Small Business Tips

5 small business conferences to know

Manasa Reddigari

Small business conferences offer new and experienced entrepreneurs profession growth opportunities. Here are five small business expos you should consider attending to help propel your business forward.  

Why Should I Go to a Small Business Conference?

 There may be an "i" in business, but most entrepreneurs don't find success working in a silo. You need a network of like-minded professionals around you who understand what you're going through and can motivate you. That's why attending small business conferences is so vital. Attending small business expos allows you to:  

       
  • Gain inspiration for a new business concept that you haven't yet gotten off the ground
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  • Introduce yourself to and make connections with global business leaders in your niche
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  • Pitch products or services for an established business to receptive industry professionals
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  • Educate yourself about business best practices and tools
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  • Learn about current and forecasted industry trends
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  • Get training on a specific area where a knowledge gap exists in your business
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  • Escape the isolation that solo-preneurship sometimes breeds and become involved in the local community
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What Are Some Small Business Conferences I should attend?

#1 Small Business Expo

 This one-day small business conference, the largest B2B trade show in the country, is hosted annually by 15 cities. The list of cities changes each year. The event features exhibits and workshops on topics ranging from marketing to tax planning. These events are designed for entrepreneurs at all stages of business. Because it's attended by thousands of local business leaders, the event offers ample networking opportunities. Even better? It's free to attend.  

#2 WBENC National Conference and Business Fair

 Every June, women business owners flock to this event, the largest conference of its kind. The three-day event boasts an impressive attendee list. This includes leaders from Fortune 500 corporations and the U.S. government. Attendees can enjoy the business fair or a number of presentations, panels and networking events. Registration fees range from $200 to $1,050 for full conference passes.  

#3 Dreamforce

 A who's who of thought leaders, this event held in San Francisco in October has drawn attendees ranging from Tony Robbins to Hillary Clinton. The four-day software conference hosts break-out sessions, hands-on training and networking. It also features jam-packed performances by some of today's biggest names in music. Registration fees depend on how early you sign up. A full conference pass can currently run you $1,999.  

#4 National Small Business Summit

 This event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce features keynote speeches, break-out sessions and one-on-one mentoring. The three-day conference draws 900 business owners from around the country. Among the guests are congressional workers who attend to help bridge the gap between the government and business sectors. Registration fees have not been announced. Discounts are sometimes available to reduce your registration cost.  

#5Small Business Development Center Conference

 This four-day event is great for business owners seeking tangible new skills. The event is hosted by the Small Business Development Center and draws over 1,000 guests annually. Attendees can participate in over 100 business workshops led by experienced mentors. Registration fees have not been announced.  

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