The Academy

Deep learning + new connections

 SBW Breakout 790x283

The Academy is sold out. To be added to the wait list, contact events@calgarychamber.com.

Finding the time for professional development can be hard if you're a busy entrepreneur. Enter the Academy at the Small Business Calgary Conference, and over the course of one day you'll learn all you need to take your company to the next level alongside 250 of your fellow business leaders.

What's in it for you

  • Exclusive deep learning sessions, where each one will give you a minimum of 3 tangible takeaways you can action in your business the very next day.
  • Small, intimate session sizes, guaranteeing you one-on-one access to the industry leader sharing their expertise.
  • Lunch AKA your opportunity to fuel your mind as you digest all the information you've taken in.
  • Use our exclusive networking app to connect with new clients and peers.

 

Plan your day in advance to make sure you get a chance to visit every session you're interested in!

  Room A/B Room D Room E Room F Room G/H
8:30 – 9:00 am Session registration open
9:00 am – 10:15 am Retain and gain: Strategies to keep and develop your staff Cybersecurity: Managing and protecting your business' future
Connecting your business with customers Business Model Canvassing: Creating a 30-minute business plan We know it’s not all about love money from friends and family: Unique financing options to grow your business and how to share your story
10:30 am – 11:45 am Don't leave your organization exposed! Understanding the Importance of Employment Agreements and Handbooks Mindset matters: A toolkit for growth Measure what matters
11:45 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch + Keynote happening in the Expo
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm   Harness digital marketing to grow your business Pivoting for success: Lessons and legal insights for business expansion, contraction, buying, exiting How WiFi analytics can help you grow your business Mind mapping: Unlocking your brain for innovation  
3:30 pm – 4:45 pm   UX 101: Designing user and service experience 5 myths about accountability and 7 ways to bust them 

More than money: How healthy workplaces contribute to high performing teams that stay

 

Retain and gain: Strategies to keep and develop your staff

HOSTED BY LISA TAYLOR, AUTHOR, RETAIN AND GAIN: CAREER MANAGEMENT FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Join dynamic workforce expert and small business owner Lisa Taylor, author of the new book Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business, to learn low-cost tips, activities and actions that SME owners can take right now (some in only 10 minutes a day) to attract, engage and retain your staff.
Topics covered include: Why career development does not have to mean promotions or raises; How managers with little HR training, few resources, and never enough time, can use career management techniques; Special considerations when employing new graduates, workers age 50+, or running a family enterprise.

In this interactive session, you will build a Career Management Action Plan that will not only increase employee satisfaction and loyalty, but also drive better customer service, faster identification of ways to improve processes and increased opportunity for growth – for staff as well as for your company. For SMEs, with upwards of 70% of operating budgets spent on people, it’s smart business to make the most from this investment!

Cybersecurity: Managing and protecting your business' future

HOSTED BY JUSTIN FONG, CYBER RISK SERVICES PARTNER AT DELOITTE

This session has two objectives in helping you navigate cybersecurity and the evolving landscape. The first component to this session is to provide a brief update on cybersecurity from the lens of an attacker and what it means to us as business professionals today. Discussion on current trends and areas of interest will be critical to setting the stage.

The second component will be to perform a high level table top simulation of a breach, designed to help you think more critically as a business leader on top areas of concerns, potential oversights and to better prepare for an incident when they happen. A review and lessons learned in this interactive session will be discussed as a wrap up.

Connecting your business with customers

HOSTED BY JORDAN MCGILL, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY AT WILLIAM JOSEPH COMMUNICATIONS

Part of William Joseph’s recently launched WJ University, this strategy-focused seminar led by William Joseph’s Director of Strategy, Jordan McGill will dive into the details of strategic marketing and connecting your business with customers.

Join him as he discusses how to better understand your business’s strengths/weaknesses, industry, environment, competition, as well as your customer, and how to position your company to showcase its unique value.

Business Model Canvassing: Creating a 30-minute business plan

HOSTED BY JOHN VARDALOS, FOUNDER AND CEO OF JFIVE

This interactive and engaging workshop is based around the content of the international bestseller book Business Model Generation which is a visual management tool that allows people to quickly describe, design and pivot their business models.

It is composed of nine essential building blocks that describe how a business creates, delivers and captures value. A single-page business model is much easier to share and use, meaning that it will be read by more people and updated more regularly as changes inevitably happen.

There are no PowerPoints in a JFive workshop. Instead, sharpies, post-it notes and visual frameworks are used to generate understanding, empathy and strategic thinking in this hands-on workshop. Everyone participates and everyone contributes; bringing ideas forward in an environment that is purpose built for innovation and creativity.

We know it’s not all about love money from friends and family: Unique financing options to grow your business and how to share your story

FACILITATED BY ALTERNATIVE FUNDING SPECIALISTS AND ENTREPRENEUR STRATEGISTS FROM ATB FINANCIAL

What is the one thing that all businesses need? Financing. And in this world, your well rounded business may not fit into the tiny square box, that some banks require in order to approve lending.

Enter: Unique financing solutions from ATB. In this workshop, you’ll learn about alternative financing options from ATB, such as government backed business loans, LendR, and BoostR. Our experts will listen to your business story and work with you to find the right financing solution for your business.

A coach will walk you through how to build the ideal pitch, and help you apply and rehearse it with your business in mind.

Don't leave your organization exposed! Understanding the Importance of Employment Agreements and Handbooks

STUART DUCOFFE, B.C.L., LL.B., CHRL, HR AND EMPLOYMENT LAWYER AND FOUNDER OF E2R SOLUTIONS®

While keeping up to date on employment law issues generally is important, monitoring key developments in the law respecting employment agreements and employee handbooks is arguably one of the most important things that can be done to protect your organization.

