Today, many investors investigate new franchise opportunities extensively at franchise trade shows. The current COVID-19 Pandemic has limited the availability of some of these events. Yet under normal circumstances, trade shows offer a great way for interested members of the public to explore starting a new business venture in a low-key, friendly settings.

Popular Franchise Trade Shows

Prospective investors currently attend both online and in-person franchise trade shows. Franchisors engaging in a variety of economic sectors present exhibits at these popular venues. Learn about subjects as varied as promoting a fast food franchise outlet, operating a cell phone repair franchise business, or financing a new lawn care franchise service center: diverse companies typically present exhibits at these types of events.

During years when pandemics don’t create marketplace disruptions, the annual trade show of the International Franchise Association (the “IFA”) in June in New York City usually attracts large crowds. The Franchise Expo conducts trade shows in more than 20 cities across the United States throughout the year. In August in Las Vegas, a Licensing Expo draws many franchise sponsors as exhibitors, too.

Obtaining Solid Value

Gaining the greatest benefit from attending a franchise trade show requires performing preliminary research. Consider requesting a list of all of the companies attending the event from the show’s sponsor. Then conduct your own analysis to create a “short list” of the opportunities likely to interest you the most. Many people approach this task in the same way they research employment opportunities.

Crafting a short-list involves asking yourself some introspective questions. How much can you afford to invest in a franchise? What types of businesses would fit your management interests and skills? What opportunities exist within the industries of most interest to you?

Once you develop your list of “must-explore” franchises, consider conducting preliminary online research. Learn as much as possible about each opportunity. Evaluating the company’s website also proves helpful. Highlight questions to ask the company’s representatives when you visit the firm’s franchise trade show booth.

Mutual Evaluation

When you meet with franchisors on your “short list” at the trade show, keep in mind these representatives will consider your suitability as a franchisee. Trade shows allow franchisees and franchisors to evaluate one another in person. Attending a franchise trade show permits you to obtain valuable insights into a prospective future business relationship!