You can find plenty of events for small businesses and startups this summer and fall, to educate yourself and your staff, and to network with your peers. Here is our hand-picked list of conferences, seminars and events. Don’t miss out on these excellent opportunities to help you start a business, grow it and run it like a pro!
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Multiple Cities and Dates 2012 – see website for full list
Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.
Spark & Hustle Tour
Multiple Cities and Dates, May through August 2012
Led by Tory Johnson, the jam-packed, high-energy day enables you to experience big breakthroughs in your business and yourself.
Meet great people who can help with product development and packaging; manufacturing and distribution; multiple revenue streams and collaborations; mental preparedness for monumental success; and so much more.
Beyond the jam-packed sessions, this event is ideal to meet partners, collaborators and even clients!
The Real World Marketing Conference: What’s Working Now?
July 11, 2012, New York City
At this one-of-a-kind conference, top marketing experts will provide attendees with the strategy and tactics needed to create and execute proven marketing plans to help them exceed their business goals.This half day conference will feature four breakout sessions covering all of the latest marketing initiatives you can easily implement in your business. Topics include: engagement marketing, social media strategies, and content marketing. The event will conclude with a panel discussion featuring four experts that have significantly grown their businesses through successful, integrated marketing campaigns.
For $10 off registration use promo code NYER10.
Ultra Light Startups Investor Feedback Forum
July 12, 2012, New York City
The objectives of this event are:
To help early stage startups refine their investor pitch
To provide actionable advice and feedback for each presenting startup
To provide insight on how investors evaluate startups and pitches
To award prizes to the most viable startups, based on audience voting
Infusionsoft Small Business Success Tour
July 12, 2012, New York City
August 16 – San Francisco
August 24 – San Diego
September 13 – Chicago
September 28 – Los Angeles
October 5 – Boston
This series features a full day of strategies, tips and marketing best practices from the experts at Infusionsoft. You’ll receive hands-on instructions on how to develop a highly effective sales and marketing plan you can start implementing right away. You’ll learn to:
Drive higher customer referral traffic tomorrow
Calculate and optimize the lifetime value of your customers
Create a constant flow of new customers who are ready to buy
Build a healthy and responsive database
Get the right message, to the right person, at the right time
The Science of Inbound Marketing
July 12, 2012, online
Billions of pieces of data, five years of research, and tens of thousands of readers and attendees in the making, The Science of Inbound Marketing will be the paramount presentation of inbound marketing data, statistics and science. HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella and HootSuite’s VP Marketing Ben Watson will vanquish any unicorn-and-rainbows myths you may have about how inbound marketing really works and what role social plays in this ever-changing landscape. During this 60 minute webinar, you’ll learn:
How to make marketing decisions based on real data
Ways to leverage your channels for most visibility
How to beat the competition using inbound marketing
New York Launch Party
July 17, 2012, NYC
Small Biz New York was created by Small Business Expo and Do It In Person as a fun and informative monthly B2B networking event for New York City Small Business Owners. Not your typical monthly networking event, in addition to general meet & greet networking sessions at local bars & restaurants, each month is different ranging from cutting edge business seminars, to business owner luncheons & breakfasts, to Speed Networking & more…all leading up to the annual Small Business Expo.
Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream Speed Coaching
July 17, 2012, San Diego
Business owners in the restaurant, food, beverage or hospitality business can get free advice next week from the makers of Samuel Adams beer.
The event is part of a nationwide series sponsored by the brewing company. The event will kick off with a networking reception at 5:30pm. During the reception you will sign up for the consulting stations that are most relevant to your business.
The program will begin at 6:00 pm with welcome remarks, after which you will have the opportunity to spend 20 minutes at the coach stations of your preference and receive personalized 1-on-1 coaching from local professionals and Sam Adams experts. Make sure to bring your questions and anything you want feedback on, such as packaging, materials, and ideas.
Women’s Leadership Exchange Chicago Conference
July 17, 2012, Chicago
For the past 10 years WLE has been connecting women business owners throughout the country. 2012 is their 10th anniversary and WLE wants to give back to members who have helped them get to where they are today. At the WLE conference you will learn new strategies, new tactics and new resources that didn’t exist a few years ago. WLE has assembled a group of experts who are experiencing outstanding results. Join WLE in Chicago for a jam-packed day of content to drive new business and opportunities while making valuable business connections.
How to Design Slides for Webinar Presentations
July 17, 2012, Online
Whether you’re a marketer or communicator responsible for crafting virtual content, a sales professional looking convert more customers, or a business leader who presents on a regular basis, it’s time to learn the steps to make your next Web presentation a bigger, bolder success. Attend this free seminar as Roger Courville, author of The Virtual Presenter’s Handbook, demonstrates practical idea for improving virtual presentations quickly and easily—using real slides from real people. You’ll walk away with new ideas for taking your webinars from so-so to sensational.
Department of the Navy (DON) Small Business Opportunity Conference
August 6-8, 2012, San Diego
The DON OSBP is conducting its annual Gold Coast Small Business Opportunity Conference in San Diego, CA on 06-08 August 2012. The primary purpose of the event is to provide a forum to educate, guide and assist small businesses in working with the government primarily the Department of Defense. NDIA and NAVSUP have collaborated to bring interesting and motivating speakers that will present topics of interest with regards to working with the government. Plan on attending informative and relevant general/plenary and break-out sessions including Industry Day with five of the Navy commands. Visit over 250 industry and government exhibitors along with dozens of posters containing company information and opportunities. As with any of these events, there are also plenty of opportunities for networking.
Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Governor’s Small Business Forum
August 7, 2012
The Forum is designed to give small business owners essential tools to help their businesses succeed, provide jobs for Texans and strengthen the South Plains economy. The Texas Workforce Commission will present information on the many services available for small business owners, including the $2 million dollar Skills for Small Business Fund, which provides grants to community colleges that small businesses may access for employee training needs.
MacTech Boot Camp
August 7 – San Diego, CA
September 5 – Minneapolis, MN
December 5 – Miami, FL
MacTech Boot Camp is a one day event for those that support the home user, and small business market held around the country. MacTech Boot Camp is a single-track, hotel based seminar that is specifically geared to serve the needs of consultants and techs wanting to serve their base better. This event is geared toward those that already support the home and SMB communities, or that want to become a consultant supporting these areas.
Sage Summit 2012
August 12-14, 2012, Nashville, TN
Sage Summit is the premier conference for Sage customers and partners. It’s the destination for learning better ways to leverage the software you already own and know and discovering new technologies. Plus you’ll hear what’s working for other people in your industry and gain insight on how to overcome the challenges your organization faces.
One Woman National Business Conference and Expo
August 17-18, 2012, Sugar Land, TX
“Changing the Face of Business One Woman at a Time” is the theme of the taking place Aug. 17 and Aug. 18 at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. The two-day conference will give business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate employees the chance to network with like-minded decision makers.The conference also features a trade show exhibiting products, services and business opportunities.
Speakers will discuss industry trends and business growth strategies. Supplier diversity officers will talk about how to better serve the small business community and meet new potential suppliers.There will also be a “Youth Explosion” program for young entrepreneurs. One Woman is an annual women’s business promotion, advocacy and development forum.
MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2012
October 3-5, 2012, Boston
B2B Forum isn’t just another event. It’s the event for B2B marketers who don’t just follow yesterday’s best practices; they create the next practices needed to move their businesses—and industries—forward.
Five programming tracks covering the modern marketing mix: lead gen, content, social media, mobile, and marketing essentials.
Dozens of smart sessions by professionals on the pulse of marketing trends and growth.
Inc. 500 | 5000
October 3-5, 2012, Phoenix, AZ
Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is the must-attend event for the nation’s leading entrepreneurs. Join your colleagues and peers for three days of unparalleled networking and learning from the leaders of America’s fastest-growing companies. This year’s speakers include Captain Mark Kelly, Commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final mission, Guy Kawasaki, Founding Partner of Garage Technology Ventures, and Marie Tillman, Founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation.
Women’s Business Conference 2012
October 4-5, 2012, Louisville, KY
This year’s theme celebrates the entrepreneurial, innovative and adventurous spirit of women business owners. They are starting businesses at record rates and running these businesses on their own terms. They refuse to sit idle, waiting and watching. They have confidence and power to shake things up, take smart risks and do things differently to move forward. They are impacting positive change at every turn, speaking out on issues of public policy, lightening their environmental footprint and creating jobs that fuel the economy. They are part of something much greater than themselves—a grassroots movement of women business owners and their community of supporters all dedicated to helping one another grow, thrive, give back and leave a legacy.
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.
Small Business Influencer Awards Gala
October 17, 2012, New York City
The Small Business Influencer Awards will honor the Top 100 small business influencer champions at a festive Awards Gala on the evening of October 17, 2012 at the Javits Convention Center. Last year’s event had a capacity crowd at a smaller venue. This year it will be bigger than ever — with the Awards Gala as the evening event at the New York XPO Small Business Conference. Don’t miss this exciting event! See last year’s recap. Meanwhile, be sure to nominate someone for the Small Business Influencer Awards (perhaps yourself?).
Small Business Expo
November 8, 2012, Los Angeles
Small Business Expo is a full day networking event, trade show & conference of the year for business owners, C-Level Executives & company decision-makers.
Network with other business professionals & check out the exciting exhibitor hall
Establish new contacts and reconnect with old ones.
Further your education by attending workshops & seminars.
Learn about new products and services that will help your business grow.
Interact with the movers and shakers of your industry.
Discover new and innovative technologies.
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.
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Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive list of small business events. There’s something going on almost everywhere! I’ll be sure to share this with my colleagues.
Wow, that is a great list for sure. I know the one hosted by the guys from Infusionsoft would be pretty awesome. For anybody who doesn’t know, their software is an advanced shopping cart system. The clever thing about it is it will track the various paths prospects took in order to visit your website. It can then follow their journey as they go on to buy further products. This is very important as a business owner because then you can quickly see which of your traffic streams is resulting in the most sales.
Of course, with any of these events, the real magic happens at the bar afterwards, when you get to network with potential Joint Venture partners.
Laura: Will you cover international events in the future? As a fan of micro beers, it is fun to see how Samuel Adams is developing its business. Great slogan, Brewing the American Dream. Cheers! 🙂
We do occasionally include a few international events. If you know of some good ones please let me know!
Laura: I will do that! I will try to attend a few events in autumn, e.g., “the web days” in Gothenburg, Sweden.