Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ideas To Deals: Reflections From Ohio Growth Summit 2010

Ideas To Deals: Reflections From Ohio Growth Summit 2010

Reflections From Ohio Growth Summit 2010

Carrie OGS10 Amazing that another Ohio Growth Summit has come and gone. This is the sixth year the Summit has been held. Every year in the weeks and days leading up to the event I say this will be the last one but once everything comes together and everyone is gathered at Columbus State I realize that we can't stop now. From the very beginning my goal was to create something specifically for small business entrepreneurs. There are a lot of conferences focused on specific business areas but not much just about the day to day needs of the business owner. It has always been our vision to bring national keynote speakers to share a different perspective while providing breakout sessions that allows the attendees to customize the experience to their needs. Over the years the Ohio Growth Summit has featured top keynotes such as Guy Kawasaki, Doug Hall, Susan RoAne, Jim Canterucci, Chris Brogan and this year's keynote Carrie Wilkerson, the Barefoot Executive. This year we also did something a little different. Nate Riggs put together a panel of small business owners that have developed a personal brand that has Panel allowed them to take their business forward and grow. What was unique is that the panel had 10 experts participating. It was a success and brought a number of perspectives to the audience (see details on the panelists here).

In addition to the general keynote sessions the breakout sessions were awesome. There were sessions on technology tools that could improve a business, developing/defining a digital strategy for a Jon business, business certification "how to" tips and developing sales strategies and follow through for a small business. These topics are certainly important but it was the perspectives brought by the presenters that made them successful. Nate Riggs, Jon Myers, Mark Sellers, Tiffany Timmons and others really delivered cutting edge information that would really benefit a business owner. I was told by one person that Jon Myers presentation on developing a digital strategy would save her over a year of work in putting her digital strategy in place.

As expected, Carrie Wilkerson rocked as the closing keynote. Sometimes it is hard to select a keynote that will really understand the needs of the small business owner and provide insights that can really make Keynote a difference. Carrie really hit the mark. Not only did she deliver a great message on how and why you need to "fill your stadium" she customized it to the audience. She was at the Summit the entire day interacting with the attendees. She was taking videos of many of the attendees which she incorporated into her presentation. This presentation was a great cap on a great day. Carrie did everything a keynote is supposed to do...provide valuable content and motivate the audience to take action.

I also want to mention the Ohio Growth Summit's pre-event the evening before the Summit. Every year we have a reception for the attendees before the Summit. We usually have great local entrepreneurs present. This year I wanted to do something different. This year we hosted one of my favorite events, Ignite Columbus. The concept here is that presenters can speak on anything they want but they only have 5 minutes split up into 20 powerpoint slides. It is fast paced and unpredictable. This year's Ignite presenters were great. What I like best is that these people are presenting about their passion not to get funding or sales...passion.

As we close the 2010 Ohio Growth Summit and look forward to June 8, 2011 for Ohio Growth Summit 2011 I have some exciting news. Thanks to Tom Williams at Innogage and Nate Riggs we are developing into a small business resource. We will be posting information throughout the year that we hope will provide value to small businesses. We will also be holding smaller, Ohio Growth Summit branded events throughout the year to allow us to continue to meet and impact small businesses throughout Ohio and beyond.

I look forward to seeing everyone throughout year and on June 8, 2011...Like I said "We can't stop now".


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