Madison+ at the In Business Expo & Conference

Recently we had the pleasure of showcasing Madison+ at the In Business Expo and Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. To say the least, we were pleasantly surprised with our experience. There were an estimated 120+ exhibitors set up, with a variety of companies running the gamut. The small space we inhabited for the day created considerable foot traffic and we managed to pull in many of the attendees with our bold rebranding and stellar swag. This being our first year exhibiting at the In Business Expo, we were unsure as to how it would go, but we were blown away with the amount of interest our booth generated.

We expected to pass out around 200 promotional business cards for our conferences, but we nearly ran out just two hours into the day. Fortunately, we were able to have our back stock expedited and the rest of the day continued without a hitch, well maybe there was one. The overall trend was that attendees were unfamiliar with UX, Ruby development, and Madison+ in general. We took the time to speak with visitors about Madison+ and what we hope to accomplish. Our mission is to put Madison on the map as a creative and technical city. We aim to bring people in from around the globe to experience Madison and their respective community. While not everyone had the need for incorporating Ruby into their business, almost everyone had a website. We were glad to help educate them on what UX is and why UX, user experience, is essential for having a great website. When breaking this down for them, they seemed to recognize the importance of utilizing UX development in their business.

Worth highlighting, we spoke with a number of  Madison area staffing agencies and discussed the demand for Ruby and UX jobs. The overall consensus is that supply of UX and Ruby developers does not come close to reaching the demand. We were able to explain to them the benefits of having conferences like Madison+ UX and Madison+ Ruby and how it attracts visiting developers to our city, and showcases Madison as a great place to live and work. We also had the pleasure of speaking with representatives of the Dane County School System about an upcoming event we are holding called Kids GET IT! Which is a joint partnership between Madison Public Library, GET IT and Madison+ to create a workshop for kids. The sessions will demonstrate the intricacies of IT Careers, Web Design, and Development in an easy to learn setting. It was great to be able to speak with them and get their feedback as well as possible partnerships in the future.

Overall, the In Business Expo did a great job of providing time to connect with other companies and business professionals. We met several companies we feel we could partner with in the future. It opened our eyes to the vast community in Madison and it was great to hear how people started and found their success. Their stories about developing their business practices and strategies were enlightening and being able to share and learn from them was well worth the cost. The insight and experience we gained at the In Business Expo and Conference was immeasurable, and we look forward to next year.