Building a Successful Summit

Will Talks Biz Podcast Episode 39 Building a Successful Summit“I’m a firm believer that people bank with people. An institution is important, don’t get me wrong, but people bank with a person.”

After informing us about Small Business Loans in episode 38, Paul T. Long returns to talk more about the South Sound Business Summit, which he created and has been running since 2015. Paul’s passion for educating and empowering the small business community lead to him building a successful summit. He shares how the experience led to a personal journey of self-discovery, education, and giving back.

Through hard work and dedication, he was able to create the South Sound Business Summit and connect people of different backgrounds to learn and grow in their businesses. With the help of generous sponsors and the local Chambers of Commerce, Paul was able to provide a space for small business owners to come together, learn and share their stories. His mission to give back, educate, and bring people together has been a success and continues to grow each year.

In this episode, you learn:
1. how to create a personal brand to grow your business
2. the importance of diversified speakers and attendees for events
3. the benefits of building a relationship with a business banker before you need them.

This year Paul’s South Bend Business Summit is going to be Thursday, May 4, at McGavic Center in Lakewood, which is just south of Tacoma. This year he is partnering with a longtime friend of his who has been a phenomenal business support person. This is an opportunity for business owners to get together, learn and meet others. If you’d like more information on it, make sure to connect with Paul.

Episode Highlights

In 2015, I created the South Sound Business Summit for this area because I saw a need to be able to support the small business community.

The summit is more of a presentation style. It’s very auditorium focused and education through speakers. There are not tables around the room to everyone to sell something. It is a matter of education and learning.

Each year we do a survey at the end of the event. What are the topics that you want to hear for the next year? And then we go out and go and get those speakers. It’s all chosen by the attendees.

One of the things that is absolutely critical to building a summit is that you’re bringing in a diversified group of individuals. Chambers of Commerce are phenomenal organizations that are out there helping the business community. Why not have them help you be successful?

My goal of putting this on was not to make money. And if I did make money, I want any profit to go to a small business organization in our community as a donation. Over the years, we’ve probably given over $10,000 in ticket sales and sponsorship.


A lot of times we as business owners think that we should just rely on our own audiences to promote something. But there’s other audiences out there that have been built under great, relevant companies that we can tap into and build relationships with. How has that collaboration really been effective?


Get a relationship with a business banker before you need them. As long as you are willing to do the hard work, I’m going to guide you through the way.

Connect with Paul:

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Book I Can’t Read: A Guide to Success Through Failure



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