In this era of technology, venturing out of your house or business location may at times seem almost unnecessary. Why go through the hassle of attending small business conferences in person when there are so many webinars and streamed events available at your fingertips? While actually attending a conference in person may not seem worth it, there are some things you can only achieve if you are attending in person.
What better way is there to network with other like-minded individuals than speaking with them in person? Think about your own life. How much more likely are you to make lasting connections when speaking with or meeting someone in person versus online or over the phone? Plus, in addition to making some great connections in general, you have the opportunity to market your business to others!
There are dozens of conferences out there and you definitely don’t want to attend ones that won’t benefit your business. To help you narrow it down, here are some of the most popular small business conferences and why you should very seriously consider attending.
Small Business Expo
The Small Business Expo is the largest B2B trade show, conference, and networking event in the U.S. The best part is that it is free to attend and this expo travels to 18 major cities each year. So there’s a good chance that you won’t have to travel very far either. This expo holds dozens of workshops and has over 100 exhibitors in each location. This is a great way to network with others, find new products to help grow your business, and learn about different industries.
America’s SBDC Annual Conference
This small business conference is held once a year and is designed specifically to help small businesses succeed. It is a blend of workshops and seminars as well as an exhibition hall to help you find products and services that will benefit your business. If you missed this year’s conference and don’t want to wait until next year, not to worry. The great thing about the SBDC is that they also have small business development centers throughout the country that offer no-cost consulting to you.
America’s Small Business Summit
The Small Business Summit is sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is held every June in Washington, D.C. In addition to workshops, lectures, and general networking events, you also have the opportunity to network with government officials who may be able to help you navigate through any necessary government licensing or requirements.
New York Business Expo and Conference
If you live anywhere near the NYC area or you are willing to make the trip, this event will be well worth your time. It is the Northeast’s largest B2B tradeshow, conference, and networking event for business owners and executives. You will be able to network with small business owners and with C level executives from various industries. This year, if you share a post about the Expo on social media, the event is 100% free to attend! The event is on November 10th, so register soon if you want to attend!
There are literally hundreds of small business conferences you could attend. There are general ones like the ones listed above, but there are also conferences geared specifically for certain industries. For example, if you are a coffee shop owner, there are conferences such as Coffee Fest. If you’re a retailer, there are conferences like the Independent Retailer Conference.
If you’ve never attended small business conferences before, consider starting with one of the broader more general ones. Then, do some digging into industry specific ones that can benefit your business even more. Remember, go into any conference you choose to attend with a plan for what you want to get from it. Then execute your plan of attack so you can grow your business and take it to the next level!