Your Guide to UK Franchise Exhibitions this Spring

2019 spring franchise exhibitions

If you’re looking to develop your understanding of the franchising sector and explore the diverse investment opportunities on offer within it, the best place to start looking is a franchise exhibition.

Bursting to the brim with expert key-note speakers, domestic and international franchisors, and experienced franchisees, these events are an opportunity for you to find out all you need to know. With two major events taking place over the coming months, you can book your free tickets now to avoid paying up to £15 on the door. First up, on the 1st and 2nd February 2019, is The British & International Franchise Exhibition at Olympia London. This is closely followed, on the 15th and 16th February 2019, by The National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham.

If you’re not already convinced that attending a franchise exhibition is the best way to prepare yourself for business ownership, we’ve come up with five reasons you need to book your tickets right away.

Five reasons you should attend a franchise exhibition

1. Make franchising personal

While many people dream of one day owning a business and being their own boss, the journey required to realise this dream is often long and arduous. Though the franchising system brings this goal within reach, a considerable number of would-be entrepreneurs still struggle to find the confidence required to take the first step. Some even manage to convince themselves that owning a business is something only other people do.

One of the key benefits of attending a franchise exhibition is that it makes franchising personal and helps individuals realise that their dream can become a reality. The British & International Franchise Exhibition and The National Franchise Exhibition attract a remarkably diverse range of speakers and lecturers – the vast majority of whom have been in the same situation as those attending the events for the first time.

Being able to hear the personal stories of those who have tried, strived, and succeeded makes the goal of owning a business relatable, realistic and realisable. It demythologises the process of franchising and helps us to understand that successful franchisees are ordinary people just like you and me.

This ability to connect prospective franchisees with stories that resonate on a personal level is demonstrated by the experience of Right at Home franchisee, Cameron Duncan. Already interested in franchising but unsure of his next steps, Duncan was a visitor at The British & International Franchise Exhibition in 2015. There, he had the privilege of listening to Tim Haigh, Right at Home franchisee for Sutton and Epsom, speak as part of the ‘Real Franchise Stories’ panel. Tim’s story resonated and inspired Cameron to find out more about the franchise. Cameron explains that “I was able to listen to someone who had done what I wanted to do; he was two or three years in and doing really well – it was exactly what I wanted to hear.”

After talks with the franchisor, a little additional research, and his preliminary training, Cameron began trading as a Right at Home franchisee in early 2016. Looking back on his first few years of business, he has this to say about the experience: “I find being a franchisee immensely rewarding. Not only do I love working with my team, but I also run a business that has a positive impact on the community.”

2. Benefit from industry expertise

As well as inspiring the next generation of franchisees to trust in themselves and take their first step towards becoming a franchisee, franchise exhibitions also provide individuals with the necessary technical information and expertise to do so. While becoming a successful franchisee does require a great deal of personal drive and self-motivation, it also depends on considerable research, knowledge of the franchising sector, and an understanding of what works and what doesn’t work in the industry.

Both The British & International Franchise Exhibition and The National Franchise Exhibition bring some of the sector’s most experienced professionals together under one roof. This makes hearing and conversing with experienced franchisors and franchisees easier and more convenient than ever before and ensures that you have access to information and expertise that isn’t available anywhere else.

3. Start networking

As with all commercial structures and systems, networking plays a vital role in determining what opportunities and information are open and available to individuals. While the saying "it's not what you know but who you know" is something of a cliché in the modern business environment, it certainly contains an element of truth.

It is rare that so many business-minded individuals gather in one place with the express purpose of discussing the franchise system, the franchise model, and franchising business opportunities. This makes franchising exhibitions a priceless networking opportunity and a chance to meet face-to-face with individuals that, one day, you may enter into a partnership with. Whether it’s talking to franchisors, existing franchisees, or advisors, such events allow you to begin building the relationships upon which you will found your business on.

4. The security of bfa accredited franchises

In the UK, businesses in the franchising sector are monitored, regulated, and accredited by the British Franchise Association (bfa). This is a non-profit organisation responsible for ensuring that its members conduct their business according to a strict code of ethics and in a transparent and honest manner.

The British & International Franchise Exhibition and The National Franchise Exhibition are populated exclusively by bfa-accredited franchises. This means that you can rest assured that all the franchises you encounter during either of these events have proven they operate a genuine business format franchise. This security is difficult to find elsewhere and allows you to make the most of the events in complete confidence.

5. Meet individuals at every stage of the franchising process

Franchise exhibitions aren’t designed exclusively for complete newcomers to franchising – there are plenty of seminars, lectures, workshops, and Q&A sessions for more experienced franchisees, too. This diversity makes both The British & International Franchise Exhibition and The National Franchise Exhibition exciting events that can provide valuable lessons to those on every step of the franchising ladder. Whether you’re a first-timer who is thirsty for your first taste of the franchising sector or you’re an experienced franchisee who is looking for advice and assistance growing your existing business, a franchise exhibition is the best place to be.

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