UPDATE: We have sold out! Tickets might be on sale at the door if some people don't show, and if there is standing room only.
We are super excited to reveal A Little Beacon Blog's better business side tonight in the Main Street Summit happening at The Telephone Building. Many Beaconites have known Scott Tillitt, founder of BEAHIVE, for a long time, and I got to know him better as my physical neighbor in The Telephone Building when I moved in. Last spring, he approached me to partner up on this summit idea he had. Saying yes was a no-brainer. Small business issues are my jam, which I normally exercise through content and programs I develop at my company Tin Shingle, which is also on the lease at the building. Helping people live their lives on their terms, which can include running a business and producing enough income to provide for yourself and your family (family of kids, pets, aging parents, etc.), is a major driver of why I develop programming for businesses and was happy to partner on this event.
What Will Happen at the Main Street Summit?
First of all, there will be wine, beer and snacks during a Cocktail Connection at the beginning and end of the evening. While I was walking the mile of Main Street distributing flyers, telling any business owner I could reach about the event (sorry if I didn't get to you! but that's why we have newspapers and the Internet, to get the word out!), they told me I needed to lead with the wine part. :)
Next, Scott will moderate an interactive panel of city leaders from the Chamber of Commerce (Pat Moore, partner at Antalek and Moore), BeaconArts (Kelly Ellenwood, current president and city-wide volunteer) and City Council (George Mansfield, owner of Dogwood and City Council member-at-large). We picked this lineup for their direct experience as business owners, as well as with business owners in different capacities. The audience will participate by sharing their questions and thoughts, hopefully making for good discussion. We really appreciate their time this evening.
Then, we will break out into riveting roundtable discussions: Jason from Drink More Good will be facilitating the Staffing and Expansion table. He's got a lot of initiatives running out of his shop, so the insight gleaned will be beneficial. Galia Gichon from Down to Earth Finance is my friend from my NYC days, and I've imported her all the way from Connecticut in order to connect with her table about Business and Personal Finances - from having a retirement plan to different funding options. Myriam Bouchard of Coherence Collaborative will be facilitating on Operations - successful business always comes down to the best systems! I will be facilitating the table on PR and Marketing, pulling from my experience as a website/newsletter producer at InHouse Design Media and teacher of how to get the good word out (your good word about your business) from Tin Shingle.
Why Isn't This Free?
While pounding the pavement, I got a few questions. Mainly people were excited about the event, and in the enthusiasm, two people said they wanted to go but asked why it wasn't free. This is a good question! And there are several answers:
- Space: While our building is large, it's not a wide-open field. It will only hold so many, and business is a hot topic because it's tied to people's livelihoods. Simply emailing in a registration doesn't guarantee that you're going to come, so we wanted to have a handle on how many were coming.
- We Want You To Come! The mindset behind free is interesting. Sometimes when there is a free event, you think in your mind: "Neat! I want to go!" But then you don't, and think "Eh... I'm really comfortable in my house right now. I'll actually sit this one out." But when you spend anything, even $10, that sort of commits you. You don't want to waste the $10 or $30, so you come!
- We are Businesses: Though we are having people affiliated with local government on the panel, and while the intent is for the greater good, we are a business, and not a government institution. City Council Meetings, Planning Board Meetings, etc. are all open to the public. In fact, we have started republishing them in our new City Meeting section! Some people asked, "Could you get a grant?" Well, maybe, but I'm not well-versed in grant writing, or even researching where to find such a grant. Plus, grants can take a long time to actually get, and they may come with restrictions. The beauty of being in business is that we can act swiftly. Sometimes for free, sometimes not. Depends on the needs of everyone involved. At the end of the day, if you want a business to stay in Beacon, they have to actually conduct business, which means bringing in money. Same applies to art and even nonprofits.
- Is That Free Event Really Free? Everyone is selling something. If you go to a free event and it's hosted by an amazing person who just wrote a book, that person is basically hoping you will buy their book (usually a signed edition) at the event. That's your admission. You just pay it on the reverse - at the end after you attend - maybe. Sometimes events are free because there is a major sponsor involved who serves as compensation to the creators of the event. The sponsors who came on board for this event helped make the ticket price affordable.
Will There Be More Business Events?
Heck yes! In my other capacity at Tin Shingle, we do have several events planned. From classes, to member meetings, to weekly webinars. Upon moving to Beacon and experiencing the thrill from in-person events, Tin Shingle introduced a new level of membership - Community. It's our most affordable level of monthly membership, and will include one in-person meeting a month. I just needed to get through the early newborn days before getting back into event hosting. Even simple member meetings take coordination!
Every Wednesday at noon Eastern time, Tin Shingle has free webinars online. They are called Training TuneUps. I record them live from 291 Main Street, but you can call or click into them from your phone or computer. They include interviews with business owners in all industries, training sessions in the best ways to use Instagram, how to get PR, and so much more.
Seriously, get on Tin Shingle's newsletter if you haven't yet. If you need motivation for running and growing your business, you'll want to get hooked in. The newsletter and loads of our articles telling you how to do things are free.
Tickets to tonight's summit at this point are very limited, and you can buy online here. We only have a few more available online, and are reserving a few for people who didn't see this note and show up at the door.
Thank You Sponsors!
See you soon, or see you at the next business event that A Little Beacon Blog or Tin Shingle are a part of!
UPDATE: We have sold out. We want to accommodate as many as we can. Anyone coming by looking for tickets at the door, we have standing room only, and ask that you stand toward the back for the panel. Decisions on tickets at the door will be based on if people don't show, and how much room there is. The main panel is in the Beahive room, with standing room in the hallway and in A Little Beacon Space. After the panel we will break out into the roundtable discussions, which should have more room at each table in different rooms of the building (including the upstairs and downstairs). Thank you!.