The very first Smart Business Conference was held in Chicago, March 24–26, 2008. YMN wanted to show the industry how much it was commited to the health of the industry, which meant keeping all the businesses strong during economic ups and downs, being in tune with the ebbs and flows of customers' needs, and learning from our own experiences and those of others. The conference was designed to address issues that readers had said were key to them. The jam-packed schedule, all at the Inn of Chicago, featured many forums to help store owners focus on growing their business. It was a resounding success, and led to the annual shows we still put on today.