Make 2018 the year you attend more conferences!

As someone who owns a small business or is self-employed, you might not think conferences are worth your time—after all, you’re busy developing business relationships, managing your own finances and a million other tasks. But don’t underestimate the value of conferences. The right ones will help you network, build skills, gain inspiration and discover new solutions and services all within a matter of a day or two. 

So open your schedule and save the dates for these top conferences in 2018:

 

February 

Startup Grind (Starting Up)

February 12-14, 2018; Silicon Valley, CA

With 7,000 founders & investors, more than 200 speakers, 100 sessions, workshops, investor Q&A and over 300 exhibiting startups, 2018 will be Startup Grind’s largest event ever. Bringing together great content and great people in an incredible setting, introducing some custom-built networking technology, and topping it all off with an unrivaled feeling of intimacy is how we guarantee amazing business and an awesome time.

  • Focus: Startups and small business
  • Size: 7,000
  • Price: Starts at $360 for a full-access pass (early bird price until Dec. 16)
  • Editor’s note: The main sponsor is Google for Entrepreneurs

Quickbooks Connect (Finances)

Feb. 27-28, 2018; London, UK  | 24-25 May, 2018; Sydney AU  |   Nov. 5-7, 2018; San Jose, CA

Brought to you by WiseStamp’s proud partner, Intuit, QuickBooks Connect is a powerful program designed to help fuel financial success. Entering its fifth year, the conference will feature inspiring main stage speakers and breakout sessions both filled with actionable takeaways tailored to business owners, self-employed businesses of one, accountants and developers.

  • Focus: Small business finances
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Starts at $149
  • Editor’s Note: As an Intuit partner, WiseStamp gets exclusive deals from Quickbooks for our users. We hope to offer a deal for the conference as well- stay tuned!

March

SXSW Tech

March 9-18, 2018; Austin, TX

The South by Southwest (SXSX) Conference & Festivals celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery: Some of the world’s most promising and innovative startups are first recognized during SXSW’s Interactive program.

  • Focus: Innovation and startups
  • Size: 72,000 (including the music and art content)
  • Price: Starts at $1,125 for the Interactive badge
  • Editor’s note: “SXSW Interactive” content is the most relevant to entrepreneurs and small business owners. You can enter your startup to be a part of SXSW.

The Entrepreneur Experience Conference (TEEC)

March 17, 2018; Atlanta, GA

The Entrepreneur Experience Conference (TEEC) is a special edition to the Small Business Market Expo. The focus of TEEC is to build, strengthen, support, and train established and new entrepreneurs. Find resources and assets to help your business succeed from experts in web advancement, online networking, branding, social media, financial planning, business counseling, self-publishing, health and wellness, retirement planning, marketing, telecommunications, products and more. Aspiring business owners will have an opportunity to learn everything you want to know about how to successfully own and operate your own business.

  • Focus: Entrepreneurship
  • Price: $39.99
  • Editor’s note: This conference is organized as a bootcamp and is one of the most accessible and affordable opportunities we’ve found with a price point of under $100!

European Immersive Computing Summit (EICS)

March 22-23, 2018; Venice Italy

EICS Summit delves into the emerging world of immersive technologies (XR), innovation and creativity. Keynote speakers focus on various business sectors including “Architecture, Art and Design,” “Entertainment,”, “Healthcare,” and “Industry 4.0.” EICS is designed to engage the most important companies, professionals and investors —big and small—working on new technologies.

  • Focus: Immersive technology (XR)
  • Price: Starts at €339 ($422 USD)
  • Editor’s note: EICS will also feature a special “Startup” track that will select five early-stage startups that will introduce and workshop their business ideas.

April

Social Media Week New York (Social Media & Marketing)

April 24-27, 2018; New York, NY

Social Media Week New York is one of the world’s premier conferences for professionals at the intersection of media, marketing and technology. The prestigious conference will celebrate its 10th annual year in 2018.

  • Focus: Marketing, media and communications
  • Size: 2.5K
  • Price: Starts at $625
  • Editor’s note: 65% of attendees are aged 25-35

 

May

The SaaS Connect (Small Business)

May 1-2, 2018; San Francisco

This event was previously called The Small Business Web Summit and recently rebranded as SaaS Connect. It is the single event for SaaS companies, platforms, API services, channels, distributors, resellers, app stores, and investors. For 7 years, B2B SaaS executives across the industry put together this event because they needed an intimate space to talk with others in the industry.

  • Focus: SaaS
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: $400
  • Editor’s note: The event is organized by The Cloud Software Association (formerly The Small Business Web), the trade association of companies selling cloud software.

99U

May 9-11; New York, NY

The 99U Conference is a one-of-a-kind live experience that inspires creative professionals to bring their ideas to life and shape the future of the industry. Learn from the world’s top thinkers and doers in a series of main stage talks over two days. 99U speakers offer pragmatic, real-world insights that transcend creative sectors. Expert-hosted breakout sessions explore new ideas and methodologies around leadership, teamwork, productivity and more.

