Now in its 10th year, the COSE Small Business Convention is the premier event for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Midwest. Partners from across the region come together to produce the ultimate experience for small business professionals, complete with nationally-recognized keynote speakers, a business-to-business trade show, special events and unforgettable networking experiences.
The Convention will take place October 21-22, 2015 at Cleveland Public Auditorium & Conference Center in Cleveland, Ohio. View the pre-convention brochure.
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GCP/COSE Member and Co-Presenting Organization Member Rate: $159
Nonmember Rate: $310
Regretfully we cannot offer any refunds for the Convention should you decide to cancel your registration. If you have any questions or concerns in regards to our cancellation policy, please contact email@example.com or call us at 216.592.2390.
|11a.m. - 12 p.m.||Registration and Lunch|
|12:00 - 1:30 p.m.||Welcome/Keynote Speakers: Jennifer Hyman & Jenny Fleiss, Founders of Rent the Runway|
|1:30 - 2:45 p.m.||Exhibit Hall Break|
|2:45 - 3:45 p.m.||Concurrent Workshops|
|4:00 - 5:00 p.m.||Concurrent Workshops|
|5:00 - 6:00 p.m.||Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall|
|6:30 - 8:30 p.m.||Signature Dinners|
|7:00 - 8:00 a.m.||Registration and Continental Breakfast|
|8:00 - 9:30 a.m.||Keynote Speaker: Robert Stephens, Founder of Geek Squad|
|9:30 - 10:30 a.m.||Exhibit Hall Break|
|10:30 - 11:30 a.m.||Concurrent Workshops|
|11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.||Exhibit Hall Break|
|12:00 - 1:30 p.m.||Lunch/ Keynote Speaker: Derreck Kayongo, Founder of The Global Soap Project|
|1:30 - 2:00 p.m.||Exhibit Hall Break|
|2:00 - 3:00 p.m.||Concurrent Workshops|
|3:00 - 4:00 p.m.||Concurrent Workshops|
|4:00 - 6:00 p.m.||Convention Closing Night Party|
Convention Opening Night Reception
Wednesday, October 21, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Kick off your Small Business Convention networking experience as we wrap up your first day with an opportunity to connect with both exhibitors and other Convention attendees during a fun and interactive networking event.
Wednesday, October 21, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Enjoy dinner and camaraderie with fellow Convention goers and bond over business and life experiences in a relaxed atmosphere. Join us for three courses – appetizers, dinner and dessert – at four different restaurants on Cleveland’s famous East 4th Street!
Dinner guests may choose from the following locations during registration:
Chinato - $65
Chinato is a modern rustic Italian culinary concept on Cleveland’s East 4th Street. Chef and restaurateur Zack Bruell designed Chinato’s menu to highlight the simplicity of all Italian cuisine.
Zocalo - $35
Enjoy great quality Mexican food in a fun and festive atmosphere. Experience a unique Mexican restaurant and bar that is truly one-of-a-kind and can only be found on East 4th Street!
Lola - $75
The soul of a city is defined by the quality of its food and the food and drink at Lola is some of the best the city has to offer. With an atmosphere that is both sexy and sophisticated, Lola is where adults go to wine, dine and soak in the glamorous city life.
Butcher and the Brewer - $65
Butcher and the Brewer encourages interaction and a sense of community through public house seating, progressive dining, and shared plates. The passionate culinary team, which includes an in-house butcher and charcutier, has created a farmhouse-inspired menu drawing on local ingredients, ethnic flavors, and artisan products.
Convention Closing Night Party - The RED Event
Thursday, October 22, 4 - 6 p.m.
You won’t want to miss this unique event that will make you feel like a star as you close out your 2015 Small Business Convention experience! Sip champagne, sample luxurious hors d’ oeuvres, connect with other successful business owners and enjoy this opportunity to reinvigorate and reenergize your entrepreneurial spirit.
Runway Ready, October 21, 12-1:30 p.m.
Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, Co-Founders, Rent the Runway
Presented in partnership with the 2015 Female Entrepreneur Summit
Launched in 2009, Rent the Runway has transformed the retail industry by making designer dress and accessory rentals a convenient and accessible luxury experience for millions of women. Hear how these Harvard Business School classmates joined forces and turned an idea into a nationwide venture with millions of customers, 250 employees and hundreds of designer partners – a true entrepreneurial success story!
Strategies for Success, Oct 22 8-9:30 a.m.
Robert Stephens, Founder, Geek Squad
With $200, a bicycle and a subsequent collaboration with Best Buy, Robert Stephens transformed the small cryptic world of tech support and made it glamorous and accessible when he founded The Geek Squad in 1994. Hear his inspiring story of entrepreneurship, his perspectives on advancing technology, smart marketing and thoughtful business strategy and what he thinks is the next “big thing”.
