1) What is featured at the WBDC’s annual conference?
The WBDC’s annual conference presents four basic types of opportunities:

Business Opportunities
Business Matchmaker
Business Connections Meet & Greet

Information Opportunities
Business Labs
Business Resources Meet & Greet

Networking Opportunities
WBDC Program Alumni Reunion
Keynote Luncheon & Awards Celebration
Program Alumni Reunion

Retail Shopping Opportunities
Galleria Market

2) What is the difference between the Business Matchmaker, the Business Connections Meet & Greet, and the Business Resources Meet & Greet?

The Business Matchmaker segment is where WBENC-certified WBE suppliers (pre-matched based on buyer procurement needs) pitch for contracting opportunities to representatives from WBDC corporate and public sector partners.

The Business Connections segment is a meet and greet open to any business owner for exploration of business opportunities and collaborations with WBDC corporate and public sector partners, mid-market businesses, and prime contractors.

The Business Resources segment is a meet and greet open to any business owner for growth-enhancing connections with a range of small business program and service providers.

3) Do I qualify as a supplier for the Business Matchmaker if my business has been certified as a WBE by a certifying body other than the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)?

No, only WBEs certified by WBENC are eligible to participate in the Business Matchmaker segment of the WBDC’s annual signature conference. However, businesses certified by other certifying bodies and non-certified businesses can participate in the Business Connections Meet & Greet segment. The Business Connections Meet & Greet is open to any business owner for exploration of business opportunities and collaborations with WBDC corporate and public sector partners, mid-market businesses, and prime contractors. 

4) When/how do I denote my interest in being matched with buyer reps for the Business Matchmaker?

To register as a supplier-  go to the conference registration site:   https://www.eiseverywhere.com/wbdc2019

Select New Registration.

Enter Email Address and Promo Code. 


Complete all of the information.


If you select that you are WBENC-certified, enter your number and then you will see the Business Matchmaker segment. Indicate that you want to participate and complete the applicable info.



5) How will I find out whether I have been matched for the Business Matchmaker?

You will receive an email from the Women’s Business Development Center.  If you registered by August 12 and indicated you were interested in the Business Matchmaker, you are in the pool for consideration. Specific matches are based on the procurement needs of corporate partners. Registration by the corporate partners is ongoing, and matches will not be finalized until on or about September 2.

6) Do vendors for the Galleria Market have to register and /or pay to participate?

Yes, Galleria vendors need to submit a vendor application for the Galleria Market and if approved, pay a fee, but the application and payment process are separate from the registration and payment process for the overall conference. Anyone interested in becoming a Galleria Market vendor can contact us at c2info@wbdc.org

7) What is the Shirley Marx  Pitch Finale?

This summer the WBDC held local pitch competitions in each of our five major markets (Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Twin Cities), which were sponsored by Deluxe. The local pitch competitions culminate with the Shirley Marx Pitch Finale, being held at our 2019 Connect & Celebrate: Chicago Signature Conference. Shirley Marx was a successful WBE and Chairman of New World Van Lines. At the upcoming Shirley Marx Pitch Finale, the five WBE finalists from the various local markets will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges consisting of WBDC corporate partners. The Pitch Finale grand prize is $5,000 and the prize for second place is $2,500. 

8) Can I edit my business lab attendance later (if, for example, I decide to attend another lab or get involved with the Business Matchmaker, Business Connections Meet & Greet, or the Business Resources Meet & Greet)?

Yes, indications of conference segment interest on the registration site are not binding. Attendees are not limited to the segments they select during registration and are free to attend whatever segment they choose at any point in time. 

9 ) Will WiFi  be available all day at the WBDC’s annual signature conference venue?
Yes, WiFi will be available all day at the WBDC’s 2019 signature conference at  the Hyatt Regency O’Hare on 9/6/2019.