The next regional gathering of the New England Local Business Forum will take place on Friday, May 4th in historic Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.
Noted economist, author and speaker Michael Shuman will deliver the keynote address for the gathering, and will be discussing his latest book: Local Dollars, Local Sense, and the importance of community investing.
Our 8th gathering, co-sponsored by the New England Independent Booksellers Association, will bring together key industry partners in the book, bike and toy industry to greater connect our efforts year round and in the holiday season. We will also have a keynote address from a prominent speaker on local economies and a series of panels and workshops.
Register below to be a part of this great event!
Agenda (Subject to change)
8:30 – 9:30 Breakfast & Networking
9:30 – 10:00 Introductions & Welcome
10:00 – 10:30 – Keynote Address – Michael Shuman, Author Local Dollars, Local Sense
10:30 – 10:45 – Break
10:45 – 11:30 Speaker/Breakout – Spreading the Local Message – New Collaborations with Trade Association Leaders and Buy Local Networks
Panelists: Joy Dallanegra-Sanger (American Booksellers Association), Karen Marlzoff (Seacoast Local), Sally Lesser (Henry Bears Park – Toy Stores)
The country is going local. With the strengthening and growth of local business networks and trade associations, how can these groups collaborate to support member businesses and grow sustainable local economies? And how can businesses leverage this work to grow their own business?
Panelists will discuss existing campaigns and programs, explore potential partnerships, and offer their own unique perspective on the local movement.
11:45 – 12:30 Sales Tax Fairness – Competing with and communicating about online sales tax issues
Panelists: Bill Rennie (Mass Retailers Association), Dave Grogan (American Booksellers Association),
How do local businesses compete with online businesses that don’t collect sales tax? Hear about what is being done to level the playing field, how local businesses can get engaged in the subject and how local business networks might work to bring attention to this local economy threat.
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:45 Panel Discussion: –Winning in the Holiday Season – how to connect, promote and market buying locally or your business during the holiday season.
Moderator: Laury Hammel (SBN Boston). Panelists: Joe Grafton (Somerville Local First), Steve Fischer (NEIBA), Stephanie Seacord (Leading Edge, Portsmouth NH)
Holiday campaigns, like Shift Your Shopping, Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday, are one of the most visible and fastest growing elements of the local economies movement. Panelists will discuss innovations and best practices in holiday messaging from a variety of perspectives. Attendees will learn new tools, techniques and strategies to amplify their holiday promotion and new collaborations will be discussed to further grow these efforts in 2012.
2:45 – 3:30 Workshop: The Top 10 Online Marketing Strategies
Facilitator: Joe Grafton (Somerville Local First). Presenters: Michelle Mccormack (Secret Boston/Love the Cool), Andy Pyman (Truly Good Design)
The world of promotion has changed. While traditional marketing techniques can be effective, marketing growth is most concentrated online. In this workshop lead by innovators and experts, you will learn 10 tools and techniques that will immediately enhance your business or organizations reach.
3:30 – 4:00 Closing discussion, learnings, next steps
4:00 – 6:00 HAPPY HOUR – Drinks with our colleagues and friends from New England
Friday May 4th, 9:00 AM to 5:00PM
First Parish Church, 3 Church Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA
$35 per person, includes lunch and coffee ($25 for networks who have donated to NELEN)
This event is being organized by the New England Local Business Forum and hosted by The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston.