Franchising expos are dead – or not?

This morning I visited the Brisbane Franchise Expo.

In days gone by, I used to exhibit at Franchise Expos in all the major cities in Australia, both as a franchisor looking for new recruits and as a consultant looking for prospective franchisors. I recollect huge halls with at least 150 exhibitors, thousands of visitors and very busy days talking to all the new prospects. Followed by crowded seminars each evening.

So, join me in the queue on Saturday with only ten of us waiting to enter the Brisbane Franchising Expo at 10:00 this morning, and you might have also wondered if this heavily promoted event was really representative of the mighty franchise industry. And my observation was that every one of us had obtained a free ticket online rather than pay the $15 at the door!

Fast forward an hour and you will have circulated all the stands, mingled with the sparse number of visitors and seen a total of only around 40 franchisors displaying their product – and noted that a further dozen or so exhibitors were magazine publishers, government departments, industry body Franchise Council of Australia and several consultants and brokers.

If you were collecting evidence to prove that franchising recruitment efforts are seriously online, then this was it. The fact that there were less than ten offerings from franchisors you would possibly recognise is the proof in the pudding. And the remaining stands were dominated by start-ups and fairly new franchises – some of questionable interest to the majority of people attending.

“Yes,” as one exhibitor confided in me, “If you want to recruit franchisees, there are other more cost-effective options. Exhibiting here is an expense of many thousands of dollars you can invest elsewhere in your business with far better returns.” And he went on to question why he was still attending after 20 years of shows. Old habits die hard!

And then by midday, when you saw that many of the exhibitors were chatting among themselves rather than to visitors (because there were none), it was clear the view that the heady days of expos with scores of exhibitors and literally thousands of attendees is well past. I was just relieved that I wasn’t the event promoter.

Of course I may be totally wrong – but I know where I’d be I investing my recruitment dollars. It wouldn’t be at a Franchise Expo. To see what I mean look at Seek Commercial and Franchise Buyer.

We believe in doing business… …for good

Our quest is to continue to help business owners who want to grow their business into a more valuable asset.

We do this through a number of our enterprises.

Through Franchise Simply® we help business owners who want to grow their business into a more valuable asset through franchising. The team of expert advisors at Franchise Simply® does this this through our simple three step Franchise Success Path which can be delivered in many different ways to suit you. We work closely with our team of leading franchise experts to provide the full range of services to the franchise industry, from carefully crafted legal agreements and operations and procedure manuals, to expert advice on corporate structures, fee structures, territory planning, franchisee support, recruitment and much more…The result - our members implement fast and get everything they need to succeed all in one place. Click here to join our inspiring community of entrepreneurs and you can be our next success story.

We believe in giving back and so a percentage of every program is given to MicroLoan Foundation Australia to help women in Southern Saharan Africa to build businesses and take their families out of poverty. To date we have helped provide over 60,000 loans impacting on 355,000 impoverished people.