The start of a new year gives us all a chance to regroup, recap and look to the future – a chance to clean our slates. Depending on what interests you most, you more than likely set up your 2012 perception by asking yourself one simple question, “What am I looking forward to this year?”
Sports fans might answer with “A championship! Hoo-rah!” Politicians and voters might say the “The 2012 election!” High schoolers and college kids might already be thinking about summer vacation, while the more worldly folks might be gearing up for the London Olympics.
Being the Serial Entrepreneur that I am, I’ve my sights set on a calendar full of business events and connecting opportunities – after all, the definition of “serial” necessitates I be ongoing in my pursuit. And while they may be interesting (and I will no doubt tune in), no election, Olympics or summer vacation will stop me from exercising my ability to attend and enjoy each and every one of these.
So, I will share with you the events I’m most looking forward to attending in 2012:
March 5th – 7th
“Supercharge your growth,” as the folks at Inc. GrowCo would say. Slated to headline this heavy hitter are several featured speakers such as Apple Computer’s former chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki and FUBU founder and CEO Daymond John. This conference takes place at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, so in addition to receiving some excellent content, visitors can expect to taste some of the finest regional cuisine in the country.
UIC – Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Dinner
March 15, 2012
As one of the oldest Chicago-area awards to pay tribute to entrepreneurs, this honor recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs as well as promotes the entrepreneurial mentality. I was lucky enough to garner induction in 2010. This year, my two brothers and business partners, Larry and Kevin Walter, will be inducted.
Employee Engagement Emporium Event
May 3rd, 2012
I will be speaking about the difference between an “engaged employee” and an “entangled employee” at this event. Other speakers at this event include:
- Kevin Sheridan, Author of “The Virtual Manager” and Senior Vice President – HR Optimization of HR Solutions International, Inc.
- David Medvedeff, CEO of Avatar International
- JoAnn Verdin, Manager, Northwestern Memorial Academy
- Pamela Meyer, Author of “From Workplace to Playspace: Innovating, Learning and Changing Through Dynamic Engagement”
It should be a really exciting day full of work culture talk!
June 6th – 8th
At Inc.’s Leadership Conference, you’ll learn about innovative approaches from award-winning companies and entrepreneurs. You’ll discover the tools and processes they deploy to build successful teams and supportive workplace environments. You’ll even see marquee speakers present the newest leadership strategies for developing the best possible company culture.
Small Giants International Summit
June 28th – July 1st
San Francisco is sure to draw a large crowd for this four-day international summit. This culture and business event was created to provide a practice-based shared leadership experience for leaders of small and midsize private companies around the world. The book – Small Giants by Bo Burlingham – set a blazing path for this conference that focuses on the core characteristics of successful companies, all of which are sure to be discussed at this conference.
Crain’s Chicago Business Fast Fifty Breakfast
This event is a networking reception and sit-down breakfast featuring a host of Crain’s Fast Fifty celebrities. This breakfast recognizes the best and most innovative companies with successful strategies and the results to prove it. This event is great to attend – it’s a true learning experience and opportunity to network with the best of the best.
Through May, the second Friday of each month is home to the Executive Breakfast Club (EBC). These meetings are designed to promote networking as well as encourage an exchange or personal stories, dialogue and transmission of thoughts and philosophies. As EBC asks advocates, join the conversation.
Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization Conference
November 1st – 3rd
Alas, I will be giving a presentation at this event, and I am looking forward to it very much. In addition to presenting, however, I will be sticking around to judge business plan competitions and to answer many questions from budding entrepreneurs. This event is very exciting as the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) is an organization close to my heart.
In a nutshell, this is a rough schedule of 2012. Without a doubt, there are several more events I plan on attending, but these are some of the heavy hitters.
Are there any “You’ve got to see this!” events missing from my list? Let me know. I just may want to add them to my list.
Will you be attending any of these events? If you are, contact me to setup a meeting.