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Resource Center > Article
Nationwide 2012 Events Stack Up
14 Jan 12 Posted by: Kathleen C Lanza
in Opportunity Community
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The events and conferences designed to inform, educate, celebrate and inspire today's prospective and established entrepreneurs are considerable in number once again this year.  Here's a look at what's going on around the U.S. by region:

Note: Just click on the event title for more information.

Nationwide/Online

Internal Revenue Service State-by-State Workshops for Small Business Owners― January thru December

Small business workshops are designed to help the small business owner understand and fulfill their Federal Tax responsibilities. Workshops are sponsored and presented by IRS partners who are Federal Tax specialists. Workshop topics vary from a general overview of taxes to more specific topics such as recordkeeping and retirement plans.

National Minority Supplier Development Council State and Regional Events ― January thru December

Hosted by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, one of the country's leading business membership organizations with regional councils that certify and match more than 16,000 minority-owned businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American) with member corporations that want to purchase goods and services.

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) State-by-State Events― January thru December

The National Federation of Independent Business is the leading small business association representing small and independent businesses. Its mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. NFIB also gives its members power in the marketplace by pooling the purchasing power of its members and giving them access to many business products and services at discounted costs. It also provides timely information designed to help small businesses succeed.

SCORE’s Free Local and State Business Workshops ― January thru December

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and has been mentoring small business owners for more than forty years. SCORE’s valuable network of 13,000+ volunteers offer small business entrepreneurs confidential business counseling services at no charge.

Time Management for Busy Business Owners― Online, January 18

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 by their “to do” lists. Whether managing your own business or working in a business, you need to manage your time so you can have a life. Learn the skills that make time work for you, professionally and personally.

Small Biz Success Summit― Online, February 1-23

Discover how you can use social media to grow your business and attract quality customers. Hear from 28 of the world’s top small business social media experts, all from the comfort of your own home or office.

National Entrepreneurship Week ― Nationwide Events by State, February 18-25

Hosted by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, this is the one week each year when all fifty states are focused on supporting, acknowledging and celebrating business owners across the country.

Northeast Region

NYC Small Business Development Center ― Various New York regional events, January thru December

The New York State Small Business Development Center (NYS SBDC) is the premier business assistance organization in New York State, providing expert management and technical assistance to start-up and existing businesses across the region. The NYS SBDC is administered by State University of New York and funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York and host campuses.

The New England Franchise and Business Opportunities Expo ― Boston, Mass., January 14-15

The Franchise and Business Opportunities Expo invites consumers wanting to start their own business to attend this exciting two-day event! Perfect for exploring the option of self-employment. Buying a franchise means you are in business for yourself … but not by yourself. Owning a franchise means you own a proven business concept, and have the support you need to be successful!

Women Entrepreneurs Festival 2012― New York City, N.Y., January 17-18

The goal of ITP’s (Interactive Telecommunications Program) Women Entrepreneurs Festival is to sow the seeds for a community of women entrepreneurs in NYC―to expose women who have not yet taken the entrepreneurial leap―the pre-entrepreneurs―to the women who have.

State of Maine National Entrepreneurship Week ― Various Cities, February 12-19

Encourages and supports business owners with panel discussions, workshops and networking events designed to foster entrepreneurial education and lifelong learning. Helps entrepreneurs access the resources and education they need to meet the demands of today's global economy.

7th Annual Small Business Summit 2012/Business & Technology ― New York City, N.Y., March 6

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 and services available to help their small businesses succeed.

7th Annual Veterans in Business Conference ― Fairfax, Va., March 30

Provides education, networking and business opportunities for Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran Small Business Owners. Created by civic and business leaders in Northern Virginia to provide training and exposure to veterans who wish to grow their businesses through contracting and subcontracting opportunities with the Federal Government.

