Get Out There and Learn: Events and Conferences for Small Businesses

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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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Infusioncon 2012
April 2-4, Phoenix, AZ

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.


Give Me 5 131: Using your WOSB Certification to Win Contracts
April 4, 2012, Online

Now that you are self-certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), it is critical that you know the requirements unique to the WOSB Program for you to participate in, compete for and win federal contracts. This session takes you through the next steps after certification including the 4 required steps to compete for a WOSB set aside contract and how to grant the contracting officer access to your certification in the repository


Small Business Invitational: Promoting the Drivers of Economic Growth
April 4, 2012, Las Vegas

The day’s events will kickoff with a business expo, during which Nevada’s Latino entrepreneurs will have a venue to exhibit their small businesses and engage in networking. The invitational will also feature an advocacy panel on the state and federal laws that impact small businesses and the ways in which Hispanic advocates can make a difference. Governor Brian Sandoval will deliver the keynote address, focusing on the state’s economic outlook.


Five Things You May Not Know About SBA Disaster Assistance
April 10, 2012, Online

Useful facts about the range and depth of SBA’s disaster assistance programs will be presented in this webinar, which is hosted by Agility Recovery Solutions and SBA. In addition to clarifying SBA’s partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the session will look at SBA’s outreach to local banks to expand the support network for business recovery after a disaster.


The Small Business Tour 2012
Multiple Cities and Dates, April through June

Business owners participating in this event will have the opportunity to learn, network and discuss business issues that top the small business agenda, including money, customers, people and growth. Educational sessions include:

Financial Fitness, discussion led by Corelytics and Concur.
Customer satisfaction and loyalty, discussion led by Constant Contact
Growth in a Social World, discussion led by several leading social media tool providers
Productive People, discussion led by T-Mobile, Cisco and Microsoft on keeping a connected & informed staff.


Innovation Uncensored
April 18, 2012, New York City

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”.


New York XPO for Business 2012
May 2-3, 2012, New York City

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


Government Small Business Conference
May 2-3, 2012

The Small Business Development Center and Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the University of South Florida make your pathway to winning government contracts easy by bringing buyers from federal, state and local government agencies and prime contractors all in one place. With more than 70 exhibitors, you’ll meet the company that needs your products and services. Previous representatives include: U.S. Special Ops Command, Jabil, Lockheed Martin, MacDill Air Force Base, Department of Veteran Affairs, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Harris and City of Tampa Purchasing, and more.


Content Marketing Strategies Conference
May 8-9, 2012, Berkeley, CA

The Content Marketing Strategies Conference ( 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. readers receive $50 off with promo code SMBIZTECH


Internet Week New York
May 14-21, 2012

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.


Confab: The Content Strategy Conference
May 14-16, 2012, Minneapolis

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

US Chamber Small Business Summit

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,


Zenith Social Media Marketing Conference
May 23, 2012, Duluth, MN

The conference is designed for marketers, advertisers and public relations professionals looking to conquer the social media space, boost online engagement, increase social market share and avoid wasteful social media campaigns. The three track levels include the introductory-level Boot Camp Track, intermediate-level Channels Track and the Advanced Track for cutting-edge marketers. In addition, all attendees have the opportunity to learn from top-ranked attorney Jamie Nafziger, partner at Dorsey and Whitney, on how to navigate the tricky, unchartered waters of social during the Social Media & The Law Round Table.


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.


National Veteran Small Business Conference & Expo
June 26-29, 2012, Detroit

The Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting the National Veteran Small Business Conference and Expo. As the largest nationwide conference of its kind, this event focuses on helping Veteran-owned businesses maximize opportunities in the federal marketplace. Join nearly 6,000 participants in Detroit for the opportunity to:
Connect with procurement decision makers from other businesses and federal agencies
Expand knowledge through over 200 training and business requirement sessions
Engage with other attendees and gain visibility in the Expo Hall of nearly 500 booths
Use VetGovPartner to facilitate online and onsite networking including face-to-face sessions with senior procurement decision makers


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.

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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.

2 Reactions
  1. Laura,

    Thanks a lot for this update.

    Some cool new events to check out, for sure!

    The Franchise King®

  2. InfusionCon 2012 started today. From their agenda, it appears they have an interesting array of presenters and presentations though it is, of course, Infusionsoft focused. Some of the sessions address discovering how the latest release of Infusionsoft will improve the efficiency of sales and marketing efforts by making it easier to qualify leads, monitor prospect activities & create lead nurturing campaigns. Other sessions are about helping save time, increase efficiency and improve customer relationships by making it easier for your service company to automate your sales & marketing processes. It promises to be an informative and motivating conference.