SOHO Summit is a one-day conference for small business owners who are looking for a hands-on way to learn and workshop. (Derek Ford/SOHO Summit)

SOHO Summit on West Shore to help small business owners

Fourth annual conference features panel discussions, workshops

Ten years ago, Chris Burdge founded a digital marketing firm and was looking for ways to improve his business.

He was a member of a networking group with people from different industries that would meet once a month. Each month, one of the members would present a challenge they were facing in their business and the group would work together for a solution.

That’s what sparked the idea for SOHO Summit, a one-day conference for small business owners who are looking for a hands-on way to learn and workshop.

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“It’s not your typical conference,” Burdge said. He founded the SOHO Summit four years ago and will be putting it on again on Oct. 10 at Elements Casino.

SOHO stands for Small Office Home Office, meaning it’s for companies of about one to 50 employees. Those that attend the conference participate in a full day of workshops, panel discussions and round-table discussions and listen to 21 speakers from various businesses in the area.

Participants can also book one-on-one sessions with expert advisors such as an accountant or lawyer and ask any questions they have.

“We try to make it as practical as possible so that when people attend the conference, they can get answers to questions and implement what they’ve learned right away,” Burdge said.

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One challenge in particular that Burdge said businesses are facing is how to recruit and retain millennials in today’s job market. To address it, the SOHO Summit will feature a new panel on millennials.

Another session, and the closing keynote, from Marc Stoiber of Marc Stoiber Enterprises will focus on how businesses can “electrify” their brand in less than 30 minutes.

“He works with people in the room,” Burdge said. “It’s amazing how he can draw ideas out of people and get the essence of what their brand is.”

The SOHO Summit takes place from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Elements Casino in View Royal. Registration is still open and can be completed at sohovictoria.com.


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