19 Franchise Trade Shows That You Don't Want To Miss The top conventions, expos and conference events in the franchise world.
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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 — an amazing opportunity 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 ran from Feb. 26 to March 1, 2023 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Business owners can expect a trip to Washington, D.C., in May for 2024's conference. 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 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 the remaining shows in 2023, 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 at the Marriott Old City Hotel in Philadelphia, PA, and 2023's location has yet to be announced. 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 was 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." The 2023 conference will be held from June 10-11 at the Miami Airport Convention Center (West Hall) in Miami, Florida. 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 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 2023 event is scheduled to take place Nov. 13-15, 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 occurs in late January, though the 2023 show is scheduled in Chicago from May 10-12. 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. 2022's event took place Nov. 2-3, at the Hilton Nashville Downtown in Nashville, TN.
In 2023, the event is scheduled for New Orleans, LA, from Nov. 1-3. Attendees may register by following this link.
11. International Franchise Expo
The International Franchise Expo, or IFE, is a considerable franchise trade show you can't afford to miss. It's held annually in New York City, and 2023's show is from June 1 to June 3. This Expo is a can't-miss event because it includes over 400 franchisors, from food and beverages to retail and home-based businesses.
If you're an aspiring entrepreneur, you'll find that the IFE allows you to explore new franchise opportunities and discover the latest franchising trends. Be sure to check out the International Pavilion, which will enable you to engage with franchisors from elsewhere around the globe.
12. Franchise Expo West
Franchise Expo West in 2023 was held in the Phoenix Convention Center between March 31 and April 1, 2023. For 2024, the location will likely remain in Phoenix, AZ. This annual event is held somewhere in the western US every year. This year's trade show will include franchisor networking opportunities from the fitness, retail and food and beverage industries.
It's a great trade show to attend if you want to learn more about franchising as a business model. It's set to include educational seminars and various workshops to help you master things like franchising marketing, operations and financing. A well-known industry expert leads each session.
13. Franchise Expo South
Franchise Expo South, held from September 8 to September night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is another good annual trade show to attend. One of its more unique features is the Franchise University program, which gives trade show attendees a chance to experience in-depth training on franchising.
You'll learn about franchise operations, financing, and franchise law at this event. Thus, it's a perfect event to attend if you are new to franchising or want to expand your current knowledge about the business model.
14. Franchise Customer Experience Conference
Don't miss the Franchise Customer Experience Conference, set to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, between June 20 and 22 this year. At this conference, you'll find a space designated for inspiration and idea sharing, plus multiple networking opportunities for leaders in the industry. At this conference, you'll benefit from lots of learning opportunities.
It includes a unique agenda to help franchise leaders learn more about operations, technology resources and marketing to ensure their enterprises succeed in perpetuity. It's a great trade show to attend if you want to elevate your brand's customer experience beyond previous levels.
15. IFA Legal Symposium 2023
IFA Legal Symposium 2023 is set to be held in Washington, DC, between May 7 and 9 of this year. If you want to know more about the laws and regulations surrounding franchising opportunities, this is the event for you. It focuses on regulatory and legal issues and how they work within the franchise system.
Not only will you learn more about franchise law, but you'll also have the opportunity to meet innovators in this industry plus earn CLE credits. Registration is a little pricey at over $1000 per member, but it's also located at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel for easy accommodations.
16. Alliance Franchise Brands 2023 Convention
The Alliance Franchise Brands 2023 convention will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, between July 24 and 27. It's a networking event, first and foremost, allowing franchisors to meet with their franchisee members personally and expand everyone's social networks.
Each year has a different keynote speaker, but each has a host of accolades and awards under their belt. The keynote speaker provides learning sessions allowing new franchisees to build up their skills, target customers more successfully and strengthen their teams.
The event also includes a full day during which franchisees can explore the trade show and meet with exhibitors, seeing what they offer and striking up new business deals.
17. Small Business Expo San Antonio 2023
The Small Business Expo is set to be held in San Antonio this year. Unlike other franchising trade shows, it's a virtual business networking event. You can attend it from the comfort of your home or business premises, whether based in Houston or Dallas or as far away as Québec.
You'll want to attend because there will be many keynote speakers and valuable webinars, which you can use to expand your business operations and know-how. You'll have a chance to attend workshops that industry experts lead, learn from keynote speakers and expand your professional network.
Plus, you may even market your business to others in the industry.
Related: The Best Upcoming Franchise Shows
18. Le Forum Franchise 2023
If you're interested in expanding your franchise knowledge to the international scale, check out Le Forum Franchise 2023, an event that will be held on October 12 in Lyon, France. This international trade show and conference can have up to 500 brands present each year, so you can't miss it.
You will learn more about how franchising works internationally, and you may get the chance to partner with international franchisors or fellow franchisees, depending on your goals.
19. Polish Franchise Expo 2023
Check out Polish Franchise Expo 2023, set to be held from October 19 to October 21 in Warsaw. This is one of Eastern Europe's most significant franchising events, offering over 150 franchise opportunities.
Not only can you attend this trade show to get your start as a franchisee, but you can also meet with expert European and Russian franchisors plus expand your entrepreneurial knowledge in this industry.
The event is primarily held for educational purposes, especially because Poland is a significant center of franchise businesses. There are over 1300 franchise concepts in Poland alone, most of which belong to Polish companies.
Expanding your franchise knowledge
When you're looking to learn more about the world of franchising, franchise trade shows may be one of the best ways to do so. Regardless of your role in the industry, expanding your knowledge can allow you to play a more valuable and active part.
Check out Entrepreneur's other articles if you want to learn more about franchise trade shows and other financial topics.