Looking for events to grow your business? The following Small Business Events Guide is HUGE — with over 50 conferences, seminars and webinars — don’t miss these:
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.
Keeping the Promise – California Disabled Veterans Alliance Business Matchmaking
May 23-24, 2011, Los Angeles
The 19th Annual “Keeping the Promise” (KTP2011) Conference, Exposition and Matchmaking Event provides a unique opportunity to meet with disabled and veteran entrepreneurs, May 23-24, 2011 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott in Los Angeles, CA. Business Matchmaking will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2011.
May 24-26, 2011, New York City
BlogWorld is the world’s largest blogging and social media conference, and it’s known worldwide for presenting internet luminaries and entrepreneurs, the most popular and knowledgeable bloggers, podcasters and social media marketing thought leaders. This year’s event will feature great educational content, so new media content creators and businesses of all kinds will learn the best tips, technologies and methods for growing their brands, audiences and businesses online.
In addition to learning new ways to hone your content skills and promote your content and brand. Get 20% off registration with discount code SBTVIP20.
Faster, Better, Smarter: How Great Small Businesses are Using Technology to Drive Growth
May 24, 2011, Atlanta
At this roundtable discussion, a panel of leaders from some of the fastest growing companies in ATL will discuss how they’ve embraced the latest technologies to get closer to their customers, make the most of their time and scarce resources, differentiate themselves from the competition, and develop innovative strategies that set the stage for growth.
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!
Brand Camp NYC
May 24, 2011
Brand Camp: Personal Branding 2.0 Conference is an experiential gathering of business thought leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and professionals from around the world. Brand Camp University mixes together new media, genius and passion to explore the ideas behind personal branding and how it affects students, entrepreneurs, professionals, organizations and corporations. The Brand Camp conference is a hand-picked roster of change agents and innovative thought leaders who share their stories and strategies. Brand camp is more than a conference it is an experience that will change the way you think about your profession, your life and challenge you to passionately pursue your dreams.
How small business can benefit from collaboration, Openness and Sharing
May 25, 2011, Online
How small business can benefit and learn from the principles of Wikinomics—collaboration, openness, sharing, interdependence and integrity.
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.
Running a small business and meeting a payroll is tough enough these days – but fraudulent worker’s compensation claims and rising insurance costs can threaten your business’s very existence. The National Federation of Independent Business is offering a free webinar to help you learn what workers’ compensation fraud is and to use effective anti-fraud strategies to protect your business. NFIB members and non-members can sign up. The course will be Led by Ranney P. Pageler, vice president of the Fraud Investigations Department of EMPLOYERS, Inc.. During the past 19 years, Mr. Pageler’s anti-fraud program resulted in more than 600 criminal prosecutions for workers’ compensation insurance fraud related crimes in 23 states.
To help more women business owners participate in, compete for and win federal contracts, American Express OPEN partnered with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) to offer a free, one-hour tutorial webinar.
This session takes business owners through the next steps after certification including:
• 4 required steps to compete for a WOSB contract
• How to grant the contracting officer access to your certification in the repository
• WOSB review and protest issues
• Mandatory reading: regulations and compliance
The vast majority of small U.S. companies are operating without much guidance from established business experts. The Small Business Webinar Series offers unbiased, actionable improvement steps that apply to every small business, no matter the industry. The webinar will provide tips that can increase productivity for today’s small business professionals working in fast-paced office environments.
The Art of Angel Investing: What Investors Look For, and Look Out for, When Investing in Startups
May 26, 2011, New York City
Top NYC Angel Investors Are Pitched By Several Startups & Award up to $40,000* in Prizes including $10,000 cash prizes and $30,000 of in-kind services. 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.
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.
The conference is sponsored by Missouri’s senior Sen. McCaskill, Missouri PTAC, the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers, and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development at the University of Central Missouri.
12th Annual Enterprise Council on Small Business Summit
June 6-8, 2011, New Orleans
This year’s ECSB Summit will examine the “silent majority” of satisfied small business customers whose positive experiences don’t translate into vocal endorsements. By identifying these potential advocates, studying what motivates them to communicate to others, and mapping the networks where referrals occur, participants will uncover the best practices needed to drive active advocacy among small business customers. Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends will be speaking on the panel “60 Ideas in 60 Minutes.”
Marketing Boot Camp: Getting the Right Message to the Right People at the Right Time
June 7, 2011, Itasca, IL
Tough times call for tough tactics, and an intelligent, targeted marketing program – plus the commitment to implement it – is necessary for any business to survive. Fortunately, good marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to work. So where do you begin?
Lee Zoldan, president of The Simons Group, a marketing and communications firm that provides full-spectrum marketing communications, will give a crash course in marketing fundamentals and share smart, real-world strategies that you will be able to use immediately.
12 Hours of Tech for Growing Businesses at Internet Week NY
June 8, 2011, New York City
12 Hours of Tech brings together some of the hottest tech companies and small business experts to share insight on how technology can be used as a tool to grow your business.
Sessions will include discussions on cloud computing, ecommerce, legal issues, online marketing, preventing ID fraud, mobile computing and more. See website for full agenda and speakers. At the end of the day, please stay for refreshments, conversation and connecting at the informal wrap-up reception from 6-8pm.
How I Built It
Thursday, June 9 – Austin, TX
Thursday, September 15 – Chicago
Wednesday October 5 – New York City/World Business Forum
Join Wall Street Journal Small Business Editor Colleen DeBaise as she moderates an esteemed panel of top entrepreneurs for dynamic discussions in your area. Gain firsthand wisdom from these entrepreneurial gurus as they delve into their journeys of launching successful businesses.
