Small Biz Events for 2012: Small Biz Big Things, GrowCo, Sellable Business, and It’s Summit Time Again!

Welcome to this week’s roundup of events, conferences and webinars for growing companies and entrepreneurs, brought to you every other week by Small Business Trends and

Whether you are looking for a local networking event, a webinar you can watch from your office, or a big educational conference, there are some great opportunities to learn, network, and grow your business over the next several months.


Creating a Sellable Service Business
January 16-17, 2012, Las Vegas

Do you have a service business and want to know how to position it to be A) Sellable and B) Sellable for the maximum amount of money possible?

John Warrillow, who sold his own consulting and services business, and author of the book “Built to Sell,” is offering this intimate, hands-on workshop on building a sellable business. During this workshop, you’ll get the opportunity to put your business under the microscope with Warrillow and a small group of other successful business owners. Together, you’ll uncover the steps to make your business more attractive to potential buyers – whether you’re looking to sell your business in the near future, or want to start ramping up the value of your business in order to sell it down the line.

Most service businesses never sell. They are started by someone with a specific skill. When the time comes to get out, you’re left with nothing. This workshop aims to change that!

This workshop requires a significant commitment – and so it is only for those serious about changing their future. Register now.

Women Entrepreneurs Festival
January 17-18, 2012, New York City

The Women Entrepreneurs Festival takes place January 17-18 in New York City! The goal of the Women Entrepreneurs Festival v.2 is to sow the seeds for a broader community of women entrepreneurs, and to expose women who have not yet taken the entrepreneurial plunge to the women who’ve already taken it. Sponsored by the Tisch School of the Arts’ ITP program, the fest’s stunning lineup of speakers is here. And the one and only Arianna Huffington will be giving the keynote address. The festival is limited to 250 participants.

Time Management for Busy Business Owners
January 18, 2012, Online

Manage your time well and you take back both your personal and professional life. With so many hats to wear, small business owners and entrepreneurs can get buried in by their “to do” lists.

In this online, interactive seminar, you’ll learn to
assess your time management skills, distinguish between what’s important and what’s urgent, apply tools to determine priorities and more.

The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution
January 18, 2012, Online

In today’s rough political and economic climate, businesses need to reexamine relationships with customers and employees to create more positive, engaging experiences as part of everyday business. Join this webinar to hear Brian Solis, author of The End of Business As Usual, reveal how to deliver customer experiences that will increase not only engagement but ultimately loyalty and advocacy. Attend this webinar to learn how to:

Translate listening into learning and insights
Document the impact of disruptive technology on your business
Meet the needs of customers in emerging channels
Foster advocacy by delivering the right value to consumers

The Art of the Cold Call // BUSINESS 153
January 23, 2012, New York City

So your startup doesn’t have any money for a fancy ad campaign or a seasoned sales exec. You can barely keep the lights on as it is. But you know that your product is amazing, and if only your clients knew about you, you would be raking in the dollars. For a struggling start up like yours, there is only one way to make that happen. Pick up the phone. Cold calling is a deeply psychological exercise. We’ll start with a brainstorm. Why is cold calling so hard? What do you feel when you get that call? When you make one? We’ll tackle these issues so that you can build up your confidence and deliver a flawless call.

Introduction to Developing Entrepreneurial Ideas

Four Session Series: January 23 & 30, February 6 & 13, New York City

Do you have an idea but you are not sure if you can make a business out of it, or have an idea but need to refine it? Or need help in creating, reviewing or evaluating an idea? This class will focus over four sessions on the idea generation process and generating creative new ideas and turning entrepreneurial ideas into businesses. Often people think they need just one great business idea and this idea will cover them in a “flash of genius.” While this can be true, often good business ideas get developed, molded, and improved over time. We will discuss both products and services ideas and focus on how to transform an idea or invention into an economically viable innovation and business.

Tax Tips and IRS Examination Advice for Small Business Owners
January 25, 2012, Wheaton, MD

If you are a small business and want to learn tips about taxes and the IRS examination, this class is for you! This class will be taught by small business accountants and attorneys. In this workshop attendees will learn 1) tax tips, 2) how to prepare for tax season, 3) red flags for being selected for examination, 4) the elements of an examination, 5) how an examination proceeds, and 6) potential outcomes. One 2.5 hour session.

Small Biz Success Summit 2012
February 1 – 23, 2012 – Online

Presented by Social Media Examiner, this mega-event is designed to help you grow your small business using social media. There’s no travel! You simply attend this online event from the comfort of your home or office. It consists of multiple online webinars and Q&A sessions spread out from February 1 to 23, 2012. Attend all the sessions or as many as you wish – recordings and transcripts also available.