Lessons in Leadership, Oct 22 12-1:30 p.m.
Derreck Kayongo, Founder, Global Soap Project
From child refugee to U.S. citizen to fearless visionary, Derreck Kayongo has served in leadership roles in some of the world’s most respected non-government organizations. In 2009, Kayongo and his wife Sarah started The Global Soap Project, which focuses on repurposing partially-used soap from hotels into new soap for needy populations, particularly in Africa. Hear how his passion and tenacity led to his success and how those lessons can be applied to successful business practices in the 21st century.
The convention will feature 30 educational workshops presented by experts on a variety of topics related to entrepreneurial and small business needs and challenges. View the workshop schedule and workshop descriptions in a printable .pdf.
Wednesday, Oct. 21
2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
|Stop Selling on Price! Pricing for Value & Profits
Speaker: Marvin Montgomery
Company: The Sales Doctor
The 7 Most Powerful Free Things to Grow Your Business Online Right Now
Speaker: Sage Lewis
Company: SageRock Web Marketing Agency
|Light my Fire: Igniting the Creative Flame Within
Speaker: Rachel Downey
Company: Studio Graphique
The Cloud… What am I Missing by Not Being There?
Speaker: Laura Pettit Rusick
Company: OPT Solutions
|Are You Targeting and Attracting Your Best Customers?
Speaker: Rachel Talton
|Delegating as You Grow - Become a More Effective Owner by Delegating and Outsourcing
Speaker: Raquel Eatmon
Company: Rising Media LLC
Developing Leaders at All Levels In Your Business
Speaker: Roxanne Kaufman
Company: ProLaureate Ltd
|Rapid Growth—Three Lessons Learned from Running Windblown Companies
Speaker: David Lowman
Company: 1 EDI Source
|Culture - What Is It and Why Should I Care?
Speaker: Amy French
|Your Employer Brand - Why are You the Best Place to Work? Are You Attracting the Best Talent?
Speaker: N. Robert Johnson
Company: The David Group
|Content Marketing: Become a Thought Leader and Share Your Expertise
Speaker: Heather Whaling
Company: Geben Communication
|Raising Funds: What do You Really Need to be Attractive to Banks and Investors?|
|Tech Talks: Small Company Marketing Success, Part 1
Speaker: Nicole Burke, Mike Clum, Nicole Ponstingle
Companies: Level Seven, Clum Creative Media, BlueBridge Networks
|Tech Talks: Small Company Marketing Success, Part 2
Speakers: John Moulagiannis, Joe Nemeth, Marsha Griswold, Lia Fleming
Company: Triad/Next Level
|Make Your Business Faster, More Efficient and Stronger
Speaker: Ron Kaminski
|The Value of You and Messaging that Works
Speakers: Matt Brower, Diane Helbig
Thursday, Oct. 22
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
3:15 - 4:15 p.m.
High Performance Sales Strategies
Speaker: Joe Mayer
Company: Mayer Business Group
Your Brand - How to Build Loyalty
Speaker: Katherine Miracle
Company: Miracle Resources
Open Book Management – Helping Your Team Make Profitable Decisions Everyday
Speaker: Michael Obi
Company: Spectrum Global Solutions
|Business Software Trends - What Tools will Help my Business Grow?
