Getting connected – Attending Small, Local Conferences like Business Resources for Inspiring Leaders (BRIL) in Richmond, Virginia

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Attending in-person conferences and events are still great ways to connect, learn new things, get inspired by new ideas, network and meet new people even in this digital, technologically innovative age.

Traveling to the big, well known conferences in interesting locations is of course excellent and exciting, but going to smaller, local conferences can be beneficial as well, not to mention easier for those with a smaller budget. Smaller, local conferences also helps with connecting with others in the local area or region most attendees are working in.

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An event photo from the Tom Tom Fall Festival in Charlottesville, VA in 2017. Photo © Jillian Regan 2017

An example of a small, local conference coming up in 2018 is Business Resources for Inspiring Leaders (BRIL) is a business conference coming up on March 24, 2018 in downtown Richmond, VA with all female speakers and a 15 minute yoga break built into the conference.

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Women talking outside an event, the Gem & Mineral Expo, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, VA in October 2017. Photo © Jillian Regan 2017

This conferences has some interesting features such as it being on a Saturday, which is great for professionals who may be too busy during the week to take time off to attend a conference. It also has a 15 minute yoga break that’s built into the conference, lead by yoga instructor (and entrepreneur) Gabi Day who in addition to teaching yoga, recently started her own all-natural hair and skincare company, Bright Body.

Sorana Blackfoot, an investment advisor who organized BRIL and whose recent book just came out — New World, New Dreams: My Money Story — will giving a talk on Protection and Legacy: Find Your Financial Serenity through Your Business. I look forward to learning from her talk (part of BRIL’s Blue track breakout session at 10:15 AM) since she always has a wealth of financial advice to give. Everytime I talk to her, even if it’s only for just a few minutes, I learn something new about finance!

The main stage speakers at BRIL will be covering a variety of topics that I look forward to learning from.  Kelly Lucente, a brand strategist and author who helps small businesses with strategic brand positioning, will be speaking about the “Power of 3: Image+Voice+Promise=Personal Brand”. Shan-Nel D Simmons, an accountant with Nel’s Tax Help, LLC will be giving great accounting advice on how to “How to Stay Golden with the IRS”. Sylvia Henderson, Founder & CEO of Springboard Training, will be getting everyone motivated to get ideas out of their head and into action with her talk about “What Next? Transform Your Ideas through Action”. The breakout sessions will include a line up of great speakers as well:

Another great feature of BRIL is its partnership with a nonprofit in the Richmond, VA area, UnboundRVA. Unbound RVA empowes talented individuals from low-income communities with a path to entrepreneurship. This is a great way for UnboundRVA to get support in terms of funds, but also in increased awareness of their organization by attendees who may wish to provide additional support to their organization in the future. For example, I will be providing professional headshots and portraits at BRIL and the proceeds will go to Unbound RVA.

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A view of buildings from a hotel in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Photo © Jillian Regan 2016.

If you’re going to be anywhere near Richmond, VA on March 24, 2018, I hope you can make the time to come to BRIL! For more details, an agenda, and to register, the link is here.

Does the example of the BRIL conference remind you of a similar small, local conference that you have recently attended or plan to attend?

Has this post given you some ideas for how attending small, local or regional conferences can be a great way to connect, learn new things, get inspired by new ideas, network and meet new people? If yes, what are they? I’d love to hear!

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Woman looking at jewelry in a display case. Photo © Jillian Regan 2017

Jillian Regan is a professional photographer based in Charlottesville, VA. She focuses on corporate/commercial, equine / equestrian (horses), and event photography. She enjoys that help visually telling the brand’s, organization’s, or individuals stories.

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