Visa Conference Montreal 2007 – Small Business and the Web

Visa supports small business owners.

The Visa Small Business Big Thinking Conference took place on June 4th. It was targeted at small and mid-sized business owners, including those working from a SOHO (solo operator, home office or small office, home office whichever you like). There’s an interesting post today by Bill Slawski as a counterpoint to that. Its title is “11 Steps to Developing a Web Literacy“. The opening sentence gives a sense of what is covered:

The Web reaches out to embrace businesses online, even if the owners of those businesses hesitate at the attempt. There are many that haven’t taken the step of placing themselves on the Internet, and yet they are there, even without a Web site.

That certainly didn’t apply to the eager participants at the Visa conference. As George Torok described his session, “It was a packed room and an explosive session.” For more Post Conference Highlights, you will need to check back with the Conference website in mid-July when you’ll be able to view the speakers’ presentations and download session notes from many of the conference workshops.

The eBusiness track was equally lively. Michel Leblanc, Senior Partner, Analyweb Inc. gave a good overview on how to sell more profitably on the Net. Then Martin Lessard, Web Strategy Consultant, ZeroSeconde.com gave a detailed listing of the best e-business tools that are available. The panel discussion, which I chaired, allowed participants to home in on the particular topics that interested them. The other two panellists were Simon Lamarche, Adviso Consulting Inc. and Chris Emergui, President, BAM Strategy Inc. All three of us were unanimous in stressing the importance of developing the right website that had high usability and good search engine visibility. Then the right effort must be put into making the website work for you. The session got somewhat lively when the relative merits of blogs (or even slogs) and traditional websites were discussed.

The conference was pulled together by Rick Spence, of PROFIT and L’Actualit? Magazines, and he deserves much credit for the Conference’s success.

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