Franchisors: How to Get Noticed at Franchise Exhibitions

29/03/2018 18:45 | Start a business

How franchisors can get noticed at franchise exhibitions

A franchise exhibition is a valuable marketing tool that franchisors should take full advantage of. There are several exhibitions throughout the year, and with over 900 franchise brands operating in the UK, you can be sure that each one is full of franchisors promoting their business and prospective franchisees looking for the right opportunity.

And while exhibitions are an excellent place for the best franchises to meet ambitious entrepreneurs, there are several things you should take into consideration before you decide to attend.

Attend the right franchise exhibition

Firstly, you need to give some thought to which franchise exhibition is right for you to promote your business at. It's essential that you do some research beforehand to ensure that the exhibition that youre considering shares the same values as your brand.

One way to make sure that you exhibit at well-organised events that are consistent with your brand is to attend one of the five British Franchise Association (bfa) accredited exhibitions that take place each year. This will give you the confidence that youre exhibiting alongside other bfa member franchises.

Budget adequately

You'll need to pay to be allocated a stand at an exhibition which can be costly for franchisors just starting out. But remember, it's an excellent investment to meet quality candidates that are serious about becoming franchisees.

You should always try to negotiate the price of exhibiting too. There will be different prices depending on size and location of your stand and whether you are promoted on the exhibitors website and exhibition material. Of course, large, well-publicised exhibitions such as those run by the British Franchise Association will be costlier to attend, but youll get access to more prospective franchisees and benefit from the buzz surrounding the event.

Let people know where youre going to be

Invest some time into letting people know that youll be exhibiting at an upcoming event. Send emails to any individuals that have contacted you in the past about becoming a franchisee. Use data from your website so that you can let people who have downloaded or requested your franchise brochure know that youll be available to speak to at the exhibition.

This is an excellent opportunity for prospective franchisees to meet the faces behind the brand. Also, generate some excitement about the exhibition via your social media accounts. This is a quick and cost-effective way of letting people know when and where the event will be taking place.

Choose the best spot.

If you want to compete with the more prominent franchise brands, you'll need to secure the right spot at an exhibition. They may come with a hefty price tag, but very often the earlier you book, the better chance you have of being able to choose a prime spot.

It's worth scoping out a location before exhibiting. Attend other conferences at the same venue a few months before, even if it is a wedding fayre or a comic convention. This will give you an idea of the best place to request a spot for your stand. And remember that positioning yourself right by the entrance might mean that youre bypassed altogether.

Grab peoples attention

In an exhibition full of the best franchises in the country your stand needs to be prominent and grab the attention of attendees. You can do this effectively even on a small budget.

Make your stand bright and colourful with prominent use of images. Also think creatively about the use of lights, sound, displays and your signage. They will all help you to entice attendees to see what your franchise has to offer. Dont play it safe or you risk blending in with everyone else.

A great way to draw peoples attention is to have a visual explainer video playing on loop. Use of hand-drawn graphics in a short, but informative video will entice attendees to your stand, and when the video has finished, you have the perfect opportunity to start a conversation about your business.

And possibly the most effective way of making people feel compelled to visit your stand is by giving away freebies. You want whatever you give away to be eye-catching, but also be relevant to your brand. To ensure that the cost of the free items contributes towards raising awareness of your franchise, brand the items and make them durable so that theyre not just discarded after the event.

Use it as an opportunity to capture information.

Once you have the attention of attendees, ensure that you engage with them and capture their information. Have a team of enthusiastic franchisees to help you answer any questions that visitors to your stand may have and take some contact information to follow up with.

When the exhibition is over make sure that you follow up on the leads that you worked so hard to secure as promptly as possible. Get in touch with the people that you engaged while you're still fresh in their memory. If they were attending an event, then it's highly likely that they're ready to invest. Give your franchise the best possible chance of getting the right candidates on board by being helpful and proactive.

If you dont put the effort in to support potential franchisees after the event, then the time and cost of exhibiting will be wasted.

Dates for your diary

If youre interested in putting these tips to the test and attracting new franchisees along with the UKs best franchises, here are some British Franchise Association accredited exhibitions for you to attend:

Franchise Opportunities
Where: Grand Central, Glasgow
When: 25th April 2018

The Northern Franchise Exhibition
Where: EventCity, Manchester
When: 22nd and 23rd June 2018


The National Franchise Exhibition
Where: NEC, Birmingham
When: 5th and 6th October 2018

Tickets are free for individuals that pre-register to attend, so get the word out that youll be exhibiting and give them a reason to come to speak to you about your fantastic franchise opportunity.

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