 PM EST, Webinar

Want a plan that focuses your time and money? Rather than complex, time-consuming, dust-collecting volumes, you need a plan that gives you structure and flexibility. You need a live guide that you can look to for direction, and also for options. In this webinar, speaker Jeanne Rossomme of Roadmap Marketing will help you focus on the key actions and key measures that can help you guide your business in the New Year.


Affiliate Summit West 2011
January 9-11, 2011, Las Vegas

This three-day conference includes an exhibit hall with affiliate merchants, vendors and networks, as well as multiple tracks of educational sessions covering the latest trends and information from affiliate marketing experts. Keynote speakers include Drew Eric Whitman, internationally renowned advertising trainer who specializes in teaching the psychology behind the response, and Brian Solis, Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning New Media marketing and branding agency in Silicon Valley.


When, Why and How to use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
January 11, 2011, New York City

When considering social media, many small businesses are often confused about which applications will be the best for them – do you choose Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or a combination? Each channel has its own standard for use, different audiences and different messaging strategies. This seminar will help to clarify the differences between each application so that you can choose the one that is best for you.


PR for Startups
January 13, 2011, New York City, Boston & Online

Topics include:

  • How to get influential bloggers, reporters and journalists to cover your startup
  • Determining which blogs, magazines, newspapers and TV shows to target for your PR efforts
  • Developing relationships with journalists
  • Best practices on pitching your story
  • Handling interviews – how to prepare, what to say, what to avoid
  • Maximizing the business value of your press

And much more…


SCORE QuickSTART Series Workshops
January 15, 2011 (first of 6 weekly sessions) Port Charlotte, FL

The six-session QuickSTART Series of workshops for the nascent entrepreneur (zero to 18 months in business) will be presented on six consecutive Saturdays beginning January 15, 2011, 9:30 a.m. to noon, at the Mid County Library in Port Charlotte. Attendees will receive an overview of how to launch a new business in Florida. Details here.


SBIC & SBIR: What would you like to know? Come ask the SBA
January 18, 2011, Webinar

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a number of programs dedicated to assisting new technology companies. In 1958, Congress created the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program to help small U.S. businesses meet their requirements for growth and operating capital not available through banks or other private capital sources. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funds research and development projects that propose a sound approach to the investigation of an important education or assistive technology, scienceor engineering question under topics identified each year in the solicitation. This webinar presentation will address such questions as:
– How can technology entrepreneurs get funding from SBIC?
– How to deal with financial institutions when there are no real assets as collateral for a loan (particularly when there is intellectual property, or customer commitments to a product)?
– Is there a path that an entrepreneur can take at the SBA when he or she is getting no traction at a financial institution?


Entrepreneur Magazine’s Growth 2011 Conference
January 20, 2011, Atlanta, GA

* Nearly a dozen hands-on seminars to help your business soar to your highest vision
* Growth strategies from top business authors, radicals and visionaries
* Meet & tweet with host Amy Cosper, editor in chief of Entrepreneur
* Networking throughout the day to build partnerships and connections
* Business growth perspectives from the Entrepreneur of 2010 winners


Tory Johnson’s 2011 Spark & Hustle National Tour
Multiple Dates and Cities Feb-July 2011

Whether you’re just getting your feet wet with this “business thing,” barely keeping your head above water, or finally ready to swim with the sharks, Spark & Hustle is the place to learn (exactly) how to transform your fledgling (or floundering) business into a wildly profitable venture.


NAVSEA Small Business Conference
February 1, 2011, Miami, FL

Small business owners are invited to attend the NAVSEA Small Business Conference, sponsored by the Program Executive Offices (PEOs) for Aircraft Carriers, Integrated Warfare Systems (IWS), Littoral and Mine Warfare (LMW), Ships, and Submarines. This conference will provide a forum for small business owners to connect with senior Navy and industry leaders to learn, collaborate and explore ways in which they can offer their products and services in support of Navy warfare programs.

For more information regarding this exciting event, please contact the Small Business Conference Planning Team at (703) 941-0600, or by e-mail at mandi.jackson@sbconference.org.


