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If you’re looking for some inspiration and motivation this summer, we’ve rounded up the must-visit events for entrepreneurs looking to learn and grow their business.
Most entrepreneurs will tell you that success is a constant process of networking and learning within the business world. Conferences and events present an important opportunity to build your network, gain an insight into new trends and skills and be inspired by other business owners, founders and entrepreneurs.
This summer, there are a variety of conferences available no matter your industry or interests, and we’ve summed up some of the must-visit events to add to your list.
Plan Your "Summer of Entrepreneurship" with These Conferences and Events
Feeling the heat? Cool off with these events in a variety of exciting North American locations (we can't promise this, but we'd bet they'll have the A/C cranked up):
The Growcation by Grow Disrupt
When: September 8-10, 2022
The Growcation is a late-summer event for a small group of entrepreneurs who want to learn from a well-known and successful entrepreneur in an intimate environment. You’ll be a part of just 10-12 other small business owners or freelancers for over three days of learning and relaxing in Orlando. As the name suggests, it blends luxury vacation and business development into an entrepreneurial retreat.
This year the celebrity guest entrepreneur is Jesse Cole, the founder of Fans First Entertainment and the owner of the Savannah Bananas. According to Stephanie Scheller, founder of Grow Disrupt, it’s all about celebrating the impact you’re making and “identifying strategies that help you grow to celebrity level as well.”
Taking place in a luxury villa in Orlando, you’ll also have a private chef, rooftop pool and movie theater for downtime in between sessions.
Scheller started Grow Disrupt to empower small business owners to thrive both personally and professionally. She says, "The experience at this event is designed to be as unique and incredible as these entrepreneurs who are changing lives every day with the businesses they run.”
Product Marketing Summit
When: June 23-24, 2022
Where: Las Vegas
The Product Marketing Summit is a worldwide marketing conference bringing together the largest gathering of product marketing managers (PMMs) from the world’s largest companies and exciting startups. You can expect a couple of days of product marketing success stories, experiences and challenges from those positioned at the intersection of product, marketing and sales, says Sergio Diaz, the CEO of Keynote Speakers Agency.
It's an incredible opportunity to hear from over 30 speakers from the world’s best companies, including Microsoft, Upstart, Slack, Revenue.io and MacPaw. In just two days, you’ll cover understanding the customer and product audience, how to create demand, building product marketing teams and deciding your product messaging.
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship: Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge
When: Finals are throughout June
Where: Various cities
The Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is the culmination of two programs by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE): Entrepreneurship 1 and Entrepreneurship Essentials. The challenge is where NFTE students compete for seed capital to launch their business or put towards further education.
There are regional finals around the country in June, which are judged by a panel of experts that is made up of volunteers from the business and entrepreneurship world. If you want to attend or volunteer, it can be a really beneficial way to give back and meet new people. “NFTE volunteers bring real-world business experience to learners from under-resourced communities,” says Denise Berkhalter, National Director of Communications at NFTE.
It offers a different kind of summer event, where you have the opportunity to demonstrate what you’ve learned through your business journey and pass it on to the next generation of students.
When: July 11-13, 2022
MozCon is designed to be a summer camp for marketers. However, it sets itself apart from typical marketing conferences by bringing you three days of networking and inspirational expert sessions so you can leave feeling empowered and more knowledgeable.
Diaz claims that this is one of the top conferences for SEO. “While the world changes around us, SEO doesn’t stop," he says. "Searchers keep on searching and marketers need to stay sharp to meet their needs.” This conference includes sessions led by industry leaders in SEO, search marketing, mobile conversion optimization, local search and much more.
It’s perfect for anyone who’s looking to dive into some learning over the summer and connect with like-minded people over three days in Seattle.
When: July 26-28, 2022
Where: New York
AdWeek’s Commerce event brings together marketing leaders to discuss the biggest trends moving forward into 2023. If you want to get ahead of the curve and learn from the leaders in the business world, then this conference is one you won’t want to miss.
The explosive growth of digital commerce will be front and center. You can listen to expert speakers discussing consumer habits, heightened demands of transparency and reliability, how to leverage social listening to get ahead of trends and redefining target markets.
In the past, speakers and companies at this commerce event have included product marketing at Salesforce, general manager for ecommerce at Sephora, global head of vertical strategy and insights at Pinterest, global brand marketing and strategy at Vans Footwear and consumer marketing manager at PayPal.
When: June 3-5, 2022
Where: New York
The Adobe 99U Conference is an annual event for creatives. It aims to inspire and supercharge your work, build careers and help bring your ideas to life. For anyone in the creative industry, it’s a one-of-a-kind event with keynote speakers, workshops and master classes with expert guests.
The speakers come from a diverse range of backgrounds with real-world insights and experiences to help bring your creative journey and career to life. One of the most unique aspects is the hands-on workshops and breakout sessions where you can explore new ideas and trends alongside experts from various fields.
When: June 25-27, 2022
You may have heard of Collision before. It’s turned into one of the fastest-growing tech conferences in North America. While it’s only been around for seven years, it’s had 30,000 participants in recent years. Widely considered in the industry to be a must-visit in the tech world, previous speakers have come from a variety of backgrounds, including professional sport, acting, cryptocurrency and finance, not-for-profits and tech startups.
For the three days, the conference is all about networking, learning, lead generation and exposure. No matter what you hope to get out of your business over the next year, you’ll be able to find some valuable insights, experiences and meetings at the huge event.
It’s been described as “the Olympics of tech,” so if you’re operating in that space, you won’t want to miss Collision.
WBENC National Conference and Business Fair
When: June 7-9, 2022
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) puts on a huge annual conference for women-owned businesses. If you’re a female entrepreneur, you don’t want to miss out on this conference this summer.
It’s the largest event of its kind dedicated to women, with over 4,500 attendees, 300 exhibitors and 40 speakers. It’s all about learning from each other and making connections. The conference will include inspiring keynotes, a pitch competition, meet and greet, networking opportunities and an expo of women-owned businesses. It’s the perfect place to learn and grow your business while supporting other female entrepreneurs.
The Wedding MBA (Merchants Business Academy)
When: November 7-9, 2022
Where: Las Vegas
While technically after summer, this wedding convention is the best event to attend for anyone in the wedding and related industries. The Wedding MBA includes over 150 seminars, 100 speakers and 200 exhibits from wedding businesses, venues, planners, caterers, DJs, florists, photographers and style and gown shops.
“It’s an annual conference that teaches wedding vendors how to grow their businesses and as a result, book more couples. It’s the must-attend event for wedding professionals looking to take their businesses to the next level,” says Frederic Linfjärd, Director of Growth Marketing at Planday.
You can expect over 5,000 guests, so it’s definitely the ideal convention if you run a business related to the wedding industry. It fills up fast though, so use the summer months to get registered and start planning.
Show Up, Stay Engaged
Whether you’re a tech startup, a small business owner or launching a career in the creative industries, furthering your knowledge and learning from successful experts in the field can be invaluable. Over the summer, there is a range of conferences and events to attend which can help you take your business to the next level.
You can also stay connected by joining our small business community of entrepreneurs, freelancers and founders by subscribing to our blog. Our small business resources are here to help launch your career or company to the next level.
Jenna Scatena is a writer and content strategist with a love for stories that have never been told before. More than a decade of working with prominent magazines and brands informs her approach to impactful storytelling. Her stories have reached more than 30 million readers, won multiple awards and been anthologized in books. Jenna's work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, Marie Claire, The San Francisco, BBC and The Atlantic. She's the founder of the editorial consultancy, Lede Studio.
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