Small Business Expo ― New York City, N.Y., May 10

The largest trade show, conference and networking event for small business owners and business professionals. Registration opens in February. Learn about products and services to help your business exceed its goals, network with other industry professionals, and attend informative and cutting-edge workshops and seminars.

21st Annual International Franchise Expo ― New York City, N.Y., June 15-17

Find the business you’ve always been looking for in just one weekend! Join thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners for the largest franchise expo in the country. Meet hundreds of proven franchised businesses from every industry and at every investment level.

East Central Region

DC Small Business Calendar of Events ― Washington, D.C. and Surrounding Areas, January thru December

DC Small Business provides information and resources to small business owners, entrepreneurs and start-ups in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. Its mission is to help support and empower small business owners on the path to success in the Washington D.C.-metropolitan area.

University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence ― Pittsburgh, PA, January thru December

Created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence continues to provide the power to impact the economic vitality of western Pennsylvania. Over the last decade, the Institute has launched hundreds of innovative companies, created thousands of new jobs and secured hundreds of millions of dollars for business growth. Hosts year-long events offering business support, consulting, business education programs and networking opportunities.

16th Annual Women and Leadership in the Workplace Conference ― Dearborn, Mich., January 26

Offers women business leaders a day of informative workshops, keynote speakers, facilitated networking opportunities while focusing on education and inspiration. Awards for achievements in the business community.

Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo ― Cleveland, Ohio, March 17-18

One of the most sought after business events in Cleveland. Provides face-to-face interaction with company representatives regarding the most relevant information about starting a business. Free educational seminars and the best possible opportunities for investors. Discover and decide which business is most suitable for you.

WBENC 2012 Summit and Salute to Women’s Business Enterprises ― Baltimore, Md., March 21-22

One of the "do not miss" business events of the year. Brings together America's leading corporations, government agencies, women business owners and strategic partner organizations for a comprehensive two-day program that focuses on business forecasts, market trends and best practices. Provides networking environments conducive to business and honors Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Stars for their achievements and leadership, while also paying tribute to America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises.

America’s Small Business Summit ― Washington, D.C., May 21-23

Join more than 600 small businesses and local chamber and association leaders at THE premier small business event with BIG business results. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce 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. 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.

2012 Entrepreneur Expo ― Linthicum Heights, Md., November 13

Second annual large-scale event dedicated to promoting and celebrating the key to Maryland’s innovation economy, its entrepreneurs.

Southeast Region

Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development ― Broward County, Fla. Area, January thru December

An ongoing series of learning and networking opportunities for local and regional area business owners.

Franchise Expo South ― Miami Beach, Fla., January 20-22

The premier franchise expo serving the Southeastern U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Meet representatives for hundreds of proven franchise concepts at every investment level.

52nd Annual International Franchise Association Convention ― Orlando, Fla., February 11-14

Programming focusing on the issues that are front and center with today’s franchise professionals. Topics covered will include: how to manage in difficult economic times and how to access the credit you need to grow, health care reform and what it means to your business, managing change and improving communication, successes and failures and what we can learn from them, using social media and other marketing ideas to increase brand recognition and boost sales, technological changes and how to best leverage them for business success while protecting against risks, changing consumer demographics and trends, and opportunities for veterans in franchising and IFA’s expanded VetFran initiatives.

Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo ― Raleigh, N.C., February 18-19

See proven full and part-time business opportunities and talk face-to-face with company representatives, attend free educational seminars, learn about different investment levels and find the right business for you. Participating industries include: home improvement, tax planning, restaurants, home-based businesses, children's education, automotive, printing and more! Discover the easiest and safest way to be your own boss and take control of your financial future.

27th Annual SFMSDC Business Expo ― Fort Lauderdale, Fla., March 22-23

The Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council’s premier activity that draws business leaders and corporations from across the state and around the country. Consists of a trade show, workshops and a luncheon that provides a forum to network and showcase your company’s products and services. Network with procurement specialists from Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions and government agencies; develop new contacts and resources; negotiate potential procurement contracts and learn about trends and issues important to minority business development.

