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The WBENC National Conference is the largest event of its kind for women business owners. Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs); senior executives and procurement representatives from the Fortune 1000 and the U.S. Government; and representatives from organizations whose missions align with the WBENC vision of expanding women’s business opportunities in the marketplace, will converge in Nashville, Tennessee, for one pre-conference day and three days of robust programming. The event includes an Expo featuring more than 300+ exhibitors, Meet & Greets, lectures and presentations from today’s thought leaders, interactive programming options, and vibrant networking receptions.
The conference starts with onsite registration, exhibitor move-in and pre-conference gathering for select groups, beginning on Monday, March 20, officially beginning on Tuesday, March 21, and ending on Thursday, March 23. See the full schedule here.
Conference hotel and events will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN. The address is:
2800 Opryland Dr
Nashville, TN 37214
Everyone! The National Conference is open to WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs), WBENC National Corporate and Government Members, Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs), Regional Corporate and Government Members, non-certified business owners (female and male), buyers and procurement representatives, supplier diversity professionals, and federal, state, and local government officials. We also look forward to welcoming international women business owners certified by WEConnect International affiliates.
You will connect with women-owned businesses and Fortune 1000 companies that are industry leaders in healthcare, travel and logistics, food and beverage, energy, retail, transportation, telecommunications, finance, banking, office supplies, consumer-packaged goods, and more, to name a few, as well as federal, state and local government agencies.
You can review the WBENC Corporate Member list here.
The WBENC National Conference is expected to draw more than 4,000 attendees and more than 300 exhibitors including Fortune 1000 companies and America’s leading Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) as well as federal, state and local government agencies.
No, the full attendee list is not published due to privacy policies and risk of scams. However, a full exhibitor list will be published and regularly updated on the conference website. Attendees can also check in on the WBENC Mobile App once the app is available. In addition, WBENC-Certified WBEs and Corporate Members can utilize WBENCLink2.0 to look up contact information for individuals within the network.
NOTE: If you receive a solicitation from an organization claiming to provide or sell the attendee list, it is a scam. Read more about these type of scams here.
The WBENC Expo is a dynamic tradeshow featuring both Corporate Member exhibitors and WBENC and WEConnect Certified WBE exhibitors. The Expo is your opportunity to connect with the WBENC network and identify ways to do business together.
The WBENC Expo will be organized according to industry groups and will feature the following industry clusters:
Ultimately you will find businesses from every industry across the Expo. The industry clusters will feature:
If you are exhibiting and do not fit neatly into one of the industries listed, please identify the closest fit for your company.
Yes! Make sure to join us for one of our virtual orientations leading up to the event. During the orientation, we’ll take everyone through the event design and answer any questions. It is a must for first-time attendees and is designed to assist all attendees in making the most out of their investment in the conference.
In addition, as the event approaches you will find additional resources available for download from the event website and mobile app.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is a very large and complex property. Read below and click here for more information on ADA Accessibility, including a Resort Map with Accessibility Routes identified.
Throughout the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center all interior and exterior public spaces (each atrium, lobby, restaurant, Convention Center, etc.) are accessible to guests with disabilities. Gaylord STARS are also available to assist guests with disabilities when necessary.
Wheelchairs and Electric Scooters
Bradley Health Services is the Gaylord’s on-site provider of wheelchairs and electric scooters. The daily rate for wheelchairs is $20, and the daily rate for electric scooters is $50. Both wheelchairs and electric scooters can be delivered to guest rooms for a $10 charge. Bradley Health Services is located off the Cascades Lobby and is open daily between 9am – 7pm. For more information and to make reservations, please call 615-458-2615.
If you require mobility assistance it is recommended that you reserve your wheelchair or electric scooter at least one month prior to the event. If you arrive after 7pm it is recommended that you arrange for Bradley Health Services to coordinate with the hotel front desk so that your scooter will be available for pickup upon arrival.
Guest Room Accommodations
Guests with disabilities can relax and enjoy the luxury, comfort and modern conveniences of Gaylord Opryland’s guest rooms and suites. A warm, inviting atmosphere, combined with enticing amenities and superior service, will make our property the home-away-from-home you desire. Guest room accommodations for those with disabilities include:
• Door knock and phone alerts available by request
• Wider bathroom doors
• Roll-in showers
• Shower benches available by request
• Hand-held shower heads
• Bathroom rails
• Bed-shaker alarm available by request
• Text Typewriter (TTY) available by request
• Strobe-light fire alarm
• Phone amplifier available by request
• Closed-captioned television available by request
• Accessible vanities
If you have any additional questions, please reach out to email@example.com.
Meet & Greets are timed, roundtable discussions that allow WBEs to connect with purchasing decision-makers from major corporations and government agencies.
WBENC will host two (2) Meet & Greet sessions during the conference: Wednesday, March 22, from 9:00-11:00 AM CT and Thursday, March 23, from 2:00-4:00 PM CT. No other programming will be offered during these times.
Each session will have 25-minute rounds where the host Corporate Member and the WBEs seated at their table will use the time to introduce themselves and their companies. Subject to availability, WBEs will be able to select a seat at a table of their choice for each round.
Sessions are open to all attendees of the Conference that are either WBENC or WEConnect-Certified.
While WBENC will not be hosting traditional 1:1 MatchMaker meetings, we have a powerful approach to facilitating connections, including Meet & Greet roundtable connections, an enhanced luncheon networking opportunity and ample opportunities to connect via the Open Expo and Industry Lab educational sessions and panels.
The recommended attire for all conference activities during business hours is business casual.
The dress code changes for the evening events:
Speakers include nationally recognized experts in relevant topics on business, finance, and key trends. Top executives from major corporations who value the contributions of women in business and a host of talented women business owners with a proven track record of achievement have been invited to share their expertise during education sessions and panels, and by leading a number of interactive programming activities.
The official host hotel is the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
We accept speaker/instructor proposals on a rolling basis. If you have the experience and subject matter expertise to help women entrepreneurs or the supplier diversity community, we encourage you to apply. Apply here to become a speaker.
The 2023 WBENC National Conference is the best opportunity for your company to exhibit in front of more than 4,000 small business owners, government agencies and Fortune 1000 businesses interested in doing business with WBENC-Certified WBEs. It is the most influential Expo of its kind for women-owned businesses in the country. Meet with supplier diversity and procurement executives from major corporations and WBENC-Certified WBEs all in one place.
Note: WBENC reserves the right to approve exhibitor status for all companies. Organizations that register without meeting the above stipulations will not be allowed to exhibit. Fees will not be refunded.
While each company’s experience will vary, the connections made and potential opportunities identified are incredibly powerful, and will fuel business and supplier diversity program momentum well past the conference.
Additionally, to ensure exhibitors have booth traffic and access to prospective business partners, WBENC executes a comprehensive marketing plan to increase conference awareness and participation that includes:
If your WBENC-Certified business has been certified as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), the marketing opportunities for your business will extend to reach the government representatives present. If you are not WBENC-WOSB-Certified, visit our website to learn more about how you can apply.
Learn more about exhibitor packages available here. There is a 10×10 WBE Exhibitor Package, a 10×10 Corporate Member Exhibitor Package, and a 10×10 Government and Nonprofit Exhibitor Package.
Each exhibitor package will include Full Conference Passes (quantity depends on package type), a 10 x 10 booth, 1 skirted table, 2 chairs, 1 waste basket, 7 x 44” sign with name and booth number on it, grey booth carpeting, and a listing in the online exhibitor directory.
Yes, exhibitors may purchase up to three (3) additional Full Conference Passes at a discounted rate of $649 each. These additional passes are available for purchase only through the online registration process.
NOTE: All exhibitor transactions are final in accordance with the WBENC no refund policy.
If you register before January 23, you will receive a correspondence about your booth placement during the month of February.
If you purchase a booth after January 23, you will receive a correspondence within 12 business days of the date you registered.
The booth assignment process for general exhibitors will not begin until February 1.
Booth position on the Expo floor is determined by preferences indicated during registration.
When registering you will have the opportunity to identify your top 2 preferred industry areas to be located within the Expo. WBENC will work to place exhibitors according to their preferences, however preferred placement is not guaranteed.
Exhibitors also have the opportunity to identify both competitors and collaborators. WBENC will work to respectively place exhibitors according to this input, however specific placement is not guaranteed.
WBENC will strive to place all exhibitors according to their preferences but cannot guarantee placement.
When you purchase your booth package you will be able to identify your top 2 industry centers on the floor. The WBENC team will work to place everyone in their preferred centers, but no guarantees can be made.
A WBENC Turnkey Booth Package is a pre-designed booth which will be set-up and ready for you to access beginning Tuesday, March 21, in the afternoon. All you have to do is arrive with your collateral and team and be ready to network. Choose from either a standard graphics package which features your company’s logo and the 2023 WBENC National Conference branding, or for an additional fee, you can secure fully custom graphics.
This year’s Turnkey Booths are brought to you by Imagen! These packages are add-on packages are in addition to the base exhibitor packages.
You can purchase your Turnkey Booth add on through your Exhibitor Dashboard after you purchase your exhibitor package.
Exhibitor Package sales, including booth options, will be available in early December 2022.
Yes, for an additional fee you can work with Imagen to design fully custom graphics.
Exhibitor Package sales, including booth options, will be available in early December 2022.
Yes, you are required to staff your booth during the “Open Expo” hours on Wednesday and Thursday.