Speaker: Bob Coppedge
Lessons From Starting and Growing a Restaurant in Northeast Ohio
|Creating Your Legal Tool Box: Tips & Tools for Small Business Owners
Speaker: Sharon Toerek
Company: Toerek Law
|The Essential Habits of Entrepreneurs
Speaker: Gary Schoeniger
Company: Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative
|Conscious Leadership - The Path to Accelerating Your Team and Yourself
Speaker: Jeff Nischwitz
Company: The Nischwitz Group
Extract Profits from Your Business by Building Customer Engagement Online and Offline
Speaker: Kristy Amy
Company: SBN Interactive
|How Lemons and Lemonade Actually Get Made: Business Lessons from the Collapse of a National Law Firm and the Creation of Tucker Ellis
Speaker: Steve Ellis
Company: Tucker Ellis
|Developing Your Online Presence
Speaker: Andy Halko
Get Involved in the Film Industry in Cleveland
Speaker: Ivan Schwartz
Company: Greater Cleveland Film Commission
|Why You? What Makes You Unique to Customers? How do you Stand Out? Communicate your Value Proposition
Speaker: Dick Clough
Company: CloughCleveland IDEAENGINEERING
|Prospecting New and Existing Client Relationships
Speaker: Hal Becker
Company: The Becker Group
|Creative Ways To Solve Your Talent Challenges
Speaker: Victoria Berry
Company: Cuyahoga Community College
|Thinking BIG… What it Takes to Breakthrough Your Next Revenue Threshold… $1, $5, $10 Million & Beyond
Speakers: Richard Mitchell and Karri Bass
Companies: Ernst & Young and Illumination Research
|Transfer Methods for Closely Held Businesses
Speaker: Jim Aussem
Company: Cavitch Familo & Durkin, Co., LPA
|Maximize In-Bound Marketing and Maximize Revenue Growth, Part 2
Speakers: Chris Peer and Monica Truelsch Companies: SyncShow Interactive and TMW Systems
Maximize In-Bound Marketing and Maximize Revenue Growth, Part 1
Speakers: Chris Peer and Monica Truelsch
Companies: SyncShow Interactive and TMW Systems
Continuing Education Credits
The Small Business Convention features the opportunity for attendees to receive Continuing Education Credits. Specific workshops have been approved as continuing education accredited workshops for human resource professionals, CPAs and lawyers. Please use the key below to find out which workshops are eligible.
CPA Credit: Any workshop session at the Small Business Convention qualifies.
HR Credits: Any workshop marked with the HR Certification Institute Symbol qualifies.
Legal Credits: Any workshop marked with the legal credit symbol qualifies, per the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Taking reservations for 2015 booth space!
Make sure your company has a presence at the region’s premier event for small business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders!
Contact Courtney Woofter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (216) 592-2327 to purchase your space.
Exhbit Hall Layout - coming soon!
Thank you to our 2015 Convention Sponsors!
The support of these organizations allows COSE to host and create a valuable educational experience for convention attendees.
The 2015 Small Business Convention is produced in partnership with chambers of commerce and business support organizations throughout Ohio who have a shared mission to help small business owners and entrepreneurs achieve their idea of success. The alliance fostered between the organizations listed below has taken the Small Business Convention to new heights and solidified the entrepreneurial voice in the Midwest.
Participating organizations will receive COSE Member registration rates for their members.
Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center debuted in 1922 and was once the largest convention hall in America. Today, Public Auditorium has modern day amenities but still has elegant old world style.
A discounted rate with the Downtown Marriot is available for Convention attendees for $189 a night. To reserve your room please click here. The last day to receive this rate is October 1, 2015.
Want to explore the downtown Cleveland area while you're at the Convention? Check out Destination Cleveland's suggestions here
Driving Directions:Cleveland Public Auditorium is located in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Situated in a prime downtown district, the Cleveland Public Auditorium and Conference Center is convenient to hotel, restaurants, public transportation and other amenities.
Parking is available in the following parking garages, as well as surface lots surrounding the Public Auditorium:
601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland OH 44114
Mon-Fri 5am-11pm | $9.00 Daily
ABM Parking Lot - Penton Media
1201 E6th Avenue, Cleveland OH 44114
Mon-Fri 6am-9pm | $12 Daily
Interested in learning about topics to be covered at the Convention? Check out our guest blogs:
Whats Your Value? The Value of You and Messaging that Works - Diane Helbig
A workshop on this topic will be presented by Diane Helbig of Seize This Day Coaching and Matt Brower of Hey Now! Media on October 21 at 4:00 p.m.
Living the Dream in Cleveland - Ivan Schwarz
Ivan Schwarz of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission will present a workshop on Getting Involved in the Film Industry in Cleveland on Oct 22 at 3:15 p.m.
About the Convention
The 10th annual Small Business Convention is the premier event for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Mid-West. Partners from across the region come together to produce the ultimate experience for small business professionals, complete with nationally-recognized keynote speakers, a business-to-business trade show, special events and unforgettable networking experiences.
The Convention will place October 21-22, 2015 at Public Auditorium and Conference Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
COSE is the region’s largest small business support organization and provides cost-effective group purchasing programs, advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues, and networking and educational resources to help Northeast Ohio’s small businesses grow.
COSE has a long history of fighting for the rights of all small business owners, whether it’s through group purchasing programs in healthcare, workers’ compensation and energy or advocating for specific changes in legislation or regulation.
COSE’s mission is to serve, advocate and lead on behalf of the small business community…
Have a question or need additional information? Contact us via email at email@example.com or by phone at 216.592.2390.
Manager, Small Business Convention
Manager, Education & Program Development
Sponsorship and Exhibitor Contact
Director of Corporate Relations
Account Executive, Advertising & Sponsorship