Sorting Out the Best Conferences for Entrepreneurs

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Sorting Out the Best Conferences for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur in a tough economic climate, you want to find every possible advantage.  Business conferences have become popular destinations for the minds behind startup companies and projects.  Conferences are an excellent way to network, communicating with possible customers, partners, and investors.  Attending a conference can also help you get a new project started by discussing innovative ideas and finding sources of funding.

Raising capital for a startup business is never easy, but business conferences are one of the best places to find support.  All this is in addition to the knowledge gained from the conference speakers and workshops.  Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from people who have been there before, so you should try to be there whenever flourishing and aspiring entrepreneurs are in the same place together.


Let’s start at the top with TiECon, which hosts the largest professional conference for entrepreneurs.  Its sheer size is a significant advantage because TiECon draws in the big names and the top speakers in addition to providing the most opportunity for networking.  The conference and the related innovation expo bring in hundreds of investors, making it a great place to find some funding for your great idea.

The speakers and workshops offer tons of useful information specific to your interests and needs.  The cost of attending may seem prohibitive if you’re just starting out and low on funds, but you know exactly what you’re paying for with TiECon.  The great thing about attending this type of conference is that you have a big opportunity to make up the cost of admission and much more.  When a conference brings together creative minds and gets innovative projects off the ground, everyone wins.

Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference

Of course, the size of a huge conference can be a disadvantage as well.  With such a variety of attendees, it can be difficult to find the type of people you’re looking for.  If you want to meet entrepreneurs from your area, try a local conference like the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference.  You may have more success making good contacts with people who live nearby and the conference’s information will be tailored to local issues.  Make your state a stronger center for business by attending a local conference for entrepreneurs.

Social Enterprise Conference

You can also narrow your focus by seeking conferences for particular types of entrepreneurship.  For example, if you are interested in applying entrepreneurial principles to social issues, keep an eye on conferences focused in that field.  Remember that the best conferences in your field of interest are worth waiting for.  Harvard runs another excellent social enterprise conference.

Web Conferences

The internet has broadened the way that people attend conferences.  If you cannot take several days off to attend a conference or if the travel is unappealing, consider giving web conferencing a try.  Technology allows us to give lectures, attend training events, and view presentations remotely.  Web conferencing is appealing because it involves only a small commitment of time and money.  On the other hand, it is much more difficult to successfully network with a web conference.  Oftentimes, information will be traveling one way without a great deal of interaction between audience members.  For more information, see the Entrepreneur.

A frequently seen term related to web conferencing is webinar.  A webinar is a web conference on a much smaller scale, such as a single presentation or workshop.  Webinars typically involve little interaction, but they’re a quick and painless way to get useful information.  If you are up to the task, you can also give your own webinar using webinar software to establish and market your ideas.  Find out how a webinar can help your business succeed here.

National CEO Conference

Just as some conferences are can’t-miss events, others are better off avoided.  First, do your research on a conference to make sure that it has information and people you want to see.  A conference may seem promising until you read that it is focused on overseas business.  You are putting time and money into attending, so make sure you are investing in the right conference.  You also need to think about the intended audience for the seminar or conference under consideration.  The National CEO Conference may be an excellent learning experience for young entrepreneurs, but may not have much to offer older or more experienced attendees.

The best tip boils down to getting your money’s worth.  Skip conferences that require membership to a committee or club unless you plan on using that membership frequently in the future.  Likewise, watch out for conferences that have considerable fees attached unless you are blown away by the speakers and workshops that are paid for with that money.  Even a great conference must be worth the expense you put into it.  This event looks great if you live around St. Louis, but you wouldn’t want to drive far for such a short conference.  Perform the research needed to find the right conferences for your business.  A good conference will jumpstart your ideas and help you with the networking that any growing company needs.

Ryan Kerr

Ryan Kerr

Ryan Kerr is a freelance writer for Adobe. Adobe provides online meeting solutions with Adobe Connect. They also provide video ... [Read full bio]