FutureLab is a unique workshop designed to help entrepreneurs (and aspiring ones) align their business activities now with the vision and the future they’re out to create. FutureLab is a step-by-step program that introduces tools and techniques to plan and grow your business with a focus on effectiveness and profitability. The course teaches the best in strategic visioning, project planning and management while addressing behaviors, blind spots and thought patterns that are barriers to fulfilling on your goals.
Q2PR Elite Venture Entrepreneur, Capital and Angel Investor Network Mixer
June 12, 2011, New York City
This EVECAIN event brings entrepreneurs in early and mid stage (Pre-IPO) companies together with suppliers and growth capital sources. Entrepreneurs incubating a business idea, or companies already producing product and searching for growth capital, suppliers, or business coaching are all invited.
How Small Businesses Can Do Very Big Things With Technology
June 14, 2011, New York City
Very small businesses are often asked to do very BIG things. In fact, in order to thrive (and not just survive) it’s critical that they leverage technology as a powerful tool for business growth. There are hundreds of free and fee tools that you can use to help you save TIME, save MONEY, be more PRODUCTIVE, boost REVENUE and so much more.
You’ll learn how to gain insight about your customers, better market to your customers, know what new products or services to launch – and so much more.
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.
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.
June 15 – Atlanta
July 14 – New York City
August 16 – Los Angeles
September 13 – Miami
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. 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.
Grow Your Business Through Government Contracting
June 16, 2011, Miami, FL
The Federal Government awards nearly $100 billion in contracts annually to small business owners. This free day-long event presented by American Express OPEN will feature workshop breakout sessions, expert speakers and networking opportunities. It is designed to get small business owners on the path to securing those contracts and boosting their profits. Working sessions include:
- The GSA Schedule
- Business Matchmaking/Contract Connections
- Capabilities Statement and Pitching your Business
- Researching Opportunities
Expert business counseling will be provided by SCORE Roundtables.
Vertical Response 2011 Take Action User Seminar Series
Multiple Cities and 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 Smallbiztechnology’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.
Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium
June 27-30, Reno, NV
Do you run a veteran-owned or service-disabled veteran-owned small business and want to work with the government? Or do you want to team with a veteran-owned company but aren’t sure how?
The Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium (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.
When it comes to learning about social media, there are plenty of online tutorials…but nothing beats the voice of experience. With that in mind, Aileron is excited to welcome three blogging, tweeting, and social-networking business owners for an informative panel discussion. These entrepreneurs don’t just use social media – they became successful, in large part, because of it.
Increased exposure and traffic, boosted search rankings, and improved sales are just some of the benefits of an effective social-media strategy. Panelists include Liz Strauss, Anita Campbell, and Barry Moltz.
The New York Venture Summit
July 20-21, 2011, New York City
The New York Venture Summit, presented by youngStartup Ventures is the premier industry gathering where cutting-edge startups meet top venture capitalists, angel investors, Corporate VCs and investment bankers.
Whether you are an investor seeking new deals, or an emerging company seeking capital and exposure, the The New York Venture Summit, is one event you won’t want to miss.
National Veteran Small Business Conference
August 15-18, 2011, New Orleans
The Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting this event. The largest nationwide conference of its kind, the National Veteran Small Business Conference provides veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs and SDVOSBs) an opportunity to learn, network and market their businesses.
4,000 leaders from various VOSBs, SDVOSBs, large contractors and federal agencies as well as veterans from the New Orleans area are expected to participate.
Biz 2 Beach
August 19, 2011, Santa Monica, CA
Biz2Beach is an inaugural networking conference of thought leaders, innovators, and trendsetters for an exciting day of exchanging ideas. The “unconference” format of Biz2Beach is unlike most events. Featured speakers who range in business expertise will lead four intimate breakout discussions. B2B is presented by CallFire, who will unveil the latest iteration of its suite of telecom services.
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 businesses 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.
25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, Women’s Business & Buyers Mart
September 14, 2011, Chicago
The oldest conference and business opportunities fair for women in business in the country, this is the premier event for women business owners in the Midwest.
This year’s conference offers women business owners solutions to the current problems they are facing and the opportunity to increase the profitability of their businesses by building relationships with corporate and government buyers, business experts and other women business owners.
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 sixth year, the Awards Gala–which sold out in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010–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.
Inc. 500/5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony
September 22-24, 2011, National Harbor, MD
The Inc. 500 | 5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony celebrates the revered Inc. ranking of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America. The momentous event brings together current Inc. 5000 honorees and alumni of the list, along with the greater business community, to recognize the remarkable achievements of these companies and the great contributions they have made to the global economy.
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.
Western Mass Business Expo
October 18, 2011, Springfield, MA
As the region’s business publication, The Business Journal of Western Massachusetts believes the businesses and communities that comprise Western Massachusetts should be represented at a region-wide trade show to better promote buying and doing business locally. The day begins with breakfast at 7:30 followed by the Expo’s official opening at 9 a.m. and will feature seminars, speakers, lunch and a high-energy, end-of-day networking event featuring music, food and drink.
To find more small business events, contests and awards, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.
If you are putting on a small business event or contest, and want to get the word out, please submit it through our Events & Contests Submission Form (it’s free). Only events of interest to small business people, freelancers and entrepreneurs will be included.