2018 Small Business Calendar of Events

by Tim AustinJanuary 9, 2018 8:00 AM

Every year presents new opportunities to strengthen and grow your small business. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding and identifying which of these opportunities make the most sense for your organization. 

A good small business conference is a great place to uncover ways to improve your business, whether you attend in person or send key members of your team. While some people may not think that leaving your office to attend an outside event may be all that beneficial, finance website The Balance lists five good reasons why you should consider attending small business conferences:

  • Educational opportunities
  • In-person networking
  • Learn about competitors
  • Marketing to potential clients
  • Spark creativity and innovation

Whether you’re interested in just one of those benefits or all of them, there are plenty of conferences across the country that may be beneficial for you or some of your employees. We’ve identified some of the top HR conferences to attend this year, but you also need to consider marketing, finance, and other functions. Here are some of our top conference choices for small business owners in 2018.

Image of a 2018 conference for small business owners.

Top Conferences for Small Business Owners in 2018

Small Business Expo

Multiple dates and locations

If you’re having trouble finding a conference that works with your schedule, you’re in luck. The Small Business Expo has over a dozen different shows across the country, allowing you to pick and choose an event based on timing and location. These free, one-day events offer workshops, seminars, and presentations from industry experts who can provide you with the resources you need to grow your business.

Startup Grind

Feb. 12-14 – Silicon Valley, Cal.

All small businesses need to start somewhere. Startup Grind is dedicated to offering advice and inspiration for people with their own startup, with more than 200 speakers and 100 sessions planned for the 2018 event. The conference also offers workshops, investor Q&As, and exhibitors to help you build your startup into a burgeoning business.


Feb. 21 – Austin, Texas

April 10-12 – Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

If your business’ online presence is important to you, Pubcon is an event that should interest you. Pubcon will host a pair of events this year, offering small business owners the chance to absorb information on online marketing, SEO, and other crucial aspects of maintaining and growing your digital presence.

Social Media Marketing World 2018

Feb. 28-March 2 – San Diego

Social media keeps changing, so Social Media Marketing World can help you and your team stay on top of social media marketing in 2018. More than 170 speakers will be on hand to share their experiences and offer insight into how you can utilize social media to benefit your organization.

ERE Recruiting Conference

April 2-4 – San Diego

Talent acquisition plays a major role for any growing business. The ERE recruiting conference is focused on teaching business owners about recruiting methods that can scale with their business, offering insight on assessing candidates, developing teams, and creating real results through improved hiring practices.

99U Conference

May 9-11 – New York City

Business owners need to turn ideas into deliverable results. The 99U Conference allows you to hear from industry leaders who can offer real insights into what it took to shape their organizations. The event also hosts several breakout sessions designed to help you uncover new strategies around leadership, productivity, and teamwork that you can try and implement in 2018.

2018 Masters of B2B Marketing

June 6-8 – Chicago

The Association of National Advertisers hosts this conference each year to help B2B business owners and marketers hear from top CMOs and B2B leaders. In 2018, the theme of the conference is Growth: Driving Results and Marketing Value to help you find ways to deliver results-driven brand marketing for their businesses.

America’s Small Business Development Center Conference

Sept. 4-7 – Washington D.C.

America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBCD) will host its 38th annual conference in 2018. This year’s event is based around the theme Connect & Protect to help business owners understand the security risks their organizations face every day. More than 1,300 SBDC professionals will attend the conference to see the 140-plus workshops and hear from exhibitors sharing information on cybersecurity and other crucial ways to protect a business.

Content Marketing World

Sept. 4-7 – Cleveland

Whether you’re just starting to invest in content or are trying to add to your current content strategy, Content Marketing World is the conference for you. The event will host 225 different speakers and more than 500 business from 50-plus countries to help you and your marketers find the tools and inspiration necessary to develop a successful content marketing strategy. 

New York Business Expo & Conference

Nov. 7 – New York City

This conference names itself as the largest B2B trade show, conference, and networking event for business owners & executives in the Northeast. That means you’ll be able to take in all the latest products and services while absorbing information from educational seminars covering marketing, sales, financing, social media, and other crucial business areas.

B2B Marketing Forum

Nov. 13-16 – San Francisco

The B2B Marketing Forum is the place where business leaders, industry innovators, and other professionals gather to share trade secrets and special B2B marketing tips that can help you grow your business. This conference can help you and your marketing team uncover issues that other B2B business face and discover new strategies that can help you increase your ROI in 2018 and the years to come.

Small Business Summit

TBD – Washington D.C.

Every year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosts entrepreneurs across the country in our nation’s capital to honor small business leaders. As an attendee, you’ll be able to attend special sessions and workshops about business growth, leadership, policy, and innovation. You’ll also have the chance to meet plenty of fellow business owners and develop connections that can benefit your business in the future.

Strengthen Your Business in 2018

A good conference can give you the resources you need to improve your business, whether it’s a new way to approach your marketing strategy or specific tools that can improve your internal processes. These conferences can also help you identify where you need outside help so that you can focus on what you and your team does best.

HR management is one area where you may struggle. As a small business owner, you may not have the time or expertise to efficiently manage functions like payroll, risk management, benefits, and other key business areas.

As a Professional Employer Organization, GMS can provide your business with the expertise necessary to manage these functions and strengthen your business. Contact GMS today to talk to one of our experts about how we can help your business in 2018.

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