You will hear from 28 of the world’s top small-biz social media experts, including: John Jantsch (author, Duct Tape Marketing), Anita Campbell (founder, Small Business Trends), Michael Stelzner (founder, Social Media Examiner and author, Launch), Mari Smith (co-author, Facebook Marketing), Jesse Stay (author, Google+ for Dummies), Hollis Thomases (author, Twitter Marketing), David Siteman Garland (founder, “The Rise to the Top” and author, Smarter, Faster, Cheaper), Joe Pulizzi (founder, Content Marketing Institute and co-author, Get Content, Get Customers), Brian Clark (founder, Copyblogger Media), Lee Odden (founder, TopRank Online Marketing), Ramon Ray (founder, Small Biz Technology and author, Technology Solutions for Growing Businesses) and Lewis Howes (co-author, LinkedWorking). Register.

Small Biz Big Things
February 7, 2012, San Francisco

Small Biz Big Things is all about YOU, YOUR BUSINESS, YOUR challenges. In this interactive forum you’ll hear from business growth experts who have built (or are building) successful companies and can share their lessons learned, success stories, growth challenges and victories with you.

Speakers include Scott Hintz, co-founder of Tripit, Jim Fowler, who built Jigsaw and sold it to, and Tamara Mendelsohn, VP of Marketing for Eventbrite.

Come network, have a great lunch and learn from experts who can help you GROW YOUR BUSINESS.

Small Farms Conference
February 25, 2012, Corvallis, OR

The event includes workshops ranging from harvesting rainwater and marketing meat products to grafting vegetables and selling produce to schools and hospitals. Speakers include farmers, OSU faculty, farmer’s market representatives and experts from the state Department of Agriculture.

Other topics include farm financing, land-use legislation and business plan development.

Inc. GrowCo
March 5-7, 2012, New Orleans

Come to GROWCO and master the strategies, tactics, and real-world solutions your company needs to thrive. Packed with actionable insights, GROWCO can be a life-changing event. You’ll learn from mega-successful entrepreneurs whose companies have created millions of dollars of wealth and tens of thousands of jobs…and a lot more.

Seventh Annual Small Business Summit 2012
March 6, 2012, New York City

The Small Business Summit is New York’s premier event for small business owners looking to network with other decision-makers, attend cutting edge seminars and shop around for products & services available to help their small businesses succeed. You’ll network with 500+ attendees, hear from small business experts in exciting presentations and panel discussions, and have a great lunch. The winner of the Small Business Strategy Award will be announced live, plus great raffles and giveaways.

Early Bird Registration Rate of $149 through February 24.

Social Tech ’12

March 29-30, 2012, Seattle

Social media marketing is no longer an option for B2B—it’s an absolute necessity. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with over 25 of the leading experts who will teach you how to use social media marketing to generate more inbound leads, grow brand awareness, drive conversions, and increase revenue. You’ll meet with industry insiders as well as other B2B marketers to discuss best practices, winning techniques, current roadblocks, and find out what works for your business!

Infusioncon 2012
April 2-4, Phoenix, AZ

Get ready to learn, network and set new ideas in motion! Join hundreds of small businesses from all around the world at InfusionCon 2012, Infusionsoft’s annual user conference, and experience three days of idea sharing and inspiration in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona on April 2-4.

America’s Small Business Summit 2012
May 21-23, 2012, Washington, DC

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual event—America’s Small Business Summit—unites small business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs from across the country to learn, network, and discuss common legislative and management concerns. Past speakers include former President George W. Bush, former General Stanley McCrystal, Small Business Editor of the WSJ Colleen DeBaise, and many more. Attendees help influence our nation’s economic and political agenda by advocating for pro-business policies through the Rally on the Hill portion of the program. The event will take place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., on May 21-23, 2012. For more information and important dates, check the Summit website,

8th Annual Kentucky Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference
June 1, 2012, Louisville, KY

The Annual Kentucky Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference (8th KIEC) will bring together distinguished speakers, tech-based economic development practitioners, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, students and postdoctoral fellows.

The conference will focus on growing local initiatives powered by science and engineering talent.

2012 Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium
June 11-14, 2012, Reno, NV

Designed by Veteran small business owners for Veteran small business owners, VETS2012 brings government agencies, industry leaders and Veteran entrepreneurs together in a small, intimate forum to discuss the questions you need answered.

To find more small business events, contests and awards, visit our Small Business Events Calendar.

If you are putting on a small business contest, award or competition, and want to get the word out to the community, please submit it through our Events & Contests Submission Form. (We do not charge a fee to be included in this listing — it is completely free to list your event.) Only events of interest to small business people, freelancers and entrepreneurs will be considered and included.


About Laura Leites

Laura plans and manages Smallbiztechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour, now in its third year. She also produces events for clients through her event planning company, L2 Event Production. Her popular roundups of events and competitions for small businesses is published weekly on and Small Business Trends.