Trade Shows: They’re More Than Just Free Lunch.

There are a few things you can skip out on in life. You really don’t need to attend your friend’s, brother’s, girlfriend’s stepmom’s birthday party. People will understand if you don’t upgrade to the latest iPhone as soon as it comes out. And you don’t need to add the guacamole for an extra 75 cents (who are we kidding, yes you do). But skipping out on attending a trade show when you’re shopping for a franchise? Not a good idea.

Attending a franchise trade show is a great way to familiarize yourself with various franchise opportunities, immerse yourself in various brands’ cultures, and if those aren’t enough reasons, there’s always a plethora of amazing food to sample free of charge!

As a PR Pro, these shows also prove to be a great source of information. You can spend some quality time with existing clients, network and did I mention score some great free food?

There are two key trade shows that occur every June — the International Franchise Expo (IFE) and the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference. Both offer not only valuable insight into the world of franchising, but also differ in their target demographic.

International Franchise Expo (IFE)

This show, held in New York City’s Javits Center June 16-18, brings together hundreds of franchise concepts and draws thousands of qualified prospects from across the United States and more than 120 countries around the world. From fast casual dining concepts to commercial cleaning and everything in between, IFE covers both domestic and international expansion to selling single units, area developments and/or master franchises. Though we encourage you to visit the IFE’s website beforehand to view the schedule and learn about the educational seminars and workshops that will be offered throughout the show, here are a few we recommend attending:

  • Why Franchising? How Women Can be Successful in Today’s Franchising Marketplace (Thursday, June 16 from 2 – 3 p.m.)
  • Going International – Moving Intelligently into International Expansion (Thursday, June 16 from 3:30 – 5 p.m.)
  • How to Become a Multi-unit Franchise Owner (Friday, June 17 from 2:30 – 5 p.m.)

Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference

The FCMC (June 21-22 in Atlanta) focuses on topics of importance to franchise consumer marketers. Led by the conference’s advisory board, attendees learn from the industry’s best and brightest marketing executives — from building a brand to utilizing technology. This is a must-attend event for marketing executives and marketing service providers. Below are some breakout sessions that we’ll be attending. You can visit the FCMC’s site to view the full agenda:

  • Media: Paid, Owned, Earner & Shared – Execute, Evaluate and Measure Results of Your Multi-Media Plan (Tuesday, June 21 from 10:15 – 11:45 a.m. featuring our very own Lorne Fisher)
  • Social Media’s Role in Driving Revenue (Tuesday, June 21 from 4:10 – 5:25 p.m.)
  • General Session Panel: Your Customer Comes First (Wednesday, June 22 from 9 – 10 a.m.)

And if you find yourself with an hour or two to spare in NYC or Atlanta – here’s a few things us Fishies love to do: