This post was last updated on February 26, 2020 to include even more small business conferences and networking events.
There are endless opportunities to grow your small business, but at a certain point, it’s natural to hit roadblocks. Attending a small business conference can help re-energize your ambition for growth and give you the tools you need!
Small business conferences can help your business accelerate to the next level by not only putting you in a room with others who have been in your position, but also helping your company to develop brand awareness.
These are some of the best small business conferences (including both marketing and networking events) that you can attend in 2020 to improve your small business’s visibility!
If you own a business, or are in sales and want to drive more business, then you won’t want to miss this event—there will be outstanding speakers providing a wealth of actionable knowledge that can help you drive sales with less effort!
- The importance of networking events
- 6 best conferences to attend
- Best marketing events
- Tech events
- Conferences for women entrepreneurs
- Best startup events
How Can Networking Events Help Your Small Business?
Even if you own a service business, you should never underestimate the power of networking. All small business conferences and networking events will include educational and inspirational speeches from industry leaders. However, they can also benefit your business in a number of ways:
- Conveying the value of your company: By repeatedly giving other attendees your elevator pitch, you can narrow down the core values and appeal of your company.
- Making connections: Whether you’re grabbing a cup of coffee or waiting in line, there’s always time to turn around and make a new connection— which could push your company to the next level one day.
- Meet influencers: In addition to meeting other small business owners in your field, you can also meet influencers, who might be open to publishing content about your company.
- Learn: Educational small business conference speeches can help you learn important new information.
- Open the door to new opportunities: You may come across a fellow small business owner who perfectly fits your target customer profile.
- Hear new ideas: Small business conferences can push you outside of your day-to-day routine, exposing you to a new environment.
- Stay up-to-date on trends: Between marketing, legal compliance and your industry, small business conferences can help you stay apprised on emerging trends.
- Become a thought leader: Networking events give you the right environment to show others in your field that you have a unique perspective, and can excel.
Traveling to attend a small business conference may be worthwhile for your business. But if you’re too busy to take a vacation from your day-to-day, or you simply don’t want to, there are online learning opportunities as well.
These are some of the most popular conferences for small business owners scheduled for 2020.
Best Small Business Conferences in 2020
1. Small Business Expo: All Around Entrepreneurial Advice
Date: Multiple events
Location: Major cities across US
Cost: Attendance is free!
If you’re new to the small business conference world, then this is a great place to start!
Unlike many events, Small Business Expo is held in many major cities across the US, including NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., among others. Not to mention, you can register free of charge!
Available seminars include broad marketing-related topics like social media marketing, SEO, and website best practices. Small Business Expo also offers seminars about less glamorous (but nevertheless important) topics that small business owners should be educated on, like legal compliance, budgeting, cybersecurity, and more. In a nutshell, attending the Small Business Expo will give you the skills and knowledge to grow your business right away.
In addition to networking with fellow small business owners, you’ll also have the opportunity to speak with vendors, who may help you cut costs or add value down the line.
2. Business Mastery Tony Robbins: Inspirational Advice from Accomplished Entrepreneurs
Date: January 22-26
Location: Palm Beach, FL
Cost: Available upon application
If you’ve searched for information about how to grow your business in the past, you’ve likely come across Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins is an inspirational speaker dedicated to helping people find success in their personal lives, as well as their businesses.
At his Business Mastery event, Tony Robbins channels his time-tested business coaching persona to inspire business owners to identify and take the right steps to reach the next level.
During the event, he outlines the innovation that breakthrough brands like Zappos, American Express, Facebook and others have utilized to change the game. He also breaks down the 7 forces of business mastery that drive evolution. This small business conference can help you realize the path for innovation, and strategize accordingly to get there.
In addition to Tony Robbins, other authorities on small business will also speak, like:
- David Meerman Scott: a public relations and marketing expert dedicated to helping brands be as disruptive and attention-grabbing as possible
- Scott Klososky: a former tech startup CEO turned technology consultant
- Keith Cunningham: a small business expert who specializes in helping young companies explode in value
3. Content Marketing World: One of the Leading Small Business Marketing Events
2020 conference details have not yet been released
Whether you have one office with 10 employees or 7 locations with 15 employees each, your business will eventually reach a point where you need a marketing strategy to take things to the next level. Content is king; the right strategy could help you skyrocket above competitors.
Content Marketing World will help you discover everything you need to know about creating (and implementing) an effective content strategy. This includes technical aspects like keyword research, as well as storytelling, incorporating AI, and measuring/maximizing ROI.