SEEC (Southeast Entrepreneurship Conference) 2012 ― Tampa, Fla., March 23-24

Two-day, intensive program is designed to take a student from nothing to an established business owner in no time flat! Receive expedited, one-on-one attention from consultants and experienced entrepreneurs.

Retailer One-on-One Deal-Making Event and Orlando Franchise Show ― Orlando, Fla., April 26-28

Retailer One-on-One is a one-day, face-to-face networking and deal-making event comprising retailers and restaurants, shopping center owners and investors, brokers, attorneys, architects, engineers and others associated with the commercial real estate industry. The "show" houses the largest number of actively growing retail and restaurant concepts in the nation, as well as the hottest up and coming concepts.

Business Expo 2012 ― Raleigh, N.C., May 3

Business Expo 2012 assembles more than 100 businesses and thousands of attendees—bringing you countless leads in a single day. Offers your business face-to-face conversations with countless potential customers, support to help you maximize your investment and a cost-effective tool for reaching your target market.

Inc. Leadership Conference ― Miami, Fla., June 6-8

At this unique and timely event, business leaders from a huge range of organizations come together to discover, share and connect. Learning from the dramatic successes––and mistakes––of others, you’ll refocus your vision and revitalize your decision-making powers. You’ll become a better, smarter, more proactive and responsive business leader.

Women’s Business Enterprise National Council 2012 National Conference and Business Fair ― Orlando, Fla., June 19-21

Boasting more than 3,200 registered attendees, last year’s Business Fair was a resounding success. The one-of-a-kind event drew 325 exhibitors, including more than 100 WBENC-Certified WBE exhibitors from across the nation. Attendees have access to opportunities that connect WBENC-Certified WBEs, WBENC Corporate Members, Regional Partner Organization (RPO) leaders, RPO Corporate Members, government agency representatives and small business owners.

Spring 2012 Independent and Home-Based Business Expo ― Sumter, S.C., June 30

Find employment, brand yourself, open a new market, build your client base and increase your leadership skills workshops.

NMSDC Annual Conference and Business Opportunity Fair ― Orlando, Fla., November 2-5

Hosted by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, one of the country's leading business membership organizations with regional councils that certify and match more than 16,000 minority-owned businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American) with member corporations that want to purchase goods and services.

Southwest Region

The Franchise and Business Opportunities Expo ― Oklahoma City, Okla., January 28-29

Enjoy free seminars all weekend long. Topics include how to choose and evaluate a franchise, understanding government regulations, IRS, marketing, sales, human resources, legal considerations when buying a business, and lease negotiations. Learn firsthand from experienced business owners what it takes to get started, as well as obtain valuable information that will assist in selecting the business that is right for you!

2012 Small Business and Entrepreneur Leadership Conference― Galveston, Texas, February 19-22

The theme for this year’s conference is “Engaging Leaders…Building Capacity.” The Houston Galveston Women’s Business Center (WBC) provides consulting and technical support to entrepreneurs and small business owners in management, finance, certification and marketing. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance, the center is committed to inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs who want to start or expand their business.

GROWCO Conference ― New Orleans, La., March 5-7

Inspired by the success of the Inc. 5000 community. GROWCO: Grow Your Company Conference is a two-day event created for business leaders who want to achieve sizable growth within their organizations. A dynamic program with a curriculum designed specifically for the nation's rising entrepreneurial stars, including smaller organizations that want to make an appearance on the Inc. 5000 and Inc. 5000 honorees that want to break the higher ranks of the list or repeat their success in years to come. High-profile growth experts teach seminars that will give attendees actionable information with which to develop or maintain their own growth initiative.

Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo ― New Orleans, La., April 28-29

A must-attend trade event for all those individuals who want to have a business of their own. Aims at bringing together business professionals and experts from different industries who are looking to own a franchise. Provides for face-to-face talk with company representatives, seminars from business experts and, question and answer sessions with industry experts.

