MANHATTAN, New York — Every June, New York City becomes a hub for entrepreneurial aspirations as the International Franchise Expo (IFE) takes center stage at the prestigious Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The highly anticipated event serves as a melting pot of innovative ideas, business opportunities, and networking prospects — attracting a diverse range of individuals eager to explore the world of franchising.
This year, the IFE is back in New York City for its 35th annual event, running from June 1st to the 3rd. The IFE is the world’s largest event of its kind, bringing together thousands of franchisee prospects, franchisors, sponsors, and industry experts from all around the world.
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‘A deep dive into operational results’
“We take a deep dive into the operational results from a franchisor’s perspective,” says host Laura Darrell of Leadership Consulting. “It’s pretty common to have regional management oversee a territory of locations, and it’s their responsibility to get out into the field to assess how the brands are doing in delivering a consistent customer experience, which is what great brands are built on.”
But Darrell — who has penned several books on business consulting and operations — says efficient franchising is key in helping entrepreneurs achieve success. “Think of the Starbucks of the world, or the Apples of the world,” says Darrell, adding, “It doesn’t matter where you are, you go into those locations, and you expect to receive the same level of customer service and experience.”
“We go line by line to assess how different franchises are doing and performing in terms of safety, operations, and brand representations,” says Darrell, who is retired now, but continues to provide consulting services and guidance for entrepreneurs looking to break into the field of franchising.
Wide range of exhibitors
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This year’s expo will feature hundreds of exhibitors — representing a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, retail, service, and healthcare. Attendees will have the chance to meet with representatives from every franchise level to learn more about the business model, financial requirements, as well as training and support programs.
“I have a lot of love for franchising; if you want to be an entrepreneur and start your own business, franchising is one of the best ways to go because it’s less risky than going out on your own and trying to get everything right in terms of marketing, operations, economics, IT, etc,” says Darrell.
Beyond the exhibition booths, the IFE offers a wealth of knowledge through its comprehensive seminar program. Renowned experts and seasoned franchise professionals take the stage to share valuable insights, best practices, and industry trends. From understanding the legal aspects of franchising to marketing strategies and operational excellence, attendees can benefit from a treasure trove of expertise to help empower them with the knowledge needed to navigate the franchising landscape successfully.
An oasis of knowledge
“We have all the skills needed to operate a successful franchise,” says Darrell, adding, “We provide a whole team that will help you operate a tried and true system to help you succeed, and have all those tools at your disposal.”
In addition to the exhibit hall, IFE also features a variety of educational seminars and workshops. These sessions will cover topics such as how to choose the right franchise, how to finance a franchise, and how to build a successful franchise business.
“We’re seeing so many individuals who say ‘I want to start my own business, or I want to be my own boss,’ and as more baby boomers retire, there’s a window that’s opened where a lot of new opportunities are emerging,” says Darrell, adding, “There’s a real opportunity now, and franchisors are really interested in attracting new franchisees to come and add life into their systems. There’s good negotiation leverage that you have at a time like this.”
Robust networking opportunities
Another valuable aspect of the IFE is the opportunity for networking. Attendees can connect with like-minded individuals, potential business partners, and franchise development teams, says Darrell. The vibrant atmosphere fosters collaboration, idea-sharing, and mentorship to create a supportive environment where connections and partnerships can grow.
Overall, the IFE serves as a catalyst for turning dreams into realities, providing a platform to explore diverse business opportunities, acquire knowledge, build connections, and find inspiration in the stories of successful franchise owners. If you are interested in learning more about franchising or considering franchising as a business opportunity, the International Franchise Expo is a great place to start.
The expo is free to attend, but registration is required.
For more information regarding the expo, including registration requirements, please visit the official website here.