Shake Up Your Next Conference’s Speaker List

Are you part of an association that has an annual conference? If it’s like most, the annual conference is a time to get together with industry colleagues and network to grow your business. It’s hard to get away from the office, but also a can’t-miss event because it’s where the connections and education happens.

Typically, the formal content of many conferences and industry events centers on the industry-specific technical topics of the industry.

This makes sense because business owners need industry-specific knowledge, but what if your conference was not just about the nuts and bolts of your industry? What if it also helped you identify ways to grow your business by working ON your business as an investment, versus just IN your business with your day-to-day management responsibilities?

Whether you are in charge of your industry conference or are willing to pass along ideas to those who are planning, here are some topic ideas regarding working on your business versus just in your business:

  • Creating effective employee engagement programs
  • Delegation can be painful: strategies to make it work
  • Ideas for developing recurring revenue…how to make it happen
  • Ways to drive value in your business to get the maximum value when it comes time to

And truth be told, the first items in the list can all fall within the last, driving value in your business. All of these components ultimately have an impact on the value of your business.  Different types of buyers will value different things; these are some of the things business
owners may not always think about in terms of driving value in their business, but indeed they do.

The topics of understanding business valuation and how to increase value in a business are on the minds of business owners (or should be), and here’s why:

  • 70% of all businesses in the U.S. are owned by baby boomers
  • These boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000/day
  • Only 10-15% of these owners have an exit strategy for ownership transition and
    understanding valuation is the first step to developing this strategy.

These demographics also create a significant opportunity for future business leaders to buy these businesses, but only if they have a plan. There will be more businesses selling than there are buyers, so buyers will be more critical and the smart buyers will set their decision criteria to narrow down the businesses they are most interested in.

Takeaway: If you are involved in planning speakers for your association’s conference event we encourage you to think outside of the typical conference topics and help business owners (current or future) build plans that strengthen your industry for years to come.

Cathy is the President of Capital Valuation Group, Inc., headquartered in Madison, WI. Capital Valuation Group has been helping business owners across the country understand, increase and unlock the value of their businesses for over 40 years through keynote speaking, valuation analysis, determining damages and providing expert witness testimony. Cathy welcomes conference and event speaking inquiries and can be reached at