The top virtual small business conferences Canadians should consider this year

5 min read
Lou Clarke

Being a small business owner can be so rewarding. It is a way for you to set your own hours, possibly work from home and make a living doing what you love. But it can also be tough, with the frustrations around growth and all the trials we go through just to keep the dream alive. Thankfully, there are small business conferences — including one women in business conference — where you can connect with other business owners who can lift you up.

Here are some incredible in-person and virtual conferences that are taking place in Canada and North America over the next 10 months.

Upcoming 2020-2021 conference list

Vancouver Startup Week

September 25 - October 1, 2020
Free to attend

This week-long business conference is the go-to SMB conference in Vancouver. The event covers many aspects of business and promotes connections between:

With over 7,600 people expected, this event is sure to provide ample opportunity for networking and learning.

Row of People Seated with Notebooks on Their Laps
There are both in person and digital conferences planned over the next 10 months.
Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference

October 6, 2020
Tickets start at $29

I have personally attended this event and I met many amazing entrepreneurs, including my small business lawyer.

This SMB conference is filled with great speakers and vendors and provides ample opportunities for networking between all attendees. A bonus this year is that Anne De Aragon, Vice President of Marketing for GoDaddy Canada is speaking.

2020 WBE Canada Virtual Annual Conference

November 15 - 18, 2020, Atlanta GA
Tickets start at $97 for early bird or $127 CAD after 9/11/20

WBE Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Canadian women-owned businesses to supply chains across North America.

The topic of this year’s digital conference is a timely one: “Supply chain innovation decoded.”

Join corporate and government leaders, procurement professionals and women business owners as they discuss innovations in supply chains, opportunities to share best practices and top recommendations for the next decade.

Closeup of Podcasting Microphone and Headset
Starting or growing a podcast in 2021? Check out the ListenIn Podcasting Conference in L.A.
Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

ListenIn Podcasting Conference

March 21, 2021, Los Angeles
Tickets start at $300 CAD

If you are podcasting now or would like to start one, then this is a must-attend event for you. This North American conference is open to both U.S. and Canadian citizens.

This conference is being hosted by Quill, an all-in-one podcasting support company, led by a strong Canadian female.

The CEO and Co-Founder is Fatima Zaidi — she is amazing to work with, so I know that this event is going to be a highlight of 2021.

DigiMarCon Canada

May 20-21, 2021, Toronto ON & Live Stream/On Demand
Tickets start at $597 CAD
Live stream/on demand tickets start at $249 CAD

This digital marketing conference for entrepreneurs is hosted in countries around the world.

There is a long list of topics that will be talked about at this in person conference:

  • Digital strategy
  • Customer engagement
  • Optimization
  • Email marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Growth hacking and more

Speakers typically come from top companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Adobe, Amazon, NBC Sports, Pizza Hut and more.

This event also hosts exhibitors for attendees to connect and learn from.

Canadian SME Business Expo

June 2021
Admission is free

This is a small business conference for small and medium business owners. With over 2,000 people expected to attend, this is sure to be a busy and full event.

The SME Business Expo is being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Whether you are looking for like-minded friends or businesses to work with, this is a great place to connect. The speakers have yet to be announced.

Entrepreneurs have an opportunity to exhibit their business at this conference, with booths starting at $699.

Conference Attendees Gathered at a Business Conference
In person conferences in 2021 may look a little different than past years.
Photo by Product School on Unsplash

Collision Conference

June 21-24, 2021, Toronto ON
Ticket prices have yet to be published

This is "North America's fastest growing tech conference" and it is incredible. I attended this conference in 2019 and it exceeded my expectations. Even though it is a tech conference and I am not in the tech industry, I learned a lot that I’ve used to grow my business.

This conference hosts multiple stages, where you can learn from many keynote speakers. Although the 2021 list has yet to be released, past speakers include the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Arianna Huffington, Seth Rogen and Shopify creator Tobias Lütke.

Conference organizers expect over 32,000 in attendance in 2021. Ticket prices have yet to be published. However, you can pre-register on their website to be notified when tickets are available, and you will receive a 2-for-1 discount code.

Pick your small business conferences now

2020 has seen all in-person conferences either moved to a virtual platform, postponed or cancelled. It has been a tough year for everyone because entrepreneurs rely so much on these small business conferences for business development, networking and personal growth.

Here’s hoping that the above events take place without a hitch, as we need them in our lives to continue on this crazy journey of entrepreneurship.