  • Focus: Creative professions and businesses
  • Size: 1,000
  • Price: $999
  • Editor’s Note: You can attend for free by volunteering.

 

World Business Forum

May 30-31, 2018; Sydney, Australia

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Organised by WOBI each year in different cities across the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia, World Business Forum is a two-day event that brings together thousands of restless minds who share the same passion for business. Those who attend do so to learn and be inspired by some of the most influential figures in the business world and beyond; A blend of content delivered by CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders and creative minds.

  • Focus: Business networking and thought leadership
  • Size: Thousands
  • Price: Starts at $2,190 until Dec. 22,, 2017 ($500 savings)
  • Editor’s Note: You can download a brochure for the 2018 event here.

 

The Startup Conference (Starting Up)

May 2018 (exact date TBA); Redwood City, CA

With 1,500 entrepreneurs and investors, the Startup Conference is one of the largest conferences in Silicon Valley for starting your startup, learning how to pitch VCs, find co-founders, launch your product to the press, reach early adopters and influencers and more.

  • Focus: Entrepreneurship
  • Size: 1,500
  • Price: Not specified
  • Editor’s note: Has a video archive of last year’s conference

 

June

SMX Advanced

June 11-13, 2018; Seattle, WA

Designed specifically for experienced search marketers, this event is a great opportunity to learn advanced SEO and SEM tactics. For over ten years, SMX has helped thousands of marketing practitioners from across the world succeed in the ever-evolving world of search marketing strategy. 

  • Focus: SEO and SEM
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Starts at $199
  • Editor’s note: Produced by the industry-leading publication Search Engine Land

Forbes Women’s Summit

June 18-19, 2018; New York, NY

Forbes Women’s Summit brings together the voices and insights of a diverse range of female luminaries from the worlds of business, entertainment and politics. 

  • Focus: Women’s business
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: $1,950*
  • Editor’s note: *The event is invitation only based on applications for attendance.

WBENC National Conference & Business Fair

June 19-21, 2018; Detroit, MI

The WBENC National Conference & Business Fair is the premier conference for women business owners in the United States. Attendees can visit trade show exhibits, participate and network among their fellow female business owners. 

  • Focus: Women’s business challenges and opportunities
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Starts at $200
  • Editor’s note: Attended by Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) & Fortune 500 execs

ICON Small Business (Social Media & Marketing)

June 20-22, 2018; Scottsdale, Arizona

ICON is Infusionsoft’s marketing, automation, and leadership conference focused on solving challenges for small business. ICON focuses on helping small businesses solve challenges by delivering an experience that provides education, inspiration and a strategic marketing approach.

  • Focus: Marketing, automation and leadership
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Starts at $399
  • Editor’s note: Features one-on-one consults with small business experts

 

July

MozCon (Social Media & Marketing)

July 9-11, 2018; Seattle, Washington

MozCon speakers share next-level tactics on everything from ranking higher in today’s evolving search results to making data-driven decisions in your marketing. Three days, one track of forward-thinking, actionable sessions in SEO, brand development, CRO, the mobile landscape, analytics, customer experience, social and content marketing and more.

  • Focus: SEO, brand development
  • Size: 2,000
  • Price: Starts at $849
  • Editor’s note: Features social events like a pub crawl to help people connect and network

 

September

Content Marketing World (Social Media & Marketing)

September 4-7, 2018; Cleveland, Ohio 

This is a great opportunity to learn and network with the best and the brightest in the content marketing industry. Content Marketing World 2017 featured over 120 sessions and workshops presented by the leading brand marketers from around the world covering strategy, integration and measurement. Even more is expected for 2018.

  • Focus: Content marketing
  • Size: 3,600
  • Price: Starts at $1,495 (or video access for $695)
  • Editor’s note: Attracts attendees from over 50 different countries

 

TechCrunch Disrupt (Tech) 

September 5-7, 2018; San Francisco, CA

TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and after parties.

  • Focus: Innovation, tech and startups
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Approx. $3,000
  • Editor’s note: You can check out last year’s agenda here.

October

Small Business Expo (Small Business)

October 18, 2018; Los Angeles, CA

The Small Business Expo is a hub of entrepreneurial activity and learning. Los Angeles offers access to resources from talent to capital to industry connections, making it one of the best cities to start a business. The City itself is also a massive consumer-facing marketplace.

  • Focus: Small Business
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Free
  • Editor’s note: The Small Business Expo travels across several U.S. cities

November

B2B Marketing Forum (Social Media & Marketing)

November 13-16, 2018; San Francisco, CA

MarketingProfs’ B2B Marketing Forum is the place where leaders, innovators, and people who make things happen gather to learn about the latest in B2B marketing and share the secrets to success. Check out a retrospect of the 2017 conference to learn more about what to expect for 2018.

