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The top conferences & events for UK small business owners in 2019

18 February 2019 Small Business Advice

You’re busy, so why spend money going to a small business conference or other event?

The main benefits are:

  1. You’ll get to meet other owners of small businesses face-to-face and share experiences. You can learn something, even from your competitors. And, unlike reading an article like this, you can ask questions and interact personally.
  2. Keep up to date with the latest trends and pick up ideas that you can try out to increase sales, revenue and productivity.
  3. Start networking and connect with potential business partners, suppliers and even customers.

So, what are the best UK small business conferences and events in 2019? You probably already know all about the important ones in your specific industry.

So here’s a list of the top 15 more general conferences and events. As you’ll see, they’ll help you keep up with the latest developments on everything from marketing and social media, to sales and finance.


  1. The National Franchise Exhibition

When: 5 – 16 February 2019

Where:  National Exhibition Centre (NEC) North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT


Free tickets are available from the NEC with the code, NEC1.

This event is supported by the industry’s governing body, the British Franchise Association (BFA). So you can be sure that all exhibiting brands are genuine business-format franchises.

The range of franchises covers all business sectors, from food and drink, to fitness and property.

You can choose from over 40 free presentations and interactive training workshops with leading professional advisers, including the BFA, financial experts and franchise consultants.


  1. Marketing Show North

When: 27 – 28 February 2019

Where: EventCity, Phoenix Way, Off Barton Dock Rd, Stretford, Manchester M41 7TB


Registration to attend is free, but there are priority passes available for the 8 keynote theatre sessions to purchase at £20 + VAT per session.

This is the biggest marketing expo outside London. It focuses on marketing, sales and customer engagement.

At the 2019 event, there will be over 120 exhibitors, including Channel 4 and the University of Salford, with seminars and talks from leading professionals and household names such as Just Eat and Moonpig.


  1. Marketing Week Live            

When: 06 – 07 March 2019

Where: Olympia, Hammersmith Road London, London W14 8UX


Marketing Week Live is free to attend for those involved in marketing. Your MWLive badge also gives you access to an event in the same building, the Insight Show. If you want to find out about research and data analytics, it’s also worth a visit.

Marketing Week Live is presented by Marketing Week and Econsultancy. Taking place at Olympia, they showcase the best in the industry with practical, hands-on, expert advice from the most respected experts in the business.


  1. Atomicon

When: 08 March 2019

Where: The Assembly Rooms, Fenkle Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 5XU.


Tickets range from £270.09 – £377.89.

Billed as being aimed at everyone ranging from small business owners and solopreneurs (New to us, but why not?), to marketing directors and bloggers, they claim to be a digital marketing conference with a difference.

Atomicom focuses on in-depth practical marketing advice on a range of digital marketing topics, followed by practical planning. The full agenda will be released soon, but will include: Social Media Strategy, Facebook Ads, and How to Sell Online Products.


  1. MTEX – Marketing Technology Expo

27 – 28 March 2019

ExCel London, 1 Western Gateway Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL.


Entry is free. Your free ticket for the Marketing Technology Expo also gives you access to the B2B Marketing Expo, Sales Innovation Expo and Call & Contact Centre Expo.

Experts such as Google, Microsoft, IBM and the DMA will be on hand at MTEX to enlighten you on the latest developments in digital marketing.

In addition, an array of the industry’s biggest brands and most innovative suppliers will be showcasing the solutions shaping the future of digital marketing.


  1. B2C Marketing Expo

When: 21 – 22 March 2019

Where: ExCel London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Docks, London E16 1XL.


Tickets are free.

If your business targets consumers, the B2C Marketing Expo offers a lineup of 700 cutting-edge supplier exhibitors, 200 interactive masterclasses and 500 expert-led seminars.

Last year it had over 5,000 visitors over the two days. This leading interactive exhibition and conference is specifically designed to showcase the very latest developments and future trends in consumer marketing.


  1. B2B Marketing Expo

When: 27 – 28 March 2019

Where: ExCel London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Docks, London E16 1XL.


Tickets are free.

B2B Marketing Expo masterclasses include expert guidance on: Inbound marketing, e-commerce and  CRM. In addition, you can catch up on product launches, live demos and a wide variety of seminars.