Each year, leading content marketers at this conference for small business owners share insider tricks about how they’ve leveraged the power of high-performing content. There are over 120 workshops, each with a specific focus on content marketing!
Because this small business conference is specific to the digital marketing industry, there are plenty of valuable networking opportunities. Content Marketing World could also be your chance to find the right addition to your growing marketing team.
4. Startup Grind Global Conference: Best Conference for Tech Start-Ups
Date: February 11-12
Location: Silicon Valley
Recent years have demonstrated that it’s possible to break through as a startup, but it’s not easy. The Startup Grind Global Conference aims to help startup entrepreneurs put the right wheels in motion to build sustainable and profit-driven companies.
As your startup evolves, you’ll probably face different challenges. This small business conference is designed to help you strategically overcome challenges you’ll face at every stage with carefully curated workshops specific to these phases. Fittingly held in Silicon Valley, you’ll find more valuable information than ever from people who have been in your seat.
There are also pitch sessions, hosted by experienced venture capitalists, designed to give fast-growing startups the opportunity to receive backing.
5. Next Gen Summit: Best Small Business Networking Event for Young People
2020 conference details have not yet been released
The Next Gen Summit is the perfect hub for ambitious young entrepreneurs with ambitions to meet like-minded people.
Specifically geared toward entrepreneurs under 25, this small business conference will help you to connect with all of the contacts that can help your business, from investors to employees. Crucially, the Next Gen Summit includes sessions about how to network effectively and make lasting connections. Other sessions teach young entrepreneurs how to pitch their companies and ideas to investors.
Next Gen Summit also offers the 20,000+ attendees coaching opportunities with high-profile, successful CEOs.
But there are endless networking opportunities right at Next Gen Summit, too. Like many other small business conferences, attendees are eager to get to know one another, and help each other along the way.
At the end of the day, attendees de-stress with fun activities like laser tag and themed dinners.
6. Growth & Success Con: Best Free Virtual Small Business Conference
Date: February 10, 2020
Location: Your office!
If business is booming and you can’t step away, you can still benefit from informative small business conferences!
Growth & Success Con is a free small business conference you can attend virtually for new insights about growing your business. Like the in-person conferences mentioned above, this small business seminar includes expert speakers on several topics. These topics include growth tactics, management strategies, and marketing tips.
This information can help you start growing right away!
More Marketing Events You Should Attend in 2020
Looking to broaden your knowledge about the world of marketing, and the tech that can help you take things to the next level?
In addition to helping you learn how to craft powerful messaging that addresses pain points and compels customers, attending a marketing conference will also help you connect with pros who have already seen results from integrating the latest and greatest technology.
7. CXL Live: Best For Campaign Optimization and Experimentation
Date: April 5-7
Location: Austin, TX
Cost: $1899 for the conference only, $2899 for the conference and workshop day
If you’re continuously driving growth through optimization, experimentation, digital psychology and analytics, this conference is a must-attend for you.
CXL Live is an extraordinary event where you’ll be able to share ideas with other professionals, and learn from the best in online experimentation. It’s held in a relaxing hotel setting away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city, allowing you to focus on learning as much as possible!
This digital marketing conference is brimming with genius practitioners who are eager to teach their craft. You’ll learn cutting-edge tactics that will immediately give you new insights into your work. Each day is filled with quick (but detailed) sessions, as well as fun games and workshops. There’s also plenty of time to get to know the speakers leading the conference individually as they mingle throughout the conference.
These are only a few of the world class practitioners that will be speaking at CXL Live 2020:
- Ronny Kohavi: VP and Technical Fellow at Airbnb
- Dave Gerhardt: VP Marketing at Drift
- Casandra Campbell: Testing and Experimentation Lead at Shopify
Don’t miss out on one of the best growth marketing events in the country, and the chance to learn about trending topics across the digital marketing world.
8. LeadsCon: Best Lead Gen Conference
Date: March 30-April 1
Location: Las Vegas, NV
At a certain point, your company needs to place one final piece in the puzzle: leads. When the leads start flowing in, you can begin closing sales and driving revenue, and the rest is history.
LeadsCon brings together the world’s trailblazing lead generation experts for three action-packed days of networking, workshops, and more. This small business conference will offer practical takeaways for entrepreneurs in every industry, even including some industry-specific sessions.
You’ll learn everything you need to know to start driving highly profitable new leads, and seamlessly incorporate them in your sales pipeline. With over 2500 marketing professionals in attendance, you can learn about tactics and strategies from new connections.
