Small business events like conferences and trade shows are great to learn new skills, network and get inspired by like-minded small business owners. So when was the last time you added one of these to your calendar?
Every now and then, it’s good to take some time off to learn more and improve your business. Whether you’re looking for practical advice, inspirational stories or the chance to network, here are some of the best small business events to attend in the UK in 2018.
When: 1-2 August 2018
Who: small business owners & founders
More info: turingfest.com
This one can’t be missing from any list of small business events to attend in the UK in 2018. Based right here in Edinburgh, Turing Fest is a two-day event focused on bringing together the smartest people from the small business and start-up world.
HR and product managers, marketing experts, start-up founders and investors will be offering invaluable insights for small business owners. So there’s something for every aspect of your small business.
Past speakers have included guests like Rand Fishkin from Moz, Gareth Williams from Skyscanner, Courtney Seiter from Buffer and Jane Austin from Moo.com.
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 it helps to your products into shops.
Scotland’s Trade Fair has spring (January) and autumn (September) editions, both held in 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
Among the small business events to attend in the UK in 2018, this is the best conference for search marketing. Even better: BrightonSEO takes place twice yearly and is also available via live video.
The event brings together some of the best experts in the world of search and SEO. The first day is dedicated to training courses, while the second day is full of talks on a variety of topics from SEO experts.
Speakers at past events include Fernando Angulo from SEMrush, Steve Rayson from Buzzsumo, Taneth Evans from The Times and Kaspar Szymanski from Search Brothers. The training day includes courses on everything from Google Analytics to copywriting and mobile SEO.
When: September 2018
Who: social media and marketing people
More info: socialmediaweek.org/london
This is a key event to look out for if you’re interested in social media marketing for your small business. With five days of talks and workshops, you’re sure to find something to suit you.
If you’re a social media professional or a small business owner looking for the best way to utilise social media for your company, SMW is a great choice from all social media-focused small business events in the UK in 2018.
Big names have attended previous events, 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.
Past speakers include Chris Brogan (CEO of Owner Media Group), content marketing author Ann Handley and Brian Fanzo from iSocialFanz.
Perfect if you’re looking for new insights and practical advice and don’t want to travel far for your small business events.
When: 16-17 May 2018
Who: tech and digital people
More info: thinkingdigital.co.uk
Thinking Digital is unique among the small business events to attend in the UK in 2018 as it’s 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
This local conference can’t be left off any list of small business events to attend in the UK in 2018. 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.
Past speakers at Startup Summit included names like James Watt from BrewDog, Emma Jones from Enterprise Nation, Josh Littlejohn from Social Bite and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
7 Networking Events & Clubs to Join in Edinburgh
6 Tips for Exhibiting at a Conference or Trade Show
7 Lessons I’ve Learned in Business Networking
How to Make Your Local Business Event a Success