A mainstay of the franchising calendar, hundreds of thousands of prospective franchisees and potential owners descend on their local convention center and attend trade show halls across the planet to peruse the exciting franchise opportunities offered up by thousands of brands. From San Francisco to Shanghai, Mumbai to Melbourne, if you’re looking for an exciting franchise opportunity or just interested in soaking up the local franchise scene, a franchise expo, conference or trade show is the place to go.
A fantastic opportunity to meet face-to-face with franchise brand representatives, franchise trade shows also offer educational programs, seminars, breakout sessions, keynote speakers, and much more. While attendees may not always walk away completely certain that they found the next franchise they want to buy, they will at least be further educated on the virtues of franchising by attending a wide range of learning sessions and networking with industry experts.
Top international franchise expos and franchise shows
The International Franchise Association annual conference – held every year during the month of February – is known as the ultimate franchising event, where industry leaders and franchisors network, attend educational sessions and share franchise best practice with peers. The IFA conference isn’t your standard franchise show where potential franchisees peruse the franchise opportunities at expo booths. This is where franchisors and franchise leaders from around the world champion the franchise business model, and dig deep into how to cultivate a successful franchise network.
It’s also home to the Global Franchise Awards, which hosts its annual awards ceremony just before the IFA conference kicks off. This is where the industry finds out who won big at this year’s event, and also offers winners and attendees the opportunity to network during the drinks reception.
Looking to be inspired by a wonderful array of franchise brands looking for investors? Among a high-quality stable of must-attend U.S.-based franchise expos are the popular franchise events organised by MFV. Their line-up of domestic shows include the International Franchise Expo in New York, Franchise Expo Houston in Texas, Franchise Expo West in Phoenix, and Franchise Expo South in Florida. MFV also hosts an array of international franchise shows, including events taking place in England, Germany, Mexico, Italy, China, and much more.
There are also expos that are tailored to a particular theme or topic, if a general franchising conference feels a little too broad for your liking. For instance, there is a Multi-Unit Franchising Conference held in Las Vegas every year, or if you’re looking for investment opportunities in a specific sector, there are many fitness franchise conferences, fast-food trade shows, and other sector or industry-specific events that offer franchise business sections.
Annual franchise brand conferences
When you become a franchisee of a brand, you’re not just investing in franchise systems, infrastructure, IP, training and marketing support; you’re also benefiting from joining a franchise family. With that in mind, many franchisors host their own annual conferences and retreats, which provide franchisees with the opportunity to rub shoulders with other brand business owners, while also providing the franchisor or CEO of the brand with a platform to discuss topics and plans relevant to the business owners in attendance.
Popular franchise brand conferences include the FASTSIGNS conference, IFPG annual getaway, and the Neighborly annual conference. An annual event for many franchisors, attendees often leave the convention center, auditorium or conference hall not only feeling more knowledgeable about the brand they represent, but also the future direction of the organization.
Online franchise expos
As of March 2020, when the world as we know it changed forever due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the virtual event is now a popular destination for business opportunity shopping and knowledge sharing. Due to there not being a capacity when it comes to physical booth space, online visitors can seek out hundreds of franchise brands when signing up to a franchise expo online. The business opportunities can sometimes be endless.
These comprehensive events not only see hundreds of franchisors attend them, but they also offer online courses, breakout sessions, networking sessions, chat box functions, webinars, and more. While they may lack the face-to-face element that many crave – not to mention the coffee and food breaks – they are crammed full of innovative tools to ensure that your experience doesn’t differ too much from attending a physical event.