Melbourne Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo
The renewed and re-energised Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo in Melbourne exceeded expectations, with exhibitors reporting excellent results before the show had even finished.
“The first day was fantastic, I looked at the figures and we did three times what we did the same day last year,” says John Gill from Cleantastic. “I would say it's the best Friday we've had at one of these expos and we've been doing it every year for 15 years.”
“Yes it was a very good day (on Friday), we were quite surprised at the numbers that came through,” says Lilian Tartaglia from McDonald’s. “We had over 150 to 200 people who came and made enquiries, really trying to understand all about McDonald's being open for business. We saw some really strong candidates so it's a great start.”
Exhibition Manager Fiona Stacey says more than 1000 visitors a day attended the Expo, which was held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from Friday 30 August – Sunday 1 September. The event was part of Victoria’s Small Business Festival, and was the last in a series of Expos that took place in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
“We've had three really good shows but Melbourne really stood out,” says Stacey. “It just had a fabulous feel, a great number of exhibitors and visitors, and exciting show features. It's the major franchising event for Melbourne and it just caps off the year really well.”
One of the highlights of the show was the Seminar Theatre, which had an impressive lineup of speakers from all facets of the franchising and small business arena. They included top industry talents Kevin Bujega from Franchise Selection, Grant Garraway from The Franchise Shop, Heath Fitzgerald and Jenny Koscak-Sadler from McDonald’s, and Suzanne Jarzabkowska, CEO at DC Strategy. The Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) also presented fascinating daily panel sessions featuring a wide range of successful franchisors.
Another popular feature was the Franchising Advice Centre, where visitors could book free one-on-one sessions with experts from DC Strategy. Suzanne Jarzabkowska and her team were busy over the three days meeting people from all walks of life who were seeking information or assistance.
“The show's always good for us and it's always busy, because visitors are looking for advice,” says Jarzabkowska. “People are about to take some huge steps either to buy a franchise or to expand their business, and often they aren’t sure what to do, or even what questions to ask. That’s one of the reasons we always participate in this Expo, it's about educating people.”
Jarzabkowska says she has also been impressed by the direction the Expo has taken under new management in 2013. “I think everybody in the industry welcomes a very directed and a very focused attention on the needs of the sector,” she says. “I absolutely encourage all of us in the sector to get behind this show because it's to the benefit of the entire industry.”
Richard Reid, from Salts of the Earth, agrees. “The show this year has been outstanding, we found the quantity and quality of people coming through has been magnificent.”
“I think it's a reflection of the way the new company that's taken over has been running it; they seemed to be doing a lot more and better advertising and marketing. We are very happy, particularly with the quality of people applying for franchises.”
The Expo also provided the opportunity for organisers to recognise Bill Viz from VIP Home Services, who was named a show ‘Legend’ for participating in every Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo since it began.
His colleague, Brian Legg explained that the Franchising Expo has been a large part of VIP Home Services’ growth strategy. “When we originally started we got a lot of our franchisees from the show, and we've found it's been very rewarding ever since,” he says. “We've been doing it I think since 1989 and it's been a real asset to our company.”
Bookings are now open for exhibition space at the 2014 Franchising & Business Opportunities Expos in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne
“Next year we hope to make the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo even bigger and better than ever,” says Fiona Stacey. “The Sydney event will be moving to an exciting new venue at Moore Park, and new March dates. Brisbane will run in July and Melbourne in August.”
Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo 2014 dates:
Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park, Sydney – 28-30 March
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre – 19-20 July
Melbourne Exhibition Centre – 22-24 August
For more information go to www.franchisingexpo.com.au