Small Business Conferences, Events and Webinars for the New Year

A happy, healthy and successful New Year from Small Business Trends and!

This bi-weekly list of small business events is brought to you as a community service by Small Business Trends and


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 marketing 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…


Swap the Biz NYC
January 13, 2011, New York City

This business networking event for NYC includes free product from sponsors as well as free sales training from speakers. The group facilitates qualified interactions among members and is geared toward entrepreneurs, professionals, CEOs, attorneys and small business owners. Featured speaker is Carol McManus.


SCORE QuickSTART Series Workshops
January 15, 2011 (first of six 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, science or 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?


Smart Marketing for Small Business Webinar
January 18, 2011, Webinar

The Smart Marketing for Small Business webinar is based on the experience and expertise of Leslie Wolff, CEO, Smart Marketing Group. His five decades in all facets of the sales, marketing and management spectrum has created an approach and focus on providing practical, pragmatic (not theoretical) creative tactics that can be used immediately.


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

* 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 and 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


Women in Denim Conference
January 21-22, 2011, Storm Lake, IA

For women in agriculture from Iowa and the surrounding states, the event offers opportunities for fun, networking, learning and inspiration led by entertaining and knowledgeable speakers. Workshop sessions cover topics such as grain and livestock marketing, starting a small business, entertaining and cooking, digital photography, farm financials, new technology in agronomy, staying healthy, Iowa travel gems, sewing and gardening.


Vertical Response 2011 Take Action User Seminar Series
Multiple Cities and Dates

January 21, 2011 – San Francisco
March 23, 2011 – Boston
March 25, 2011 – New York City
June 23, 2011 – Chicago
September 30, 2011 – Denver

The Vertical Response 2011 Take Action User Seminar is designed to educate you about e-mail marketing in the age of social media. Complement your attendance with a one-on-one e-mail consultation and get the chance to take what you learn and immediately put it into action!


Blogging Success Summit 2011
February 1-22, 2011, Online

Blogging Success Summit 2011 is a live online conference designed to help you master blogging, empowering you to quickly attract and connect with customers (and prospects) via your very own platform—a blog. The industry’s leading blogging pros will show you how.

Join 23 experts, including Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra, Scott Monty (head of social media, Ford), Darren Rowse (co-author, ProBlogger), Brian Clark (Copyblogger), Debbie Weil (author, The Corporate Blogging Book), Douglas Karr (co-author, Corporate Blogging for Dummies); experts from McDonald’s, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Sony, and Procter & Gamble; plus Joe Pulizzi (co-author, Get Content Get Customers), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing), Jay Baer (co-author, The Now Revolution), Chris Garrett (co-author, ProBlogger), Dave Garland (author, Smarter, Faster, Cheaper), Mike Volpe (VP of marketing, HubSpot), Rick Calvert (CEO, BlogWorld) and Michael Stelzner (Social Media Examiner)—and more.


Tory Johnson’s 2011 Spark & Hustle National Tour
Multiple Dates & 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

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


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


Social Media Week
February 7-11, 2011, New York, San Francisco, Rome, Paris, Toronto, Sao Paulo, London, Hong Kong, Istanbul

Social Media Week is a global platform that connects people, content, and conversation around emerging trends in social and mobile media.

Delivered primarily through a network of internationally hosted biannual conferences and online through social and mobile media, Social Media Week brings hundreds of thousands of people together every year through learning experiences that aim to advance our understanding of social media’s role in society.


Digital Marketing Forum 2011
February 2-4, 2011, Austin, TX

Digital Marketing Forum Austin will feature:

  • Keynote sessions from provocative thinkers—get inspired by new perspectives on digital marketing
  • Case studies from leading brand-side marketers—see what’s working NOW and apply those best practices to your own campaigns
  • Actionable advice and how-to’s—leave the event and start immediately improving your e-mail, search, social media, and digital marketing results
  • Day-long, pre-conference workshops—choose in-depth training on social media measurement or content marketing/development
  • Plenty of networking opportunities—learn from other marketers in our unique Peer-to-Peer sessions, and mingle with speakers, thought leaders, and digital marketing enthusiasts during the conference


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, FL

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, 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 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.


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!


140 Characters Conference
June 15-16, 2011, New York City

This event is expected to be the largest worldwide gathering of people interested in the effects of the real-time Internet on both business and “we” the people. It seems like everyone is talking about Facebook and Twitter but so what? Why do they really matter?

#140conf exposes you to the power the Internet has to disrupt businesses, change lives and create serendipity. You will leave with a fresh outlook on how the real-time Web can be used in your business or personal life to actually do something meaningful.


FAA Small Business Opportunities Training Conference and Trade Show
June 28-July 1, 2011, Oklahoma City, OK

The FAA will host its Annual National Small Business Procurement Opportunities Training Conference and Trade Show on June 28 – July 1, 2010. The conference provides a forum for small businesses (including service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses and 8(a) certified firms) to participate in technical and procurement opportunities workshops. Sessions will link small businesses with program managers, address business issues and concerns, and provide information that will benefit small businesses seeking to do business with the agency.


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.

6 Reactions
  1. Laura,

    Thanks for compiling this planner for the new year!

  2. Great list.


  3. My pleasure Martin – let me know if you hear of any good ones I missed!

  4. Tynnisha Hamilton

    I’m really looking forward to the Digital Marketing World and Roadmap Marketing Webinar on January 5th and 6th. This is a great list–I’ll be attending as many as possible.

  5. Looking forward to the blogging success summit. Looks like a good one.