For small business owners industry events are a great way to learn, meet like-minded people, pick up new ideas, promote their business and be inspired. Here are five small business events to look out for in 2016.

Small business expo and innovation clinic

February 27-28, Gold Coast

Presented by TAFE Queensland and held at the Southport TAFE Campus on the Gold Coast, this two-day event is for small and medium-sized business owners, both current and aspiring. Each day there will be 15 workshops held on subjects spanning finance, marketing, sales, business coaching and more. Keynote speakers include Phillip Di Bella, founder and managing director of Di Bella Coffee, and Alistair Roberts, founder of Brisbane digital design company Media Heroes.

Vivid Sydney Ideas 2016

May 27 to June 13, Sydney

While there’s plenty to like about Vivid’s Music and Light show offerings, it’s their Ideas program that will appeal to small business owners seeking a dose of creativity, innovation and inspiration. On from May 27 to June 13 in 2016, Vivid Ideas brings together business and creative leaders from across the Asia Pacific for a broad range of industries for conventions, conversations and more.

29th annual Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand (SEAANZ) Conference

August 10-12, Melbourne

Founded in Sydney in 1987, SEAANZ is a not-for-profit organisation committed to the advancement, development and understanding of small enterprise within Australia and New Zealand. An affiliate member for the International Council for Small Business, their work centres on research, policy development and the dissemination of ideas for small to medium enterprises. This year their 29th annual conference, to be held in Melbourne in August, will centre on the topic of ‘Building sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems’. 

The Small Business Festival Victoria

August 1-31, Victoria

Held from August 1–31 each year, the Small Business Festival Victoria is one to pop in your calendar well in advance. The festival encourages small business owners to network, learn practical new skills to help them start or grow their businesses, and introduce them to new ideas to help boost their productivity and competitiveness. While specific details are yet to be released, a range of free or low cost events will be held across Victoria, as well as online, on subjects spanning social media, marketing, business planning and more.

Shop Small Australia

November, National

More a community movement, than it is an event, Shop Small Australia takes place across the month of November each year. Launched in Melbourne in 2013 by American Express, it aims to support small business by encouraging the public to spend at the small local shops and services in their area. Small businesses can register their business (note, you need to be an American Express merchant) to be included on the Shop Small Australia map and directory.

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