April 10, 2011 by by btballer19
This past weekend I had a chance to check out the International Franchise Expo (IFE).
For those of you unfamiliar with the Expo, it functions as a venue where franchises can connect with potential franchisees who may one day own and open a chain of their franchise. Including this year, the Expo has existed for 20 years, this year, D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center played host to the event. Unlike many of the other events I typically attend over the course of a given year (The Auto Show, San Diego Comic Con, etc.), I came into this show completely “fresh:” going for the first time, not having any expectations, just there to see what the event had to offer. Perhaps due in large part to this approach, I not only learned quite a lot, but also had more fun than I thought I would. The event has something for everyone.
For the prospecting entrepreneur/business owner, there are panels which discuss the skills and techniques necessary to be a successful franchise owner. In addition, on the exhibit floor (where I spent much of my time), there are franchise executives (i.e. Founders, Vice-Presidents, Regional Managers, etc.) at their respective booths available not only to provide information about their respective franchises, but also to discuss how to get started with them. Aside from the franchise executives themselves, there are also other folks there to provide their services to the new franchise owner, such as franchise brokers, franchise advisors, and even franchise attorneys.
However, for those (i.e. the significant other, friend, and/or kids) who tag along with the prospecting entrepreneur/business owner, and could care less about joining a franchise, there’s tons of free promotional materials, activities, and food samples to take advantage of. In fact, there is so much of the latter, I’d suggest bringing an empty backpack and avoid spending money on food prior to attending, because the samples that are available will keep you well fed. Anyways, if you are seeking a new job opportunity as a business owner, you can check out this year ‘s Expo Exhibitor list. Otherwise, if you’re interested in going to the event just out of curiosity, be sure to register for the 2012 International Franchise Expo, which will hit the Javits Center in NYC on June 15-17 next year. For more information about the 2012 Expo, click here.