Small Business Events for Spring and Beyond

Welcome to our biweekly roundup of small business events, conferences and webinars, brought to you as a community service by Small Business Trends and


Making Sense of Mobile Phones: How to Find the “Right One” for Your Business
March 29, 2011, New York City

2011 promises to be another exciting year in the world of mobile phones – with plenty of new hardware scheduled for release and an ever-expanding complement of apps hitting the marketplace, the possibilities seem limitless. Unfortunately, this can also create a lot of confusion for the average consumer who is trying to figure out the best mobile solution for their life and their business. During this lively and interactive panel discussion, we will delve into a variety of issues, including:
– What new functionality/utility is coming to the market in the coming months?
– How do I ensure that my data is secure?
– What are the major manufacturers doing to distinguish their platform?
– What phone is right for me and my business? iPhone? BlackBerry? Android? Microsoft? Something else?


The 2011 U.S./Israel Venture Summit
March 29-30, 2011, New York City

The U.S./Israel Venture Summit, presented by youngStartup Ventures, is the premier gathering where cutting-edge Israeli startups meet top venture capitalists, angel investors, corporate VCs and investment bankers from throughout North America.

Whether you are an investor seeking new deals, or an emerging company seeking capital and exposure, The U.S./Israel Venture Summit is one event you won’t want to miss.


BlogWell: How Big Brands Use Social Media
March 29, 2011 – New York City

This event is all about how big brands use social media. No agencies, no startups — just big companies sharing what they’ve learned and providing practical, how-to advice on creating great content, earning management buy-in, training employees, engaging fans and keeping everything ethical and legal.

Additional BlogWell events:
May 4, 2011 – Washington, DC


Dumb Ways Smart Entrepreneurs Fail in Using Technology
March 31, 2011, 8 p.m. EDT, Webinar

In this webinar Tim Berry, President and founder of Palo Alto Software, will be discussing with host Ramon Ray how even very smart small business owners make dumb mistakes when it comes to implementing technology in their companies. You’ll hear:

* Some of the biggest mistakes growing companies make when trying to use technology
* How much of social media is hype, and whether it is for every business
* Some of the best ways companies can keep current customers AND get new ones


BYOB 2011 Conference for Entrepreneurs
April 2, 2011, Philadelphia

This conference will help you plan a strategy to leave your J.O.B. to start your own business and those of you in your own business will learn new skill sets to take your business to the next level. Whether you’re thinking about starting a business or in your first five years in business, this workshop will give you new perspective on how and what you do!


Spring 2011 Miami Small Business Summit
April 2, 2011, Miami

Sponsored by Constant Contact, the day’s sessions include:
–Funding your Business -Available Options
–SBA and Conventional Lending Programs
–Financing Programs for both start-up and existing business – Learn the Process
–Improving your Credit Score
–Preparing a Personal Financial Statement
–Using Constant Contact to Create and Access your customer base
–Staffing- Outsourcing the Job or Hiring the right person
–Internet and Telecommunications – the Smart Choices


Make Mine a Million – M3 1000 Conference
April 4, 2011, Denver, CO

Join Count Me In for this event, to pitch your woman-owned business.

Ready to be one of the 250 women to pitch and compete for prizes at the next M3 1000 event?  Meet the criteria and pitch your business for a chance to “make yours a million.”  Designed for businesses with current revenues between  $85,000 – $700,000, that are ready to grow your business to a million dollars within the next 18-36 months.

In addition to pitch opportunities, also includes speakers and breakout educational sessions.  Join Small Business Trends Founder Anita Campbell for breakout sessions on how to develop expert status and promote your business using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others.  Register here.


Morgan Entrepreneurship Series at the Hudson Library
Multiple dates, Hudson, OH

The Entrepreneur’s Edge
Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Kirk Neiswander, president of The Entrepreneur’s Edge, which provides services and programs specifically designed to help its member mid-market companies grow in value

Thursday, April 21, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.
Baiju Shah, president, CEO and founder of BioEnterprise in Cleveland, an initiative that aids the formation, recruitment and acceleration of health-care companies

Entrepreneur Success Stories
Wednesday, May 4, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.
Entrepreneur success stories will feature a panel of successful Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs who are living the dream of running their own businesses.


