How to Exhibit at a Franchise Trade Show

Franchise Marketing Systems team of consultants and clients will frequently exhibit at franchise shows around the United States, and Canada. Franchise trade shows are an effective way to introduce a franchise or business opportunity to prospective franchisees in a particular market.

Franchise Trade Shows are excellent marketing vehicles when a brand is targeting a specific market or area for growth as the majority of the visitors to a particular franchise show will be from within a 1-3 hour drive of that show location in most markets. 

Second, nothing replaces the value of a face-to-face meeting that takes place at a franchise show when you get to meet the candidate in person and shake hands making that personal connection that just can’t be made over the phone or with email.  There are many options for franchise trade shows in most markets and typically they are held in any given month.

There are several categories of franchise trade shows, most of them fall in the “mid-tier” category and will attract between 1000-2000 visitors to the show for a two-day weekend event.  These shows will require a $3,000 to $4,000 investment in the booth space, tradeshow collateral and travel to have representatives at the show for you.

The larger franchise tradeshows or top-tier franchise tradeshows will be a much larger investment, typically in the range of $8,000 – $10,000 for the show investment, but will attract as many as 4,000 visitors or more to the event. 

If you or your representatives work the show appropriately, aggressively and consistently, it is not uncommon to come home from a show with 150 franchise buyer leads.  We typically recommend that you gauge the effectiveness of any franchise show investment based on the average cost per lead that is generated from that show, so in effect, a $4,000 show that generates 100 leads would be an average lead cost of $40.  A good cost per lead will be $50 or less for franchise show marketing events. 

Trade shows are a fun and effective way to market a business opportunity, but it takes the right approach, enthusiasm and process to get a solid return on investment.

Keys to effective Franchise Trade Show marketing:

  1. Have people who know your business there to represent you, the worst thing you can do is put a salesperson without knowledge of your franchise in front of the candidate in person, they will see right through it.
  2. Have people who have the energy and understanding that every person at that show is a prospective franchisee, none should be allowed to pass without engaging them and introducing them to your franchise.
  3. Have a really solid follow-up process in place to manage the leads after the show.  A good Franchise Trade Show will produce between 100-200 leads from the exhibit and if you are not persistent with follow-up, the leads will quickly forget meeting you at the show.
  4. 4.  Take good notes, it is important to have something relevant to say to the prospect when you put in the follow-up call – don’t sound dumb and have forgotten the pertinent points from your meeting at the show.

Franchise Trade Shows are one of many possible lead generation channels to use when marketing your franchise, use them all and develop an effective franchise marketing plan to capture as many possible candidates for your franchise system.

Contact us for more information on how to exhibit at a franchise trade show. 

We are a team of franchising professionals that provide solutions for development, consultation, and expansion of businesses.

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