4th Annual One Woman National Business Conference ― Sugarland, Texas, August 17-18

The #1 Women’s Business Development Conference for start-up and experienced small business owners, corporate/governmental supplier diversity professionals and youth.

Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo ― Houston, Texas, June 2-3

Consumers wanting to start their own business should attend this exciting, upcoming two-day event! Perfect for exploring the option of self-employment. Buying a franchise means you are in business for yourself … but not by yourself. Owning a franchise means you own a proven business concept, and have the support you need to be successful.

Northwest Arkansas Business Conference & Expo ― Rogers, Ark., September 6

The area’s largest and most unique business exposition. Showcase your company’s products and services to thousands of local businesses and the general public in the region and attend seminars to help further your business’ growth and prosperity.

NMSDC Annual Conference and Business Opportunity Fair ― San Antonio, Texas, October 27-30

Hosted by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, one of the country's leading business membership organizations with regional councils that certify and match more than 16,000 minority-owned businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American) with member corporations that want to purchase goods and services.

Midwest Region

EntreFest! 2012 ― Ames, Iowa, March 8-9

Designed to foster relationships among established and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Micro Entrepreneur “Grow Your Business” Expo ― Pewaukee, Wis., April 6

Annual event focused on helping small business entrepreneurs to network, connect and grow their businesses. Come for networking, learning and creating win-win relationships with other area business owners.

45th Annual Chicago Business Opportunity Fair (CBOF 45) ― Chicago, Ill., April 11-13

Hosted by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, one of the country's leading business membership organizations with regional councils that certify and match more than 16,000 minority-owned businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American) with member corporations that want to purchase goods and services.

Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo ― Minneapolis, Minn., April 14-15

Consumers wanting to start their own business should attend this exciting, upcoming two-day event! Perfect for exploring the option of self-employment. Buying a franchise means you are in business for yourself … but not by yourself. Owning a franchise means you own a proven business concept, and have the support you need to be successful.

2012 Business Expo and Small Business Conference ― Madison, Wis., April 24

This is the largest expo, conference and networking event for Madison business professionals. With more than 200 booths, 2,000 attendees and 12 educational seminars, the Greater Madison Chamber is happy to support our business community by hosting the region's largest and most affordable business-to-business event in 2012.

U.S. Small Business Conference & Expo ― Indianapolis, Ind., May 18

Establish new contacts, gain new business and expand your professional network of alliance partners. Each person who attends not only continues their education and business development, but some land nationwide contracts or double, or even triple, their annual revenues.

2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo ― Chicago, Ill., May 23-26

Attracts more than 1,500 attendees annually from around the country. Offers informative sessions, high-powered speakers, networking opportunities and essential tools for emerging and established entrepreneurs.

8th Annual Kentucky Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference ― Louisville, Ky., June 1

Brings together distinguished speakers, tech-based economic development practitioners, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, students and post-doctoral fellows to focus on growing local initiatives powered by science and engineering talent.

Northwest Region

SocialTech ‘12 ― Seattle, Wash., March 29-30

Alternately described as a social media conference with a focus on B2B marketing and a B2B conference that simply can’t get enough social media, SocialTech is designed specifically for B2B marketers who want to get the most out of social media marketing for their business.

Astra Matchmaker & Expo ― Seattle, Wash., September 20

Astra Women’s Business Alliance is a dynamic network of women-owned businesses, corporate and government agency supplier diversity professionals, and other partner organizations who share a singular mission: to advance opportunities for women in business.

Western Region

Women in Consulting First Quarter 2012 Events ― Various Calif.-based locations, January-March

An ongoing series of networking events, best practices webinars and strategic workshops. Women in Consulting (WIC) is a collaborative Calif.-based community of professional consultants and small business owners.

