10 Conferences Every Small Business Owner Should Attend

10 Conferences Every Small Business Owner Should Attend

By Matt Reims

When you operate a small business, it can be tough to break away from the office unless it is to do something directly related to day-to-day operations. Making time to better educate yourself in certain field of business, like marketing or finance, is important to your growth as a small business owner. Small business conferences can be an excellent source of inspiration and education, and a great way to network.

Here are 10 small business conferences every small business owner should attend, whether they’re for networking, education, marketing, or all of the above.


1) Small Business Expo

Described as the biggest B2B trade show, conference, and networking event in the country, Small Business Expo provides more than 25 business workshops, seminars, and presentations from experts at the top of their industry. The conference is held in multiple major cities throughout the year, so you may not have to extend your travel budget too much to attend.

Small Business Expo


2) 99U

This small business conference is geared toward creative professionals. 99U includes a series of main-stage presentations over the course of two days from some of the greatest thinkers and entrepreneurs in the world. Attendees can also improve their skills by attending one, or several, of the numerous 75-minute interactive workshop sessions. And be sure to check out some of New York City’s most innovative companies during breakout sessions.



3) Pubcon

Pubcon, which will be held in Las Vegas in 2017 and Austin, TX in 2018, is the perfect place to learn about the latest small business marketing trends. This educational small business conference and expo will help you improve your online and content marketing skills and help you develop actionable strategies. You’ll receive guidance on digital marketing topics that include SEO, social media, and content marketing from highly experienced experts.



4) Small Business Summit

Hosted in the nation’s capital, the Small Business Summit gives more than 900 small business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs the chance to network, expand, learn, and engage with each other. The summit is three days long, and features sessions and workshops to help small business owners get the tools, strategies, and practices needed to excel in the current business environment. A mix of entrepreneurs, innovators, educators, and strategists will lead the sessions and workshops. This small business conference is put on by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Small Business Summit


5) Dreamforce

Although this mega-event is most appropriate for small businesses that use Salesforce, there are so many events that you can achieve value from it even if you’re not a Salesforce user. Hosted by Salesforce and dubbed “The learning event of the year,” Dreamforce is a four-day conference with more than 2,700 sessions. The event provides attendees with information and content that is tailored to every business’s size or need. Regardless of whether you can count your staff on one hand or have hundreds or thousands of employees, there are sessions that will be designed for you. If you are a regular Salesforce user, this event is highly recommended.



6) World Domination Summit

This annual weeklong small business conference in Portland, OR includes workshops and sessions that will help business owners drum up inspiration, figure out how to set goals, and understand the power of positive thinking. Attendees get access to more than 150 local meet-ups.

The 2018 World Domination Summit is set for June. Core principles will include community, adventure, and service and will continue to guide its common goal of changing the world.

World Domination Summit


7) Business Innovation Factory Summit

Held in Rhode Island, the Business Innovation Factor Summit brings together approximately 500 small business owners who are looking to learn and network. Guest speakers will give 15-minute presentations over the course of two days about how they changed their lives, sharing their creative process, struggles, and what they plan to do going forward. The conference is geared toward entrepreneurs who need a motivation boost and feel they can get it listening to other business owners who have been confronted with and overcome similar struggles.



The 2017 INBOUND conference will be held September 25 through September 28 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Centre. The goal is to give attendees the education, connections, and inspiration they need to expand and transform their businesses. Thousands of marketing and sales professionals are expected to be on hand. Keynote speeches, networking opportunities, innovative talks, educational breakout sessions, and hands-on lessons will take place during the four-day event.


9) New York Business Expo and Conference

This annual, one-day small business conference is held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. It provides business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with people who could potentially help their business. Attendees also get the chance to buy products at a discounted price. And small business owners will be able to look ahead at innovations that are coming to their respective industries. The expo includes education hubs, keynote speakers, and a social media lab.


10) America’s Small Business Development Centers’ (SBDC) Conference

The 2017 SBDC Conference will be the organization’s 37th annual event and will take place on September 4 through September 8 in Nashville, TN at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. More than 140 workshops will be available to attendees. Small business owners will receive the latest information about products and services that can help them succeed. This year, the conference’s theme is “Work smarter. Live better.”


Most all of these small business conferences require an investment in cash and time, but the payoff can be great. Getting out there to network and learn new skills is essential to helping your small business grow and flourish. If you’re a small business owner, put a conference on your calendar and enjoy.