10 Franchise Trade Shows That You Don't Want to Miss
The top conventions, expos and conference events in the franchise world.
Whether you're a franchisor, a franchisee, a supplier, a vendor or even a budding entrepreneur, the industry is flush with a wide variety of trade shows, events, conventions, expos and conferences. Some of these events happen on an annual basis, and others are part of a series of trade shows that travel to all of the major cities in the U.S. — some offerings are even international in scope.
They all have one thing in common – they're some of the most amazing opportunities to network with the industry's top professionals and executives. No matter your role in the world of franchising, there is always something new to learn, a panel discussion to hear or a speaking opportunity that communicates the best aspects of your brand's business model.
The next time you take note of a franchise trade show that you'd like to register and attend, keep in mind that there's always a host organization behind the scenes. These organizations and producers work hard year-round to make sure that their attendees have a memorable experience. And once the event ends, they go right back into planning mode to attract the industry's best and brightest for the next show.
Entrepreneur is proud of our annual Top Franchise Supplier rankings, a multi-faceted directory that includes the best of the best in several industry categories. If you plan on attending any trade shows or events in the future, make sure it's one of these top 10 choices, each of which earned a well-deserved spot on our list:
1. IFA Annual Convention
The IFA's Annual Convention is franchising's biggest event for business development and personal growth. Whether you're a franchising veteran or just starting, there are sessions designed for everyone. This is your chance to network and chart the future of the industry. As the largest, most relevant conference for the franchise community, this event is curated to take your success to new heights — no matter if you are a franchisor, franchisee, supplier or working to expand within franchising.
You'll find fresh content, robust education tracks and an unmatched community. Building on the power of gathering in person, the IFA has transformed this convention by shaking up the content and programs to match unique learning styles and maximize business development. If you're in the franchising community, this is simply the place to be. The 2023 IFA Annual Convention is slated to run from Feb. 26 – March 1, 2023 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Current IFA members and non-members can register by following this link.
2. Multi-Unit Franchise Conference (MUFC)
With presentations, leadership tracks and specialty workshops designed for the best and brightest in Multi-Unit Franchising, MUFC takes franchise expansion and information to the next level. The Multi-Unit Franchise Conference is a must-attend event for multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees looking to build their businesses to achieve their growth goals. The 2023 MUFC event takes place April 25-28, 2023 at Caesar's Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The current lineup of speakers is TBA, but past keynote speakers have included NFL Pro Bowl running back Emmitt Smith and Jesse Itzler, owner of the Atlanta Hawks NBA franchise. Subscribe to this event's newsletter to keep up to date on all news for the 2023 event.
3. The Franchise Show
If you're looking for an opportunity near you, The Franchise Shows produced by National Event Management in the U.S. can be found far and wide. Hamster wheels and daily grinds are so 2021. This year, choose your future, make a bold move and invest in a franchise. Franchise ownership lets you jump into the corner office and grow a business that already has successful — and proven — roots. The Franchise Expo is in 25 cities in North America, so find a show near you and start choosing your future today. Click here for a full list of remaining shows in 2022, as well as the current lineup of Franchise Expo Shows in 2023.
4. MFV Expos
For over 30 years, MFV Expositions has been bringing franchise concepts together with the most qualified entrepreneurs seeking to own their own businesses. MFV Expos help franchisors expand their brand with face-to-face opportunities as well as online directories. At these events, thousands of franchise companies introduce attendees to proven, successful concepts, helping entrepreneurs go into business for themselves — but never by themselves. MFV's expos feature franchises from every industry and investment level while offering attendees comprehensive educational programs to help them make informed decisions about their franchise options. If you're interested in attending an MFV Expo event, the trade show visits multiple U.S. cities every year. For a full list of remaining shows in 2022 and the current 2023 expo schedule, follow this link.
5. Springboard: A Special Event for Emerging Franchisors
The Springboard event gives you a fighting chance by getting to you early with industry best practices. This trade show offers its attendees a holistic approach to the many disciplines that create a successful franchisor. You will receive valuable, actionable advice from experienced franchise founders who have been in your shoes, taken their lumps and went on to create successful franchise systems. Always remember that emerging brands are the lifeblood of new franchise activity. The 2022 Springboard event was held in Philadelphia, PA at the Marriott Old City Hotel. The Springboard Event is a collaboration between the franchise law firm of FisherZucker, Fishman Public Relations, and Entrepreneur Magazine.
6. Franchise Leadership & Development Conference (FLDC)
The Franchise Leadership & Development Conference (FLDC) is an exclusive event for franchisor CEOs, presidents, COOs, CDOs and development executives charged with driving growth. With a dynamic agenda touching all facets of franchise development, the conference provides education to enhance franchisee recruitment, sales effectiveness as well as professional leadership. This FLDC event helps industry executives shape policy and promote the business model as a catalyst for entrepreneurship. The 2022 Franchise Leadership & Development Conference will be held Oct. 18-20 at the InterContinental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, GA, where the keynote speaker is Mike Weinberg, sales leader, consultant, and author of "On a Mission to Simplify Sales." Attendees can still register by following this link.
7. The Great American Franchise Expo
The Great American Franchise Expo connects hundreds of franchise businesses with potential owners. They provide education through seminars from industry experts on topics including franchise law, financing and other critical business concepts. Attending these expos will provide potential franchisees with the opportunity to network with leading industry executives and franchise developers who share proven strategies that help create opportunities for entrepreneurs to own their businesses and boost income. There are several key tour dates left in 2022, as well as a full lineup of U.S. cities in 2023. Attendees can register for any of the multiple U.S. stops on tour by following this link.
8. Restaurant Finance & Development Conference (RFDC)
By attending the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference (RFDC), you'll find financing and make deals at the best networking event in the restaurant industry. Restaurant dealmaking has never been more important, and this event is the place to get it done. The 2022 event is scheduled to take place Nov. 14-16, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Attendees can register by following this link.
9. Franchise YoungConference
Are you ready for the hottest new thing in franchising? Franchise YoungConference is a place for the young (and young-minded) innovators in franchising to gather and share their knowledge and strategies to navigate the ever-increasingly digital realm. If you haven't begun considering how to implement the latest technologies — and create your own — to build your business, you're getting left in the dust. While their older counterparts may take the lead in experiential knowledge, successful CEOs of all ages are increasingly looking to their younger peers for insight on innovation, creativity and thinking outside of the box. This annual event typically takes place in late January, though specific details for the 2023 show have not yet been released. Check back here for further updates.
10. IFA Emerging Franchisor Conference
Join other franchise leaders and innovators at the IFA Emerging Franchisor Conference to discover the latest way to take your franchise to the next level. Hear from development experts, speak with operations gurus and discover next-generation opportunities. Gather with industry leaders who are building long-term success that creates real wealth for franchisors and franchisees. Whether you are trying to kick-start your franchise system or take it to the next level, IFA's Emerging Franchisor Conference was designed for entrepreneurs like you. This year's event takes place Nov. 2-3, at the Hilton Nashville Downtown in Nashville, TN. Attendees may register by following this link.
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