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YK's small business conference returns – at half the cost


Yellowknife's conference for small businesses returns next month with ticket prices significantly reduced compared to previous years.

Having received funding from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce is offering tickets to the two-day event for $75 plus GST for members, or $200 plus GST for non-members.

Tickets were twice the price for members last year.

The Small Business Week Conference offers speakers on topics identified by Yellowknife businesses as key issues, like staff retention, social media marketing, and leadership.

More information: Conference details including schedule and tickets

"We're excited to be able to offer a much more affordable rate," said Deneen Everett, the chamber's executive director. "We hope it will encourage really small businesses to come out for a couple of days of networking, professional development, and some new tips and tricks to help them do better with their business."

The conference takes place on October 22 and 23 during Yellowknife's Small Business Week, which culminates in an awards gala on October 25.

"One of the bigger focuses this year is we really want to try to have on-the-ground, practical things that people can actually physically take away from the conference and implement into their businesses," said Kyle Thomas, the chamber's president.

Leadership expert Cheryl Cran, a former senior manager in corporate finance and insurance, will host an hour-long session addressing Yellowknife firms' concerns about attracting and retaining staff in the North.

"We heard a lot of people talking about retaining employees, getting new employees," said Thomas. "We're hoping people will come out with some interesting ideas on how to keep a workforce strong."

Thomas himself, founder of a web marketing and communications company based in Yellowknife, will lead a session examining how businesses can take their online presence to "the next level."

People, planet, profit

Among other events scheduled for the conference are sessions focusing on managing a multi-generational workforce and applying principles of military leadership to a small business.

Meanwhile, the conference plans a range of networking events and the return of "table talks," which allow businesses to choose from a range of round-table discussions.

Thomas said table talks had proved immensely popular in the past. This year they will feature a landlord, a lawyer, an accountant, and Thomas' expertise in marketing and web development.

"Participants can just sit down with an expert in that particular field. Who doesn't want to sit down with a lawyer without having to pay the hourly fee?" said Thomas. "So we're hoping those are a big hit. They have been in the past and we're excited to bring those back."

Attendees also have the chance to win round-trip Yellowknife-Edmonton flights each day, courtesy of First Air.

"We also have sessions on how to make your business more green and save money doing it," said Everett, while another session will look at social entrepreneurship.

"Local businesses often don't consider themselves social entrepreneurs," she said, "but many of them do a lot of things just for the sake of their community and making sure that they're giving back."

Taken together, Everett said, the conference's sessions emphasize "the importance of considering a triple bottom-line business: people, planet and profit."


This article appears through a partnership with a local organization supporting Cabin Radio. It does not form a part of Cabin Radio's editorial news coverage.