With the ever-mounting costs of running a startup, many small business owners find it difficult to justify the additional expenses of attending an industry conference, particularly when they have more pressing matters to attend to at the office. Still, despite the extra time and money involved, conferences provide business owners with an invaluable opportunity to understand their industry on a larger scale and network with professionals who could ultimately help their business grow. In episode #140, Gene Marks and Elizabeth Larkin offer an extensive look at how small business owners can benefit from attending a conference.

Executive Summary

1:02—Today’s Topic: Should Small Business Owners Take the Time to Attend Conferences?

2:20—Conferences provide business owners with the opportunity to see where their industry stands now and where it will be heading in the next five to ten years.

2:59—Webinars are a convenient alternative for business owners who don’t have the time or capital to travel out of town for a conference.

3:17—Conferences also give you the chance to learn about recent industry updates, build your current skill set, and network with those in related industries.

4:07—Paying for your staff members to attend conferences can earn your business additional tax deductions of $5,250 per employee, each year. Conferences not only serve as a great benefit among current employees, but they also function as an enticing recruiting incentive among potential job candidates.

5:48—In addition to attending general industry conferences, all small businesses should be sending their staff members to industry-specific marketing conferences as well.

6:41—If you can’t afford to send everyone on your staff to a conference, create a rotating schedule for conference-related trips or invest in online training.

8:04—Gene advises small business owners to display an elevator pitch on their website to make a deeper impact on their potential customers.


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