Microsoft Mounts Small Business Summit

Save the date. Mark your calendar. Set an Outlook alert. Whatever you do to remind yourself of an upcoming opportunity, do it now. Starting Tuesday, March 14 and running through Friday March 17, Microsoft will host a small business summit — and it’s free.

If a trip to Washington State doesn’t exactly fit into your fiscal or chronological budget, relax. The four-day event is online and features more than 25 Webcasts covering a range of topics designed to help small businesses get the most out of IT investments, increase efficiency, cut costs and market to customers more effectively.

If you happen to live, or plan to be, in the Bellevue, Wash. area on March 14, you can attend the in-person event Microsoft will host on the first day of the summit.

Speakers for the on-site event include Kevin Turner, COO of Microsoft, Maxine Clark, CEO of Build-a-Bear Workshop, Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, Inc., and other Microsoft executives including Douglas Leland, Microsoft General Manager and Scott Codespoti, Lead CRM Marketing Manager. The in-person events will also be Webcast, so those people who can’t attend won’t miss out.

The summit offers four main tracks that cover various areas of running a business. These include Financial Management, Computer Security, Sales and Marketing, Productivity and Mobility. According to Microsoft, these Webcasts will be hosted by some of the leading people in business today. Here’s a sampling of the Webcasts in each track:

Webcast: Have You Outgrown QuickBooks?
Speaker: J. Carlton Collins
Synopsis: Determine what to look for when choosing your in-house accounting.

Webcast: Guerrilla Marketing
Speaker: Jay Conrad Levinson
Synopsis: Breathe life into your marketing strategy and transform your business.

Webcast: Quiz: Is My Business Ready for a Server
Speaker: Elisa Johnson, Microsoft
Synopsis: Learn how a server can help increase productivity and security.

Webcast: Top 5 Reasons to Protect Customer Data
Speaker: Robbie Booth, CTO, The ESB Network
Synopsis: Your data may be safe, but what about your customers’ data?

You’ll find a complete listing of all the Webcasts, registration information and the location for the on-site event at Check the Webcasts you want to view and then click on the “Next Step” button to register. According to the site’s FAQ, you’ll receive an e-mail alert 30 minutes prior to the start of each broadcast.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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