Informative, entertaining and inspiring seminars at Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo

Spanning the breadth and depth of Australia’s thriving franchise industry, this year’s lineup of speakers at the Sydney Franchising and Business Opportunities Expo promises to inform, entertain and inspire attendees who seek the freedom of being their own boss.

“These seminars are all free to attend and bookings are not required,” says Exhibition Manager Fiona Stacey. “Feedback tells us that these speakers do more than just share information – they can be motivating and inspiring, or even life-changing. I encourage all visitors to take advantage of this exciting Expo highlight.”

From specialist industry consultants such as Brian Keen, The Franchise Shop’s Jane Lombard and Andy Reeves from Franchise Selection, to successful franchisees from icons such as McDonald’s, there will be something for everyone. The Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) will also be presenting informative daily panel sessions featuring a range of fascinating franchisors.

“The seminar series is always very popular,” says Stacey. “It provides a forum for prospective franchisees to ask the tough questions direct to franchisees and franchisors, as well as an opportunity to hear the tips and traps from experts in finance, legal and other associated services.”

McDonald’s licensees Darian Hall, Patricia Russo and Glen Simmons will each share their journey with McDonald’s and explain the McDonald’s system and why it’s been so successful. Their presentations will cover process and training advantages, as well as the legacy they plan to leave behind.

Patricia Russell and Glen Simmons both began working at McDonald’s in the mid-1980s, and are now multi-outlet licensees. “I plan to be in the McDonald’s system for the rest of my working career, which I hope will be a very long time,” says Russell.

Industry consultant Jane Lombard from The Franchise Shop will present a session on Master Franchising. “There are currently some excellent opportunities in the marketplace to purchase master franchises,” she says. “I’ll go into what it is, what are the pros and cons, and how it works.”

Brian Keen, a consultant with more than 30 years experience in the franchising sector, will present a session on each day titled ‘How to Franchise Simply’, aimed at people who have a concept or a business that they wish to franchise.

“Many people perceive franchising to be expensive and complicated, and it doesn’t have to be,” he explains. “It is an easy way to grow your business and raise capital, plus you are recruiting people who have a vested interest in the business, rather than employees who don’t.”

An emerging aspect of franchising is harnessing the power of social media, which will be covered by Mark Veitch, CEO of Your Social Network. “My seminar will explain how social media in business has advanced over the past 12 months, and how it is now providing real business outcomes,” he says.

Exhibition Manager Fiona Stacey says the Sydney Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo is a must for anyone who is part of, or who wishes to join, Australia’s thriving franchising industry.

“It will give all visitors the opportunity to compare and research a diverse range of franchise opportunities with investment levels from under $10,000 to more than $500,000,” she says,  

“There will be an abundance of information available on every aspect of being your own boss. It’s really time to stop dreaming and start doing.” 

The Sydney Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo will be on at Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park, 28-30 March from 10am-5pm. Entry at the door is $15, or pre-register for free before the show at

Speaker Details:

McDonald’s Licensee Darian Hall began his career as an accountant and worked with large companies including Aristocrat Leisure, where he was Business Analyst for Australasia, South Africa and Europe.

However coming from a family of McDonald’s Licensees, he decided to switch careers and began as a trainee manager in 2001. Two years later he became Restaurant manager at Maroubra McDonalds, and then took the opportunity to be a Junior licensee at McDonalds Nowra on the NSW South Coast. He went on to become a licensee, purchasing Nowra McDonald’s, followed by Bomaderry McDonald’s. Hall is a Winner of the NSW McCafe Award in 2006 and 2008, and a runner up in the Australian Small Business Employer Awards 2009 and 2010.

Brian Keen has 40 years experience nationally and overseas as a business owner and company director. Born in Uxbridge on the outskirts of London, Keen lived in Malawi before moving to Perth, Australia in 1975. In the early 1980s, he joined the franchising sector as a franchisee with the then new Bedshed group, opening and operating seven stores in five years. Next he established a national franchise consultancy and sales group, the Franchise Alliance, developing franchise business systems and sales strategies for over 40 businesses including household names such as Ultratune, Jim’s Mowing and Donut King. Within the first five years, Keen also built six franchise groups with over 120 outlets. Today he has a new business, ‘How To Franchise Simply,’ which delivers a step-by-step franchising system.

Jane Lombard is a consultant and the Master Franchisee NSW & ACT of The Franchise Shop. She has over 13 years experience in the franchise industry and has owned three franchised businesses from a variety of industries from hospitality to real estate. Lombard holds a Diploma in Franchising and is a Committee member on NSW Franchise Council of Australia. She has worked with a broad range of clients who have achieved success in the franchise industry, working with them from feasibility study, through development and on to to achieve their recruitment goals.

Patricia Russo was hired as a crewperson in 1984 at McDonald's Plaza in Sydney while she was still at school. Two years later she was offered a position in management and Russo decided this was the career path she wished to pursue. She rose through the company with various Management Operational roles and also had the opportunity to teach at Hamburger University in Chicago. Keen to become a franchisee herself, Russo left McDonald's as there were no opportunities available at the time. Instead over the next 10 years she owned stores across three brands; Gloria Jean's Coffees, Boost Juice and Sumo Salad, and she was awarded NSW Franchise Woman of the Year in 2007.

In 2010 Russo was able to apply to be a McDonald's licensee, and she now owns four successful restaurants in the Blacktown area.

Glen Simmons commenced his career at McDonald's in 1986 as a crew person aged 14. He worked through the ranks of management while studying, then took time off to travel. Upon his return he was appointed an Assistant Manager, then Restaurant Manager, until he was promoted to head office where he took on many roles including HR / Training, Operations, and Franchise Field Service Operations. After many years managing Field Service in the NSW / ACT region, Simmons was offered the opportunity to purchase three restaurants, and he now owns eight restaurants in Sydney.

Mark Veitch commenced work in the IT sector in the mid 1980s and has become a leader in sales and management in APJ. With a particular focus on start-ups, Mark has assisted a number companies establish their footprint in this region and then ultimately worked with them to integrate those businesses at the time of acquisition. Having also held senior positions with multi-national organisations such as Veritas, Symantec and IBM, in 2012 Veitch formed two specialist companies in the social media sector - Defining Social, which focuses on providing software to manage risk, security and compliance on social media; and Your Social Village, which is an outsourcing company providing social media solutions to clients based on real and definable business outcomes. Outside of Your Social Village and Defining Social, Mark is a qualified life and business coach and Chairman of World Youth International.