Impressive line up of speakers for Chilliwack Business Conference

Practical advice and inspiration for Chilliwack business

Running a small business can be an isolating experience, and opportunities for professional development rare and expensive.

And yet, without an injection of fresh ideas a businesses can grow stale.

That’s why for the third year in a row, the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce has brought some of the best in the business world to Chilliwack to share their knowledge and offer their inspiration in a two-day workshop.

The conference has something for everyone, says Chamber executive director Pattie MacAhonic. “It’s an excellent opportunity for professional development in the realm of lifelong learning.”

But the key, says MacAhonic, has been to bring in speakers and organize workshops that have a practical application in Chilliwack.

Participants will have eight workshops to choose from over the two days. Topics range from managing stress in the workplace to understanding the needs of your customers.

Employees are the backbone of any business and that’s something Carol Hama understands. As director of the City of Richmond’s human resources department, she’s helped earn that city national recognition. She’ll be in Chilliwack to offer business owners concrete ways to keep their employees engaged and enthused.

Understanding your customers is also critical to the success of any business, MacAhonic says. But it’s not just understanding what they want, it’s knowing what they need.

Debbie Palmer has more than 25 years experience motivating and inspiring sales professionals. She’ll show participants how to determine the “needs” of their customers – something particularly important in tight economic times, when discretionary spending is limited.

Says MacAhonic: “If you have what the customer needs, you’ll have the sale.”

Topics for some of the other workshops include workplace safety, incorporating social media into your business presence, and understanding credit and credit management.

In addition to the workshops, several speakers will also share their experiences. For example, Alex MacAuley and Joel Primus, who were featured on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, will talk about their journey. Guests also include Maureen Kirkbride, president of the BC Chamber of Commerce, and Michael Graydon, president and CEO of the BC Lottery Corporation.

Keynote speaker for the event is Ryan Walter, a former NHL player and coach who will help participants focus their energy and thoughts toward personal wellness.

MacAhonic says the lineup is impressive, and would be out of reach for many small business owners in larger centers. But the Chilliwack Chamber made a concerted effort to make it accessible to local business. It’s now even offering tickets to the two-day event for $100 in hopes of encouraging more people – owners, employees or even someone thinking of opening a business – to take part

“The people that we have are very down-to-earth, very hands-on,” MacAhonic says. “They understand what businesses need to survive.”

Participants will like what they hear, she says. “When they leave the conference they’re going to walk away and say ‘Wow.’”

The Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce Business Conference is Oct. 18-19, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel. For ticket information call 604.793.4323.

Just Posted

Jean-Pierre Antonio
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A new sign was installed at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community effort to install new sign at Chilliwack’s oldest church

‘We feel it’s a step in the right direction to bring the church up-to-date,’ says St. Thomas parishioner

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read