Learn - Connect - Grow

Hear from over 100 Thought Leaders, Business Leaders, and Industry Experts about topics directly affecting small businesses. Learn about the latest products, services, and technologies that can help grow your business in a sustainable way. Topics relating to the latest AI technologies, operations, human resources, and marketing will be covered across two live stages.

09:55

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10:15

Small Business to Smart Business: Do you have the right tools to grow your business in 2024?

Keynote

Global Director of Sales, Zoho Bigin

Zoho

10:15

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11:00

Support for Small Business in 2024

Industry Panel

Join the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman for a dynamic discussion with government and industry experts. Explore the latest resources, programs, and grants designed to empower your small business to thrive in 2024.

Commissioner

Victorian Small Business Commission

Founder, RIPE and Winner of the City of Melbourne Small Business of the Year Award 2023

RIPE

General Manager of Product and Insights

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Director Public Education

IP Australia

CEO

Unchained Solutions

11:00

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11:25

Success Tips to Help SMBs Find, Win, Keep Customers

Fireside Chat

Whether your business has two employees or two hundred, efficient growth is top of mind. Learn how to increase the impact of your sales, service, and marketing teams using AI.

Solution Engineer

Salesforce

AVP Small Business A/NZ

Salesforce

11:45

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12:10

AI & Cyber: how these industry trends can affect SMBs

Keynote

In this keynote address, Carl Solder, Chief Technology Officer for Cisco ANZ, will explore the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cyber security on Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in Australia and New Zealand. Mr. Solder will discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by these transformative technologies.

CTO

Cisco

12:10

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12:30

Exploring the New Nine Ad Manager for Affordable SME Marketing

Keynote

This keynote will introduce Nine Ad Manager, a groundbreaking tool enabling SMBs to advertise on 9Now, unlocking the potential of on-demand streaming TV advertising, ultimately empowering SMBs to achieve significant growth and success. Through local demonstrations, the keynote showcases how Nine Ad Manager revolutionises advertising accessibility and effectiveness for businesses across all sectors.

Digital Commercial Director

Nine Ad Manager

12:30

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12:55

Controlling your Cashflow: Strategies for Success

Fireside Chat

Unleash your businesses bottom line with ways to manage your money and maintain a strong cash flow and working capital optimisation with financial management tools and skills.

Executive Manager Small Business Banking

CommBank

12:55

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13:20

Small Business Cybersecurity in 2024

Fireside Chat

Join cybersecurity experts from Cisco and CommBank to discuss the evolving threat landscape. Learn about the emerging dangers and trends, alongside practical steps to safeguard your small business and customers.

General Manager Cyber Defence Operations and Security Integration (Fusion)

CommBank

Director of Cybersecurity

Cisco

13:20

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14:00

Future-Proofing Your Digital Marketing: Trends and Solutions for 2024

Industry Panel

This dynamic panel discussion explores the cutting-edge of digital marketing in 2024. We'll delve into the transformative power of AI and its impact on streamlining tasks, generating content, and igniting fresh marketing ideas. But the conversation extends beyond AI. We'll also explore other emerging technologies that are redefining the landscape, offering insights on how to leverage them for maximum impact.

Regional Sales Director

Salesforce

Business Coach

Asuria

Digital Commercial Director

Nine Ad Manager

14:00

-

14:45

Innovating through adversity: Building Resilience in your supply chain

Industry Panel

Tightening external pressures have made it critical for Small Businesses to stay ahead of the curve. Whether that be through structural uplifts, or investment in technology/productivity innovations businesses have risen to the challenge. This session gives the opportunity to learn from industry successes and see how other businesses are putting these principles into practice.

Commissioner

Victorian Small Business Commission

National Manager for Manufacturing & Wholesale Trade

CommBank

14:45

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15:00

Fact or Fantasy: Building a Customer Community Drives Business Growth?

Keynote

Join brand community expert, Jason Heathcote, as he demystifies the process of building and scaling customer communities. Explore the growing appeal of community-centric products and services for brands, delving into key considerations before investing in these initiatives, particularly for brands new to the community landscape. Through insightful real-world examples, Jason discusses strategies for community development, covering essential topics such as leveraging technology, fostering networking and events, sharing best practices, and executing advocacy campaigns.

Managing Principal

Janus Lasting

09:40

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09:55

Employment legislation and the emerging risks for small business

Keynote

Employment legislation is complex, and the costs of getting it wrong can be significant. Join Lisa Davidson, The Victorian Chamber’s Acting General Manager of Workplace Relations in this opening address as she shares her insights on some of the challenges and opportunities for small business in managing their employment compliance obligations for their staff and some things you may need to note if you plan on expanding to hire staff for the first time.

Acting General Manager - Workplace Relations and Wellbeing

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

09:55

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10:20

Protecting small business owner wellbeing

Fireside Chat

This keynote offers insights into innovative approaches to protecting and promoting the wellbeing of small business owners. Through two targeted programs developed by Deakin Business School and Beyond Blue, small business owners have increased access to supports when they need it most. Counting on U training, developed by researchers at Deakin focuses on upskilling the people who are often the most trusted advisers to small business owners – accountants and bookkeepers – and helps to address the critical link between financial distress and poor mental health. Beyond Blue’s NewAccess for Small Business Owners (NASBO) is a program designed for small business owners, utilising coaches who themselves have small business experience as well as mental health training to support small business owners with everyday challenges contributing to their stress.

Chief Engagement Officer

Beyond Blue

Professor, Department of Management

Deakin Business School

10:20

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11:00

Get your Green Going

Industry Panel

Starting the ‘sustainability journey’ isn’t always a simple one with costs, suppliers, and spare time getting in the way. Being sustainable doesn’t mean being perfect; sometimes you just need to get started. With examples from businesses who have taken first steps, and the impact they have achieved, come along to this session for tips and insights to support your sustainability journey!

