Small and medium enterprise owners and employees constantly face new challenges and hurdles.
Through events, expos and conferences, these owners and employees are able to learn new ideas, use new tools, and network with new minds about how to best overcome such difficulties.
Here are five events, conferences and expos held around Australia that SMEs can attend to learn, share, and grow.
Australia Trade and Export Finance Conference
In May 2014, the Global Trade Review held the first inaugural Australia Trade and Export Finance Conference in Sydney to focus on the country’s export market.
The event exists to bring together people from companies of all sizes, from SMEs to multinationals, creating a perfect location for smaller companies to rub shoulders with other SMEs and larger organisations as well.
A pre-event networking site is set up to give attendees ample opportunities to meet, as there is a strong emphasis on connections throughout the conference with networking lunches, breaks and receptions in between speakers and discussions.
In 2015, more than 250 delegates attended the conference in early March, which is now an annual event.
SME Association monthly events
The not-for-profit SME Association (SMEA) of Australia has been around since 2011 with the goal of supporting small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs around the country.
Alongside business events, the SMEA holds monthly networking events specifically for SMEs. They are held in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Each month features guest speakers, drinks and nibbles, and an opportunity to meet others working in SMEs for advice, discussions, sales opportunities and more.
SEAANZ annual conference
The Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand celebrates its 28th annual conference in July 2015 in Melbourne.
In 2015, the key features of the conference are a breakfast opportunity with the Australian and New Zealand ministers for small business, as well as renowned keynote speakers chief economist Alan Oster of the National Australia Bank, and CEO Simon Haigh of the Western Australia Indigenous Tourism Operators Council.
Each year a new theme covers pressing topics for small businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
Upcoming events include Melbourne in October, and Sydney in April 2016. It’s expected that more than 3,000 delegates will attend, including many from Chinese markets.
This event showcases business services such as international trade, investments, technology, e-commerce, organisations for sale, seminars, workshops, professional services, and networking functions. In total, there are roughly 150 exhibitors at each event.
Plus, there is a function dedicated to networking, a seminar series, and an expo breakfast.
CCIQ Small Business Expo
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) is a not-for-profit that runs annual free event for small businesses.
The 2015 event was held in May at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, and featured keynote speakers founder and managing director Phillip Di Bella of Di Bella Coffee, and small business owner and former test cricketer Tim Healy.
This year, there were 70 exhibitors, with a packed two-day program of presentations, speed networking, workshops and demonstrations.