With life returning to normal after the pandemic, it’s great to see personal events and exhibits returning. For an aspiring franchisee, attending a franchise show or expo is a fantastic opportunity to discover a wide variety of different franchise industries and brands under one roof and a unique opportunity to come face-to-face with franchisors and the people behind the companies, comparing and contrasting a range of different possibilities. However, some of these events can be huge and feel daunting, especially if you’ve never attended an exhibition before. Here are ten top tips to help you get the most out of your franchise expo visit:
Prior to the event, the exhibition organizer will publish a list of the exhibitors present and a program of any speakers and sessions that will take place during the day. There is also likely to be a map available for preview. Study the information carefully, identify the franchise brands you would like to discover and if there are speakers or workshops that pique your interest, register for session tickets if necessary.
Do your research
If there are any franchise brands that have caught your eye and would like to interact with during the show, get your basic research done beforehand. Visit their website, request a copy of their franchise prospectus or information pack, and get to know their franchise pack. Go to Google and arm yourself with as much information as possible. Then when you come face-to-face with the brand at the event, you’re already well versed in the basics and well placed to dive deeper into the possibility.
Give yourself enough time
With so many exhibitor stands to explore, space to cover, and options to consider, allow yourself all day for the visit if you can. In between conversations, you will appreciate the opportunity to take a break with a cup of coffee, reflect on the information gathered so far and revise your plan of action if necessary. The luxury of time also means you can revisit any booth or talk you want during the day.
If there’s a franchise you’d like to get in touch with in particular, get in touch with them before the day and let them know you’ll be attending the event and would like to talk. Most exhibitors offer one-on-one appointments to give them time and space to talk to potential franchisees who they believe can be a real and viable prospect. By doing this, you can make the most of your own time during the day so you don’t hang around trying to grab an exhibitor’s attention, and also make sure you don’t miss the opportunity if your favorite brand is overrun with visitors on their website. position.
Prepare your questions
After you’ve done your research (see above!), think carefully about the further information you’ll want to know over the course of the day and compile a list of questions to cover in your conversations.
Be prepared to answer questions too!
In addition to the franchise expo being an opportunity for the franchise exhibitor to showcase their brand to a wider audience, franchisors will also use the many conversations that take place during the event to research potential prospects and see if they are a good fit for their business. brand and team. It’s a two-way street! Be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your background, aspirations, plans for financing franchise purchases, and of course, what attracts you to a particular industry or franchise brand.
Be open to other ideas
A franchise exhibition is a unique opportunity to be in a space bursting with many exciting investment opportunities. And while it’s important to research and take a focused approach to your visit, don’t ignore it if something outside of your action plan catches your eye. It may just be that the ideal opportunity is right in front of you, just in a field or with a brand you may not have thought of before.
Make the most of the advice and learning on offer
A good franchise expo has an extensive program of speakers, sessions, and workshops throughout the day, covering a wide variety of topics of interest to potential investors and franchisees. Not only take advantage of the day to connect with franchise brands, but also take advantage of the chance to learn as much as you can about the franchise industry and what it’s like to be a franchisee.
Follow up – and expect to be followed up
After the franchise exhibition, take the time to digest all the information you have received and read through all of the material you have undoubtedly gathered during your visit. Follow up on potentially valuable connections made during the day. And of course expect a sequel. After the show, franchisors will contact the contacts they made during the event to see if there is an opportunity to explore the relationship further with a view to a successful franchise sale.
And lastly and most importantly…..
Wear comfortable shoes!
A large franchise exhibition occupies a huge physical space, often occupying more than one exhibition space. Be prepared to take those steps during the day!
For a potential new business owner, whether you have already set your sights on franchise ownership or are just considering it as an option, visiting a franchise expo is a great way to familiarize yourself with the world of franchising, to compare brands, opportunities and franchise packages, and perhaps start laying the groundwork for an exciting future franchise relationship and business journey.