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    SBDC Conference Helps Small Businesses Stay Ahead of the Technology Curve

    Keeping on top of trends in technology is a challenge for many companies, and it can be especially daunting for small businesses. Duquesne University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) aims to help entrepreneurs use technology to enhance business profitability and competitiveness.

    To that end, the SBDC is hosting its seventh annual Pennsylvania Business Technology Conference on Thursday, Nov. 15. The daylong event will feature breakout workshops, a panel discussion and live technology demonstrations.

    New to the conference this year is lunchtime technology checkup. "We're thinking of it as a tune-up for your business technology," said Christine Hughes, training manager at the SBDC. "Attendees will be able to find out if they have a smooth-running machine or a slow-moving clunker."

    The checkup will cover topics such as:

    •  What to look for before buying a new computer
    • Most important website must-haves and biggest mistakes
    • Security measures to protect profits, employees and customers
    • New tools and trends for quick and easy communication.

    Breakout workshops this year include everything from email marketing best practices to social media for businesses and free technology tools.

    The conference will include hands-on learning, too. At a technology showcase, attendees can see how QR codes work, create a Facebook business page and watch a webinar be created.

    Full-day registration is $119, which includes continental breakfast, admission to the full schedule of events and lunch. For details, visit www.duq.edu/sbdc or call 412.396.1633.

    Cost for students with ID is $50.

    Duquesne University

    Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in 10 schools of study for 10,000-plus graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.