Employment Agreements: The law relating to employment agreements can be complex and is ever-evolving. This presentation will provide a refresher on the basics of employment agreements, while also exploring recent case law containing emerging developments. We will further discuss issues such as termination provisions, mitigation, restrictive covenants, exclusionary clauses and unjust dismissal.

Employee Handbooks: We will outline for you the do's and don'ts of drafting an effective well-written employee handbook. Learn what policies must be in your employee handbooks, and what common drafting errors should be avoided at all costs. We will help you protect your organization from future potential liability by having well-drafted policies and procedures that can protect you in a court of law.

Mindset matters: A toolkit for growth

Dawn Fiander-McCann, Master Practitioner, and Len Nanjad, Practitioner, at BIG Associates

Come and appraise the growth of your business through an impactful framework featuring the essential ingredients for sustainable business growth. This session is driven by a set of proven tools shaped by a comprehensive Alberta-based inquiry that has uncovered the promoters and inhibitors of small business growth. Join Dawn Fiander-McCann and Len Nanjad from BIG (Business. Improvement. Growth.) in a spirited conversation about these growth factors and how to translate them into action in your business.

Measure what matters

Hosted by Carla Heim, Senior Advisor Social Entrepreneurship at BDC

The Measure What Matters workshop will introduce entrepreneurs to a global community called B Corp.

This community believes that all stakeholders play a role in their success. The B Corp certification reviews your entire business including governance, employee engagement, social responsibility and environmental practices. Come and learn how to measure everything that matters to you.

Harness digital marketing to grow your business

HOSTED KEVIN WILHELM, PRESIDENT OF POD MARKETING

Attendees will learn all about digital marketing and how to develop an effective strategy for their business.

Whether the goal of their business is to increase brand awareness, increase their online presence or increase lead generation - digital marketing should be at the forefront of that strategy. Learn how to build an effective website in today's mobile world and how to drive potential customers to that website.

Topics covered will include Website Development, Pay-per-Click, Display Advertising, SEO and Display Advertising.

Pivoting for success: Lessons and legal insights for business expansion, contraction, buying, exiting

NEIL HUTTON, PARTNER IN THE CORPORATE | COMMERCIAL GROUP AT MCLEOD LAW LLP, AND BOAZ SHILMOVER, CEO OF THE ARTE GROUP

In this business case study, local entrepreneur Boaz Shilmover will share the important lessons he learned from acquiring part ownership of Arte Group, expanding to 200 full-time personnel, receding to 100 personnel, and setting a plan in place for the future—whatever it may hold.

Neil Hutton will impart legal strategies and insight into Boaz’s business situations, and offer alternatives to consider in different scenarios.

You will learn key strategies and legal aspects involved in raising funds, growing, scaling back, acquiring or selling a business.

How WiFi analytics can help you grow your business

RON MCKENZIE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF SHAW COMMUNICATIONS

Canadians are more connected than ever before, and you have responded by providing high quality WiFi for your customers. But are you getting the data that will help you boost sales and retention?

In this seminar, Shaw Communications Chief Operating Officer Ron McKenzie will introduce you to the benefits of Wi-Fi analytics and help you determine how you can use the data to acquire new customers and encourage loyalty.

Mind mapping: Unlocking your brain for innovation 

HOSTED BY KATE MCKAY AND LES MOTTOSKY FROM ZEN & INNO

Mind mapping is a powerful graphic tool that unlocks the mind. A Swiss army knife for the brain, mind maps are the easiest way to put information into your brain, and take information out of your brain.

Especially renowned for organizing ideas, memorizing ideas and generating a greater volume and quality of ideas, this energising workshop introduces the fundamentals of mindmapping and then has participants up and doing it for themselves.

UX 101: Designing user and service experience

HOSTED BY DANIELLE CHRISTOPHER, CLIENT LEAD AT LEVITATE DIGITAL

UX 101 is a high-level hands on introduction to the world of user experience. In this session you will be shown best practices that can help your business save time and money while reducing risk. In this workshop, you will learn about what UX is, how to recognize UX problems, and why improving the UX in your digital experiences will help your business.

Levitate Digital will take you through each concept and ask you to reflect on how it relates to your business and your specific problem so you have a clear idea of how to move forward with the information you’ve learned.

5 myths about accountability and 7 ways to bust them

HAMISH KNOX FROM SANDLER TRAINING

“Accountability” tends to be a dirty word in business because of the myths associated with it. Join, Hamish Knox, President of Sandler Training in Calgary and author of Accountability the Sandler Way: Develop a Leadership Mentality in 20-minutes Per Week for an interactive, insightful and introspective discussion on the five myths of accountability that stop leaders from implementing accountability effectively and seven tactics to bust those myths and create more productivity in your organization through an accountability program.

More than money: How healthy workplaces contribute to high performing teams that stay

HOSTED BY MATT JOHNSTON FROM JOHNSTON GROUP INC., AND SHANE KEYSER FROM KEYSER BENEFITS

How do you motivate employees when you can't offer them more money? Providing a healthy environment for your employees is not only important to improve their individual health outcomes but it also provides for a healthy bottom line as a business. Lower absenteeism and increased productivity comes to those companies that provide the supports your employees need to live healthier lives both physically and mentally.

Wellness programs are not just for large companies. Johnston Group will bring the expertise and insight from their 30,000 small business customers from across Canada showcasing best practices and ideas that have lead to happier and healthier employees in Canadian small businesses. Come participate in this dynamic and interactive session where you will not only get a chance to take away some concrete ideas but also provide input and share your ideas on what is making a difference for your employees.