SIEDC hosting 20th annual Business Conference April 17

The event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When the Staten Island Economic Development Corp. launched the Business Conference in 1998, holding it at the Excelsior Grand, it was a groundbreaking event and the first of its kind. Today, the Conference has grown to boast more than 2,500 attendees, 125 vendors and more than 20 seminars and sessions open to the public.

This year, Conference will be held on Thursday, April 17 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Ave. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The kickoff breakfast features a panel discussion on Staten Island biggest headache: transportation, with speakers offering their 21st century solutions for a problem born prior to the construction of the Verrazano Bridge.

The day proceeds with sessions ranging from how to best utilize Google as a marketing tool to others focused on how women and minority owned businesses can flourish in today’s economy. In fact, women in business are one of the event’s main focuses, and the Keynote Luncheon features a Powerful Women in NY Business panel discussion.

Tomorrow’s business leaders aren’t left out of the 20th anniversary celebration of the SIEDC Business Conference. Several hundred students will attend specifically designed sessions featuring a range of topics from interviewing to career opportunities. They’ll also enjoy speed mentoring sessions and get to rub elbows with the borough’s most powerful business leaders throughout the day.

The vending room offers limitless business to business opportunities, and a speed networking sessions allows attendees to maximize their mixing in an organized session reminiscent of the popular speed dating concept. Industrial firms won’t want to miss this year’s event, as a special wing has been set up to provide resources they need to help them grow — business financing assistance, discounted incentive plans and intergovernmental assistance. Staten Islanders seeking employment won’t want to miss the mini job fair where SIEDC’s employment program SI Works will be pre-screening candidates for a list of more than 70 available positions.

To register for the event, or for more information, visit