GROWCO Grow Your Company Conference
April 6-8, 2011, Las Vegas

Inc. created GROWCO, a three-day conference for business leaders who want brass tacks advice to achieve the next level of growth. GROWCO speakers include founders and CEOs of fast-growing companies, icons in the business community and authors of definitive business tomes. Learn how to develop a vision, manage a team, create a brand, get the most for your marketing dollar, connect with customers, close deals and find capital.  NOTE:  Anita Campbell, Founder of Small Business Trends, will be in attendance with sponsor UPS.


Trade Nassau
April 12, 2011, Woodbury, NY

Trade Nassau will bring together premier businesses from Long Island the greater New York Metro region. Exhibitors and attendees will have the opportunity to connect and network with entrepreneurs, local, regional and national corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, business advocacy groups, and the media.

  • Meet and explore business opportunities with Long Island’s business elite
  • Meet hundreds of exhibitors and over 1,500 key decision makers
  • Attend business seminars and panel discussions to learn about the best business practices from experts


Specialty Retail Entrepreneur Expo & Conference
April 12-14, 2011, Las Vegas

SPREE is the world’s largest event for the $12 billion cart and kiosk industry. Whether you are a retailer, specialty leasing manager or prospective entrepreneur looking for the newest concepts, locations or services to start or grow your specialty retail business, or an exhibitor seeking new sales opportunities, SPREE is designed with you in mind!


The Women in Business Conference
April 21, 2011, Colorado Springs, CO

This full day conference will feature a breakfast, lunch and breakout sessions. The breakfast keynote speaker will be Kelli Vrla with “Put on Your Big Girl Panties and Ride Cowgirl.” The breakout sessions will feature Dr. Dianne Stone, Carolyn Strauss, Chuck Kocher and Kathy Hagan Brown.

It will be followed by the luncheon, and keynote speaker Roxanne Emmerich will bring you “Thank God It’s Monday.” The Athena Award Ceremony will take place also during the luncheon. The event will include all kinds of information a woman (or any business owner) needs to succeed in business. You will hear from successful businesswomen who made it and are willing to share how with all of you.


Online Marketing & Social Media Crash Course
Multiple Cities & Dates

Discover how you can harness the power of the Internet to get your business found online (in an affordable way), engage new customers with your brand, and keep old ones coming back. Deluxe for Business and Sprint are proudly sponsoring these FREE small business events across six cities in 2011, with the help of host Entrepreneur EXPO and keynote speaker Starr Hall.

April 21 – Houston
May 11 – Chicago
June 15 – Atlanta
July 14 – New York City
August 16 – Los Angeles
September 13 – Miami


Extreme Business Makeovers
April 29-May 1, 2011, Orlando, FL

This dynamic and transformational “Connectinar” features top-caliber small business thought leaders as well as like-minded, “intentional entrepreneurs” for you to network and form strategic relationships with.

Speakers include such powerhouses as Joel Comm, Frank McKinney and Scott Ginsberg who will teach you how to…
1) Uncover your hidden assets
2) Overcome your challenges
3) Create your action plan to bring you to the next level


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.


unGeeked Elite
unGeeked EliteMay 12 -14, 2011, Chicago

unGeeked Elite three-day Retreat’s unique format:

* No keynote speakers: unGeeked levels the playing field by presenting you with an influential list of international, national and regionally recognized consultants and authors.
* No Presenters: unGeeked is where you participate in open discussions with “discussion leaders” regarding leveraging your corporate and personal brand.
* Fewer Powerpoints or Prezi’s: Really? We don’t like them. However, if the speaker needs to use one of these tools, they are limited to only five slides.
* More speaker and attendee interaction: We’re changing what to expect from a seminar or conference.

Limited to 125 participants. Note: Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends, will be speaking at this event.


BizTech [Mobile Apps]
May 12, 2011, San Francisco

Discover the coolest and latest mobile apps. Connect with everyone who cares about the mobile industry and learn what’s going on in the mobile technology world today.

Additional upcoming event:
BizTech [Event Technology] – July 12, 2011


America’s Small Business Summit 2011
May 23-25, 2011, Washington, DC

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual event — America’s Small Business Summit — unites small business owners, managers and entrepreneurs from across the country to learn, network and discuss common legislative and management concerns. Help influence our nation’s economic and political agenda by advocating for pro-business policies through the Rally on the Hill portion of the program. Register before April 1st for early bird pricing.


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!


New England XPO for Business
May 25, 2011, Boston

Connect, collaborate and communicate with over 10,000 business owners and professionals from across New England at the 3rd Annual New England XPO for Business. This event is the largest and most profitable B2B networking conference in the Northeast, featuring 36+ educational seminars and over 300 exhibits packed with hundreds of business products and services.


Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers Procurement Conference
June 2, 2011, Warrensburg, MO

More than 1,200 government agencies and prime contractors have been invited to discuss their contracting opportunities with interested businesses. Exhibitors interested in showcasing their products and services at the conference’s trade show should call 573-882-8058 to reserve an exhibition booth. Registration details for businesses interested in attending the conference will be available in April.

The conference is sponsored by Missouri’s senior Sen. McCaskill, MO PTAC, the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers, and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development at the University of Central Missouri.


Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition
June 14-17, San Diego

This year’s event theme is “E-Commerce Shifts Into Overdrive—the Race Is On” and the event is specifically designed to give e-retailers practical information they need to compete in today’s faster-paced e-commerce market. The speaker roster for the 2011 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition represents the largest group of expert speakers ever assembled in online retailing including: Christopher Payne, VP & GM, North American Marketplaces, eBay; Arianna Huffington; Sona Chawla, President, E-Commerce, Walgreen Co. and more.


Inc. Leadership Conference
June 15-17, 2011, Dallas

The event begins June 15 with a pre-conference reception. The next morning opens on the main stage with a presentation revealing the tangible tools for creating competitive cultures before the day culminates with an awards dinner recognizing this year’s Winning Workplaces honorees — leaders recognized for having created exceptional companies. The final day of the conference will offer additional main stage presentations and more intimate sessions with opportunities for greater networking and education.


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.


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

June 23, 2011 – Chicago
September 30, 2011 – Denver

The Vertical Response 2011 Take Action User Seminar is designed to educate you about email marketing in the age of social media. Complement your attendance with a one-on-one email consultation and get the chance to take what you learn and immediately put it into action! Join’s Ramon Ray in New York City and get $10 off early bird registration at this link.


2011 Creative Freelancer Conference
June 23-24, 2011, Chicago

The Creative Freelancer Conference, presented by HOW magazine and Marketing Mentor, is the only business conference for creative solopreneurs, from designers and writers to illustrators and photographers. Whether you’re a veteran or just starting out, you’ll get the specific tools you need to launch, build and grow a successful freelance business. You’ll also get plenty of time to connect with, learn from and share solutions with your fellow freelancers.
Register by the early bird deadline of April 1 and save $30!


Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium
June 27-30, Reno, NV

Do you run a veteran-owned or service-disabled veteran-owned small business (VOSB/SDVOSB) and want to work with the government? Or do you want to team with a veteran-owned company but aren’t sure how? The National Veterans Small Business Coalition has created the Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium (VETS) to help you accomplish your small business goals.

Unlike other small business conferences, VETS connects thriving veteran business owners with emerging veteran entrepreneurs to expose the knowledge needed to acquire government contracts and teaming opportunities. While attending, also expect to network with government agencies, large companies, and potential clients and customers.


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.


NAWBO Women’s Business Conference 2011
August 31 – September 1, 2011, San Diego

The NAWBO Women’s Business Conference is the only event of its kind focused on connecting women entrepreneurs to real business opportunities that deliver bottom-line results. The conference brings together businesses of all sizes from various industries to provide women entrepreneurs with both personal and professional tools and resources to take their business to the next level of success.


Affiliate Summit East 2011
August 21-23, 2011, New York City

Affiliate Summit East 2011, the premier affiliate marketing conference, is taking place August 21-23, 2011, in New York City. This three-day conference includes an exhibit hall with affiliate merchants, vendors and networks, and multiple tracks of educational sessions covering the latest trends and information from affiliate marketing experts.


The New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards
September 21, 2011, New York City

The New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards is the annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of the 500,000+ small businesses throughout the tri-state area. In its 6th year, the sold-out 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Awards Gala attracts more than 400 business owners and executives and is often referred to as “the networking event of the year.” Don’t miss the chance to do business with the “who’s who” of the New York small business community.


The Summit for Women in Business
October 6-9, 2011, Pigeon Forge, TN

The Summit For Women in Business is providing and showing you how to implement the needed strategies and tools to remain competitive and current within today’s evolving business climate. Created by women business owners for women business owners, this Summit is designed for SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) entrepreneurs, independent and self-employed professionals.


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.

1 Comment ▼

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.

One Reaction
  1. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for the list, it was great to find this information compiled at one place, you made it much more convenient to be aware of the upcoming events.

    Riya Sam