IFA 2015 is over. As a first time attendee to the International Franchise Association Convention, I was able to network with a lot of innovative business owners in the franchise industry, learn from keynote speakers and hear new franchise ideas/trends. I was recently asked after the IFA convention to reflect on my experience. I thought it would make sense to post my answers here on LinkedIn, especially for my friends in the franchise community.
What was your biggest takeaway from IFA 2015?
On top of all the knowledge and education I soaked up at the conference, actually being there and interacting with other franchisors opened my eyes to the true success that franchising brings. It was crazy to see how many concepts are successfully franchised that I would never have thought would be a successful model.
Who were some of the key influencers you met and/or saw speak during the convention?
Hearing the President of the IFA, Steve Caldeira, speak was very powerful as well as the CEO of Arby’s, Paul Brown. Meeting the suppliers and seeing some of the technology that will help our Franchise grow and help us manage our company was very helpful.
What were some of the trends discussed among the franchise community?
A trend that stood out to me was the joint employer discussion that could potentially change the entire franchise model.
What advice would you give to future attendees of the convention and/or what would you have done differently?
I don’t think I would do anything “differently”, but my second convention will be more beneficial due to already networking with so many people who I will be able to continue to build relationships with. As far as advice goes, I would suggest future attendees take a look at the other attendees and suppliers, know who and what you are looking for, and who you want to talk to before attending. Check out the roundtables; they are the most beneficial in being able to bounce ideas back and forth with other franchisors in the same boat.
The IFA convention was in Las Vegas – you had to have done something fun outside of it. What was one or two of your Vegas highlights?
Truth is, I didn’t do get to do anything outside of attending the convention events. I’m sure next year I’ll find some off time when I am more comfortable with the set up. I will say I ate at some great restaurants at the hotel as well as some good bars though!
There you have it, my 2015 IFA Convention experience! If any of you who attended the show had similar experiences, feel free to comment in the section below.