Speakers will be from such leading companies as: Amazon, The Direct Marketing Association, Google, Linkedin and Sage.


  1. Brighton SEO 2019

When: 11 – 12 April and 12 – 13 September 2019

Where: The Brighton Centre, Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2GR


There are three different types of ticket for Brighton SEO, the majority are given away free under their ballot system, but there are also Friend and Training tickets. Each ticket comes with its own set of perks, so check what your ticket gives you.

BrightonSEO is a bi-annual search marketing conference and series of training courses. The first day includes courses on everything from Google Analytics to copywriting and mobile SEO.

The second day features some of the best speakers in the world on the subject.

BrightonSEO is now one of the most popular and respected SEO conferences in the UK. The last event had 3,500 attendees and tickets sold out in less than 13 minutes.


  1. Social Day

When: 01 – 03 May 2019

Where: The Congress Centre, 8 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3UB


Early bird tickets have sold out. Tickets are £400 for 2 people for the 3 days. Registration closes on 14/02/2019.

It has 16 workshops and 30 leading speakers, including experts from  Twitter, Snapchat and the BBC.

So, if you want to know more about Social Media Marketing, learn about new developments and get insights on hot industry topics, this 3-day event is one to visit.


  1. The Business Show

When: 15 – 16 May 2019

Where: ExCel London, 1 Western Gateway Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL.


To register for complimentary tickets to the show, call free on 0117 930 4927.

The Business Show is the UK’s Largest Business Exhibition and attracts over 25,000 businesses.

The show features more than 200 world-class speakers and interactive master-classes, along with 350 exhibitors. So, you can catch up with the latest developments on everything from advice on start-ups, finance and entrepreneurship to guidance on legal services and marketing. And of course, if you’re into networking opportunities, this event is not to be missed.


  1. FSB Celebration Small Business Awards

When: Thursday 23 May 2019

Where: Battersea Evolution, Queenstown Road, London, SW8 4NW


Entries to the awards is free and is also open to non-FSB members.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) annual Awards recognise the best small businesses and the self-employed across the UK, from every sector and industry.

The area finals for the 2019 FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards will take place around the UK between January and April 2019. To attend the area awards finals there is a charge of £45 to cover a two-course lunch, drinks reception and a glass of wine or soft drink. Check the closing dates on their site.

Last year, The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2018 attracted more than 2,000 entries.


  1. Digital Publishing Innovation Summit

When: 25 – 26 June 2019

Where: Prospero House, 241 Borough High St, London SE1 1GA


Tickets – to be confirmed

The Summit is held every year in: New York, San Francisco, Singapore and London.

With past speakers from the BBC, Telegraph and ITV, it brings you up-to-date with the rapidly-changing digital media landscape.

The event is filled with keynote presentations, workshops, new research and new technologies that will help you to pep up your digital strategy.


  1. MarketED.Live

When: 30 September 2019

Where: Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross, Nottingham NG1 2GB


Tickets – £123.93 – £261.08.

MarketEd.Live is a conference created by marketers for marketers and business owners. It provides a mixture of practical, hands-on, expert advice, and inspirational case studies from some of the best agencies, industry pros, and brands

Learn about other marketing disciplines that can work hand-in-hand with your own expertise. At the same time, build relationships and share experiences with some great people.


  1. Startup Summit

When: 30 October 2019

Where: Edinburgh


Tickets – prices to be confirmed.

Now in its eighth year, Startup Summit is recognised as one of the UK’s leading events for entrepreneurship

There will be over 30 speakers and 9 workshops. Previous speakers have included: Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister for Scotland; Sir Tom Hunter of the Hunter Foundation and Leela Srinivasan, of SurveyMonkey.

This is where you can listen to inspiring leaders and investors, pick up practical tips and work out your growth strategy.


  1. The Martech Festival

When: 30 October 2019

Where: Hawker House, Canada St, London SE16 7PJ


Tickets – to be confirmed.

The MarTech Festival is the UK’s fastest growing marketing-tech event. Covering everything from marketing technology strategy, to CRM, speakers have included big names such as Sky and Amazon. Attendees have included companies such as: Facebook, Vodafone and Aviva, so you’ll be in good company.


We hope that you found this list of top UK conferences & events interesting and useful. Please bear in mind that details are out of our control and may change, so check the websites of any that you’re interested in.

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