At LeadsCon, you can hear about game-changing trends from marketing and advertising experts at leading companies like Google, Microsoft, NerdWallet, and more.
Tech Events in 2020
Is your tech company still waiting for that fabled breakthrough connection that opens the door to new opportunities? It may not happen as easily as you think. But, tech conferences and networking events could give you the chance you’ve been looking for.
Attending tech conferences not only gives your company awesome exposure to the right customer base, but also helps you meet entrepreneurs who can help you make it happen—or have the right connections.
9. SaaStr Annual 2020: Learn How to Scale Your Tech Company from Accomplished Veterans
Date: March 10-12, 2020
Location: San Jose, California
Cost: Starts at $1899
Even with an innovative product, platform, or algorithm, hitting the market can be difficult. What if you could learn how to scale your tech, cloud-based, or software-as-a-service company from people who have been through the same challenges you’re facing?
At SaaStr Annual 2020, you can learn from top B2B tech professionals about what it takes to grow from $0 to $100 million in annual recurring revenue. Over 300 speakers from across the SaaS world—including giants like Zoom, Google Cloud, Cloudflare, and more—will share their wisdom about scaling sustainably. The emphasis is entirely on your education—there won’t be any vendors pitching services.
These sessions will run the gamut from general tech advice to industry-specific information, including:
- Lessons Learned from Founding a Billion Dollar Company to Taking it Public
- When to Hire and When to Automate
- Scaling While Staying True to The Values of Open Source
But you’ll have the opportunity to leave this small business conference with more than just helpful information and new connections. Additionally, SaaStr Annual also includes exposure to over 800 venture capitalists—meaning you could leave with the funding you’ve been waiting for.
Best Networking Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs
Growing your business as a female entrepreneur comes with its fair share of challenges. Having a network of successful female entrepreneurs—who have conquered these challenges and begun taking on fresh ones—might give you the resources and inspiration you’ve been looking for.
The best place to start building your network? Networking events intended for women entrepreneurs and women-owned companies.
10. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Conference & Business Fair: Best Women-Focused Option
Date: June 23-25
Location: Atlanta, GA
Cost: $599 & up
If you’re a woman entrepreneur looking to grow your small business, then you’re probably always looking for new opportunities. This small business networking and educational event puts them all in one place—giving you easy access to the resources you need.
At the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s Conference & Business Fair, you can learn from and network with connections that could push your business to the next level. The Business Lab will give you access to interactive seminars, along with group and individual coaching sessions.
In addition to customized advice, you can also break the ice with decision makers through the 1:1 MatchMaker Meetings. During these meetings, you’ll discuss your small business’s value prop with purchasing decision makers from major companies.
When you’re tired of learning and selling, you can hit the Business Fair, an ongoing networking event. With over 350 exhibitions, you’ll never run out of opportunities to network with other business owners.
Best Startup Networking Events
It’s no easy challenge to build something out of nothing, but that’s how all great businesses have flourished. Guidance from experts who have been through this rapid growth process (some of them multiple times), along with information new trends, can make all the difference.
At startup networking conferences, you can learn about everything required to make your startup a success—from ensuring your business delivers value, to finding funding, and more.
11. Young Entrepreneurs Convention: General Startup Advice
Date: April 4
Location: Ames, IA
Starting a business can be profitable, fulfilling, and thrilling—but it’s not quite for everyone. Sometimes, it can take a process of trial and error to learn if it’s the right fit for you. While real-life practice can help, speaking to successful founders who have experienced the process can shed some light on what it’s like, too.
The Young Entrepreneurs Convention gives new and aspiring entrepreneurs new insights into what it’s like to start, build and own a company from scratch. Intended for entrepreneurs and students alike, this educational conference brings together everyone involved in the entrepreneurial picture, including mentors, angel investors, venture capitalists, and of course, successful founders.
In addition to new exposure, the Young Entrepreneurs Convention also boasts the largest elevator pitch competition in the country. If you enter, you’ll have 90 seconds to pitch your business to a panel of experts across areas of expertise.
They haven’t yet published their speaker lineup, but stay tuned on their website!
Why Wait For Networking Events? Grow Your Business Right Away!
Networking events will offer exposure into the business world, but even if you make the right connections, you’ll still need funding to grow.
The team at National Business Capital can help you access the best deal on financing in the blink of an eye!
After you apply through our 75+ lender marketplace, we’ll compare the best deals available. Once we have a few options, one of the Business Financing Advisors will reach out! You’ll receive funding in less than two days, and be well on your way to growing your business.
Get started by applying now!