With January just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your plans for next year. It’s a good opportunity to update your business plan (or write one if you don’t have one already) and figure out what you want to improve or change in 2018.
It’s also the time to have a look at your calendar and see which small business events you can attend in order to learn more and improve your business. Whether you’re looking for practical advice to improve your skills, inspirational stories from business leaders or the chance to network with similar people, here are some of the best small business events to attend in the UK in 2018.
When: 1-2 August 2018
Who: tech & digital marketing people
More info: turingfest.com
Based right here in Edinburgh, Turing Festival is a two-day event focused on bringing together the smartest people in tech and marketing. Data scientists, product managers, marketing experts and start-up founders and investors will be offering invaluable insights for small businesses.
Although this year’s line up is yet to be announced, past speakers have included guests like Rand Fishkin from Moz, Gareth Williams from Skyscanner, Courtney Seiter from Buffer and Jane Austin from Moo.com.
Scotland’s Trade Fair
When: 21-23 January 2018 / 16-17 September 2018
Who: product makers
More info: scotlandstradefairs.co.uk
If you have a physical product to sell, attending a trade fair is a great way to connect with buyers and wholesalers, and get your products into shops. Scotland’s Trade Fair has spring (January) and autumn (September) editions, both held in the SEC Glasgow, which are ideal for creative small businesses.
Makers and designers from all sectors are welcome, including home & gift, fashion & accessories, craft, and food & drink. You’ll find lots of lovely handmade items at the trade fair, from luxury handbags to scented candles.
When: 26-27 April 2018 / 27-28 September 2018
Who: SEO and marketing people
More info: brightonseo.com
The UK’s best conference for search marketing, BrightonSEO, takes place twice yearly. Bringing together some of the best speakers in the world of search and SEO, the first day of the event is dedicated to training courses. On the second day, attendees can enjoy talks on a variety of topics from SEO experts.
Speakers at the upcoming April event include Fernando Angulo from SEMrush, Steve Rayson from Buzzsumo, Taneth Evans from The Times and Kaspar Szymanksi from Search Brothers. The training day includes courses on everything from Google Analytics to copywriting and mobile SEO.
If you can’t attend the conference, you can still get access to live videos and podcasts full of content from the event – all for free!
Social Media Week London
When: tbc September 2018
Who: social media and marketing people
More info: socialmediaweek.org/london
Details of 2018’s Social Media Week festival are still under wraps, but it’s a key event to look out for if you’re interested in social media. With five days of talks and workshops, you’re sure to find something to suit you – whether you’re a social media professional, or a small business looking for the best way to utilise social media for your company.
Big names have attended previous Social Media Weeks, including representatives from Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Shutterstock, Twitter, BBC, Hootsuite and lots more.
When: 6-7 June 2018
Who: business owners & marketing professionals
More info: thecontentmarketingacademy.co.uk
CMA Live is a marketing conference organised by The Content Marketing Academy. The conference is particularly focused on content marketing, with top speakers from the industry providing insights over the two-day event.
Confirmed speakers for this year’s CMA Live include Chris Brogan (CEO of Owner Media Group), content marketing author Ann Handley and Brian Fanzo from iSocialFanz.
When: 16-17 May 2018
Who: tech and digital people
More info: thinkingdigital.co.uk
Thinking Digital is a conference focused on learning about new technologies and new ideas. It’s perfect for small businesses in the tech sector, or people looking to embrace new technology to make their business as efficient and cutting-edge as possible.
There are a variety of workshops available to attend, followed by a full day of talks from world-class speakers. Previous speakers have included Dr Anita Sengrupta (an Aerospace Engineer at NASA), innovative musician Imogen Heap, psychologist Dr Richard Wiseman and virtual reality entrepreneur Darren Jobling.
When: 31 October 2018
Who: startups and entrepreneurs
More info: startup-summit.com
As the name suggests, Startup Summit is a conference which is ideal for budding entrepreneurs and innovative startup businesses. Their speakers will talk you through how to survive in the startup world and turn your idea into a thriving business.
This year’s speakers are yet to be announced, but last year’s Startup Summit included names like James Watt from Brewdog, Emma Jones from Enterprise Nation, Josh Littlejohn from Social Bite and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
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