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Top events for SMBs in 2019

According to multiple business websites, upskilling has been one of the key business trends of 2018. Companies, especially SMEs, have been boosting the knowledge and skills of their staff by offering e-learning courses and sending employees to conferences and seminars.

The focus on upskilling doesn’t look set to diminish in 2019, either. Business experts like Forbes predict the practice is going to continue to grow in the coming year.

With this in mind, tsoHost has curated a list of the top events and conferences to send knowledge-thirsty employees to this year. The list covers everything from business innovation to digital marketing events.

Brighton SEO – 11th to 12th April – The Brighton Centre, Brighton

This free day-long conference is dedicated to all things search marketing and SEO. There are seminars and sessions that are suitable for both rookies and full-time search marketers. Conference talk topics are led by some of the most experienced SEO experts in the world, and topics range from ‘8 Ways to Increase your eCommerce Conversion Rate’ to ‘Account Structure in an AI World’. To ensure you’re attending the sessions that are most relevant to your knowledge level, Brighton SEO breaks them down into categories including ‘specialist’ and ‘all-rounder’.

The Business Show – 15th to 16th May – Excel London

With 17 successful shows under its belt, The Business Show is regarded as one of the top business events in the UK. More than 250,000 businesses now attend to research and learn about topics like expansion, innovation and business improvement. Talks, workshops and presentations take place in 15 different theatres. The topics for keynote sessions in 2019 are diverse – ranging from a talk on ‘The Growing Business of a Plant-Based Future’ by Heather Mills to a talk on ‘Making Procrastination and Overwhelm a Thing of the Past’ by business coach Sukhi Wahiwala.

41st Business Start Up Show - 15th to 16th May – Excel London

A sister show to The Business Show, the 41st Business Start Up conference is designed to offer start-ups and growing businesses insight into ways they can expand and revolutionise. Attendees have access to 170 masterclasses, can network with 20,000 other businesses, and can learn about the newest business-changing solutions and products from 350 exhibitors.

Highlights of the schedule include a talk by the founder of Ratchet Clothing, Dhillan Bhardwaj, on ‘Making a Million at 16’ and a session by entrepreneur Kavita Oberoi OBE on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’.

The Telegraph’s Leader of Transformation – 26th March – Mandarin Oriental, London

Hosted by The Telegraph newspaper, The Telegraph Leader of Transformation conference will home in on the topic of business transformation. The show will give attendees an insight into how to push beyond legacy operations to improve day to day dealings, and how to change the mindset of a business so that it blooms.

The 2019 schedule has yet to be fully revealed but 2018 speakers included Margot James MP, the minister for digital and the Creative Industries, and Dean Latchana, the agile transformation coach for Sainsbury’s.

Design Thinking and Innovation Week – 18th to 22nd March – Central London

With a limited number of spots available, the Design Thinking and Innovation Week is a micro-conference. Aimed at creative entrepreneurs, innovation directors and business owners it features a week’s worth of keynote presentations, case studies and roundtable discussions.

Attendees will learn about all sorts of things, from how to create a customer-obsessed culture to the methodologies companies use to create new products. Speakers for the 2019 event, meanwhile, include FutureGov, which helps make public services fit for the 21st century, and AI experts HumansInAI. The cost of the conference also includes visits to the head offices of some of London’s most innovative companies.

CMA Live – 5th and 6th June – Edinburgh

The aim of CMA Live is to get business owners, entrepreneurs and marketers inspired to develop their business by teaching them about the latest developments and trends in everything from content marketing to business growth hacking.

The line-up of speakers for 2019 has yet to be confirmed but the 2018 schedule featured the likes of professional change evangelist Brian Franzo and niche marketing expert Karen Reyburn. The conference content is tailored to appeal to representatives from a range of businesses – from jewellery designers and stove companies to architects and interior designers.

The Customer Service And Experience Summit 2019 – 17th to 18th September – London

A brand-new event for 2019, the Customer Service And Experience Summit 2019 is designed to deep-dive into the changing world of customer expectations and the growing demand for personalised service across all platforms.

Speakers will appear from 25 brands including heavyweights like HP, Barclays and Airbnb. During the two-day event, attendees will be able to learn about everything from how AI chatbots can impact response times and efficiency to how to develop a self-serve experience for customers to reduce costs and improve feedback.