Attending any business conferences in the upcoming year, or simply want to know the scoop on what’s worth attending? Whether you’re networking, or putting your biz out there in a trade show booth, getting a head start is ideal. As the VerticalResponse business conference planning guru, I work months in advance. So, I’ve put together details for you on some of the best small business conferences lined up for the rest of the year. We’ll also fast forward to 2014 and look at conferences you won’t want to miss next year.

WomanCon 2013
September 25, 2013
New York, NY
Attendees: 200+

What WomanCon says: “Thinking about starting a business? Looking to connect with entrepreneurial women? Want to learn more about financing options for your venture? Not sure how to pitch the media? Come to WomanCon 2013 and experience a fresh, new one-day conference that brings together amazing women entrepreneurs, both on and off the stage. 200 professional women will hear real behind-the-scenes stories of success from incredibly successful female entrepreneurs.”

What you learn about at WomanCon: How to turn ideas into companies, pitching to the media, branding, getting money for business growth, success tips from women founders, etc. Psst… our CEO, Janine Popick is a speaker, too!

November 18-21, 2013
San Francisco, CA
Attendees: 50,000

What Dreamforce says: In 2012, Dreamforce broke all records, and 2013 is going to be even bigger and better with:

  • All-new keynote speakers and an amazing band for the Dreamforce Gala
  • More than 800 breakout sessions—content for every role!
  • 500+ partners in the Cloud Expo

What you learn about at Dreamforce: Latest product updates, newest technology, tips and tricks directly from the experts to turbo charge your current skill set.

SMX Social Media Marketing
November 20-21, 2013
Las Vegas, CA
Attendees: 700

What SMX says: “Whether you’re managing communities or buying social media advertising, SMX Social Media Marketing is your conference.”

What you learn about at SMX: Blogging, social media advertising, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and social community management and social tools.

2014 business conferences to look forward to:

There are a lot of events out there for your business. Here are a few in addition to our 2013 Business Conference list. We’ve covered events through May, as many are still being planned, and haven’t been announced. Let’s start with two small business resources that can help find classes and/or conferences in your area:

California SBDC – Small Business Development Center
Events all year
Find your local SBDC here

What the SBDC says: “The California Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Program is the leader in providing small business owners and entrepreneurs with the tools and guidance needed to become successful in today’s challenging economic climate.”

Your local SBDC provides comprehensive business guidance on most business issues including: Best practices for small businesses, business planning development, start-up basics, financing, procurement & contracting opportunities, regulatory compliance, money management, international trade, and manufacturing assistance.

SBA – Small Business Administration
Events all year
Find your local SBA here

What the SBA says: “Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.”

The SBA has classes and even virtual classes that cover: starting a business, managing a business, lender financing/financing a business, business planning, contracting, export assistance, social media and web presence.

NMX – New Media Expo aka “Blog World”
January 4-6, 2014
Las Vegas, NV
Attendees: 30,000

What NMX says: “Join us at New Media Expo (aka Blog World), the World’s Largest Conference and Trade Show for Bloggers, Podcasters, Web TV & Video Creators, and Social Business Pros. New Media Expo attracts content creators from across the globe, and it’s also the epicenter of leading ideas in social business with the collocated BusinessNext Social conference! You’ll learn from latest case studies and the most effective methods these innovators have used in their own businesses and online properties to rise above the rest.”

What you learn about at the NMX: Blogging, commerce, tools, podcasting, web TV & video. They also have one-on-one workshops for hands-on experience and advice.

Small Business Expo
January 16, 2014
Miami, FL (multiple cities)

What the Small Business Expo says: “Small Business Expo is the largest & most anticipated nationwide B2B trade show, conference and networking event held in multiple cities across the United States (currently NYC, Dallas, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles).”

What you learn about at the Small Business Expo: email marketing, web hosting, SEO , business coaching, financial planning, health care and other topics depending on the location of each event.

Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp
March 1, 2014
Scottsdale, Arizona

What Women Entrepreneurs’ Small Business Boot Camp says: “Please join us and soak up the knowledge and experience of fantastically successful local business experts who will share relevant, valuable tricks, tips and tools to help your business grow and make money. Take control of your business destiny and enjoy: A full day of education, motivation and celebration!”

What you learn about at Women’s Boot Camp: Sales success, search engine optimization, creating magnetic influence, time management, building a high performing team, grow your wealth and social media.

San Fransisco Small Business Week Conference
May 2014
San Fransisco (Check for Small Business Week in your area)

What the Small Business Week says: “Celebrate the contributions of San Francisco small businesses! Connect with more than 4,000 members of the small business community. Focus on making your business soar! Learn about best practices and innovative technology. Join this inspiring free annual event that honors small business’ contribution to San Francisco’s prosperity.”

What you learn about at SF Small Business Week: running your business in the cloud, financing, email marketing, social media, manufacturing, smart hiring, business planning, branding, network, and much more.

Finding the right conference for you and your business

Find the right conference by looking at the sessions/classes being held, the businesses that are sponsoring, and check out the speakers. We’ve shared general small business and marketing events. If you’d like to go to events that are specific to your business, start looking now! Early-bird pricing for conference passes, hotels, and flights is already out there.

What small business events are you looking forward to? Share in the comments below.

© 2013 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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