Event Overview

The National Conference & Business Fair is the largest conference of its kind for women business owners in the U.S. The WBENC National Conference & Business Fair is attended by Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs); senior executives and procurement representatives from the Fortune 500 and the U.S. Government; and select partner organizations whose missions align with WBENC’s vision of expanding women’s business opportunities in the marketplace. With three days of robust programming, the conference features lectures and presentations from today’s thought leaders, engaging panel discussions, 1:1 MatchMaker sessions, networking receptions, and a notable Business Fair.

What to Expect

Monday, June 18 (Pre-Conference)

Arrive in Detroit a day early to participate in the pre-conference activities. First Time Attendees can attend a First Time Attendee Orientation session led by the Host Council, Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, where they’ll learn about how to navigate the National Conference and make the most of their time in Detroit. WBENC-Certified WBEs can also attend the Women’s Enterprise Forum Meeting where they have the opportunity to connect with other WBEs, participate in special programming and learn more about the WBENC network. All attendees are invited to join the Women’s Enterprise Forum to hear insights from the keynote speaker from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. In the evening, members of the NextGen (WBEs and Supplier Diversity professionals under the age of 40) are invited to participate in an RSVP-required NextGen Happy Hour.

Tuesday, June 19

In the morning WBENC hosts the NextGen Meeting. This RSVP-required event is for individuals in the WBENC network under the age of 40. It will be a morning of targeted programming, sharing experiences, and speakers. The conference officially starts Tuesday at the energetic Kickoff Luncheon. Following the luncheon attendees can attend robust workshops designed to engage all attendees. The day concludes with the Welcome Reception where attendees can network. This will be one of many opportunities to bid on a variety of exciting auction items.

Wednesday, June 20

The second day of the conference is centered on the Business Fair. The morning starts with the Business Fair Breakfast and Opening Ceremony. Throughout the day, attendees explore the Business Fair floor to discover opportunities with over 300 exhibitors, exchange ideas and connect with each other. Take a break mid-day at your leisure, in our Business Fair Luncheon area where a buffet will be waiting for you. After a high energy day of networking, the exciting Evening Event provides attendees the perfect venue to unwind, have fun and make informal connections.

Thursday, June 21

The final day of the conference offers attendees the opportunity to take advantage of the many resources available to them including progressive educational workshops and pre-scheduled 1:1 MatchMaker meetings. The Finale Conference Luncheon offers attendees the opportunity to hear an insightful keynote presentation. The conference concludes in the evening with the Tribute! Dinner where we celebrate the strategic partners and individuals whose dedication propels WBENC’s mission forward. The dinner is followed by the 2019 Launch Party to pass the torch to the 2019 National Conference & Business Fair!


Cobo Center

1 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226