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Igniting bold leadership and making connections

The seventh annual IB Expo & Conference brought together many Madison-area professionals with the businesses that serve them.

From the pages of In Business magazine.

With a Hollywood-inspired theme and featuring local “stars of business,” the annual In Business Expo & Conference returned to the Alliant Energy Center Oct. 18, attracting more than 110 exhibitors and providing a forum for local businesses to market their products and services and make meaningful business connections throughout the day with a busy room of attendees.

The seventh annual IB Expo kicked off with a keynote breakfast attended by more than 400 professionals interested to hear how business leaders can inspire change in their organizations. In delivering the keynote, former television entertainment industry executive Libby Gill noted her belief that the old axiom “Hope is not a strategy” is dead wrong. “What are you doing as an executive, as a leader, to feed hope? I don’t think hope is just a strategy, it may be the strategy.

“Just like habits are contagious — yawning, smiling, etc. — disengagement is also contagious,” Gill explained. “But hope is also contagious. You can spread it with a smile, with a kind word, and by setting an example for your employees through your own actions.”

Inside the main hall, attendees conversed with exhibitors, attended presentations and seminars from local business stars such as Deb Archer and Jim Tubbs, and enjoyed quality food and beverages from local vendors. As part of an autograph book game, a variety of prizes were awarded, and the grand prize winner was Didi Barbour, a local business coach, who walked away with a resort, spa, and golf package from The American Club in Kohler valued at more than $2,505.

The event was also a great opportunity for Expo exhibitors to interact with potential clients and each other. Newer exhibitors included Bobbie Harte Photography, a portrait and personal branding studio. Owner Bobbie Harte, a new business owner in the area, says she came to the Expo looking to get exposure and achieved that in spades. “I just wanted to meet people and I did. I’ve made a lot of connections and got a lot of business cards from people interested in my services.”

Tara Grays, a business banker with State Bank of Cross Plains, a frequent exhibitor, says the event is always a great way to make new business connections. “I met a lot of first-time visitors to the Expo this year, people who wanted to check it out before they committed to exhibiting, and they all told me they’d be back next year as vendors!”

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.

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