Eighth annual Ohio Growth Summit scheduled for May 24

The eighth annual Ohio Growth Summit will be held May 24 at Columbus State Community College.

Columbus State’s Center for Workforce Development, at 315 Cleveland Ave., will host the summit, which is designed to give entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and marketing professionals the opportunity to learn, discuss, and problem-solve their way to better business strategies. Registration begins at 7 a.m.

“For our eighth summit this year, we feel like the over-arching theme is definitely a strong embrace of how the digital world is changing the way a brand maintains its personality and shapes marketing opportunities while also sticking with our roots of the less sexy, yet extremely important, business practices that contribute to a successful startup,” says Michael Bowers, regional director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Columbus State.

This year’s keynote speakers are Paul Evans, a business coach, speaker and author, and Gini Dietrich, founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich Inc.

“There are many brilliant and experienced business people in the world that we could bring in to talk, but it’s not just about their success,” he says. “It’s about having the ability to connect with our attendees in a session that will do more for them than the average blog post from a Google search. To speak at the Ohio Growth Summit you have to bring new ideas to the table, challenge the business-as-usual way of thinking, and set clear, pertinent and proven steps that can be put into place as soon as immediately.”

Four workshops will take place from 9:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Social Media Strategy and Placement lead by 30 Lines Founder Mike Whaling; Strengthening Your Organization and Growing Your Business lead by entrepreneur Keith Speers; Business Financing and Financing Matchmaking lead by David Rivers, certified business advisor with the SBDC at Columbus State, and Rick Coplin, entrepreneur, speaker and business coach; and Advanced Digital and Social Media Strategies lead by Nate Riggs, director of social marketing at The Karcher Group.

Ultimately, Bowers wants OGS attendees to walk away with relevant, valuable, and implementable information that will help them start and successfully run a business, but he also wants to drive home the importance of collaboration and bringing like-minded, yet creatively varied, people together to find ways to help each other.

“It’s not just about the speaker-attendee relationship,” he says. “Learning how other business owners and marketers are approaching development and customer service with their brand is great insight for someone that might spend so much time focused on their own thing that their way of thinking accidentally becomes tunnel-visioned. Offline, in-person, collective education and networking is by far the best way to get you thinking outside the box for your business.”

About 150 people registered for the summit in 2011, and that number is expected to climb to 200 this year.

Bowers has seen attendees take what they learned at OGS and apply it to start a business or get national media placement the very next day.

“This program is real,” he says. “It’s about building and growing small businesses− not a bunch of theory.”

The cost to attend OGS is $100 for those who register by May 10; the cost is $130 thereafter.

To register for the Ohio Growth Summit, visit OhioGrowthSummit.com.

Metropreneur readers can save 20 percent off the registration price by entering promotional code OGS20 at checkout.