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The Next BIG Thing

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Registration is now open for the annual Walton Area Chamber of Commerce “The Next BIG Thing” 

Registration is now open for the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual “The Next BIG Thing” Conference on Wednesday, November 1, and Thursday, November 2, 2023, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa. 

The annual conference, presented by Ascension Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast and Eglin Federal Credit Union, has three distinctive growth tracks focused on Leadership Development, Entrepreneurship, and Women in Business. Together, each track will bring in several dynamic speakers who will address topics beneficial to empowering individuals professionally and personally, growing emerging and existing entrepreneurs, and helping create rising leaders. 

The Next Big Thing will begin on November 1 with registration and check-in at 8 a.m. Attendees will enjoy a Meet & Greet with guest speakers while enjoying mimosas, breakfast bites, and networking in the Vendor Hall which will feature over 40 participating vendors. Complimentary headshots and photobooth will be provided by Epic Photo Co. during the morning networking hour.

Welcoming remarks from Walton Area Chamber of Commerce CEO, Megan Harrison, will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the morning keynote will be given by Lauren Pasqualone, “Employ Joy: Leading a Values-Driven Culture.” Kevin Boyle will lead the afternoon keynote address, “How to Spark Conversations, Create Opportunities, and Build More Business.”

Over the next two days, attendees will hear from these two keynote speakers, choose from over fifteen breakout sessions, and participate in a hands-on workshop. Conference participants will have the opportunity to learn from speakers including Amy Smith Hobbs, Charity Schaefer, Russell Hale, Peyton LoCicero-Trist, and more. Between sessions guests have access to the Networking Lounge, Recharge Stations and visit the Vendor Hall exhibitors. To conclude the first day of the event, the Chamber will host a cocktail reception featuring light bites, cocktails, music and raffle prizes.

The second day of the event will begin with a power presentation by Col Allison Black. Day 2 Breakout Sessions will run from 10:10 to 11:30 a.m. and will lead into Brunch featuring motivational speaker, Jeremy Ruffin. The day will culminate in the Workshop led by Keynote Speaker, Kevin Boyle titled, “Exactly How To Elevate The Critical Conversations In Your Life.”

As the lodging sponsor, The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa, is offering a group rate for those interested in convenient lodging for the event. Use code TNB when calling 850-267-9500 to make your reservation.

The Walton Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the local businesses who are already signed up to sponsor this year’s event including Blue Ocean Custom Signs, Horsley Construction Group, St. Joe Community Foundation, Florida Small Business Development Council, Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, Florida Power and Light, Grand Boulevard, and All In Credit Union.

Sponsorships are still available and area businesses interested in sponsoring this year’s event should contact Gabrielle Hamilton at 850-892-3191 or

Walton Chamber member pricing is $200 for a one-day pass for Nov. 1st, $150 for one-day access for Nov. 2nd, and $225 for a two-day pass. Non-members pricing is $225 for one-day access for Nov. 1st, $175 for one-day access for Nov. 2nd, and $250 for a two-day pass. For group discounts, please contact the Chamber.


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