CEO

BioPak

Personal Finance Expert

CommBank

General Manager, Asset Finance & Business Financial Assistance

CommBank

Founder & CEO

Brighte

11:00

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11:45

Small Business and BIG Data: emerging trends and how to become data-driven

Industry Panel

This insightful panel discussion explores how businesses can leverage the power of data. We'll delve into the impact of recent shifts, such as the decline of third-party cookies and new regulations. The discussion will focus on practical solutions for businesses to capitalise on valuable first-party data. By implementing strategies to refine data collection, analysis, and utilisation, businesses can gain a competitive edge across all areas – from marketing and customer experience to operational efficiency and informed decision-making. This session equips businesses with the tools they need to thrive in a data-driven future.

RVP, Small Business, A/NZ

Salesforce

Digital Commercial Director

Nine Ad Manager

11:45

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12:30

The Digital Edge (AI, cyber, affordable tech solutions)

Industry Panel

Tactics to fast-track digital transformation, how a small business can drive efficiencies and lower costs with affordable tech solutions, cloud solutions, cyber, AI, automation and integration of workflow processes

Chief Technology Officer, A/NZ

Salesforce

Personal Finance Expert

CommBank

Vice President APAC & MEA

Gen

Commercial Transaction Products and Growth

CommBank

12:30

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12:55

How to Scale Your Business with AI

Fireside Chat

In this fireside chat with David Walsh, Head of Digital, CX and Marketing for pay.com.au, learn how they've efficiently scaled their business and uncovered new insights to deepen customer relationships using AI.

Head of Digital, CX & Marketing

pay.com.au

Marketing Director

Salesforce

12:55

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13:20

How small business can use AI to hire better, faster and more efficiently

Fireside Chat

Unlock the power of AI recruitment! Join this fireside chat with CONQR to discover how their AI solutions can help small businesses hire better, faster, and more efficiently. Learn how to streamline your process, attract top talent, and build a winning team.

Lead Strategist and Founder

TomorrowToday

13:20

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13:40

Brighter Business future: Economist’s insights, in conversation with Jess Irvine

Fireside Chat

Want to know what market pressures and the economy are likely to do in the next year? Join us as we address these issues, and more, in conversation with Stephen Halmarick, CommBank’s Chief Economist. Stephen will be joined by Personal Finance expert Jess Irvine, known for her relatable approach to helping Australian’s boost their financial literacy, embrace budgeting, and feel more confident handling their finances.

Personal Finance Expert

CommBank

Chief Economist and Head of Global Economic and Markets Research

CommBank

13:40

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14:00

The role of Strategy vs Gut feeling in business success

Keynote

In this exciting keynote discover key learning including:
- The importance of a clear strategy
- Goal setting vs good intentions
- Monitoring progress
- Anticipating challenges and identifying opportunities

Director

Cesar Aldea

14:25

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14:50

Empowering the individual and the community

Keynote

This keynote address explores the profound impact of small businesses on both individual and community well-being. Ray Jopling, Business Mentor at the Self Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) within Asuria People, will delve into the ways in which supporting small business ownership empowers individuals and fosters vibrant communities.

Business Mentor, Self Employment Assistance Program

Asuria

2024 Speakers

Commissioner
Victorian Small Business Commission
VSBC
AVP Small Business A/NZ
Salesforce
salesforce-1

Award Judge

Executive General Manager, Small Business Banking
CommBank
CommBank
Head of Nine Ad Manager
Nine Ad Manager
nine

Workshop Presenter

Director of Cybersecurity
Cisco
cisco
Professor, Department of Management
Deakin Business School
deakin
General Manager of Product and Insights
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
vcci

Award Judge

Director Public Education
IP Australia
ip-aus1
Chief Economist and Head of Global Economic and Markets Research
CommBank
CommBank
Commercial Transaction Products and Growth
CommBank
CommBank
Founder & CEO
Brighte
brighte
CTO
Cisco
cisco
General Manager of Marketing (Business Bank and IB&M)
CommBank
CommBank

Award Judge

Digital Commercial Director
Nine Ad Manager
nine
Vice President APAC & MEA
Gen
gen
Executive Manager Small Business Banking
CommBank
CommBank
CEO
BioPak
biopak
CEO
Unchained Solutions
unchained-sol
General Manager, Asset Finance & Business Financial Assistance
CommBank
CommBank
RVP, Small Business, A/NZ
Salesforce
salesforce-1
General Manager Cyber Defence Operations and Security Integration (Fusion)
CommBank
CommBank
Founder, RIPE and Winner of the City of Melbourne Small Business of the Year Awa...
RIPE
Regional Sales Director
Salesforce
salesforce-1
Chief Engagement Officer
Beyond Blue
beyond blue
Personal Finance Expert
CommBank
CommBank
Acting General Manager - Workplace Relations and Wellbeing
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
vcci
Director
Cesar Aldea
CA2
Solution Engineer
Salesforce
salesforce-1
Global Director of Sales, Zoho Bigin
Zoho
zoho1
Chief Technology Officer, A/NZ
Salesforce
salesforce-1
Executive Manager of Environment, Social and Governance
CommBank
CommBank
Business Mentor, Self Employment Assistance Program
Asuria
asuria
National Manager for Manufacturing & Wholesale Trade
CommBank
CommBank
Managing Principal
Janus Lasting
janus-lasting
Co-Founder & Director
Gravia Media
Gravia-Media
Customer Success & Operations
Nine Ad Manager
nine

Workshop Presenter

Business Coach
Asuria
asuria
Lead Strategist and Founder
TomorrowToday
Editor, Small Business Connections & Co-Host ABF Vision 
Small Business Connections
SBC

Award Judge