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Posted by Tim Gilboy on 2015-06-24

A Few Thoughts After IFE 2015


Last Friday I went up to the Javits Center with other members of the Franchise Help team to check out the International Franchise Expo. It was my first IFE and going into it I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I got there. I might do a more detailed write-up in a few days if there is interest, but here are just a few takeaways/thoughts I had afterwards.

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  1. Food Still Rules - Food franchises are the dominant player in the franchise game and they were out in full force last week. Some non-food franchises had great booths, engaging reps, and drew huge crowds. But no other industry was close to foods presence across the board. Everywhere you looked there was a line of people waiting to try free samples and to talk to franchise reps.

  2. International Franchise Expo - Going in I knew that it was an international expo in name, but I didn’t really appreciate the magnitude of the international presence until I got there. From the pavilions dedicated to franchising in specific countries to the franchisees-to-be from other countries the expo really did have a multi-national presence.

  3. Franchisors Be More Engaging! - When I was walking around the floor way too many franchises would make no effort to engage with me. They seemed content to let me read their info and some just brushed off my questions. There were hundreds of franchises their so I was expecting a more proactive approach. If you’re not going to talk to me then I’m going to go down the hall and talk with your competitors.

  4. Location… - The Javits Center as an event site is an interesting conundrum. Obviously NYC is a great location for an event like this and the Javits Center is the place to hold an expo like this in NYC. But it feels so out of the way sometimes. There’s nothing that can really be done about this - but still it just bothered me a little bit. Maybe there would’ve been a larger crowd if there was a more centralized location

  5. Shoutouts - In contrast to my 3rd point about franchisors needing to be more engaging in general there were a few franchises that did an AWESOME job of getting me engaged and interested (even though I had no intention of actually opening a franchise). Blink Fitness, Philadelphia Soft Pretzel Factory, & Dippin Dots all drew me into a good conversation about their franchises and they all did it with a different strategy from free samples, to an intriguing booth, to simply very energetic franchise reps.  



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