  • Focus: B2B marketing
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Starts at $1,095 through Feb. 15 (early bird)
  • Editor’s note: 2018 is the first year the conference will be held in San Francisco

 

More – Dates to be announced

GrowCo Conference (Starting Up)

(Dates and locations TBA)

Created and curated by Inc.magazine, the Grow Your Company Conference (GrowCo) is a three-day event that brings together hundreds of entrepreneurs hungry for the advice, proven strategies, and connections needed to start and grow a business. Through inspiring keynotes and educational breakouts, plus tons of networking, attendees learn about growing a business and bottom line.

  • Focus: Business growth
  • Size: Less than 1,000
  • Price: Not specified
  • Editor’s note: Past GrowCo speakers include Mark Cuban, Sir Richard Branson, former President Bill Clinton.
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The Small Business Expo (Small Business)

(Various city dates throughout 2018 listed on website)

The nation’s largest small business networking and learning event, and an Inc. 5000 company. Every year, over 65,000 small business professionals and entrepreneurs attend the Small Business Expo events that take place throughout the year in 15 major cities across the country. See when the nearest event is coming to you.

  • Focus: Business-to-business trade show
  • Size: 65,000 across 15 cities
  • Price: FREE
  • Editor’s note: There is no cost to attend and enjoy workshops and other content. If you want to exhibit, there is a fee.

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Series (Small Business)

(Dates and locations TBA)

In response to the growth of the small business sector in 2017, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce expanded its highly regarded national summit to include four additional local series of events; and even more is expected for 2018. Traditionally the Summit provides the tools, strategies, and best practices small business owners need to successfully compete in today’s rapidly changing business environment.

  • Focus: Small business
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Starts at $275 for non-members
  • Editor’s note: The Summit offers travel and accommodation discounts through their transportation and hotel partners.

 

Techweek (Tech)

Various city dates TBA 

Techweek humbly started out in 2011 to celebrate Chicago’s local startup scene and has since grown into more than eight local week-long events in innovation hubs throughout the country including Detroit, Miami and Dallas. Each year, the conference seeks to spotlight new cities, so 2018 is likely to see an increased presence. Follow Techweek to find out when and where the closest event to you will take place.

  • Focus: Tech, small and medium-sized business
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Starts at $55
  • Editor’s note: The event’s multi-city presence makes it convenient to attend

 

Collaboration in the Gig Economy (Freelancers and Digital Nomads)

October 4-5, 2018; Dallas, TX

Organized by Staffing Industry Analysts, Collaboration in the Gig Economy

is the fastest-growing, collaborative, and leading-edge conference of its kind. Join staffing suppliers, workforce solutions buyers, VMS, MSP & RPO providers, suppliers to staffing, gig economy/human cloud companies and others interested in the workforce solutions ecosystem for an intensive look at maximizing value and optimizing the talent supply chain.

  • Focus: Staffing and suppliers
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Approx. $2,000 for non-members
  • Editor’s note: The conference focuses on staffing solutions within the gig economy and therefore is not exclusive to freelancers or small business owners but also large enterprises.

Freelancers Conference (#FREECON) (Freelancers and Digital Nomads)

(Dates and location TBA)

#FREECON is the longest running, industry agnostic, freelance business conference in the world, and just like the spirit of every freelancer, it has its own set of rules. The program features keynotes, panel sessions, campfire conversations, workshops, a gig exchange, freelance awards, networking time, and exclusive access to the best minds in freelancing.

  • Focus: Freelancing
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Not yet available
  • Editor’s note: This is the leading conference for freelancers and was created by freelancers.

 

Women’s Conferences

Forbe’s Women’s Summit

(Dates and location TBA)

Forbes Women’s Summit celebrates, connects and empowers women around the world, helping them to realize their potential and reach new heights. Featuring keynote conversations, panel discussions, one-on-one interviews and interstitial spotlights, the 2017 Forbes Women’s Summit brought together the voices and insights of a diverse range of female luminaries from the worlds of business, entertainment and politics.

  • Focus: Women’s empowerment
  • Size: 300
  • Price: Not specified
  • Editor’s Note: Thanks to its intimate size, this conference is great for meaningful networking.

Inc. Women’s Summit

(Dates and location TBA)

Inc. brings together some of the most influential entrepreneurs at the Inc. Women’s Summit, where attendees connect with other business owners, hear inspirational stories, and learn valuable tactics for launching and growing a business.

  • Focus: Women’s leadership in business
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Approx. $450
  • Editor’s Note: You can download the 2017 agenda here.

She Leads

(Dates and location TBA)

She Leads started out as an annual conference and grew into a media company dedicated to leadership – both professionally and personally – for women, worldwide. The annual conference explores issues of women in leadership and entrepreneurship and offers actionable tips, tools and information that will help attendees not only lead their business but also their lives.

  • Focus: Women’s leadership and entrepreneurship
  • Size: Not specified
  • Price: Not yet available
  • Editor’s Note: You can view the 2017 agenda here.
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Written by Rachel Solomon
Rachel is a Content Crafter at WiseStamp and a journalist who loves sharing information that helps small businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers and all kinds of independent spirits. She believes that innovative, socially-driven business will save the world.