Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Free online "Small Business Summit" next week

An entrepreneurial company called Microsoft is making next week Small Business Week – all around the world.

Microsoft is holding a free online Small Business Summit, from March 24 to 27, from 12 noon till 4 pm EDT each day (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific time). It looks like quite an extravaganza, with oodles of expert speakers offering tips, advice and secrets for small business success.

There’ll be 12 one-hour seminars a day. You can choose between three different sessions every hour.

Among the presenters: John Jantsch of "Duct-Tape Marketing," one of the world’s most popular marketing bloggers, speaking on “low-cost, high-yield” marketing strategies; and Entrepreneur Magazine editor Rieva Lesonsky.

Other topics include: how to find and keep customers, building a brand, “Building Buzz,” “Net Success,” Blogging for Bucks, “PR Toolbox,” technology solutions that help you understand your customers, and the “$100,000 Total Technology Makeover.” And that’s just on Monday!

Microsoft is expecting 25,000 business owners from all over the globe to take part over the four days, so don't let your competitors get a jump on you. Why not promise yourself to take in at least one session? I’m sure it will jump-start creative thinking and new ideas.

I give Microsoft lots of credit for trying to overcome entrepreneurs’ typical excuses for not going to conferences (“I don't have time to get away,” “it costs too much”), and coming up with a format – and lots of content – geared to business owners’ needs.

Check out the program (and register now if you want) at

Wednesday afternoon update: I just checked with Microsoft's Canadian PR company, and they say that if you can't find time for the conference next week, Microsoft will be making recordings of the sessions available for you to watch online. The on-demand sessions will be available at

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