Every industry has that one major annual event where insiders and rookies alike can gather to learn about best practices, the latest trends and regulations. For the auto industry, it’s the Chicago Auto Show, for the fashion industry, it’s Fashion Week and for the franchising industry, it’s the IFA Convention. So how important is it for franchisors to attend conventions? According to SMB Franchise Advisors founder Steve Beagelman, the knowledge gained and the vast networking experience at such conventions plays a major role in one’s understanding, and therefore success, in the franchise industry.
“As a franchisor, you always want to know what’s going on in the industry,” says Beagelman. “The first place to go is the IFA Convention. There’s a lot of change going on right now and it’s important to have a good understanding of how these changes will affect individual franchises and the industry as a whole. Your franchisees are going to call you looking for guidance not just in your brand’s industry, but also in the franchising industry. How can you steer them in the right direction if you yourself are not in the loop? Franchising conventions are one of the easiest, most efficient ways to continue educating yourself about your industry.”
This year’s IFA Convention takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 29th to February 1st. At the convention, numerous educational sessions are hosted, covering topics ranging from emerging concepts of franchise development theories to financial boot camps. Regardless of your position in the industry, there’s something to be gained from attending.
For those who are unable to attend IFA this year, SMB Franchise Advisors' Director of Marketing and Brand Development Dawn Abbamondi will attend with Beagelman, participating in sessions, facilitating roundtables and co-hosting a large client networking event. They bring back insights they’ve gained to clients to make sure they are aware of important changes in franchising. Beagelman also suggests utilizing other resources, like IFA webinars or SMB Franchise Advisors networking events, to stay in the know. Regional markets, too, host IFA sponsored FBN conferences where local entrepreneurs and business owners can come together to discuss the specificities of a market. These smaller conferences are particularly helpful in regards to understanding state regulations and local franchise recruitment initiatives.
To educate its clients on what they need to know most, SMB Franchise Advisors hosts multiple events a year, as well as webinars. “Whether it’s updated operational manuals, connecting with new suppliers or staying up to date about franchise sales compliance, we really make sure our clients know what’s going on in the industry,” says Beagelman. “We’re the liaison between franchisors, their franchise attorneys and their CPA to help them take their business to the next level.”
“One of the best things you can do for your business is get involved and stay educated,” says Beagelman. “As a franchisor, a business is only going to be as successful as you make it. Even if you hire advisors, if you don’t engage in your business and understand the nuances of franchising, you’re doing yourself and your franchisees a major disservice.”