Whether you’re a veteran or a budding entrepreneur, it’s important to interact with other leaders. It’s easy to make excuses for not investing the time or resources to attend conferences. We get caught up in running our businesses, but a good conference gives us a chance to think strategically about the direction we’re heading. There were great conferences in the first half of 2013, but the second half has a solid lineup as well. Here’s Part II of my list of must-attend conferences for 2013.
August 6th in New York City
BlogWorld presents the eighth annual Small Business Summit at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. This one-day event provides expert insights for growing a small business. Small business owners and industry leaders will also get an exclusive look at products and services that will help grow their companies. With regular admission at only $97 per ticket, the Small Business Summit gives small business leaders the chance to enhance their expertise along with their businesses.
September 7th – 11th in San Francisco
TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco disrupts the entire technological landscape as we know it by delivering TechCrunch writers and editors, keynote speakers and judges, prominent investors, and tech leaders tackling significant topics in their industry. The four-day disruption begins with the “Hackathon,” where teams hack together a product in 24 hours. The main event, “Startup Battlefield,” has over 30 companies pitching their products to a panel of prestigious judges. Those judges will select a company to be presented with $50,000 and the Disrupt Cup. In addition, companies from Startup Alley will be chosen as the Audience Choice Winners and get to present at the final round of Startup Battlefield. Attendees should anticipate innovation and embrace the disruption.
September 30th – October 1st in Cincinnati
“Everywhere else” was coined by Nibletz.com, and it essentially refers to startups located outside Silicon Valley. The second installment of the Everywhere Else conference series will supply the audience with expert perspective on the pains and frustrations of trying to start, grow, and fund a company “everywhere else.” The audience will get an exclusive look at the best practices of established startup leaders beyond Silicon Valley. The audience will spend nearly three days listening to topics ranging from “Female Founders Who Rock, from Everywhere Else” to “Getting Noticed and Developing Traction.”
October 3rd in Kansas City, Mo.
iKC: the Unconference breaks the mold of traditional conferences by providing participants with only four “unwritten” rules: 1) whenever it starts is the right time, and whenever it’s over, it’s over; 2) the people who come are the right people; 3) whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened; and 4) if you are not learning or contributing, it is your responsibility to use your own two feet to find someplace where you are. With no agenda, iKC gives full responsibility to the entrepreneur to come up with topics and ideas. Once the collision of ideas is over, iKC will close with its “Open Mic Awards,” where attendees choose gifts to present to the leaders who had the most impact on the conference.
October 15th – 16th in New York City
The theme for Pivot Conference 2013 is contribution. Pivotcon calls thought leaders to contribute information and knowledge to viewers, and the audience is encouraged to contribute to the speaker and one another. For two days in New York, Pivotcon will provide the platform for conversations on how big brands are starting social business initiatives, how businesses can influence customers socially, and how social businesses are innovating operations to provide a better customer experience. Pivot Conference is an exclusive event that offers just a handful of tickets to the public and is primarily invitation-only for senior executives.
October 24th in New York City
Business Insider is at it again with its short and sweet one-day conference, where entrepreneurs can enroll in approximately 15 different courses at the “Startup University” that will provide knowledge every entrepreneur needs to be successful. After Startup University’s session has ended, New York’s finest entrepreneurs will enlighten spectators on many topics, from “Can Fads Become Businesses?” to “We’re in the Billion-Dollar Club, and Here’s How We Did It.”
November 6th in San Francisco
The pages of Fast Company are brought to life at the Innovation Uncensored event. Fast Company has held this engaging event at other locations, but it’s now challenging the Bay Area to produce the same thought-provoking conversations that unearth creativity and innovation. Innovation Uncensored encourages ingenuity and doesn’t follow the typical conference guidelines.
November 11th – 13th in New York City
IGNITION: Future of Digital is a three-day exploration of how digital media is changing business models. With recent innovations in mobile and social, the user’s digital experience has been completely transformed and Business Insider extends its knowledge to participants who will keep them one step ahead of the competition. The agenda for IGNITION is constructed around a list of in-depth questions that will have the audience looking at digital media in a different light.
November 16th – 17th in Tempe, Ariz.
TechPhx, held at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Ariz., is the second “unconference” on the list. For the fifth year in a row, TechPhx, formerly PodCamp AZ, offers participants two days’ worth of blogging, vlogging, social media, and podcasting, all free of charge. TechPhx provides the audience with a sense of community that most conferences lack, and it’s this community that establishes “openness and transparency.”
What conferences will you attend this year to start thinking strategically about your business?
Ryan O’Connell is Vice President at Influence & Co., a company that helps experts build their businesses through thought leadership and content marketing by producing high-quality content for reputable publications. You can reach out to Ryan on Twitter @Oconnellryan or on Google+.
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