BlogWell: How Big Brands Use Social Media
February 2, 2011, Austin, TX

Toyota, REI, Texas Instruments, Kellogg Company and more will share case studies in corporate social media at BlogWell Austin: How Big Brands Use Social Media. You’ll learn how to get started, get past roadblocks, and make your social media program phenomenal — in one afternoon, for just $250. Get practical, how-to advice on creating great content, getting management buy-in, educating employees, keeping lawyers and regulators happy, simple and ethical disclosure, and engaging fans. Presented by GasPedal and SocialMedia.org.


How to Conduct Market Research for Business Plans, Launching New Ventures
February 28, 2011, New York City

Fordham Marketing Professor Hooman Estelami, in this interactive seminar, discusses techniques for conducting market research for evaluating new products, new markets and competitive landscapes. This seminar will help you address the questions: Is your new product/service idea a good one? Is there a market for the product? How big is the market? How do I learn about the competition? How do I make forecasts?


Disney Institute’s Business Owner & Management Conferences: Quality Service and Brand Loyalty
February 28-March 2, 2011, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Presented in partnership with Disney Institute and Northpoint Services. “Benchmark your Business to Disney’s” and discover the strategies and practices that contribute to Disney’s world-renowned success at this conference that includes an exclusive “Business Excellence: Behind-The-Scenes” tour.


Sixth Annual Small Business Summit 2011
March 8, 2011, New York City & Online

Produced by Prime Strategies and SmallBizTechnology.com, this event is an informative, inspiring and productive day. Headline speakers include Chris McCann of 1-800-Flowers and Jim Fowler of Jigsaw, which was acquired by Salesforce.com in early 2010.

At this year’s Summit you will network with your peers, gain insight from business leaders who have built successful businesses – including 1-800-Flowers, Jigsaw, 888 Red Light, ColderICE and more – see demos by the hottest technology companies for small businesses, and hear the success story of this year’s Small Business Strategy Award winner. Super Early Bird registration of $99 through December 31.


Geek Girl Boot Camp
March 19, 2011, Cape Cod, MA

At this full-day technology “unconference” for women, workshops include PC and Mac, Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), Location (Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp) Photoshop, QuickBooks, Blogging, Podcasting, WordPress, Google Tools, Dreamweaver, Video, Inbound Marketing, digital photography and more. The workshops are designed for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. There are Discussion Groups and an all-day Help Desk. The Mission of Geek Girl Camp is to educate and empower every girl and woman at every age level, on every skill level, at every income level on computer technology with fun and provide a legacy by giving back and paying it forward.


12th Annual U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Conference & Expo
May 10-12, 2011, Kansas City, MO

This event will feature plenaries, educational workshops, an Exhibit Hall with over 200 exhibitors/sponsors, as well as business matchmaking sessions. Over 1,600 attendees will represent all levels of federal, state and local government agencies, the small business community, large/prime contractors, minority educational institutions and many more!

The largest civilian contracting agency within the federal government, DOE spent over $25 billion in contracts in FY 2010. The 12th Annual DOE Small Business Conference & Expo is a great opportunity for small business owners, large companies and universities alike to network and partner.


The Art of Angel Investing: What Investors Look for, and Look Out for, When Investing in Startups
May 24, 2011, New York City

This event is a must-attend for anyone interested in learning more about pitching business ideas, venture capital/angel investing and starting their own business. And for those who are Fordham Students or Alumni, come cheer on your peers in the final round of the Fordham Business Plan Competition!


To find more small business events, contests and awards, visit our Small Business Events Calendar.

If you are putting on a small business contest, award or competition, and want to get the word out to the community, please submit it through our Events & Contests Submission Form (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing — it is completely free to list your event.) Only events of interest to small business people, freelancers and entrepreneurs will be considered and included.

Laura Leites Laura Leites plans and manages events for clients through her company, L2 Event Production. Laura's projects include the Small Business Influencer Awards, The Small Business Summit, and many of SmallBizTechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour.