In working with a large number of franchise organizations and developing franchise systems, Franchise Marketing Systems operates as an outsourced franchise sales and franchise management department for clients. Part of building a franchise system and working in the franchise industry is holding annual franchise meetings with the franchise partners involved. These meetings can be extremely beneficial for all parties involved...or be detrimental to a growing franchise company. It all depends on how well planned the event is and how much energy and commitment is put into the day or weekend.
Franchise Marketing Systems has helped manage five different franchise meetings in 2010 with clients. In San Diego, Ducerus College Planning Specialists conducted a large convention with 85 participants there to talk about the college planning industry and what the college planning franchise would be doing for the coming year. The event was a lavish and well-orchestrated meeting held in Hollywood, CA. Recently, Franchise Marketing Systems was part of a very successful franchise meeting with Flower Tent, a 45 location seasonal flower franchise in Pennsylvania. This meeting was held in the greenhouse distribution center owned by the franchisor, the meeting was much less lavish, but was managed well and provided extremely valuable content.
A good franchise convention does not have to be held at the Ritz, the food does not have to be $45 per head, the value to the franchise partners is in the information, time and commitment to planning their business and the value add from the franchisor. It is valuable to incorporate good vendor relationships into the meeting. Prior to their presentation and discussions, it is essential to make sure that they don't give a sales pitch, but more of a strategic partner presentation. Franchisees want to continually know why they bought into this franchise organization, it was not so that they could be sold to by other vendors.
Have a great structure for the day or weekend, don't wing it, plan it out. A well-thought out franchise meeting should have a structure and a flow. The presentations should be rehearsed and the information should be relevant to the franchise attendees. Build a powerpoint, have an array of speakers. Another Franchise Marketing Systems client, Midway Tax Service arranged for a motivational speaker to be at their franchise meeting to get everyone excited and ready to go for the upcoming tax season.
You never plan to fail, but if you fail to plan for a franchise convention, the results will be marginal. Well executed franchise meetings should set the stage for the rest of the year and help solidify your relationship with your franchisees.