Tuesday, October 13 , 2015, 5:23 pm | Partly Cloudy 82º

Craig Allen: Santa Barbara Business Expo a Resource Gold Mine for Business Owners

By Craig Allen, Noozhawk Business Columnist | @MPAMCraig | updated logo |

The Second Annual Santa Barbara Business Expo (SBBE) will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd.

The 2013 expo brought in more than 175 attendees, the majority of whom were local business owners. The overall impression expressed by attendees was the high level of professionalism, the warmth and attentiveness they received from the exhibitors, and how much they learned from the speakers.

This year’s expo is expected to draw more than 500 guests, most of whom will be local business owners, business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to increase their visibility and profitability.

The SBBE is an interactive business convention designed to provide business owners, entrepreneurs, students and consumers the tools and resources to connect, learn and network. The expo has been designed to facilitate this dynamic activity with a careful selection of speakers and exhibitors, as well as the overall expo layout and program. The expo is a Business-to-Business (B2B) event, as well as one that enables the local business community to become aware of the resources that are available.

The SBBE was founded and is directed by Sandy and Gino Goe, local business owners and entrepreneurs who have a vision and mission to bring the business community together by encouraging collaboration, improving profitability and encouraging social responsibility by giving back to the community. The Executive Planning Team consists of local business owners and professionals who share in the vision and desire to serve.

All types of businesses are welcome. Both men and women entrepreneurs and large and small businesses will benefit from the dynamic speakers, the programs and the overall expo floor complete with tables for successful networking with like-minded business owners.

The second annual SBBE will bring together some extraordinary keynote speakers, authors and service providers, all to help business owners improve their online presence, while benefiting Hope Refuge. These keynote speakers will address a wide array of especially challenging topics all business owners face, and will include:

» Sloane Reali (The Power of Voice)

» Gary Kravetz (Executive Search)

» Patty DeDominic (Leadership, Stewardship & Impact)

» Ellen Reid (How to Be an Expert in Independent Publishing)

» Taylor Reaume (How to Rank Your Web Site by Helping Others First)

» Melissa V. Moreno (Start-Up Funding 101)

» Calla Gold (Using Online Networking to Increase Your Off-line Networking Results)

» Nick Cavarra (Effective Social Media: The Five Top Channels)

» Ernie Halter (What Is Crowd Funding and Why Is It Important in Today’s Marketplace?)

» Robin Eschler (Funding Options for Small Business)

» Devon Johnson (Loan Fund Manager — Small Business Loan Fund)

Attendees will find expert solutions for some of the most frustrating aspects of developing an effective online marketing strategy. The expo will, in addition to the featured speakers, provide extensive guidance on key marketing trends; emerging web technologies; best business practices; business services for business owners and entrepreneurs offered by exhibitors; on-site headshots by Linda Blue Photography; professional fashions and accessories; an author’s showcase; growing business relationships in Santa Barbara; local resources for financial, personal and professional needs; and strategies for connecting with prospective clients within the community. Business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs will find actionable intelligence that will directly address some of the most challenging issues we all face when building our online presence.

“Business owners today are struggling with their web strategy, and attending this event will help them take their businesses to the next level,” according to Taylor Reaume, one of the keynote speakers featured at the expo and founder of The Search Engine Pros.

“My speech will stress the importance of adding value to others first, and being a helpful resource to others around you. There are many ways to add value to people around you. For example, business owners can create educational top 10 list articles, sharing remarkable statistics and time-saving resources, and connecting their audience with trusted partners.

“Adding value to people will naturally increase the numbers of hyperlinks, or ‘votes,’ for the business owner’s web site. If the business owner can successfully increase the number of hyperlinks pointing into their website each month, they will see a direct correlation with the increase in their Google rankings.”

Admission fees (general admission and students) are $10 per person, and include access to all exhibits, author showcases and the art show. VIP Seminar tickets are $125 per person, or $195 for two. VIP access includes all areas available to general admission ticket-holders, plus entry into the exclusive stage area, which includes keynote speakers, workshop style presentations, refreshments and a VIP gift bag.

Raffle tickets will be sold to benefit Hope Refuge, whose vision is to provide a refuge for American girls rescued out of the sex traffic industry in California. The Goleta-based organization is raising funds to acquire a facility to set up a home. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to Hope Refuge, and additional donations can be made at the expo.

For more information on the Santa Barbara Business Expo, email Sandy Goe at [email protected], or call 805.452.3632.

Craig Allen, CFA, CFP, CIMA, is president of Montecito Private Asset Management LLC and founder of Dump That Debt. He has been managing assets for foundations, corporations and high-net worth individuals for more than 20 years and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA charter holder), a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) certification. He blogs at Finance With Craig Allen and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.898.1400. Click here to read previous columns or follow him on Twitter: @MPAMCraig. The opinions expressed are his own.

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