Creating a Sellable Service Business ― Las Vegas, Nev., January 16-17

A full day of seminars and opportunities to help you achieve your biggest branding, sales and profit goals. Plus, hear firsthand and learn from the experiences of other successful entrepreneurs.

Biz@Home Expo ― Santa Clarita, Calif., February 18-19

Designed specifically for new and experienced home-based business entrepreneurs. Attendees will find the business opportunities, products, services and information they need to start, grow or improve a home-based business.

Minority Business Opportunity Day (MBOD) ― Industry, Calif., February 23

Exposes minority businesses to progressive workshops and seminars that optimize business potential and/or enhance business growth. MBOD also provides valuable opportunities for MBEs to network with SCMBDC member corporations who sponsor and fund the events and activities. Member corporations value MBOD as a forum for meeting new MBE suppliers and vendors.

Reservation Economic Summit (RES) 2012 ― Las Vegas, Nev., February 27-March 1

RES is the premier American Indian economic and business development conference in the nation. Attendees include American Indian and Indigenous entrepreneurs, tribal economic and business development decision-makers, tribal leaders, government and corporate executives, and buyers seeking Indian suppliers and contractors. Structured as three days of business information and training delivered through more than 24 60-minute sessions that are geared specifically for native entrepreneurs, tribal enterprises and organizations wishing to do business with American Indian businesses.

Work-at-Home Business Expo ― San Diego, Calif., March 3-4

Learn how to start, market, manage and grow your home-based business. Educate yourself about the wide variety of home-based business models available so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you!

Infusioncon 2012 ―Phoenix, Ariz., April 2-4

Learn, network and set new ideas in motion! Take your business to the next level at our annual user conference and join over a thousand Infusionsoft users from all over the world for three days of education from over 30 speakers and sessions.

SPREE 2012: The Specialty Retail Entrepreneur Expo and Conference ― Las Vegas, Nev., April 3-5

Heralded as the world’s largest event for the cart, kiosk and temporary retail industry. Learn what it takes to become part of the $12 billion specialty retail industry; discover new concepts, locations and services to grow your business; develop new leads and growth strategies; network with key industry contacts and meet with the “who’s who” in specialty retail including manufacturers, wholesalers and suppliers, property managers and developers and service providers; gain valuable industry exposure; participate in informative educational seminars designed specifically for you; find everything you need to start your first enterprise or grow your existing business.

Work-at-Home Business Expo ― San Francisco, Calif., April 28-29

Learn how to start, market, manage and grow your home-based business. Educate yourself about the wide variety of home-based business models available so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you!

Professional Businesswomen of California Conference ―San Francisco, Calif., May 15

The premier conference for women in business featuring the most provocative and sought-after thought leaders in the country - with leading speakers, seminars, exhibitors and more. Connect with experts in your industry and make real contact with people who can advance your career. Innovate to identify new ways to reach maximum potential, increase productivity and move ahead. Inspire yourself to seek new challenges, motivate those around you and live an impactful life.

Franchise & Business Opportunities Expo ― Phoenix, Ariz., Mary 19-20

Consumers wanting to start their own business should attend this exciting, upcoming two-day event! Perfect for exploring the option of self-employment. Buying a franchise means you are in business for yourself … but not by yourself. Owning a franchise means you own a proven business concept, and have the support you need to be successful.

Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium ―Reno, Nev., June 11-14

VETS2012 brings government agencies, industry leaders and veteran entrepreneurs together in a small, intimate forum to discuss issues affecting veteran-owned companies.

NMSDC Annual Conference and Business Opportunity Fair ― Denver, Colo., October 28-31

Hosted by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, one of the country's leading business membership organizations with regional councils that certify and match more than 16,000 minority-owned businesses (Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American) with member corporations that want to purchase goods and services.

Work-at-Home Business Expo ― Los Angeles, Calif., Fall 2012 (Date TBD)

Learn how to start, market, manage and grow your home-based business. Educate yourself about the wide variety of home-based business models available so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you!

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