A few weeks ago, I posted a discussion on various LinkedIn Franchise Groups about the upcoming 50th IFA Convention. I asked who was attending the event and what they were hoping to bring back to their organization. The response was great as many people not only shared what they were hoping to achieve, but also shared their thoughts about the event, past and present.
Take note of the objectives and offers of assistance as we share some of the responses…
Deb Evans, President and CEO at Computer Explorers, ICED – ” I am looking forward to connecting with the best in the franchise industry! I always return with new contacts and fresh ideas to implement. I am anxious to spend time with franchise friends I haven’t seen since last year. For anyone that is attending for the first time, feel free to connect with me. I am happy to provide some helpful tips regarding the weekend and meet in person!”
Sheryl Cassity, CIA, CPA, CMA, Director, Internal Audit – “Our firm is looking to expand our connections with the franchise community. We take advantage of this opportunity to reach new franchise concepts and re-connect with existing clients. The educational opportunities are extremely valuable. This is a great opportunity to learn what is important to franchising so we can respond better to meet the needs of the franchise community.”
Tanya Mitchell, CFE, VP Research and Development at Learning Rx – “I always come away with great new ideas for both franchisees and franchise development. I would love to learn new ways to market to qualified candidates, and how zors are using social networking and PPC to draw in qualified candidates.”
Christian Faulconer, CEO at Franchise Foundry – “We go for the networking and the education and we haven’t been disappointed. This year we are hoping to meet startup and emerging franchisors that we can invest in and help grow in 2010. ” I’m also excited to get the word out regarding what Franchise Foundry can do to help emerging franchisors so if you happen to be an emerging franchisor that is attending the conference, let’s chat.”
Christian also gave some strong reasons for young franchisors who are considering attending the event, perhaps for the first time…
1. You probably don’t know what you don’t know. The IFA conference is a great place to learn that there are a lot of smart people out there who know stuff that you don’t. The good news is that they are willing to share what they know.
2. You have a chance to network with people who’ve “been there, done that” and people in your same situation. Through our participation in the IFA, we have made connections that we will benefit from for years.
3. You may find out that you do something better than anyone else. It’s a very rewarding feeling to find out that you’ve been doing something right and to be able to share what you know with others.
Mary Ann O’Connell, CFE, President, FranWise Franchise Consulting – “I love to get together with my franchise friends. The entrepreneurial spirit makes them some of the most interesting people I know. After that, I use the networking and volunteer opportunities to market myself and my company’s services. I love to learn from everyone – what an incredible “university” of ideas we have there. From the seasoned veterans to the people with the newest ideas: there is still so much to learn.”
Scott Hoots, Director of Franchise Attractions at Ripley Entertainment – “I just confirmed I’ll be attending my first IFA convention this year. Looking forward to the interaction and the opportunity to expand my network.”
Marie A, VanDrisse, Executive Account Manager at F.C. Dadson – “I have two goals I’m trying to achieve. Since I’ve only been in the Franchise market for about a year, I want to use the educational seminars to gain knowledge on the in’s and out’s of the business. Secondly, what makes a trade show worth your while, for both myself and our company, is when your can gain either network or new business opportunities. The more networking functions the better.”
Across five different LinkedIn Franchise Groups there were over 40 responses and subsequent comments from executives representing franchisors and professionals representing service providers. All-in-all, there was a diverse representation that makes franchising what it is today. Many are looking to network. Others are hoping to learn. While others are seeking opportunities to generate business. All valid reasons for attending the 50th IFA Convention.
Ironically, the last comment posted was by none other than Dan Durney, Principal at Powerhouse Franchising who chimed in, “All I can say is… Long live the BRICK! See y’all in San Antone!
Yes, we’ll see y’all in San Antonio. Here’s best wishes for a successful event filled with lasting memories that will give new meaning to, “Remember the Alamo!”