Open Expo Hours:
No. Only conference Co-Chairs, featured sponsors and reception/meal function sponsors have reserved tables.
Food and beverage catering services are provided by Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is the exclusive food and beverage provider for the conference. Food and beverages shall not be brought into the building for consumption or sold by entities associated with your event, except by concessionaires designated by Gaylord Opryland.
Other food and/or beverage items used as traffic promoters (i.e. coffee, sodas, bottled water, popcorn, etc.) MUST be purchased from Gaylord Opryland.
Please contact Leah Batson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for all food & beverage needs at the conference.
Exhibitor Help Desk/Call Center:
Hours of Operation:
9:00am – 5:00pm EST, Monday-Friday
Exhibitors can also log into the Hargrove Exhibitor Portal through the Exhibitor Dashboard in MYS. Note: Exhibitors will not be able to order any items until they have received their booth assignment.
Your booth must be completely set-up by 5:00 pm CT on Tuesday, March 21. Please refer to the Exhibitor Kit (coming soon) for more information.
On Wednesday, March 22, exhibitors will have access to the expo beginning at 10:00 am CT.
On Thursday, March 23, exhibitors will have access beginning at 8:00 am CT.
You can begin to dismantle your booth at 12:00 pm CT on Thursday, March 23.
All exhibits MUST be dismantled, packed and Material Handling Agreements turned in by Thursday, March 23 at 4:30 pm CT. It is the sole responsibility of each exhibitor to have materials packed, identified, and cleared for shipment by that time.
Note: After 4:30 pm CT overtime rates apply
No, the Expo does not close for lunch on Wednesday; however, the food will be available between 11:00 am -1:00 pm CT for all attendees.
No, if you require any type of electricity in your booth you must purchase it through Exhibitor Services.
If you still have questions you can read through the Exhibitor Kit for more information. If you have questions you can also reach out to Exhibitor Services for assistance.
Exhibitor Help Desk/Call Center:
Hours of Operation:
9:00am – 5:00pm EST, M-F
Unfortunately, there are active scammers. WBENC will not solicit information for exhibitor services or request that you take any other action related to the events unless the message comes directly from WBENC, our hotel management team, Trattativa Meetings & Events, Imagen or, our exhibit services provider, Hargrove, Inc.
Sponsorship brings tremendous visibility to your brand in front of more than 4,000 individuals. The conference attendees are comprised of women business owners, corporate executives and purchasing decision-makers, as well as representatives from government agencies and advocacy organizations. All sponsors receive brand recognition on the conference website, mobile app, signage, as well as an exhibitor booth, and conference registrations.
Click here to learn how to become a sponsor.
The following entities are eligible to sponsor:
Note: WBENC reserves the right to approve all entities requesting to be a sponsor.
Yes, sponsors may purchase additional Full-Conference Registrations for $649 and three additional Day Passes for $299 each. These registrations include all activities included in the conference schedule for the specific admission category.
Please contact Mia Delano, Vice President, Business Development & Engagement, WBENC, Vaughn Farris, Senior Director, Development & Engagement, or Andrea Marshall, Director, Business Development & Programs at the email below.
As a Sponsor Contact there are a few things you should know:
Learn more about the cost to be an attendee here.
Once registration is live, you can log in through the Map Your Show Dashboard, which will be populated with the initial information your company provided. Once you have access, your Dashboard must be updated by your company with any additional information you wish to provide and with the information about your attendees.
The registration section of the Dashboard will take you to the individual attendee registration section where you can register individuals whom you designate as recipients of your company’s allotted Full Conference Passes and Day Passes. This feature requires that you include their full name, company name, and email address as well as demographic information.
All registration/ticket sales are final; no refunds will be issued. All exhibitor and sponsor package purchases are final and non-refundable.
Paid registrations may be transferred to another individual at your organization if you notify WBENC in writing by March 13, 2023. Send transfer and substitutions via email to email@example.com.
Please include the Name, Title, and Email for the original registration as well as for the new colleague who will be using the registration. All requests must be made in writing by March 13, 2023.
Registrations cannot be transferred between events.
Once registration is live, you can log in to the Map Your Show Dashboard to access your records to make changes to allotments or purchase additional items. Sponsors and exhibitors can make changes to their allocated full conference passes and day passes (and additional registrations purchased) until March 18, 2023, when online registration closes.
Call Customer Service toll free at (864) 658-5681
Your well-being is #1 priority for WBENC. This website will be updated with information about the plans for health and safety protocols for attendees, exhibitors and staff at the National Conference. At this time WBENC is monitoring the ever-changing status of the COVID-19 pandemic and making decisions accordingly. These protocols are subject to change based on a number of factors. WBENC is committed to keeping all attendees informed and updated as changes occur. We will continue to update the page, so please check back for news and additional guidance as we refine our planning.