Welcome to our guide of events for small business owners and entrepreneurs — this latest edition covers the Spring and into the Summer, 2012:
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2012 Ohio Business Matchmaker 
March 20-21, 2012, Dayton, OH
The Ohio Business Matchmaker 2012 event is a unique opportunity for exhibitors, purchasing agents (buyers), trainers, and small business owners (suppliers of goods and services) to come together.
More than 1,300 small business owners who represent small, minority, service-disabled veteran-owned, veteran-owned, HUBZone, women-owned businesses, and approximately 250 purchasing representatives from city, state, county, and federal agencies will be participating this year. Prime contractors and other organizations with a combined purchasing budget representing hundreds of millions of dollars in opportunities will attend as well.
In addition to one-on-one matchmaking meetings, this event will offer exhibitors networking opportunities and workshops covering current topics vital to small business success such as Selling to the Government, Doing Business with Federal Government Prime Contractors, SBA Policy Updates, and Surety Bonding.
Small businesses are in a prime position to grow through government procurement because the federal government is required to spend 23% with small firms, including 5% with women-owned firms. In this one-hour session, Give Me 5 instructor Gloria Larkin, President of TargetGov, will provide insights on the tremendous opportunity women business owners have in federal contracting as well as information on how to register on the Central Contractor Registration – the first critical step in doing business with Uncle Sam. Gloria will also address how to build your SBA profile after registration.
Today’s fast-paced communications as well as very high customer service expectations create challenging times for small business owners. Attend Crain’s Small Business Forum to hear a panel of women business owners discuss building their company reputation, expanding their community and opportunities for growth.
Insights from an Online Entrepreneur – Interview with Anita Campbell
March 22, 2012, 12:00 noon Eastern time. Online
An Interview Anita Campbell, CEO of BizSugar.com. Participate live in this interview about what it takes to be successful online. With Netcast Event hosts Chris Hamilton and Kersten Kloss. Join in!
Go here to join in this live event, which will be broadcast via video online.
Manta Tweet Chat: 10 Tools Every Small Business Owner Should Know 
March 22, 2012, 2-3pm EDT. Online
This chat will feature Dell experts giving tips and advice on the ten tools every small business owner can use to run their businesses more efficiently.
Don’t know what a tweet chat is?
Visit the Manta blog to find out what it is and how to participate.
Social Tech ’12 
March 29-30, 2012, Seattle
Social media marketing is no longer an option for B2B—it’s an absolute necessity. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with over 25 of the leading experts who will teach you how to use social media marketing to generate more inbound leads, grow brand awareness, drive conversions, and increase revenue. You’ll meet with industry insiders as well as other B2B marketers to discuss best practices, winning techniques, current roadblocks, and find out what works for your business!
Get ready to learn, network and set new ideas in motion! Join hundreds of small businesses from all around the world at InfusionCon 2012, Infusionsoft’s annual user conference, and experience three days of idea sharing and inspiration in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona on April 2-4.
Where provocative thinkers collide and engage in meaningful, unexpected conversations. At this event, participants from various industries are charged with sharing smart techniques and exploring the next generation of innovative ideas that are shaping our world.
Vator Spark 
May 1, 2012, Berkeley, CA
Vator is introducing Vator Spark, a series of master classes on innovative and disruptive topics relevant to succeeding as a technology entrepreneur. Vator Spark is a full-day, high-energy and accelerated class designed to give entrepreneurs the right knowledge platform, best practices and tools to succeed. The topic for the first Vator Spark is: “Got Game? How to Gamify Your Start-up”.
On May 2-3, 2012, business leaders from across New York will gather at the world famous Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for the 7th Annual New York XPO for Business. This highly acclaimed business event is expected to draw upwards of 10,000 attendees and over 200 exhibitors as the largest business-to-business marketplace in the region. Education will be offered throughout the day and will include over 40 quality information sessions covering sales, marketing, advertising, business growth, best business practices, social media and much more! You’ll be able to identify the latest products and services to meet your competitive challenges and discover the keys to financial success and stability.
Use promo code Smallbiz10 for $10 off any admission package
The Content Marketing Strategies Conference (ContentMarketingNow.com) provides companies of any size a step-by-step systematic approach to developing a complete Content Marketing program that masters the content marketing life cycle: Strategize, Create, Curate, Manage, Distribute, and Analyze.
Subject experts will address topics along the life cycle. Day one kicks-off with insight into how to get started within each step. Day two, through a series of case studies, digs deep into successful companies like Dell, HP, ServiceMax, Kelly Services, SAS and more who have created successful content marketing programs.
By the end of the conference, you will walk away with a complete understanding of how to get started in content marketing or improve upon your existing initiatives.
SmallBizTechnology.com readers receive $50 off with promo code SMBIZTECH
Since 2008, Internet Week has taken place all over the city, thanks to our many partners hosting diverse events in different locations.The result is a critical mass of web-focused events that raises the profile of NYC’s industry as a whole, as well as the partners who participate. Just like in 2010 and 2011, Internet Week NY HQ will be home to stages, classrooms, lounges, installations, and more. With 20,000 more square feet of Digital Playground as well as Conference Theater—Internet Week HQ at 82 Mercer is poised to be the best yet.
Deep dives. Conceptual discussions. Practical application. Whether you’re a seasoned content vet or new to the game, Confab has something for you. You’re sure to walk away with not only new insights and discoveries, but also the ability to actually DO something with them. A mixed agenda format will offer attendees a variety of ways to engage with and employ the innovative ideas that come from the scintillating content and unexpected environment.
The event content is aimed toward anyone who thinks of themselves as an innovative business leader including but not limited to the fields of technology, design, marketing, entertainment, venture capitalism, energy, infrastructure, non-profits and brand executives.
America’s Small Business Summit 2012 
May 21-23, 2012, 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. Past speakers include former President George W. Bush, General Stanley McChrystal, Small Business Editor of the WSJ Colleen DeBaise, and many more. Attendees 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. The event will take place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., on May 21-23, 2012. For more information and important dates, check the Summit website, www.uschambersummit.com.
8th Annual Kentucky Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference 
June 1, 2012, Louisville, KY
The Annual Kentucky Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference (8th KIEC) will bring together distinguished speakers, tech-based economic development practitioners, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, students and postdoctoral fellows.
The conference will focus on growing local initiatives powered by science and engineering talent.
CT Business Expo 
June 7, 2012, Hartford, CT
The 2012 CT Business Expo offers free educational seminars hosted by industry elite speakers and trainers. All of the educational seminars will be held in custom built classrooms on the show floor. Four educational tracks include Sales, Marketing, Technology and Management.
2012 Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium 
June 11-14, 2012, Reno, NV
Designed by Veteran small business owners for Veteran small business owners, VETS2012 brings government agencies, industry leaders and Veteran entrepreneurs together in a small, intimate forum to discuss the questions you need answered.
The New York Enterprise Report 2012 Small Business Awards 
October 10, 2012, 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. Now in its 7th year, the 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.
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.